Salat

by jawaid ahmed @, Birmingham, uk, Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 08:31 (2537 days ago)

I am glad that there is agreement that the Quran does not give any instructions on the method of namaz, leaving it to individuals to sort out what they want to do. It is the same as everything else that the Quran does not give instructions for; it says eat of the good things Allah has provided but does not say how to cook food; it says Allah gives water from the sky but does not say how to drink [with a glass or cupped hands], etc.

PHYSICAL RITUALS

It has been stated that:-
“ maybe the simple reason al-quran does NOT tell us 'how to perform salat' is because it doesn't want to set any particular right or wrong way to prostrate and bow to Allah with certain fixed rakats etc etc. What about that? why can that not be correct?”

The first line of the following verse destroys the notion that physical acts of devotion are something that Allah wants us to do. So the answer to the above question is in the negative; it is not correct for us to make up acts of devotion when He has stated He does not want them!

2:177 IT IS NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT YE TURN YOUR FACES TOWARDS EAST OR WEST; but it is righteousness- to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing

Although the Quran says it is clear we still have the problem of language and its interpretation and understanding. In order to facilitate this, Allah in His infinite Wisdom, has used the method of using words in various ways and situations so we can narrow down the meaning, as best we can.Salat is used many times in the Quran and not once does it state that we should do prostrations or repeat words back to Allah that He gave to us in the Quran! This eliminates the namaz that we have today.

DUAA

Does salat mean we can get into a personal communication with Allah through a “prayer”?
Whenever you want to ask Allah for anything then the Quran always uses the word “duaa” which is totally different to “Salat”. Those who feel a desperate need and require comfort then they can call upon Allah twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, according to:-

Surah 2:186
When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer (duaa) of every suppliant when he calls on Me: LET THEM ALSO, WITH A WILL, LISTEN TO MY CALL, AND BELIEVE IN ME: THAT THEY MAY WALK IN THE RIGHT WAY.

Allah’s “Call” is the Quran. Seek your future prosperity in its Guidance and secure a life in the hereafter that we may live the right way. When Allah states that He has answered our prayers with the Quran, then the idea of getting anything from Allah through ‘prayers’ is wrong.

REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH

Does salat mean we can remind ourselves/stay close to Allah through prayers? A teacher tries to impart his knowledge to a student; the student does not revise, messes in class and fails his exams but sends the teacher a Christmas card every year as a means of thanking him! The student ‘remembers’ the teacher, how sweet!

Allah, Allah, Allah; there, I have remembered Allah so I am a very pious, devoted follower of Him?!!!! Reminding ourselves of Allah every day has no benefit but learning what Allah wants us to do and putting it into practice is the only way of “thanking” Him for what He has done for us.

13:28 Those who attain faith through reason, their hearts find rest in the practical remembrance of God, that is, IN FOLLOWING HIS COMMANDS. For, certainly, remembering God (by following His Commands) ensures tranquillity in the hearts.
13:29 THE ABODE OF BLISS IS GUARANTEED TO THOSE WHO ACCEPT THE MESSAGE AND FULFIL THE NEEDS OF OTHERS.

Verse 13:29 says it all.

Having looked at some of the reasons why people pray, we can see that there is nothing to be gained by praying, either from the physical rituals or personal communication.

So what is salat?

24:41 Do you not realize that God, He is the One Whom all beings in the heavens and earth glorify, and the birds, with their wings outspread, as they fly in columns. All of them know their Salaat and Tasbeeh (mission and strife). God is Aware of what they do to fulfill His Plan.
[All creatures know their Salaat, their inborn Divinely programmed instincts. So, they can automatically strive (do their Tasbeeh) in the best way. But humans are not programmed with such inborn instincts. Given free will, they must do their Salaat by following the revealed guidance and thus strive (do Tasbeeh) in the best way]

One of the key verses to understanding what salat is and should not be ignored if you want to do salat properly.

SALAT DOES NOT MEAN:-

Prayer, contact prayer, bond, commitment, closely follow, just social system, race along with each other in good deeds, regular training meeting, etc

SALAT MEANS:-

Part of all of the above terms that are used for a word that does not have a single word to understand its meaning; it is untranslatable but not something that cannot be understood.

When you act as a witness for a will you promise to uphold what you have witnessed, you stay honest and true to this.

When you are at war you follow the commands of your commanding officers; maintaining discipline.

When you are in political power you abide by the laws and regulations of the land.

When you are called to community meetings you will be told what needs to be done for your locality, helping the poor, looking after the needy, etc. Social services that you are responsible for; YOU CANNOT BE A MUSLIM IN ISOLATION, SO THERE IS NO PERSONAL PRAYING FOR PERSONAL SALVATION.

In the home you make sure that all of your family have the means you are able provide for them to create a stable environment, husband and wife working together, children taught right from wrong.

Etc.

And the birds? They follow their programming. They do not think about flying but use their Allah given wings to utilise the Allah given winds to soar in the Allah given skies. They ‘thank’ Allah by doing so and do not bury their heads in the ground like we are told we must do in our prayers; putting our heads down is in the metaphorical direction of hell! When we learn how things work, use them for the benefit of mankind and the rest of the earth, then we are doing our salat.

This requires a foundation that should be accepted by all and is the universal human rights charter provided by Allah to mankind to minimise our effort in attaining them. The Quran. Learn the Quran, base every act and thought on this book and you are doing salat.


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