Prayers in Allah’s Scriptures
In the name of The God The Most Gracious The Most Merciful.
I want to go over the practice of prayer as it is described and prescribed in Allah’s revelations.
The traditional Arabic names of the daily Muslim prayers are Fajr, Dhuhr, ‘Asr, Maghreb, and ‘Isha. But these are not the names of the prayers given in The Qur’an. And the traditional prayer times are Dawn, (Fajr), Noon, (Dhuhr), Afternoon, (‘Asr), Sunset, (Maghreb), and Night, (‘Isha). These are not quite the same as the Qur’anic description of the prayer times.
The prayer times are actually described in 2:238, 11:114, 17:78, and 24:58 as:
1) The Middle Prayers, Salawat AlWusta, (2:238).
2) The prayers at the ends of the day, and at Night, (11:114).
3) The prayers done from when the Sun sets from it’s highest point in the Sky at Noon, called Midhaven, until it approaches Night, (17:78).
4) Salawat AlFajr, (Dawn prayers), and Salawat Al’Isha, (Night prayers), (24:58).
Thus there are three names given to the prayers in The Qur’an: Salawat AlWusta, Salawat AlFajr, and Salawat Al’Isha; The Middle Prayers, the Dawn Prayers, and the Night Prayers.
The times given are these:
1) While the Sun is rising, from the early daylight time just before Dawn, which is the first end of the daylight, until the time the Sun reaches Midhaven at Noon. The word “fajr” means “Dawn” or “Rise.”
2) From when the Sun sets from Midhaven until night as described earlier. This time period includes Sunset, and the final daylight times, which constitutes the second end of the daylight.
3) From night until Dawn.
Most Muhammadans and Muslims believe that there are five daily prayers that are mandatory, and that there is a highly specific system of movements and sayings that one must adhere to for all the prayers. In other words, they believe in a highly complex required form of physical prayer ritual practice. But there are really only two physical ritual practices that must be observed during the prayers:
1) Ablutions. There are three kinds of ritual ablutions to be performed before the prayers, depending on the circumstances; Tayamum, Ghusl, and then common Wudu. Tayamum is the dry ablution; Ghusl is the full water ablution; and Wudu is the partial water ablution. These are their descriptions below, taken from 4:43 and 5:6 of The Qur’an:
“And if you are ill or on a trip or have fecal excretion or have touched women and you cannot find water, then you shall perform dry ablution with dry, clean soil by wiping your face and your hands.” (Tayamum in The Qur’an, 4:43).
“O you who have attained faith, do not approach the contact prayer while drunk, wait until you know what you are saying and when you are unclean due to sexual orgasm then you shall bathe, except when you are traveling.” (Ghusl, 4:43).
“O you who have attained faith when you observe the contact prayer, you shall wash your faces and your hands to your elbows, wipe your heads and wash your feet to the ankles.” (Wudu, from 5:6).
2) Facing the Kabbah. The direction one must face during one’s prayers is called the Qiblah. One must face the Kabbah during the prayers, from wherever one is in the world, (2:144, 149 – 150).
All the other rules they apply to their prayers that are not mentioned in The Qur’an are not really mandatory laws. If something is not mentioned in The Qur’an, then it does not matter. But The Qur’an says that those who attribute lies to Allah are committing a gross sin, (“Say; indeed my Lord has prohibited evil deeds be it obvious or hidden as well as sin and transgression without justification, and setting up partners for God, which He never revealed any authorization, and to say about God what you do not know,” – 7:33); if you say Allah made a certain rule and requires you to obey it, when in fact Allah did not; or if you say Allah did not do such a thing, when in fact Allah did; then you are attributing lies to Allah. So although it does not matter if, for example, someone chooses to adhere to the traditions, it does matter if one claims falsely that certain traditions or practices were made either mandatory or prohibited by Allah. To put this simply:
If Allah did not find it important to express a rule in His final revelation, the most sacred and important book in existence, The Qur’an, which both confirms and supersedes all the previous scriptures, then it obviously is not important at all and can be ignored if one wishes. Additionally, The Qur’an is fully detailed:
“And all creatures of the land, and all the birds flying with their two wings, are communities like you. We did not leave anything out of the book. Finally, to their Lord, they will all be summoned.” (6:38).
“Are you seeking another Judge beside God when He has revealed to you a fully detailed book? Furthermore, those who have received the scripture know that indeed it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. Therefore, you shall not be one of the skeptics.” (6:114).
And the word of your Lord is complete, truthfully and equitably. There are no substitutes for His words. And He is The All Hearer, The All Knower.” (6: 115).
“We have given them a scripture that is fully detailed, with knowledge, guidance, and mercy for the people who believe.” (7:52).
“This Quran could not possibly be authored by other than God. It confirms all previous messages, and provides a fully detailed scripture. It is infallible, for it comes from the Lord of the universe.” (10:37).
“In their history, there is a lesson for those who possess intelligence. This is not fabricated Hadith; this (Quran) confirms all previous scriptures, provides the details of everything, and is a beacon and mercy for those who believe.” (12:111).
“A scripture whose verses provide the complete details, in an Arabic Quran, for people who know.” (41:3).
The Qur’an does mention various physical acts of worship that one may do during prayers – bowing, prostrating, praising, glorifying, imploring, thanking, kneeling, et cetera. But of all these various acts, none are ever said to be required for the prayers in any particular sequence, order, or quantity. I don’t need any quotations to prove this; no matter how carefully you search The Qur’an, you will not find that The Qur’an prescribes any specific system of physical acts of worship. The traditional raka’, the prayer units, adhered to by most Muhammadans and Muslims is not taught by The Qur’an.* Muhammadans and many Muslims believe that following the raka’ system, which includes even a specific number of raka’ for each daily prayer, (two for Fajr, four for Dhuhr, four for ‘Asr, three for Maghreb, and four for ‘Isha), is Allah’s law; in other words, they are blindly following lies that were attributed to Allah, namely the lie that Allah ever decreed this traditional system as law, or as practices that are mandatory and must be adhered to. Saying that this system, or that there are any specific systems of physical worship practices besides the ablutions and the Qiblah, are mandatory is a sin because Allah never said in The Qur’an that they are. But additionally, I will not say that any such things are prohibited either, for The Qur’an does not say they are, (any traditions or other practices which in any way do conflict with teachings in The Qur’an, such as offering prayers to Muhammad, are naturally forbidden by Allah). The Qur’an neither commands anyone to follow, for example, the Raka‘ system, nor to avoid it. It does not even mention it. So while saying either, “the Raka’ are forbidden” or “the Raka’ are required” is a gross sin, it is okay if someone for personal reasons chooses to follow them.
*A raka’ is a single traditional unit of prayer according to the orthodox traditions of corrupted Islam, (which I prefer to call Muhammadanism, since as a Muslim I think “corrupted Islam” is sort of an oxymoron; if it’s corrupted, it isn’t Islam). These are the traditional steps:
1) The Takbir. This is where they raise up the hands to the ears, and say, “Allahu akbar,” “God is great.”
2) Then they stand and recite Surat Al – Fateha, the first chapter of The Qur’an.
3) Then they say, “Allahu akbar,” again as they bend forward to bow, with the hands on the knees.
4) In the bowing position they say, “Subhani rabi al’atheem,” “Glory be to my Lord the Great.” This must be said three times.
5) Then they say, “Sami Allaho liman hamidah,” “God hears the one who praises Him,” as they rise back to the standing position.
6) Then they say, “Allahu akbar,” as they lower down to prostrate.
7) In the prostration position, with their foreheads on the ground, they say, “Subhani rabi al’ala,” “glory be to my Lord the Most High,” three times.
8) Then they say “Allahu akbar,” as they rise into the kneeling position.
9) The prostrating and kneeling is repeated twice. This then completes one raka’. At every second or third raka’ depending upon the total number of raka’ being performed for the prayers, the Shahadah is recited at the end of the raka.’ The Shahadah is basically to bear witness that God is alone and without partners, and also for Muhammadans to bear witness that Muhammad is God’s prophet.
Mathematical Confirmation of the Traditional Raka’ System
The Muslims who still adhere to the Muhammadan prayer system of the raka’ and the five daily prayers, believe that this adherence is mathematically proven to be commanded by Allah because the prayer practices are somehow based upon the number 19:
“CONFIRMATION OF THE 5 DAILY PRAYERS, NUMBER OF BOWINGS (Ruku’), PROSTRATIONS (Sujood), AND TASHAHHUD
“ One of the common challenges…is: “If the Quran is complete and fully detailed (as claimed in 6:19, 38 & 114), where are the details of the Contact Prayers (Salat)?” These people ask this question because they are not aware that the Quran informs us that the Contact Prayers came from Abraham (21:73 & 22:78). If we write down the numbers of the prayers with their bowings, prostrations and Tashahhuds, we get:
1 1 2 2 4 1 2 4 4 8 2 3 4 4 8 2 4 3 3 6 2 5 4 4 8 2
This long number consists of the sura that we recite in the 5 prayers (1) followed by the number of the first prayer (1), then the number of “Keys” that we recite in this prayer (2), then the number of bowings (Ruku`) (2), then the number of prostrations (4), then the number of Tashahhuds (in the sitting position) (1), then the number of the second prayer (2), then the number of “Keys” that we recite in the second prayer (4), then the number of bowings (Ruku`) in this prayer (4), then the number of prostrations (8), then the number of Tashahhuds (2), then the number of the third prayer (3), and so on to the last prayer. This long number is a multiple of 19, and this confirms the minutest details of the prayers, even in the number of Ruku`, Sujud, and Tashahhud.” “
These, are the words of Allah’s Messenger of the Covenant, the late Doctor Rashad Khalifa, Ph.d. (1935 – 1990). But this was not his message; he was sent by Allah to expose the profound mathematical structure of The Qur’an its self, and to purify The Qur’an. The mathematical structure served to prove beyond all doubt that Allah had sent him to do so. But since the prayer system is not actually laid out in The Qur’an, there is no reason to think that confirming that system was also part of his message. I do not think it was. I also do not think that messengers of Allah are flawless beings who are never wrong and never make mistakes, for The Qur’an says that the messengers are human beings just like us: “Their messengers said, “We are but human beings like you, but God will bestow His graces upon Whom He pleases from among His servants. And it is not up to us to bring you proof except by God’s leave. And in God the believers shall place their trust.” (14:11).
Here is my logic that shows that the phenomena described above in the quotations about the daily prayers, does not really prove that the traditional system is divinely ordained: the people assume that because something in some way comes to a multiple of 19, that by having Allah’s divine numerical signature in it, it must be approved by Allah. But there is no tangible indication of this. Just because something comes to multiples of 19, that does not mean it is divinely ordained.
In America there is a gas station called “76.” 76 = 19 x 4. Does this mean that the gas station 76 is divinely ordained by Allah? No. There is no tangible indication of this; no material clue that would show this. Instead, if you ask the owners of the gas station, they will not likely tell you that they were divinely inspired to establish the station or to call it 76. I guarantee, the reasons behind it’s name being a multiple of 19 are entirely mundane. The number 76 probably has some mundane significance to the founders of gas station 76. This same logic applies to the prayers; there is no material indication, no tangible clue, that shows at all that the reason why the traditional raka’ prayer system or five daily prayer system is based upon the number 19 is because of some divine sanction.
Allah does not care how many prostrations, bowings, standings, kneelings, or recitations of whatever prayers, or whatever acts of worship, one does within one session of prayer; the idea taught in The Qur’an is to do in your prayers whatever Allah inspires you to do, as many times as Allah inspires you to do it. You should be praying throughout the day and night, whenever you have the inspiration and the opportunity. Islam is not a mechanical religion. Islam is a competitive religion, for The Qur’an in fact says that the believers shall compete for righteousness and for closeness to Allah: “Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent” (2:148). This is because the most important and most intimate relationship in your life is your relationship with Allah, Who is closer to you than your own heart: “O you who believe, you shall respond to GOD and to the messenger when he invites you to what gives you life.You should know that GOD is closer to you than your heart, and that before Him you will be summoned.” (8:24).
How Does One Pray?
So if, besides the ablutions and the Qiblah, there is no mandatory system of physical acts of worship – no required set of movements, and no specified number of times to do this or that – then how should one pray? I’ll go over that now.
The Qur’an does say for the people to say certain supplications during one’s prayers:
During any prayer, 17: 110 – 111 says that one shall call Allah by the name Arrahman – “The Most Gracious” – and says the prayers shall be uttered neither too loudly nor too quietly but at a moderate tone. The following Arabic duah – “supplication” – is prescribed:
Alhamdu lillah illathee lam yattakheedh wa ladan wa lam yakoon llahu, sharikoon filmulkee wa lam yakoon llahu, waliyoon mmin adh – dhool.
“Praise God the One who has not begotten a son nor does He have any partners in kingship and He has no heir because of need, and you shall extol Him continuously.” (from 17:111).
During the Night Prayers, Salawat Al’Isha, 17:79 – 81 says to get up during the night from sleep to pray and meditate for extra credit, so that Allah might raise you to an honorable rank. And then the following Arabic duah is prescribed:
Rabbi adkhilni mudkhalla siduqin wa akhrijni mukhuraja siduqin wa ja’ali min ladunka sultanan nasiran. Ja’alhaqu wa za haqu batilu, inna batila kanna zahuqan.
“My Lord admit me an honorable admittance and make my departure an honorable departure. And provide for me from your special place a powerful support. The truth has dawned and the falsehood has vanished. Indeed, falsehood always vanishes.” (from 17:81-81).
I find it amusing how while many of the Muhammadans and Muslims still think that things that are not really mandatory practices are mandatory, such as how they claim the raka’ are mandatory when they actually are not, meanwhile they seem to have overlooked or forgotten, or maybe outright ignored those two duahs mentioned above that are actually mandatory according to the very Qur’an they claim to uphold! This is understandable for those Muslims though; these Muslims are true believers and Submitters who simply do not know better yet. But it is those Muhammadans who actually argue against those who wish to follow Allah’s revelations alone, without any Satanic innovations. Muhammadans are not even really believers, or monotheists, although like the Christians they claim to be both believers and monotheists.
Specific Physical Acts of Worship
As long as you perform the proper ablutions, and face the Kabbah during your prayer performance, and as long as you recite those above mentioned duahs at the proper times, (the one from 17:110 – 111 during any prayer; the one from 17:79 – 81 at least during the Night Prayers), the rest is whatever you feel inspired to do. You may bow, prostrate, kneel, stand, sit in a Yoga pose even; you may even do a Yogasana and devote it to Allah alone, for your prayer practice. When you make your salawat, keep in mind that often “salawat” is translated as “contact prayers,” because these are prayers which differ from any other prayers in that one sets aside special time throughout the day and night to perform them, devoting them to Allah alone, in order to make contact with Allah and to communicate with Allah. And The Qur’an says that no human being can successfully communicate with Allah except by inspiration, or through a barrier, or through a chosen messenger of Allah:
“God does not speak to any human being except by inspiration, or from behind a barrier, or by sending a messenger; He then inspires according to His authority whatever He wills. He is indeed Exalted, All Wise.” (42:51).
Having a rigid and regular prayer system is troublesome because it inevitably becomes automatonical, and this makes it hard to really concentrate during the practice in order to keep the prayers truly devoted to Allah alone; your mind starts to wander, and you come to do them as though you are simply going through the routine motions. Your mind is perhaps distracted by the counting of the repetitions rather than focusing on the content of the prayer itself. After repeating these prayers in the same exact way, it becomes a mindless habit. Eventually the routine is so tedious and automatic that many people end up doing their prayers lazily or only to show off; doing the prayers in this way is forbidden in The Qur’an:
“Indeed, the hypocrites want to deceive God, however, He is the deceiver of them and when they stand up for the contact prayer, they stand up lazily and to show off for the people and they do not commemorate God except rarely.” (4:142).
Thus, one can follow some regular system of prayer if one is inspired to do so; but you don’t have to do so. You can pray in whatever ways you want. When you pray, in addition to performing the ablutions and turning toward the Kabbah and reciting those two duahs mentioned above at the proper times, do what you are inspired by Allah to do! If you are inspired to perform the traditional raka’ system, go ahead; if you are inspired to use Surya Namasakaram, the Yoga Sun Salutation Asana, then go ahead! Stand on your head if you want. The purpose of the salawat is to draw nearer to Allah, not to become a robot.
Leading the Congregational Prayers
“And when you are amongst them, and you lead them in the contact prayer then let a group of them stand
up to pray with you, the rest shall keep their weapons, so when you fall prostrate, they watch your back and the group who have not prayed, shall then come to pray with you and the others shall stand watch with their weapons. Those who have no faith would love to see you neglect your weapons and your equipment, so they can defeat you once and for all. Furthermore, you commit no error, if you are burdened by rain or an illness to lay down your weapons. However, you shall stand guard. Indeed, God promises the disbelievers a humiliating suffering.” (4:102).
The above verse from The Qur’an is the only verse that mentions leading the prayers. You may be wondering that if when people pray there is no regular system such as the raka’ and people do what they are inspired to do, how then does one lead a congregational prayer? Simple: leading means showing others what to do. You simply do what you see the prayer leader and the other praying people doing. No rules on the subject, except in the above verse, are given in The Qur’an. The congregation may plan and organize things through due consultation amongst each other.
The Number of Daily Prayers
Since The Qur’an is fully detailed and Allah did not leave anything out of The Qur’an, all of the laws of Islam that the people must adhere to are in The Qur’an. The Qur’an is the only source of religious law for those who truly follow it. It thus follows that since in all the times Allah found it important enough to mention the prayers in The Qur’an, not once did Allah find it important enough to mention how many daily obligatory prayers there are. Nowhere in The Qur’an is there any mention of how many prayers the people are required to perform each day or night. But instead the people are commanded to pray within the time frames mentioned earlier in this article. The idea is that Muslims will adhere to a certain life style, wherein they are praying throughout the day and the night, devoting themselves entirely to Allah alone.