Quranic Salat As Mentioned In The Quran
Salat Is Reading and Pondering The Quran
I'm not an expert in the English language nor in Arabic for that matter but, according to my best knowledge of both languages (Arabic is my mother tongue), the best translation of the word Salat is Reaching-out. Salat means basically reaching-out to God... God is reaching out to us by his words and verses and we are commanded to reach out to him by reciting and pondering those words and verses. I also believe that the word Salat which is mentioned about 100 times in the Quran has a greater more encompassing meaning such as every time we remember God and his words, we are practically reaching out to him.
[2:27] Who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined (Yusala) and cause corruption on earth. It is those who are the losers.
[13:19] Is he who knows that the truth has been sent down to you from your Lord like he who is blind? Only those who possess intelligence will remember.
[13:20] Those who fulfill the pledge of God, and they do not break the covenant.
[[13:21] And those who join that which Allah has ordered to be joined and fear their Lord and are afraid of the evil of [their] account,
[13:22] And those who are patient, seeking the face of their Lord, and achieve the reaching out sessions and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly and prevent evil with good - those will have the good consequence of [this] home -
[13:23] Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying],
[13:24] "Peace be upon you for what you have been patient for. Excellent indeed is the final abode."
[13:25] But those who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined (Yusal) and spread corruption on earth - for them is the curse, and they will have the worst home.
If you know the Quran well enough, you should realize that the best way to reach out to God is by reading and pondering on the Quran. Reading and pondering on the Quran considerably increases our awareness and our faith. Reading and pondering on the Quran makes the truth very clear and makes God very real to the
point where you could almost see him with your own eyes!!... That is how powerful reading the Quran... It is LITERALLY BEYOND DESCRIPTION!!!
Just Imagine and try to fathom the FACT that God almighty, the creator of the universe is reaching out to us and talking directly to each one of us through his OWN words... It is absolutely amazing... To say the very least!
You see, there are two parts of the Quran, one is for all human beings and the other is for the believers to appreciate and understand... Salat is for the believers and it is an advanced stage.
[7:169] And there followed them successors who inherited the Scripture [while] taking the commodities of this lower life and saying, "It will be forgiven for us." And if an offer like it comes to them, they will [again] take it. Was not the covenant of the Scripture taken from them that they would not say about Allah except the truth, and they studied what was in it? And the home of the Hereafter is better for those who fear Allah, so will you not use reason?
[7:170] As for those who hold fast to the Book, and reach-out to God; We will not waste the reward of the righteous.
[29:45] Recite what is inspired to you of the Book and reach-out to God, for the reaching-out to God prohibits immorality and vice; but certainly, the remembrance of God is the greatest. God knows everything you do.
How does a physical Salat prohibit immorality and vice!?... Pondering, understanding, appreciating, and therefore implementing God's verses does.
[4:103] Then, if you finish reaching-out to God, remember God while standing, or sitting, or on your sides. Then, if you are secure, reach-out to God. Indeed, reaching out to God for the believers is a Book that is scheduled.
What does a "Book that is scheduled" means other than a book that should be read at certain times?
Please pay attention to the following verse:
[33:56] God and His angels reach out to the prophet. O you who believe, you shall reach out to him, and comply completely.
As you can see in the above accurate translation, the words ÿosaloon" and "saloo" are translated as reach-out, not prostrate or kneel, not pray or worship... God and his angels do not worship nor pray to the prophet!
God does not wish to cause us hardship by commanding us to perform 5 physical useless prayers all throughout the day, he simply wants us to practically reach out to him at the beginning and the end of the day.
[9:103] Take from their money a charity to sanctify them and purify them with it, and reach-out to them; for your reaching out to them is a tranquility for them; and God is Hearer, Knowledgeable.
As you can see in the above verse, the prophet reaches-out to the people, not pray upon them!
As many of us know, reciting the Quran is the backbone of the traditional Salat and apparently and the additional rituals have been added by our ancestors and I must admit, they were creative!. You see, God does not wish to burden us with a repetition of empty rituals, he wants us to have two thorough sessions of reading and understanding the Quran to gain wisdom and guidance.
[29:45] Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and reach out to God. Indeed, reaching out to God prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.
[29:46] And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God isone; and we are Muslims to Him."
[29:47] And similarly, We have sent down to you the Book. Thus, those whom We have given the Book will believe in it. Also, some of your people will believe in it. The only ones who defy Our revelations are the rejecters.
There is no other specific type of prayer mentioned in the Quran other than what is mentioned above. The traditional prayer is not mentioned in the Quran at all... Makes you wonder why!!??
People are supposed to sit comfortably to be able to focus while pondering on the Quran and when it comes to " Aqim al Salat", just like the saying goes "Iqamatu al-Adll; the word "Aqim" means uphold... uphold the reaching-out sessions... That is in addition to the fact that when getting ready to uphold the reaching out session, the believer gets up and do ablution.
Vol. 1, Book 10, Hadith 507
Anas said, "I do not find (now-a-days) things as they were (practiced) at the time of the Prophet." Somebody said "The prayer (is as it was.)" Anas said, "Have you not lost in the prayer what you lost?
Vol. 1, Book 10, Hadith ?
Narrated Az-Zuhri that he visited Anas bin Malik at Damascus and found him weeping and asked him why he was weeping. He replied, "I do not know anything which I used to know during the life-time of Allah's Apostle except this prayer which is also being lost.
Yield And Submit "Sujood & Ruku"
When God say "sujood" and "Ruku" it means something like yield and submit. During and at the end of the reaching-out process which is practically reading of the Quran, NATURALLY, the believers will yield and will be in a state of submission to God Almighty.
I also believe that Sunni and Shia scholars would agree that Sujood and Ruku mean spiritual submission MAINLY.
Check out the following verses where "Sujood" is mentioned:
[22:18] Did you not see that to God submits "Yasjodo" what is in the heavens and what is on the earth, and the sun and the moon and the stars and the mountains and the trees and what moves, and many of the people, and many who have deserved the retribution. And whoever God disgraces, then none can honor him. God does what He pleases.
[2:34] And We said to the angels: "submit to Adam" "usjodo", so they submitted except for Satan, he refused and became arrogant, and became of the rejecters.
How do the heavens and the earth etc make prostration to GOD and how is it right for God to command the angels to prostrate to Adam!?... they are asked to yield and submit not to prostrate!
Please pay good attention to the following verse:
[48:29] Mohammed is the messenger of God, and those who are with him are severe against the rejecters, but merciful between themselves. You see them yielding and submitting, they seek the blessings and approval of God. Their appearance/distinction is in their faces, as a result of their submission. Such is their example in the Torah. And their example in the Gospel is like a plant which shoots out and becomes strong and thick and it stands straight on its trunk, pleasing to the farmers. That He may enrage the rejecters with them. God promises those among them who believe and do good works a forgiveness and a great reward.
It is very detectable the sign of submission to God in the believers/submitter's faces and appearance!
You see, God is telling us that we generally at two different stages of submission to him, "ruku" and "Sujood"... We should be at "Ruku" level at most of the time and at "Sujood" level during and after Salat. "Ruku" and "Sujood" are different levels of spiritual submission to God. Additionally, in the first place, it is undeniable that Sujood and Ruku has a spiritual aspect MAINLY.
[5:55] Your ally is none but Allah and His Messenger and those who have believed - those who reach-out to God and achieve purification while they are yielding.
Please ponder on the above verse... How can the believers pray to God and give Zakat WHILE Bowing if the bowing is physical!!?
You see, God does not wish to cause us hardship, he does not want us to pray five times a day and placing our heads on the ground about 34 times a day at least. If he wanted that, he would have made it all clear in the Quran. That is the fundamental meaning of Sujood and Ruku and having said that, the physical sujood and ruku are optional as well... There is nothing that prevents the believers from the physical aspect of sujood and ruku when desired.
[17:70] And We have honored the Children of Adam and carried them in the land and the sea, and We have provided for them of the good things, and We have preferred them over many of those We created in a marked preference.
The Number & Timing Of "Salat":
[17:78] Reach-out to God at the decline of the sun, TO the darkening of the night; and the Qur'an at dawn-the Qur'an at dawn is witnessed.
[11:114] Reach-out to God at two parts of the day, and the near side of the night. The good deeds take away the bad. This is a reminder to those who remember.
You see, in both verses, God is telling us to practically reach-out two ends of the day and into the beginning of the night and the end of the night which also means the beginning of the day and the end of the day. So we should start our day in reaching-out to God and end it with the same. All other verses are not referring "Salat" they talk about "Thiker" remembering God or "Tasbeeh" praising God.
Regarding the so-called hadith which talks about the flying mule with 70 feet long wings and the 50 initial prescribed prayers that were eventually reduced to 5 prayers after such a hard and strange bargaining I say... who in his right mind would believe in such a fairy-tale and why did God NEVER mentioned such an event and number of Salat in his book!!??
The two "Salat" are also mentioned by name in the following verse:
[24:58] you who believe, let those among you who are maintained by your oaths, and those who have not attained puberty, request your permission regarding three times: before the dawn reach-out session, and when you put off your garments from the noon time, and after the evening reach-out session. These are three private times for you. Other than these times, it is not wrong for you or them to intermingle with one another. God thus clarifies the revelations for you. And God is Knowledgeable, Wise.
Note, God did not mention noon or afternoon prayer anywhere in the Quran and certainly no mention of the noon prayer in the above verse... it is evening and dawn only.
The Best Salat
[2:238] Maintain the reach-out sessions, and the best/balanced/moderate reach-out session "Salat Wusta; and rise up devotedly for God.
"Wusta" in more that one place in the Quran means best or moderate/balanced not middle!... And that is what it means as we have already established that there are two Salats, and what makes the middle salat so special in the first place!?
[2:143] And as such, We have made you a balanced/moderate nation so that you may be a witness over the people, and that the messenger may be a witness over you. And We did not make the focal point that you became on except to distinguish who follows the messenger from those who will turn on their heels. It was a great thing indeed except for those whom God had guided; God was not to waste your belief. God is Merciful and Compassionate over the people.
[68:28] The most balanced/moderate among them said: "If only you had glorified!"
Moderate voice level
Contrary to the traditional method of preforming three loud voice prayers and two Quiet prayers, God command us to use moderate voice during prayers...The following verse says it all...
[17:110} Say, "Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call - to Him belong the best names." And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way.
[5:6] O you who believe, when you uphold the reach-out session, then wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles; and if you have had intercourse, then you shall purify. And if you are ill, or traveling, or you have excreted feces, or you have had sexual contact with the women, and you can not find water, then you shall select from the clean soil; you shall wipe your faces and your hands with it. God does not want to place any hardship on you, but He wants to cleanse you and to complete His blessings upon you that you may be thankful.
As you can see, Salat is reading the Quran, "Sujood" and "Ruku" are spiritual and the number and timing, as well as ablution, is clear.