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Offline Ismail

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An attempt at understanding 2:238
« on: December 05, 2013, 02:43:40 AM »
Salaam.

An attempt at understanding 2:238

"Guard strictly the Salats, and (seek the fulfillment of each Salat according to the ideal) Al Salat Al Wusta, and, stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind)". (2:238)

Of course, during the Prophet's time there wasn't such a proliferation of devices that show the time at any given moment. They knew Salath Al Fajr was at hand, for example, when they sensed that it was dawn; and, when they heard the Mu'azzin's call, they started out to the Masjid. And when the people had gathered, the Iqama was proclaimed.

But today, due to changed circumstances, timings are fixed, accurate to the minute, for the congregational prayers, as well as for the general call to prayers – all within the fixed time periods indicated by the possessive clauses Salat Al fajr, and Salat Al 'Isha.

There are only two compulsory Salats - Salat Al Fajr, and Salat Al 'Isha (24:58). These words themselves reveal their time bound nature subject to 4:103. These two names continue to be in vogue even today.

2:238 asks us to guard strictly the Salats. Here the plural is used and not the dual. Because:

(1)   It refers to the Salats performed by the individual, day in and day out.
(2)   Or it refers to the Salats of all the individuals in a congregation.
(3)   Or, the plural is used in order to mean the dual, which is allowed.

Al Salat Al wusta (2:238) is an adjectival clause that calls our attention to the Salats’ standard and quality.

As such, waw of conjunction before this clause would become waw of elucidation.

If you look up Lane’s Lexicon, or the five verses where the root wst of Al Wustha is used (2:143, 2:238, 5:89, 68:28, and 100:5), you will see that it denotes much more than a mere numerical or geometrical middle.  [Note that the third root letter is the sixteenth letter of the Arabic alphabet.]

It is the standard, exemplary, ideal religious exercise, occupying a legitimately honorable place amid the religious observances of the world!

It is not to be an empty ritual stuck in a web of technicalities. Instead, it means a salat qualified by objectivity, and pregnant with the potential to transform our whole life into one of total and complete devotion and dedication to God. See also:  23:1-2, 107:5

It is for recalling to mind, God, life’s responsibilities, and the thought of the Judgment Day.

It‘s purpose is to sustain and perpetuate the remembrance of God (20:14), especially through the medium of His Book recited in Salat (7:170, 35:29, 29:45).

Immediately after this adjectival clause, we again have a waw of elucidation followed by the injunction:  “…stand for Allah in a state of total commitment to Him in uttermost servitude.”

This elucidates the above adjectival clause, which in turn elucidates the word Salat in the plural 'Salats' in 2:238. See also 23:1-2.

Thus we have:

"Guard strictly the Salats, and (seek the fulfillment of each Salat according to the ideal) Al Salat Al Wusta, and, stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind)". (2:238)

[In writing this article, I have taken the cue from the (Urdu) Thafseer Bayanullinnas by Khaja Ahmeduddin of Amritsar, India.]

Regards,
A. Ismail Sait.


Offline afafaff

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Re: An attempt at understanding 2:238
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 04:19:39 AM »
Salam.

Look at verses before and after 2:238. Prayer doesn't seem to fit into context. The verse should be associated with family, marriage and the commands of God.

Regards,
Haji

Offline Sardar Miyan

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Re: An attempt at understanding 2:238
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 04:37:32 AM »
Allah does not tell any thing in a sequence. Ayaat 2:238 & 2:239 are about Salath only. Why should we dun it. These are clear verses on Salath.

May entire creation be filled with Peace & Joy & Love & Light

Offline afafaff

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Re: An attempt at understanding 2:238
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 05:06:47 AM »
Salam Sardar Miyan.

Why not? Did the original Quran have ayats or were they invented? Anyway lets look at the verses:

"Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah , devoutly obedient.
And if you fear [an enemy, then pray] on foot or riding. But when you are secure, then remember Allah [in prayer], as He has taught you that which you did not [previously] know." (2:238-239, Sahih International)
Look at the brackets. Maybe they are not the words of the original Quran.

This might sound better:
"Guard your duties pertaining to the family life (221-237) and the central duty of remaining vigilant in obeying Divine commands.
Whether fear threatens you from without, or you are strolling, riding, relaxing in peace, remember God as He has taught you (the right and wrong) what you did not know" (2:238-239, Dr Shabbir Ahmed).

P.S.
Please stop talking bad things about him. Is it beacuse he have opinions which you don't agree with? We don't have to trust him, but we can be inspired.

Offline Ismail

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Re: An attempt at understanding 2:238
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 05:51:30 PM »
Salaam.

The following is Shabbeer's translation of 24:58:

(Your social mannerism begins at home.) O You who have chosen to be graced with
belief! Let your servants and children who have not yet come of age ask your
permission before coming in to see you on three occasions: Before you engage
in your assignments at dawn, at noon when you are resting with light clothes,
and after you have completed your assignments at night. These are your three
times of privacy. At other times it is not wrong for you or for them to move
about freely, attending to one another. In this way, God makes clear to you the
revelations. God is Knower, Wise.


Here he has translated Salat Al Fajr as your assignments at dawn.

First of all the word Salat is here in the singular, and assignments is plural.

Secondly, the wording is not your salat in 24:58. You might not have attended the dawn salat for some reason or the other. Still the injunction holds good.

Third, and the most important thing here is that prepubescent boys and girls are to be instructed to get your permission always during such and such a period. Only if a general, very prominent sign is given to them regarding the particular period when permission is compulsory, will it work. Early morning ritual prayer is the best signal for that. The text of Al Qur'an is not ambiguous regarding any instruction. Every translation may carry it's own merits. But we should not be unduly rigid.

Regards,
A. Ismail Sait.

Offline Wakas

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Re: An attempt at understanding 2:238
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 07:05:02 PM »
peace all,

The above views can be reconciled quite easily:

Guard/preserve on/over the bonds*; and the most balanced/equitable/just bond; and stand/observe dutifully for God. [2:238]

*in life, there are many, including oaths to one's spouse, marriage contract etc.

A mumin/believer simply needs to ask themselves, what is the most equitable/just/balanced bond? The answer to me is obvious, and that is to God and His deen, hence what follows in 2:239 which is a reference to the regular/timed salat/bond. To me it seems a specific mention of this bond is said as this is not a personal one between people, and if this central bond is upheld, all others will naturally be guarded.

Offline Hamzeh

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Re: An attempt at understanding 2:238
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2017, 03:39:16 PM »
Asalamu Alykum brother Wakas

I was just skimming through some articles, and I hope you dont mind me asking you of your opinion on verse 2:239. It just seems at times that those who dont agree with the traditional salat definition, dont always have a solid meaning of the word salat and tend to change the meaning from individual to individual and its hard to understand what it actually is.

If verse 2:238 is translated the way you wrote, then what is verse 2:239 mentioning that one can avoid when in fear, but can do on foot/standing or riding is acceptable, then after when in security return to mentioned or remember God how He has taught us.

What kind of bond would be done because a person is in fear while standing or riding and then expected to return to it in a proper form that is taught when in security?

Below is a main stream translation from

Sahih International

2:238 Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah , devoutly obedient.


2:239 And if you fear [an enemy, then pray] on foot or riding. But when you are secure, then remember Allah [in prayer], as He has taught you that which you did not [previously] know.


Salam

Offline Wakas

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Re: An attempt at understanding 2:238
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2017, 02:06:59 AM »
peace brother Hamzeh,

I mentioned it in my previous post, quote:

"...hence what follows in 2:239 which is a reference to the regular/timed salat/bond."

Further explained here:
https://free-minds.org/forum/index.php?topic=7727.msg195966#msg195966

You can read my view here:
http://mypercept.co.uk/articles/slw.htm

If still questions, let me know.