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Offline Reader Questions

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What is the Salaam (Tasleem) at the End of the Prayer?
« on: August 06, 2014, 02:27:13 PM »
Salaam alaikum

Brother Joseph I need clarity on why or who we make salaam to on either side of our shoulders in salat. Can you please educate me .

As per secondary school of taught it is two angels on either side writing our deeds which I do not follow or accept.

Thanks

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: What is the Salaam (Tasleem) at the End of the Prayer?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 02:34:26 PM »
Wa alaikum assalam

Yes, there is no mention of a 'strict ritualised form' mentioned in the Quran as to how to pray. The Quran does not intend to 'define' this. That also does not mean that one needs to reinvent a new practice or 'throw out the baby with the bath water'.

One arguably has two choices:

  • Invent a new practice
  • Follow an existing method of prayer as 'best practice' as Mary arguably did (3:43) and the Children of Israel were instructed to do (2:43).

003.043
"O Mary! Be obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow down (Arabic: wa-ir'ka'i) with those who bow down (Arabic: raki'een)"

002.043 (Part)
"... and bow down your heads (Arabic: ir'ka'u) with those (ma'a) who bow down (Arabic: raki'een) (in worship)"

If the existing method of prayer that has reached one does not conflict with the Quran, then I do not see a good enough reason to abandon it, especially if it means everyone can pray together and worship their Lord in congregation. In other words, there is no real need to 'reinvent the wheel'.

In the end, one's actions are arguably dependant on their intentions.

I see the 'salaam' (tasleem) at the conclusion of the prayer as purely symbolic and a good way to end the prayer. It is my way of acknowledging the Kiraman Kaatibeen (noble recorders) that guard us (82:10-82:11) and acknowledge those present to receive us, being seated (qa'id) one on the right (yamin) and the other on the left (shimal) - 50:17.

I conduct my ‘tasleem’ in that very order (first on the right and then left).

When I am in a congregation my intention behind the 'tasleem' changes to further encompass all those worshippers that are in my vicinity (with a view to send peace upon them too) and when I am alone, then it is exclusively directed at the noble recorders (Kiraman Kaatibeen - 82:10-11).

In the face of a choice, whether to dismiss this practice, I choose to accept it as I can reconcile it with Quranic narratives and use it as a remarkable opportunity to recognise those that are constantly recording our inner thoughts and what we say and do. It has great symbolic meaning for me.

The choice is yours as to choose what you feel is best practice. I personally choose to accept the existing method as best practice in the face of a choice and the Quranic lean to join an existing practice within congregation (2:43; 3:43).

I hope this helps, God willing
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] How Do I Pray Ritual Salat from the Quran?
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=486.0
[2] HOW CAN WE LEARN PRAYER IF WE DON'T HAVE HADITH TO TEACH US?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/prayer%20without%20hadith%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell