Author [EN] [PL] [ES] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [TR] [SR] [AR] [RU] Topic: Questions About Prayer / Salaat

Offline Reader Questions

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 486
    • View Profile
Questions About Prayer / Salaat
« on: November 17, 2014, 06:33:12 PM »
First of all I would like to thank you for your work. I have stumbled upon your website before two weeks, and i must say that I have been very blessed. I have been thinking the same way for several years even though my beliefs differ from the majority of muslims around me. After reading a few articles of yours, I was relieved and happy and a rush of emotions came to me and found myself addicted to your articles and wanting to learn more and more. Everything made sense to me. I seriously can't be any happier.

I wanted to email you to thank you and also ask you a question. I'm born sunni (but now prefer to be just called a muslim and not affiliate myself with any sect) and have been praying like a sunni all my life. However the tahiyat part didn't make sense to me at all. It wasn't logical that the prophet said that in his prayer. And I really want to pray how the qur'an tell us how to pray.
I tried searching for a detailed instruction of how to pray according to the qur'an but I didn't find it.

Can you please share that with me? I find myself lost with regards to this issue. So i would truly appreciate it if you would be so kind and give me detailed steps of prayer according to the qur'an.

Thank you in advance,
Regards,

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1764
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Questions About Prayer / Salaat
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 06:36:27 PM »
As-salamu alaykum

JZK for your kind words, Alhumdolillah.

As a succinct and humble response to your question, the Quran does not intend to ritualise the process of prayer whether in language, content or restrictive robotic form. It simply instructs one to ‘establish prayer’. However, it does favour assimilation in congregations, but as the Quran does not ‘ritually prescribe’ particular utterances there is ample room for you to utter the words that you feel allows you to commune most closely and spiritually with God and curtail those that you do not feel connected with. I have discussed this in quite a number of my writings and I trust that you may find some of the arguments that I have presented from a Quran’s perspective of some interest, God willing. Please see [1] below in regards to this.

However, there is a recent post [2] and a Q&A [3] (below) that may specifically assist you with your question.

I hope that helps, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] Section: Prayer
http://quransmessage.com/articles/prayer%20FM3.htm
[2] A Simple Instruction Confounds Many - 'Establish Salaat'
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/487157614754704
[3] How do I Pray Ritual Salat from the Quran?
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=486.0
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Reader Questions

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 486
    • View Profile
Re: Questions About Prayer / Salaat
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 06:37:23 PM »
Thank you brother Joseph for the sources you have provided. I truly appreciate it. So i just want to get this straight and make sure I comprehend the articles i have read correctly and ask you more further questions if you don't mind. I apologize if my questions are long, so I hope i'm not bothering you with all of this. I truly respect and understand if you don't have the time to answer me.

Here are the questions below in case you can :)

1) The traditional sunni prayer is ok to perform since it fulfills the rules of the qur'an.
However also, even if I don't do the traditional sunni prayer but still fufilll the rules of the qur'an (the points you made in the X guideline), is also ok?
__________

in the past i used to pray like a robot. Repeat the suras like a parrot, and do the rakaats and get the prayer over with. I then thought to myself. what's the point? I started trying to pray a little bit slower, trying to understand the words that i utter, and try to have a more meaningful prayer.
__________

2) Are there certain rules for how many rakat in a prayer? Or is there a minimum ? Or is the Quran silent in that matter?

Because I have no knowledge or a verse providing rakaat numbers (2,4,4,3,4). So if there is no rakaat numbers in Qur'an, what does the verse in the qur'an with regards to shortening prayer upon fear or danger mean? Because there is no qur'anic verse stating the length of the prayer .... correct? ... so how to shorten it, i don't know the length of it in the first place? Or does it mean, if you are in danger or fear, you are pardoned from prayer?  i'm confused in this aspect.
__________

3) Am I able to say what i want during prayer? like Dua? Sunnis say that i have to make Dua AFTER the prayer has been finished.
__________

4) What about prayer and fasting during my period? I realize that the qur'an doesn't mention this at all. (or so i believe) Even though there are hadiths that prohibit prayer during a woman's period, i came to find out there are other hadiths saying that women used to pray with it. (this is one of the main reasons i find it very hard to trust hadiths as it is so contradictory.)

Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 307:
Narrated 'Aisha:
"One of the wives of Allah's Apostle joined him in l'tikaf and she noticed blood and yellowish discharge (from her private parts) and put a dish under her when she prayed."


I don't know if i'm reading it correctly. But isn't it indicating that one of the wives of the prophet prayed while she was on her period?  So where do Sunnis and others justify the prohibition of women praying while they are on their period?

The reason I ask, is because if it is indeed in the qur'an, and i missed it, I would like to know. I do feel unclean when i'm on my period, but i don't know if i truly feel that way because its a real fact or just because society made me feel that way. So i really want to know if being on my period, does that truly annuls my wudhu and my prayer, and my fasting for that matter?
__________

Thank you again for your time and efforts.
Regards,

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1764
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Questions About Prayer / Salaat
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 06:41:28 PM »
Dear sister,

As-salam alaykum

Please see my responses to your comments in blue italics below.

I hope this helps, God willing
Joseph


Thank you brother Joseph for the sources you have provided. I truly appreciate it. So i just want to get this straight and make sure I comprehend the articles i have read correctly and ask you more further questions if you don't mind. I apologize if my questions are long, so I hope i'm not bothering you with all of this. I truly respect and understand if you don't have the time to answer me.

Here are the questions below in case you can :)

1) The traditional sunni prayer is ok to perform since it fulfills the rules of the qur'an. Yes, that is correct as is any sectarian prayer that is performed for God alone.
However also, even if I don't do the traditional sunni prayer but still fufilll the rules of the qur'an (the points you made in the X guideline), is also ok? Yes, that is correct. However, it can also be argued from the Quran that one is expected to ‘assimilate’ in a prayer tradition if one exists in situ (2:43; 3:43). For example, deviating from a form that a congregation is agreed upon (during congregational prayer) will not only prove disruptive but extremely problematic not only from a logistical sense but also from the perspective of causing undue strife with others, especially when an existing practice meets the prescription of ‘establishing prayer’. It can be argued that it makes sense to have some sort of agreed form, especially in congregational worship. This is what the earliest Muslims must have instituted and it then spread en masse, generation to generation. There is no harm in using this as ‘best practice’. However, of course, one has more autonomy in private / personal worship.
__________

in the past i used to pray like a robot. Repeat the suras like a parrot, and do the rakaats and get the prayer over with. I then thought to myself. what's the point? I started trying to pray a little bit slower, trying to understand the words that i utter, and try to have a more meaningful prayer. This is a commendable approach, Alhumdolillah.
__________

2) Are there certain rules for how many rakat in a prayer? Or is there a minimum ? Or is the Quran silent in that matter? The Quran is silent on this matter. Again, the number of ‘rakats’ is arguably not deemed as pivotal from a Quran’s perspective to ‘stipulate’, as is the need to establish some form of commune with God in the form of worship (hence the instruction ‘establish worship). It is quite possible that the early prayer tradition of the new Muslims of Arabia drew heavily from the existing monotheistic prayer form of the Jews and Christians especially as their prayer was already in situ as clearly noted by the Quran.

Here is an example of early Jewish prayer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aHWASyMjwg

Because I have no knowledge or a verse providing rakaat numbers (2,4,4,3,4). So if there is no rakaat numbers in Qur'an, what does the verse in the qur'an with regards to shortening prayer upon fear or danger mean? Because there is no qur'anic verse stating the length of the prayer .... correct? ... so how to shorten it, i don't know the length of it in the first place? Or does it mean, if you are in danger or fear, you are pardoned from prayer?  i'm confused in this aspect. In a state of danger or fear, it is left to the individual / congregation to make an appropriate judgment as to how short a prayer should be (4:101) and what form (4:103; 2:238-239) one needs to establish keeping in view the extent of fear /danger they are under. The Quran’s silence arguably intentionally provides a cue for sensible consideration and allows its silence to cater for the unique circumstances of any given situation. Every situation is arguably different.

However, the focus is clearly not to abandon worship, but to curtail normal form and duration (whatever that may be) in difficult circumstances. Otherwise, the Quran could have provided distinctive expressions such as ‘half’ or ‘quarter’ or even ‘a third’ whilst referring to the prayer with the implication that there was a ‘set’ form (with specific rakats) for normal prayer. This is clearly not the case. The Quran merely says ‘taqsuru - qasara ’ (shorten) which is left open to interpretation given the difficulty of the situation. It is noteworthy that expressions such as ‘half’, (nisf) ‘third’ (thulth) and ‘two-thirds’ (thuluthayi) are used by the Quran to denote durations of the night even in the case of worship. (73:20). Hence the Quran is not averse from using such expressions if it needs to.

In some situations it may only be appropriate to read one rakat, sitting down. In another, one may be able to worship a little longer, adding sparingly to their rakats. Sometimes, the situation is so dire, that one is left with the ability to only establish a very rudimentary form of worship or even resort to praying in the mind and to re-establish normal form when danger / difficulty has passed. Every situation is arguably different. Please see the article below of a real life experience that I encountered.


A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH PRAYER AT MADINAT AL-ZAHRA (AL ANDALUS)
http://quransmessage.com/articles/prayer%20at%20al-andalus%20FM3.htm

__________

3) Am I able to say what i want during prayer? like Dua? Yes Sunnis say that i have to make Dua AFTER the prayer has been finished. Even Surah Fateha has an element of ‘invocation’ (dua). The Quran does not prescribe what to recite and when. Therefore arguably, there is ample opportunity to recite what one feels will most connect them to God. However, the Quran does provide beautiful prayers and Surah Fateha is an exquisite prayer. However, from a Quran’s perspective it would not even be sinful if one recited the ‘Lord’s prayer’ in English (as a reference to Allah) or recite from the many beautiful psalms of David as part of their invocations if it means they feel connected with God.

SOME PRAYERS FROM THE QURAN
http://quransmessage.com/articles/quranic%20prayers%20FM3.htm


__________

4) What about prayer and fasting during my period? I realize that the qur'an doesn't mention this at all. (or so i believe) Even though there are hadiths that prohibit prayer during a woman's period, i came to find out there are other hadiths saying that women used to pray with it. (this is one of the main reasons i find it very hard to trust hadiths as it is so contradictory.)

Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 307:
Narrated 'Aisha:
"One of the wives of Allah's Apostle joined him in l'tikaf and she noticed blood and yellowish discharge (from her private parts) and put a dish under her when she prayed."

I don't know if i'm reading it correctly. But isn't it indicating that one of the wives of the prophet prayed while she was on her period?  So where do Sunnis and others justify the prohibition of women praying while they are on their period?  Please see my humble perspectives on this matter in the following Q&A:

Can Women Pray and Fast During Menstruation?
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=163.0

The reason I ask, is because if it is indeed in the qur'an, and i missed it, I would like to know. I do feel unclean when i'm on my period, but i don't know if i truly feel that way because its a real fact or just because society made me feel that way. So i really want to know if being on my period, does that truly annuls my wudhu and my prayer, and my fasting for that matter?
__________

Thank you again for your time and efforts.
Regards,
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell