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Offline Joseph Islam

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Was Ritual Prayer a Practice Invented Later?
« on: April 25, 2019, 07:30:25 PM »
Direct Facebook Link:

https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/1418880161582440


WAS RITUAL PRAYER A PRACTICE INVENTED LATER?

As per some claims within the Quran focused groups, there is absolutely no historical proof that a mass invention of ritual prayer ever took place which introduced this practice into Muslim thought. The latter claim is the focus of the short article below.


REFERENCE:

[1] WAS RITUAL PRAYER A PRACTICE INVENTED LATER?
http://quransmessage.com/articl…/invented%20prayer%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Reader Questions

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Re: Was Ritual Prayer a Practice Invented Later?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2019, 01:57:03 AM »
Question on Facebook:

Link:
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/1418880161582440?comment_id=1418917428245380&reply_comment_id=1419033664900423&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R%22%7D


then how come no detailed explanation and examples of salat as a prayer is given in the Quran? who taught us that salat means prayer? I think the premise is wrong for starters.things were changed and there is historical evidence of that(Islam became a religion during the Persian period) kingship and dynasty were established ( that itself is not Islamic)Allah gives us details bout fasting but leaves out details regarding salat(being prayer)? I think not.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Was Ritual Prayer a Practice Invented Later?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2019, 01:59:16 AM »
Dear [Name Removed]

As-salamu alaykum

You kindly ask "then how come no detailed explanation and examples of salat as a prayer is given in the Quran?"

Just because specific details (in the form currently practiced) are not explicitly stated by the Quran, does not imply that the overarching action is not required. Furthermore, the ritual prayer was already in situ as a practice before the revelation of the Quran. This is a point often not appreciated by many.

As to the absence of prescribed form and utterance of ritual prayer, it is arguably not the intention of the Quran to 'elaborate' on this for many reasons. For example, it may not wish to 'ritualise' a particular process with a view to allow for some flexibility and fluidity. It may also not wish to unnecessarily restrict all utterances within the prayer routine to a particular set form or language to allow for the needs of individuals within diverse communities with differing languages.

Where the Quran deems the need to clarify a particular process, it does. For example, the ablution process is clarified in detail in the Quran on more than one occasion (5:6; 4:43). Why else would a precursor to prescribed prayer such as ablution be mentioned and the prayer itself deemed not to be required?

I ask all my brothers and sisters not to forgo their prayers simply because of their inability to understand and answer the question 'Why does the Quran not teach us how to pray'. This is oft the guile of the traditionalist argument that promulgates the notion that the Quran isn't complete (otherwise why is the prayer routine not mentioned?).

Over the course of the decade at least that I have been discussing this issue in public, I have found many people unnecessarily duped by this deliberately misleading question.

My humble, yet prolific writings on this topic are available on various platforms, least my own website. However, please kindly see a couple of links below which may assist, God willing.

If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to make use of the QM Forum where this topic has been dealt with comprehensively.

Regards,

Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] HOW CAN WE LEARN PRAYER IF WE DON'T HAVE HADITH TO TEACH US?
http://quransmessage.com/.../prayer%20without%20hadith...
[2] Questions About Ritual Prayers from a Quran's Perspective
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=507.0
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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Re: Was Ritual Prayer a Practice Invented Later?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2019, 01:59:45 AM »
peace brother Joseph,

... there is absolutely no historical proof that a mass invention of ritual prayer ever took place which introduced this practice into Muslim thought.

There is ample evidence suggesting certain aspects were formalised later, e.g. 5x daily, Friday congregational prayer e.g.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/37518694/Uri-Rubin-Morning-and-Evening-Prayers-in-early-Islam-by-muslims
http://www.scribd.com/doc/37518569/CH-Becker-on-the-History-of-early-Muslim-Worship-and-Salat-Prayer


And we also know Traditional Muslim ritual prayer has things clearly additional, e.g. additional steps in ablution (compared to Quran) thus clearly innovation went on.

I haven't studied all the other aspects but it wouldn't surprise me to find initial variance/contradictory reports leading to a more formalised method later.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Was Ritual Prayer a Practice Invented Later?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2019, 12:44:05 AM »
Dear brother Wakas,

Peace

Without revisiting areas of our profound disagreements already (e.g. x5 prayer vs x2) and ritual prayers generally [1], I do concur with you that there appears to be certain aspects of the ritual prayer that may have become formalised later. How much later is difficult to ascertain even if one diligently sifted through the quagmire of Islamic secondary sources.

In my humble view. this is certainly the case with those actions that appear to be superfluous or not supported by the Quranic narratives directly. One example of the former is the extra rituals in the ablution process (5:6; 4:43) and an example of the latter is the complete silence during certain rakats of the prayer (17:110). Though I don't see them necessarily as a problem as being performed out of habit, I would find the claim that they are religiously ordained and thus compulsory, errant.

Furthermore, I am contending with the general assertion that the 'ritual process' as a whole was a later invention. That somehow, later generations invented this practice as a mass conspiracy of sorts and such a practice was never ordained by God. This claim I find unwarranted, outlandish and false.

Of course, the new Islamic community would have formulated a monotheistic prayer routine based on the guidance of the Quranic narratives [2], but I also believe it would have been heavily influenced by the ritual prayers of the People of the Book in situ. Thus, it is not by accident that even today, there are similarities between prayer routines between the People of the Book and Muslims. [3]

Also, in my humble view from the Quran, it is indisputable that the previous prophets and messengers prayed as part of some routine which seems to have been broadly formalised from the time of Prophet Abraham (2:128). The Quran's purpose was to confirm, clarify and provide broad boundaries of what was expected for the believers [4] as part of a routine that was already known. It was not inventing a new practice.

Finally, in general, I have huge concerns of modern day scholars (Muslim and non-Muslim), that no different from the traditionalist approach, oft infer much from Islamic secondary sources when espousing views.

Regards,
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] DISCUSSION-DEBATES WITH WAKAS
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=1272.0

[2] Aspects of monotheistic worship expected by the Quran

  • The details of ablution (4:43; 5:6)
  • A need for a direction - Qiblah, specific for the ‘believers’ (Mu'mins) (2.143-44)
  • Garments (7:31)
  • Allusion of times: (4:103; 11:114; 17:78; 24:58; 30:18; 2:238: 20:58)
  • That prayers must be observed on time (4:103)
  • Followers of the previous scripture to observe their Qiblah and the Believers (Mu’mins) their own Qiblah (2:145)
  • Prayer involves prostration (Sujood - 4:102; 48:29)
  • There is more than one prayer (Prayer in plural used - Salawat) (2:238)
  • There is a general form to prayer (2:238-39)
  • Standing position (3:39; 4:102)
  • Bowing down and prostrating (4:102; 22:26; 38:24; 48:29)
  • Form is not required during times of emergencies, fear, and unusual circumstances (2:239)
  • A mention of a call to prayer and congregation prayer (62:9)
  • A warning not to abandon prayer as was done by people before (19:58-59) but to establish prayer (Numerous references)
  • The purpose of prayer - To remember God alone (6:162; 20:14)
  • Prayer involves utterance (4:43)
  • The purpose to protect from sins (29:45)
  • What to do in danger and the shortening of prayer (4:101)
  • Garments and mention of a Masjid, or a place of prayer (7:31)
  • The tone of prayer (17:110)
  • There is a leader of prayer (4:102)


[3] A JEWISH PRAYER IN COMPLETE RESONANCE WITH QURANIC VERSES ON THE REQUIREMENTS OF PRAYER
http://quransmessage.com/articles/jewish%20prayer%20FM3.htm

[4] See note [2]
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell