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

Offline questionsislam

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Prayer
« on: June 15, 2019, 10:38:03 PM »
Hello,
   I understand that standing up and sujood are prescribed on us in the Quran as a part of prayer. But my question is does the Quran ever state why this is how we should pray? I guess essentially what I am asking is why are these required and not simply just praying in your head or something similar 5 times throughout the day?


Offline Truth Seeker

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 405
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 04:01:20 PM »
Salaam,

It doesn't explicitly say why as far as I remember.

When you read all the verses as a whole, including the reason God gives us why we should establish prayer, it makes sense that there should be a formal structure to it.

I mean in the sense of physically bowing and prostrating to the great Creator who gave us life and sustenance. It seems befitting to grace His Majesty in such a way.

Offline Athman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 11:11:40 AM »
Dear questionsislam,

Peace be upon you,

It is correct as stated by sister Truthseeker that the Qur’an does not explicitly mention why there is an expectation of some formal physical gestures (e.g, prostration) concomitant to the actual ritual personal attachment/ fellowship with God during prayer. However, such a Qur’anic non-commital to a cogent motive for the same should not be taken as a cue to abandoning the actions themselves nor serve as a reason to doubt their implications/ origin. In the main, believers are those who do hear and obey (24:51). Such are the successful ones.

In the same stroke, before engaging into the prayer, a ritual ablution is expected regardless of whether one is already clean (4:43, 5:6). This again is a physical act. Same applies to the direction of facing while praying (2:150) and the need to commit oneself to some utterances (17:110) as well as an expectation to join a congregation (2:43). This is despite whether one finds an obvious cogent reason to do any of those physical acts. Much can however be posited as to the possible reasons/ implications of each expectation. In this case, see below a discussion [1] pertaining to such opinions. In particular, see the following sentiments by ‘optimist’ which I find interesting.

...Though the Quran keeps a watching eye over the essence and reality of action and outweighs the sheer formalism, but wherever there is need for outwitting the essence and reality of passion, it does not give any deterrence provided this very form is not taken to be the mean itself. The practical form, in connection with the standing and prostrating etc. position, infiltrating down to us, is only for this very purpose...[2]

In summary, from my humble view, ‘prayers’ (swalawat) do inculcate within man (who is otherwise created unstable, 70:19-21) an inner disposition towards piety and away from indecencies (fahshai) and evil (munkar) - 29:45. It is thus incumbent upon believers to fully abide by prayers (2:153), a duty which is only accomplished by those believers of a high caliber in obeyance - khashi’in (2:45). In this regard, such believers are constant and consistent at their commitment to prayers - daimun (70:23) which is a mission that given that disbelievers (kafaru billahi) and hypocrites (al-munafiqina) amongst Muslims would fail to aptly uphold (4:142, 9:54), one would expect that such a noble act of devotion would engage a practice that puts both body and spirit in sync. It is thus in only such a fully engaging prayerful commitment that a hypocritical Muslim would lazily (kusala) join the congregation (4:142).

Thus, an expectation to engage physical body motions including some lip-service concurrent with the spiritual attachment/ fellowship with God as ritually prescribed is exactly in place.


REFERENCE:

[1]. Is The Ritual Prayer a Nonsense?

http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=1030.15
[2]. Ibid

Offline Wakas

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
    • View Profile
    • What does The Quran really say?
Re: Prayer
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2019, 01:43:40 AM »
peace all,

questionsislam,

The only explicit example of sujud and salat together is 4:102, when a leader is conducting a salat for them (i.e. a group). IF your view of salat (which you call prayer) was a freeform approach (e.g. do it in your head or whatever) then imagining a coherent group version seems difficult. Think on it.

#####

Same applies to the direction of facing while praying (2:150)...

...as well as an expectation to join a congregation (2:43).

2:150 does not say that, it explicitly say "from wherever thou come forth / depart...", and salat is not mentioned.

By your use of 2:43 are you also implying one is to give zakat in a congregation?

Offline Athman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2019, 10:01:58 PM »
Dear Br. Wakas,

Peace to you too,

To start with, whether 2:43 is to be contested against as alluding to ‘prayer congregation’ in connection with the use of the root ‘ra-kaf-‘ayn,’ it does not address the matter in question, i.e, whether there’s a reason as to why ‘swalaah’ is to include physical acts like bowing (ruk’u), standing (iqama) and prostration (sujud). I only parted with my humble view as a response to the question with regards to what has been acknowledged by the enquirer as ‘swalaah’ which I humbly wholly submit to be the correct understanding.

On the other hand, to deal with your cursory contentions that address verses such as 2:150 and 2:43 with respect to the meanings of specific terms employed by the Qur’an may prove fruitless if the approaches you and I take to interpreting the Qur’anic narratives are variant and that we do not have a common convergence point in that. With respect, I personally would not set out on a mission to resorting to pure semantics without carefully maintaining a cursory eye to the syntax of passages of the Qur’an and the wider context.

For instance, to address your contention against 2:150, it would entail not only addressing the issue of ‘direction/ attention’ (shathwr - 2:144 / wajh - 28:22) but also the ‘meaning’ of ‘ritual prayer’ (swalaah) which is, in my opinion, arguably implied when the Qur’an mentions ‘direction of facing’ (shathwr) in relation to such a context (2:153).

With respect to 2:43, and in addition 3:43, aside from what is to be addressed as your supposed contention, terms such as ‘sujud’ and ‘ruk’u’ when in reference to worship (48:29) arguably in relation to ‘swalaah’ (22:26) may also need to be defined, definitions which in my humble view, respectfully, would obviously keep our interpretations at loggerheads.

For that aforementioned reason, may I kindly reserve my response in full to you as regards your question and contention for which I feel like such prolonged discussions as those referenced [1] [2] below geared around semantics may ensue without warrant. I agree with Br. Joseph in many areas of understanding with respect to certain terms as those mentioned above and would thus not wish to recall similar unnecessary contentious discussions whose participants assume wholly parallel theological positions with regards the subject matter.

Hopefully that is relevant.

Regards,
Athman.


REFERENCES:

[1]. Why should we face towards the Kaaba(mecca) while praying ?

 http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=571.0
[2]. Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=477.0

Offline Ahmad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 199
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2019, 01:00:46 AM »
Dear QuestionIslam,

In addition to what has been shared. I believe its important to note that the Quranic silence on the exact form of prayer could also mean that the prophet was given the responsibility to unite believers on a single form of prayer, especially for congregations. Its also not far stretched to say that our current prayer was influenced by the prayer of the people of the book [1]. And whether the prophetic prayer was simply based on best practice / assimilation only or  if it involved an aspect of divine inspiration is hard to say with certitude.

However, what we can be certain of is that the prayer we pray today was based on the prayer set forth by the prophet (PBUH) in some way. Even if some aspects of it have been changed with time. In addition, we need not to authenticate the practice historically. Its sufficient to know, as brother Joseph pointed out, that our current prayer does not contradict the Quran for the most part and fulfills the Quranic requirement for prayer. This is with regards to form. As for timing I suggest that you look at brother Joseph's article (Five prayers from the Quran) [2]

Hope this helps in a small way.
Regards,

References:

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

[2]THE FIVE PRAYERS FROM THE QURAN
http://quransmessage.com/articles/the%20five%20prayers%20from%20the%20quran%20FM3.htm

[3] HOW CAN WE LEARN PRAYER IF WE DON'T HAVE HADITH TO TEACH US?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/prayer%20without%20hadith%20FM3.htm

Offline Wakas

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
    • View Profile
    • What does The Quran really say?
Re: Prayer
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2019, 08:02:30 PM »
peace Athman,

Whilst I appreciate your considered response (and I do like your posts in general) we will have to agree to disagree on this one. You have assumed for you to clarify/rebut the issues I raised requires us to discuss the meanings of other words (upon which we may differ) when that is not the case.

Offline niaz

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2019, 02:32:17 AM »

Offline niaz

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2019, 02:53:17 AM »
And I believe the answer lies in 29:1-7, 4:142. Its easy to say "we believe", but takes striving to perform the salat cheerfully, without being lazy or without trying to show off. We show our appreciation for all the blessings God has given us, to grow our souls, and get closer to God, with our mind and our bodies.

When we lower ourselves close to the ground, we get closer to God (96:19).

Peace,
niaz

Offline Athman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2019, 05:27:45 PM »
Dear Br. Wakas,

Peace be upon you,

Given an acknowledgement of yours to a possibility of an 'agreement to a disagreement' between us as regards the difference of approaches I purport to exist, may I in summary express my sentiments as follows with respect to the contentions you raise against my humble perspectives on verses 2:43 and 2:150. I do not however intend to recall a debate on semantics whatsoever of the relevant terms. This is just in a bid to respond to your solicitation of my opinion on the same.

With regards 2:43, the notion that if the phrase 'warkau ma'a ar-raki'in' (and bow down with those who bow) is to be understood as relating to the imperative 'wa aqimu as-swalata' (and establish ritual prayers) then it would possibly also carry with its influence (that of association/ company) the imperative 'wa atu az-zakata' (and give the societal due) is in my opinion partially a valid one. However, I see such an assertion to be based upon the narrowed premise that the root 'ra-kaf-'ayn' can not be a context driven term, rather, always a general one.

Despite the fact that it generally carries with it the flavor of ‘humility/ being humble’ (38:24) hence in 3:43 a possible instruction to ‘humble herself’ with ‘those who humble themselves’ (5:55), given the context - ‘swalaah’ (2:43), the ‘sense of belonging’ that is being alluded to in this case is that of ‘physical congregation’ in nature (4:102), an association (physical participation, 4:102) which would not arguably apply to ‘zakat.’ This is especially because other Quranic verses are also found to build a particular setting to such a term when used in the company of others (22:26, 22:77-78). In this case, it therefore refers back to the aforementioned 'swalaah' (supposed to be established/ standing up for it/ 'aqimu'- 'fa aqimu as-swalata,' 22:78) which comprises of and arguably not limited to 'iqama' (standing), 'ruk'u' (bowing) and 'sujud' (prostration) - (wa al-qaimina warrukka'i as-sujuudi, 22:26).

Therefore, in that respect, from my humble view, ‘al-qaimina’ (22:26), ‘ar-raki’in’ (2:43) and ‘as-sajidina’ (26:219) in their respective contexts would be referring to those ‘al-muswallina’ (70:22) which is a general reference to 'those who pray.’ One would thus find such references as (2:125) and (26:218-219) to be referring to those ‘prayerful gestures’ that are congregationally binding to believers (4:102) such that those which are physically engaging would even leave a sealing mark (48:29).

As regards 2:150, twinned with the fact that the Jews and the Christians kept asserting that salvation was associated with their identities (2:111), they were bent on insisting on their whimsical claims to divert the Prophet's (pbuh) attention (2:120). This would also include shifting the focus of places of worship - 'masajida llahi' (2:114). However, every direction is God's (2:115, 2:142) and thus whichever direction the Prophet (pbuh) faces, he would find God's attention though each (nation) is designated theirs (2:148).

As a 'fully engaging prayerful commitment,' the 'swalaah,' comprised of such physical acts as noted above, is to be established (2:110, 153) despite the dire efforts by the People of the Book to deprive the Prophet (pbuh) of his rightful place of worship (masajid, 2:114) as well as arguably the direction of facing (qiblah, 2:142). Thus, such a direction of sorts (2:143-144) is linked to the 'worship' at the designated places (masajid) which in this case is the 'prayer' - swalaah (2:110, 153). In the backdrop of such an act of directional orientation, Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) established his focus of prayerful attention - 'wajh' (6:79) as well as a focal place of worship and prayer (muswallah) for his followers (10:87). Given the context (2:141-144), this would arguably also include direction of facing (shathwr/ qiblah).

Hopefully that clarifies my position.

Regards,
Athman.

Offline Wakas

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
    • View Profile
    • What does The Quran really say?
Re: Prayer
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2019, 07:31:01 AM »
peace Athman,

Yes, your post elaborates on your position and reasoning behind your view. I assume you are familiar with my articles thus will presumably already know the issues I raise regarding some of the points you bring up, e.g. 48:29.

In any case I thought it was odd you seemed to backup your prayer direction view with another verse that also does not mention salat, i.e. 6:79 (and interestingly most Traditional exegetes give a non-directional understanding of this verse as they say the cuboid called Kaabah was not built yet thus no direction existed, although there is variance as expected), and did not discuss the Arabic which is explicit/clear "and from wherever thou come forth / depart....". And when you referenced 10:87 I assume you meant Moses and not Abraham.

Offline Athman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2019, 10:54:46 AM »
Dear Br. Wakas,

Peace to you as well,

Thanks for the quick response.

As reiterated in my previous response, what remains at the crux of what appears to be our variant interpretations that would clash over verses such as 48:29 and resultant seeming difficulties with each other's position is the difference in approach and the assumed axioms which would arguably also include definitions of terms as well as overall theological leans.

On the other hand, my citation of verse 6:79 was not a cue to suggesting that it is per se a ‘supportive’ verse for the ‘prayer direction.’ Rather, as noted in my response, what we can gather is that Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) ‘established his focus of prayerful attention - 'wajh.'’ Given the previous verses (6:74-78), it is clear that there was a subsequent swap of prioritized theological focus before Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) could establish the true ‘deity’ to whom his full prayerful ‘attention’ (wajh) was due. See my response below as to what I argued for as support for the ‘prayer direction’ (shathwr) during Prophet Ibrahim’s (pbuh) advent.

As to what you purport to be clear and deserving discussion, "and from wherever thou come forth / depart....," - ‘wa min haithu kharajta’ (2:149-150), I would personally not find it of special interest and discuss it in isolation from ‘and wherever you may be’ - ‘wahaithu ma kuntum' (2:144, 2:150). However, as you personally admit, and given that both phrases seem to be ‘clear’ to me as regards to what they seem to be pointing at, I do not find something in those verses that requires a dedicated ‘discussion,’ unless I’m missing a point.

With regards 10:87, I must admit that I made a typo for that was not the verse I intended to share. Thanks for the correction. It is verse 2:125 that I meant to cite as referencing a ‘focal place of worship and prayer (muswallah)’ for Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh). However, what was cited as a supportive aspect to the ‘prayer direction’ (shathwr) was the ‘context’ (2:141-144) as well as the fact that each (nation) is designated their focal point of direction/ attention - ‘wijhatun’ (2:148). Verse 10:87 was to be an additional reference also for the idea of focus and places of worship (masajid) as mentioned above, in this case 'qiblah' (2:142) otherwise as instructed of Prophet Musa (pbuh) and his people.

Regards,
Athman.

Offline s1c4r1us

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2019, 03:36:24 PM »
Hello,
   I understand that standing up and sujood are prescribed on us in the Quran as a part of prayer. But my question is does the Quran ever state why this is how we should pray? I guess essentially what I am asking is why are these required and not simply just praying in your head or something similar 5 times throughout the day?

This is a good detailed explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4APNPrfRORQ

The roekoeh and soejoed mean to yield and submit to the Message of the Quran while reading it. Reading the Quran is the Quranic prayer. 2 times a day, at fadjr and at isha.

Offline Truth Seeker

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 405
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2019, 07:34:42 PM »


I think that by having a physical component to the salaat, it gives it a skeletal structure, intensifying and complementing the spiritual aspect of praying, therefore making it complete.

And as Niaz mentioned, prostrating by placing your forehead on the ground in complete submission and gratefulness, is a befitting gesture to our Lord.

It brings us down a peg or two, because as humans we tend to forget our place in this vast expanse..what better way to remind us of our actual lowly status.

Offline s1c4r1us

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2019, 05:57:48 PM »
Hello,
   I understand that standing up and sujood are prescribed on us in the Quran as a part of prayer. But my question is does the Quran ever state why this is how we should pray? I guess essentially what I am asking is why are these required and not simply just praying in your head or something similar 5 times throughout the day?

I hope this explanation of the brother who knows Arabic will help you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4APNPrfRORQ