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Offline Reader Questions

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Regarding Salat in Quran - 5 or 3 times
« on: May 05, 2012, 11:15:24 PM »
Salamun alikum Brother,

In your article you have explained about 5 Prayers in Quran with references but in Quran by name 3 prayers has mentioned and 2 by periods.
   
In your article you have mentioned 5 times prayers and in that 3 prayers (Fajr,Wusta, Isha) has mentioned by name as Salat, but remaining Asr, Magrib is mentioned to Glorify or Praise the Lord and not as word Salat.

God has used the word Glorify or Praise the Lord and not as Salat for the periods (Asr, Magrib)

Asr Prayer

050:039           
“Therefore be patient of what they say, and sing the praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before the setting”

020.130
“Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun (Arabic: Qabla taluhe- Shams - i.e. Fajr), and before its setting (Arabic: Qabla gharubiha - i.e. Asr); yea, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day (Arabic: Watarafa l-nahari - i.e. Fajr and Isha): that you may have (spiritual) joy”

In the above two verses you have pointed out for Asr Prayer, in these verses the word Salat not mentioned instead it say us to Praise or Glorify our Lord.

Magrib Prayer

011:114
“And establish regular prayers at the two ends (Arabic: Salata Tarafa) of the day and at the approaches of the night (Arabic: wa-zulafan mina al-layl): For those things, that are good remove those that are evil: Be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord)”
 
In the above verse you have pointed out for Magrib prayer.

In the above verse you have taken the word {two ends (Arabic: Salata Tarafa) of the day} to refer Fajr and Magrib and taken the word {and at the approaches of the night (Arabic: wa-zulafan mina al-layl)} to refer Isha.

Some other scholars defines “two ends of the day” in the verses refers to Fajr and Isha prayers but you are referring to Fajr and Magrib, and you are pointing out the word {and at the approaches of the night (Arabic: wa-zulafan mina al-layl)} referring to Isha prayer.

You have taken “WA” (and) a conjunction as a separator and pointed out to Isha prayer.
The “WA” comes in the verse (wa-zulafan mina al-layl) meaning “and” a conjunction plays a crucial role

Please see the below paragraphs explaining about function of “WA” in Arabic

The function of 'wa' in Arabic and its role in the Quran
 
When we hear the word 'wa', otherwise translated as the conjunction 'and' we tend to think of it as something additional. This is especially true of those who are English-speaking. While the conjunction does serve this function, it also has an explicatory role in classical Arabic as pointed out by Javed Ghamidi, meaning the grammatical role of 'adding' is not present. 'Wa' becomes essentially a case of 'defining' and 'clarifying'. This point needs to be understood especially in regards to the Quran, because often time’s commentaries miss this point and translations almost never capture this reality and one loses out in the subtleties of the Quranic rhetoric.

The following is an example of what is meant by the above 'explanatory' role:
 
Believers! Fear God as you rightly should, WA when you leave this world leave it as followers of Islam...(3:102)

Many commentators take this as two separate injunctions, not attempting to connect the two.

But the second phrase is defining the first phrase of the verse and not separating the phrases.


So the function of “WA” in Arabic play many roles to define and it raised a question in the way you have explained in your article THE FIVE PRAYERS FROM THE QURAN

And also in Old Testament we can find the prophets prayed three times a day.

"As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." (Psalms 55:16-17) (PS: crying aloud apparently means praying with passion).

"Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." (Daniel 6:10)

The followers of Shiite sect observe 5 prayers in 3 times: morning, noon and evening.

These findings regarding prayers from different books, sects, scholars thoughts makes us think more deeply that why not the medieval traditionalist might have changed the 3 prayers in to 5 prayers to show off more devotion to God.

Please give a vivid description regarding times of prayer.

Thank You

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Regarding Salat in Quran - 5 or 3 times
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 11:46:17 PM »
Salamun Alaikum.

I do concur with the assertion that the conjunction 'wa' in Arabic does have a dual role in the manner of the excerpt you have cited. I have also argued for this myself in different articles. This is also clear to any academic familiar with the Arabic language.

However with respect, I do not find any evidence why the interpretation that makes use of the 'wa' as a 'separator' is inoperable in verse 11:114.I also humbly do not find any concrete evidence which cements the particular interpretation you kindly suggest.

I also feel it is a commonly misunderstood point that the Quran refers to 'names' of salaat with a view to establishing them (salat fajr / wusta / isha). Salaat 'Dhur' and 'Asr' for example, do not mean anything if there isn’t a definition of what these periods refer to. Hence the Quran provides 'periods' in which glorification of God is due. Otherwise the point of emphasizing certain parts of the day where glorification of God is due would become mute. The Quran could have simply said, 'Glorify God throughout the day' if the intention was simply to capture a continuous ‘glorification’.

Where the Quran has mentioned the names of 'prayer', it has not named them with a view to establish them. In other words, the Quran does not say “Establish the fajr prayer”. Rather, the named prayers are referred to indirectly as a reference point while dealing with other matters. In one case, it is singled out requiring special attention (wusta).

For example, in verse 24:58, where the names of the prayer ‘Salaat-il-Fajri’ and ‘Salaat-il-Isha’ do appear, they are referred to by virtue of them being reference points when certain groups of people require permission at times of undress / privacy.

024:058         
"O ye who believe! let those whom your right hands possess, and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer (Arabic: Salaat-il Fajri); and when you put aside your clothes for the noon; and after the late-night prayer (Arabic: Salaat-il'isha): these are your three times of undress: outside those times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other: Thus does God make clear the Signs to you: for God is full of knowledge and wisdom"

But when the Quran wants you to establish a particular prayer in the day, it will say “And establish regular prayers at the two ends (Arabic: Salata Tarafayi) of the day and at the approaches of the night (Arabic: wazulafan mina al-layli)…” (11:114 part)

In my article, I have clearly cited the 'periods' of the day in which prayer is due and that is what is what has been argued for. I have yet to humbly see any convincing evidence which challenges the traditional requirement for 5 prayers.

Also, as I hope you will appreciate, citing the Old Testament or Shiite practice is also not Quranic proof.

Finally, with regards your comment below; I find this with respect, a subjective comment as opposed to an academic one or one extracted from the Quran. This, I trust you will agree.

“These findings regarding prayers from different books, sects, scholars thoughts makes us think more deeply that why not the medieval traditionalist might have changed the 3 prayers in to 5 prayers to show off more devotion to God”

I hope that helps (certainly in some small way to understand my humble perspective), God willing.

ARE THERE 3 OR 5 PRAYERS IN THE DAY?
http://www.quransmessage.com/articles/3%20or%205%20prayers%20FM3.htm


Your brother in faith,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell