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Offline Reader Questions

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How Can Quran-Only Muslims Pray?
« on: May 11, 2012, 12:31:59 AM »
Sir,

How can we pray in congregation on friday if there is not a particular way of salah? Suppose all the quran alone muslims gather tomorrow for prayer, how will we pray?

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: How Can Quran-Only Muslims Pray?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 12:36:37 AM »
Salamun Alaikum.

It is sad that we often find 'Quran-orientated' Muslims fighting over whether there are 5, 3 or even no salats and disagreeing over all manner of details whilst the Quran's wisdom is so enriching and encompassing. In my humble opinion, if we understand just a few verses, the matter becomes clear as to what is required of us.

Quran is 'intentionally' silent on form and content of the salat, yet it provides all the other details. This is not an accident. There is always 'wisdom' in Quranic silence.

You and I were born in the latter part of the 20th century. Given the Quran's details of the salat that it does provide (wudu, periods of prayer, qibla, prostration, bowing, purpose, tone, leader etc), we are simply expected to take the best meaning (39:18, 39:55) and do the best we can (ma is’tata’tum - 64:16).

Is the current salat fulfilling the basic requirements of the Quran? Do we need to reinvent the wheel?

Believers and the People of the Book are simply asked to bow down with those that bow. This was even expected from the People of the Book "... and bow down your heads (Arabic: ir'ka'u) with those who bow down (Arabic: raki'een) (in worship)" 2:43 (part).

If the requirement for the People of the Book was to simply emulate those that already bowed in front of God, what is the inference for the believers?

As I am sure you will agree this is not 'rocket science'. You will also no doubt agree that the above verse is so simple, yet Quran-oriented Muslims have taken Quranic silence of 'form and utterance' of salat in the Quran as a cue to fight to question all manner of details of prayer. Some even question its requirement and reinterpret all the prayer related verses!

If the believers just understood simple encompassing guidance from the Quran, they would find that all mosques and congregations would open up to them for prayer. They would also find that 'DURING PRAYER' (Khutbahs aside), the basic requirements of the need to pray to God from the Quran was being fulfilled in their congregations. As far as I know, there is not a prayer congregation that worships Muhammad DURING their prayer, to Hazrat Ali or anyone else. If there were, we would be free to abandon them. Regardless of the beliefs of many Muslims outside salah, DURING salah they all worship the One God of mankind.

Sadly, differences in ideology often deter many from entering certain places of worship or establishing prayer congregation with others. The purpose of prayer remains far more important than any apparent differences in ideology. In the end, all places of worship belong to God alone (72:18).

072.018
"And the places of worship (Arabic: masajid) are for God (alone): So invoke not any one along with God"

064:016
“So keep your duty to God as best you can / what you are able (Arabic: ma is’tata’tum), and listen, and obey, and spend; that is better for your souls. And whoso is saved from his own greed, such are the successful”

077.047-50
Woe on that day to the rejecters. And when it is said to them, "Bow down" (Arabic: ir'ka'u), they bow not down! Woe on that day to the rejecters. Then what statement (Hadith), after this, will they believe?"

I hope that helps, God willing.
Joseph.


THE IMPORTANCE OF CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
http://www.quransmessage.com/articles/congregational%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: How Can Quran-Only Muslims Pray?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 06:08:34 PM »
Thank you for your wonderful message and explanation in it .

Sir, to clarify, if you and I and 8 other quran alone muslims meet and we all agree 5 times of salah , then how we would pray?

Today I prayed in normal hadithers mosque... If we do not have hadith's way of salah, how will our movements during salah will be synchronized ? .

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: How Can Quran-Only Muslims Pray?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 06:17:41 PM »
Salamun Alaikum brother,

When we come across statements such as 'wa-ir'ka'u ma'a-rakeen' (and bow down with those that bow down), there is more than a suggestion that the Quran is clearly instructing a people to join an 'existing / prevailing' practice. This is what was clearly expected from the People of the Book who followed the prayer rituals of their forefathers. We are all told to follow the guidance of the great prophets.

"...and show us our ways of worship..." (2:128 part)

006.090 (part)
"Those were the (prophets) who received God's guidance: COPY (iq'tadih) THE GUIDANCE they received ..."

The Arabic verb 'iqtada' means to copy, imitate, to follow closely.

Therefore, the Quran clearly recognises that there was a practice of monotheistic 'salah' amongst the existing communities even before revelation was given to Prophet Muhammad. Where matters needed to be elaborated for believers, such as the specific wudu details, which direction to follow, the tone of prayer, the need for a leader etc, these details were expounded by the Quran.

Please see the following videos of early prayer amongst the People of the Book. Note the similarities. Did they copy the believers or did the early Muslims in Arabia take guidance from the previous methods of prayer?

I am sure you will know the answer.

Early Jewish Prayer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aHWASyMjwg&feature=player_embedded

Early Christian Prayer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRLFeldPG3Y&feature=player_embedded

If I say to you 'eat' with those that 'eat', that does not mean that you have to find a new way to eat on your own. You will still eat with your plate, spoon, cups and your hands sitting on most likely the table or on the floor. If I want to 'enhance' the way you eat with a view to change your existing practice, I will say 'wash your hands before you eat' or 'eat on the 'table'. These are no different from the change in 'wudu' details or the instruction of what to do in fear (shorten prayer) or when you are in transport.

I hope you see the point.

I think it is unhelpful for us to label 'hadithers' and to imply that it is their 'prayer'. It is not 'THEIR' prayer. It is a 'consensus' prayer. No tradionalist ever learnt to completely pray by studying the hadith alone. Prayer is learnt by a continuous practice which is independent of hadith. Prayer was clearly established at the time of the Prophet which is confirmed by the Quran and there is more than an implication that it was 'copied' en masse by generations. Guidance of the previous prophets was always meant to be 'copied' and it is clear that the Jews were also praying at the time of the Prophet. Otherwise, the following statement would be meaningless "and bow down with those that bow down".

Therefore, 'prayer' is a mutwattir practice which finds its root from the Quran and it is unreasonable for any believer to ignore. This is not a 'hadithi' prayer. Yes, many 'hadithers' may argue for irrelevant pedantics, like where to put your hands or how to tap your finger on your knee or indeed, what to do if one accidently misses a rakat. However, these are clearly 'irrelevant' in the wider remit of the Quran's instruction to simply establish prayer.

We don't need to over-engineer something that is already there if it is consistent with the Quran's guidance.

So if we were to get together, we would have a choice. We could either 'reinvent' the practice, consisting of any number of sajdah's, rukuh's and content, or we can take the Quran's advice to follow the best meaning (39:18, 39:55) and continue the existing practice (2:43) and make any adjustments that we feel are necessary in light of the Quran.

For example, you may find that some of your fellow worshippers in a congregation don't understand Arabic at all. So you may decide to read the Arabic during prayer and translate it as you go along during prayer, in line with verse 4:43. Or you may just abandon the Arabic and pray in a language you all understand while keeping with the traditional form.

Who is to say that from a Quran's perspective, that you did not complete the command of 'aqeemusalah'? Of course you did! If Prophet Muhammad was asked to follow the ways of Abraham (16:123), then why did he not read his prayer in Abraham's language?

Like I said, I find no convincing proof that we need to ‘reinvent’ the traditional practice that the 'traditionalists' have 'inherited'. Remember, it is not ‘their’ practice. It is a misunderstanding that it is their practice.

Also it is useful to separate Hadith and Sunnah where the latter clearly has greater authority due to its very nature. Although they are both subservient to the Quran, they are nevertheless different transmissions with differing credibility.

The current prayer is a 'consensus' practice followed en masse (mutawattir) which has its source (to establish) from the Quran.

I hope that helps, God willing.
Joseph.


THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HADITH AND SUNNA
http://quransmessage.com/articles/hadith%20and%20sunna%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

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Re: How Can Quran-Only Muslims Pray?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2012, 06:20:09 PM »
Thank you so much sir. It cleared the doubts  :)