SALAAH IN THE QUR’AN


Marwan Boustany


بِسْمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحْمٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

In the Name of Allah the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful



I shall start by saying that the guiding principle of Qur’anic explanation that I will follow is that the Qur’an is complete and fully detailed1. As two examples of how I would apply these principles, consider the following: -


  1. If a word can have more than one meaning then I will choose the meaning that: -

    1. Fits the context.

    2. Leads to the least ambiguity in the meaning of the verse or topic.

    3. Relies on the Qur’an for it explanation.

      1. By this I mean that you do not interpret it in a way that assumes sources for Islam outside of the Qur’an.

  2. If it is not included in the Qur’an then it is not Islam.

    1. By this I mean that the job of the Qur’an is not to confirm all the actions that are now practiced, the job of the Qur’an is to guide to the correct action and to rule against false action.


In what follows all errors are my own and indeed I pray Allah has protected me from making them as much as possible. I think that what follows represents a logical manner of understanding the Salaah verses in the Qur’an, my argument is powerful only in so much as I have properly and logically used the available evidence without leaving out important information. I am human and imperfect, so in reading this document recall this ayah: -


And do not uphold what you have no knowledge of. For the hearing, eyesight, and mind, of all of these you are responsible.”

(Qur’an, 17:36)


وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Salaah in History 3

Prerequisites of Salaah 6

The State of Your Mind 6

Understand What You Are Saying 6

Be Totally Devoted To Allah 6

Be Humbly Submissive To Allah 7

Do Salaah To Remember Allah 7

Do Not Do Prayer To Be Seen 7

The State Of Your Body 8

Ablutions 8

What is Junub? 10

Menstruation (Haydh) 11

Direction Of Prayer (Qiblah) 12

The Call For Prayer 18

Timings Of The Salaah 20

The Ends Of The Day 21

The Middle Prayer 23

The Friday Prayer 27

Duration Of Salaah 29

Positions For Salaah 30

Words For Salaah 32

What About The Tashahhud? 35

The Conclusion Of Salaah 36

Benefits Of Salaah 36

Get The Family To Pray 37

Always Keep Your Prayers 37

Summary on Salaah 38

Problematic Verses? 40

Conclusion 41

Appendix 1: The Complete and Detailed Qur’an 42

Appendix 2: The Glorification Verses 44






Salaah in History



It is interesting to note that Salaah were known in the past to Ibrahim, Musa, Isa, Zakariyya, Shu’ayb etc… It is not some sort of innovation 1400 years ago. We will also see this when the Bible will be mentioned. Here are some examples: -


وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا ٱلْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْناً وَٱتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى وَعَهِدْنَآ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِىَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَٱلْعَاكِفِينَ وَٱلرُّكَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ


And when We made the House (Kaaba) a place of return, a sanctuary for mankind: They took the place where Ibrahim stood (to pray) as a place of prayer (Musallah, a place of Salaah). We contracted with Ibrahim and Isma‘il: ‘Purify My House for those who circle it, and those who stay there, and those who bow and who prostrate.’

(Qur’an, 2:125)


وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ وَأَخِيهِ أَن تَبَوَّءَا لِقَوْمِكُمَا بِمِصْرَ بُيُوتاً وَٱجْعَلُواْ بُيُوتَكُمْ قِبْلَةً وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ


We revealed to Musa and his brother: ‘Settle your people in houses in Egypt and make your houses places of worship and perform prayer (Salaah) and give good news to the believers.’

(Qur’an, 10:87)


وَجَعَلَنِى مُبَارَكاً أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِى بِٱلصَّلاَةِ وَٱلزَّكَوٰةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيّاً


(‘Isa said,) ‘He has made me blessed wherever I am and directed me to perform prayer (Salaah) and give the alms as long as I live.’

(Qur’an, 19:31)


قَالُواْ يٰشُعَيْبُ أَصَلَوَاتُكَ تَأْمُرُكَ أَن نَّتْرُكَ مَا يَعْبُدُ ءَابَاؤُنَآ أَوْ أَن نَّفْعَلَ فِيۤ أَمْوَالِنَا مَا نَشَاءُ إِنَّكَ لأَنتَ ٱلْحَلِيمُ ٱلرَّشِيدُ


They said, ‘Shu‘ayb, do your prayers (Salaah) instruct you that we should abandon what our fathers worshipped or stop doing whatever we want to with our wealth? You are clearly the forbearing, the rightly-guided!’

(Qur’an, 11:87)


فَنَادَتْهُ ٱلْمَلاۤئِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّى فِى ٱلْمِحْرَابِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَـىٰ مُصَدِّقاً بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَسَيِّداً وَحَصُوراً وَنَبِيّاً مِّنَ ٱلصَّالِحِينَ


The angels called out to him while he (Zakariyya) was standing in prayer (Salaah) in the Upper Room: ‘Allah gives you the good news of Yahya, who will come to confirm a Word from Allah, and will be a leader and a celibate, a Prophet and one of the righteous.’

(Qur’an, 3:39)


وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ ٱلزَّكَاةَ وَٱرْكَعُواْ مَعَ ٱلرَّاكِعِينَ


“…and establish worship, pay the poor-due, and bow your heads with those who bow (in worship).”

(Qur’an, 2:43) (Talking to the children of Israel).


Even if we look at the Old Testament:


"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)


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


But we must note that for the Arabs at the time of the prophet who worshipped at the Ka’bah, Salaah was corrupted and empty of meaning, as Allah tells us: -


وَمَا كَانَ صَلاَتُهُمْ عِندَ ٱلْبَيْتِ إِلاَّ مُكَآءً وَتَصْدِيَةً فَذُوقُواْ ٱلْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ


Their prayer at the House (Ka’bah) is nothing but whistling and clapping. So taste the punishment because you disbelieved!”

(Qur’an, 8:35)


Finally:


How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you (selah). Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. (selah)”

(Psalm 84:1-8 NIV)


The NIV scholars rendered selah in the NIV bible as a footnote while the NRSV scholars have it as Selah where I have them in brackets. This word is of unclear meaning to Bible scholars, however some of its meanings and the way it sounds (some variants of the pronunciation) sound a lot like salaah. Whatever the case, we have mention of people always praising Allah at the 'house of the Lord'.


إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۖ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ


The first house established for mankind is the one at Bekka; blessed, and guidance for all people.

In it are evident signs; the Station of Abraham. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to Allah for all who can make the journey. But as for those who refuse—God is Independent of the worlds.

(3:96-97)


Allah knows best!


Prerequisites of Salaah



The State of Your Mind



It must be stated that you have not completed your Salaah if you do not come into your Salaah and leave your Salaah in compliance with the following. Why this is so will be explained as we go along.


Understand What You Are Saying


يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَأَنْتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ


"O you who believe, do not observe the Prayers (Salaah) while intoxicated, so that you know what you are saying."

(Qur’an, 4:43)


How can you glorify Allah with your heart and soul if you are just parroting words that mean nothing to you? How can the recitation of Allah’s book inspire awe and fear if you do not understand it? For this reason I believe one should carry a Qur’an in Salaah, with a translation if needed. Salaah really cannot benefit our souls if our souls hear nothing but foreign noises.


Be Totally Devoted To Allah


قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذٰلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ


"Say, "My Salaah (Prayers), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to Allah, the Lord of the universe.  He has no partner. This is what I am commanded to believe, and I am the first to submit."

(Qur’an, 6:162-163)


This is an absolute requirement. There is absolutely no one else deserving of our Salaah and glorification. And if our prayer has as its focus anyone other than Allah then not only have your failed your salaah, you have committed shirk.


Be Humbly Submissive To Allah


قَدْ أَفْلَحَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ


Successful indeed are the believers, Who are humble in their prayers,”

(Qur’an, 23: 1-2)


What kind of arrogance does not humble itself before the All Mighty, Creator, Sustainer of All that is? Surely one that, like Satan, is bound for Hell. But the one that is humble before Allah has truly appreciated his/her position with respect to Allah and has as such truly brought Allah into remembrance. If you cannot be humble before Allah, then how can you truly worship Allah?


Do Salaah To Remember Allah


إِنَّنِيۤ أَنَا ٱللَّهُ لاۤ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاۤ أَنَاْ فَٱعْبُدْنِى وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلوٰةَ لِذِكْرِيۤ


"Indeed, I am Allah; there is no other god beside Me; you shall worship Me alone, and observe the Salaah (Prayers) to remember ME."

(Qur’an, 20:14)


Here Allah tells us why we do Salaah. So take note if you wish for contentment of the soul and a path towards Heaven. If after your salaah you have not remembered Allah, then you have not performed salaah. You have performed some motions and made some noises and nothing else.


Do Not Do Prayer To Be Seen


فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ ٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلاَتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَآءُونَ


So woe to the praying ones, Who are neglectful of their prayers (Salaah), Those who (want but) to be seen”

(Qur’an, 107:4-7)


To do salaah for show indicates you fear people more than Allah and may also indicate your belief in Allah is weak to non-existing.



The State Of Your Body


Ablutions


يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَأَنْتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلاَ جُنُباً إِلاَّ عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىٰ تَغْتَسِلُواْ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُمْ مِّنَ ٱلْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً فَٱمْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً غَفُوراً


You who believe! Do not approach the prayer when you are drunk, so that you will know what you are saying, nor in a state of Junub—unless you are traveling—until you have washed yourselves. If you are ill or on a journey, or any of you have come from the lavatory or touched women, and you cannot find any water, then take for yourselves clean earth, wiping your faces and your hands therewith. Allah is Ever-Pardoning, Ever-Forgiving.”

(Qur'an, 4:43)


يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى ٱلصَّلاةِ فٱغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى ٱلْمَرَافِقِ وَٱمْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى ٱلْكَعْبَينِ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُباً فَٱطَّهَّرُواْ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىۤ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُمْ مِّنَ ٱلْغَائِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً فَٱمْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـٰكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ


You who believe! When you get up to perform prayer, wash your faces and your hands and your arms to the elbows, and wipe over your heads and feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of major impurity (Janaabah), then purify yourselves (fattahharoo). But if you are ill or on a journey, or have come from the lavatory, or have touched women, and cannot find any water, then take for yourselves clean earth, and wipe your faces and your hands therewith. Allah does not want to make things difficult for you, but He does want to purify (yutahhirukum) you and to perfect His blessing upon you so that hopefully you will be thankful.”

(Qur'an, 5:6)



What we can understand here is the following: -






We should note that ablutions and tayamum would seem to have two functions: -



What is Junub?



Junuban is not explicitly defined anywhere in the Qur’an for this context. The word, in this context, likely implies a state of being remote or distant. And from its usage in 4:43 where we have “إِلاَّ عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ”, “except while travelling”, it is clear that junub would not be understood as geographically remote or distant, rather in a physical and/or spiritual sense. In classical dictionaries, the form of this word as used in 4:43 and 5:6 is described as being in a state of post coitus necessitating a bath. However, this is unlikely to be an original meaning of the word, rather an addition to the original meaning coming from Muslim practice. Further, junuban is a category that requires washing/purification beyond the default ablutions, this can be gathered from 5:6 more easily than 4:3.



In 4:43 and 5:6, the following cases are dealt with: -





So junub is a state other than/above and beyond the known mentioned states that necessitates purification/washing and which puts you in a mental and or physical state that would distance you in a physical (like using the toilet etc) and/or mental sense from being sufficiently purified to pray. We should recall that Allah want to purify us physically and mentally.



Sexual intercourse is notably missing from the list of known categories in the list above, notably, as it is a stage beyond touching a woman, and so obviously implies some form of ablution/purification.



Being very dirty and or smelly are also not mentioned, although they are implied generically by the reference to coming from the toilet being a cause for ablutions. And so on.



I would therefore interpret the specified categories in 4:43 and 5:6 as being the minimal causes necessitating ablutions with junub being anything above and beyond the minimal categories which would require more thorough purification.



Menstruation (Haydh)



وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلْمَحِيضِ قُلْ هُوَ أَذًى فَٱعْتَزِلُواْ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فِى ٱلْمَحِيضِ وَلاَ تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَطْهُرْنَ فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلتَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ ٱلْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ


They will ask you about menstruation. Say, ‘It is a harm/suffering/annoyance (azzan), so keep apart (sexually) from women during menstruation and do not approach them (for sexual intercourse) until they are pure (period is over). But once they have purified themselves, then go to them in the way that Allah has enjoined on you.’ Allah loves those who turn back from wrongdoing and He loves those who purify themselves.”

(Qur’an, 2:222)


The word above used to describe menstruation (azzan = harm/suffering/annoyance) is different from the word (mardh) used for illness in the above ablutions verses. Hence, menstruation is not included in the above verses as something that would preclude you from Salaah and that would require purifying before Salaah. This makes sense given the nature of the period, which is not within the control of the lady and is perpetual within the time range of the period. And as Allah has not included it as a cause of nullifying Salaah, no human may do so.


It should also be noted that one may pray when sick if they perform ablutions. The sickness does not disappear after ablutions, and so they are sick (with what that may entail) when they pray. By analogy, the menstruating woman can do her ablutions, and pray even while she is still menstruating.


Let us not forget that we can pray on horseback and in battle, surely one would not be totally pure and clean at these times, and Allah gives exception given that these are circumstances out of the control of the Muslims involved. By analogy, Allah will not penalise menstruating women as their situation is also out of their control.


In short, Muslim ladies must perform Salaah every day. It is obligatory on us all and Allah has not given any command to forbid or exempt them from it.


Direction Of Prayer (Qiblah)



سَيَقُولُ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ مِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَا وَلاَّهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ ٱلَّتِى كَانُواْ عَلَيْهَا قُل للَّهِ ٱلْمَشْرِقُ وَٱلْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ


The fools among the people will say: "What hath turned them from the Qibla to which they were used?" Say: To Allah belong both east and West: He guides whom He will to a straight path

(Qur’an, 2:142)


وَكَذٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطاً لِّتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ ٱلرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيداً وَمَا جَعَلْنَا ٱلْقِبْلَةَ ٱلَّتِى كُنتَ عَلَيْهَآ إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يَتَّبِعُ ٱلرَّسُولَ مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ وَإِن كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلاَّ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ هَدَى ٱللَّهُ وَمَا كَانَ ٱللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِٱلنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ


In this way We have made you a middlemost community, so that you may act as witnesses against mankind and the Messenger as a witness against you. We only appointed the direction you used to face in order to know those who follow the Messenger from those who turn round on their heels. Though in truth it is a very hard thing–except for those Allah has guided. Allah would never let your faith go to waste. Allah is All-Gentle, Most Merciful to mankind.”

(Qur’an, 2:143)


قَدْ نَرَىٰ تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوِهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلْكِتَابَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ ٱلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ وَمَا ٱللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ


We have seen you looking up into heaven, turning this way and that, so We will turn you towards a direction which will please you. Turn your face, therefore, towards the Sacred Mosque. Wherever you all are, turn your faces towards it. Those given the Book know it is the truth from their Lord. Allah is not unaware of what they do.”

(Qur’an, 2:144)


وَلَئِنْ أَتَيْتَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلْكِتَابَ بِكُلِّ آيَةٍ مَّا تَبِعُواْ قِبْلَتَكَ وَمَآ أَنتَ بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَتَهُمْ وَمَا بَعْضُهُم بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَةَ بَعْضٍ وَلَئِنِ ٱتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ ٱلْعِلْمِ إِنَّكَ إِذَاً لَّمِنَ ٱلظَّالِمِينَ


And if you brought to those who were given the Scripture every sign, they would not follow your qiblah. Nor will you be a follower of their qiblah. Nor would they be followers of one another's qiblah. So if you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, indeed, you would then be among the wrongdoers.

(Qur’an 2:145)


وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ إِلاَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَٱخْشَوْنِى وَلأُتِمَّ نِعْمَتِى عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ


Wherever you come from, turn your face to the Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram in Makkah). Wherever you are, turn your faces towards it so that people will have no argument against you–except for those among them who do wrong and then you should not fear them but rather fear Me–and so that I can complete My blessing to you so that hopefully you will be guided.”

(Qur’an, 2:150)


But never forget that: -


لَّيْسَ ٱلْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ ٱلْمَشْرِقِ وَٱلْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلآخِرِ وَٱلْمَلاۤئِكَةِ وَٱلْكِتَابِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى ٱلْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ وَٱلْيَتَامَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَاكِينَ وَٱبْنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَٱلسَّآئِلِينَ وَفِى ٱلرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ ٱلصَّلاةَ وَآتَى ٱلزَّكَاةَ وَٱلْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُواْ وَٱلصَّابِرِينَ فِى ٱلْبَأْسَآءِ وٱلضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ ٱلْبَأْسِ أُولَـٰئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُوآ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُتَّقُونَ



It is not devoutness to turn your faces to the East or to the West. Rather, those with true devoutness are those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets, and who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travellers and beggars and to set slaves free, and who perform prayer and give the alms; those who honour their contracts when they make them, and are steadfast in poverty and illness and in battle. Those are the people who are true. They are the people who guard against evil.”

(Qur’an, 2:177)



In the classical dictionary, the word Qibla is translated as meaning the direction to which someone turns his face or attention, and within a religious context it would be taken as the direction faced for prayer (Lughatul Qur’an). However let’s look at the relevant ayaat.


The following section speaks about the Qibla the most: -


The fools among the people will say: "What hath turned them from the Qibla to which they were used?" Say: To Allah belong both east and West: He guides whom He will to a straight path

(Qur’an, 2:142)


Qibla does not mean religious orientation, as the Muslims would not have changed that, it is therefore a geographical orientation. Note also the mention that both east and west belong to Allah, further confirming that this is a direction in a geographical sense. Note also that the “fools” among the people would actually be able to tell that a change had taken place for something that Muslims did, this gives credence to something physical and obvious, Muslims can be seen praying in a direction, and nothing else…


Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which you were used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels. Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.

(Qur’an, 2:143)


The change in the direction of the Qibla was to test the followers of the messenger. These would most likely have been referring to Jewish and Christian converts or followers of the messenger as they would have their own Qibla from before that was other than the Ka’bah.


Indeed We see the turning of your face to heaven, so We shall surely turn you to a qibla which you shall like; turn then your face towards the Sacred Mosque, and wherever you are, turn your face towards it, and those who have been given the Book most surely know that it is the truth from their Lord; and Allah is not at all heedless of what they do.

(Qur’an, 2:144)


They were to turn to (the Ka’bah contained in) the Sacred Mosque. (An example of the two being linked in 5:2, but even just the fact that the Mosque surrounding the Ka’bah is called “The Sacred Mosque” is clear).


And even if you bring to those who have been given the Book every sign they would not follow your qibla (Sacred Mosque), nor can you be a follower of their qibla, neither are they the followers of each other's qibla, and if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, then you shall most surely be among the unjust.

(Qur’an, 2:145)


We are told that the Jews and Christians would not turn towards the Sacred Mosque, away from the directions they followed.


الَّذِينَ آَتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُوا يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّهُ جَمِيعًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِنَّهُ لَلْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِي وَلِأُتِمَّ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ


Those whom We have given the Book recognize him as they recognize their sons, and a party of them most surely conceal the truth while they know (it).

The truth is from your Lord, therefore you should not be of the doubters.

And everyone has a direction to which he should turn, therefore hasten to (do) good works; wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together; surely Allah has power over all things.

And from whatsoever place you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque; and surely it is the very truth from your Lord, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.

And from whatsoever place you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque; and wherever you are turn your faces towards it, so that people shall have no accusation against you, except such of them as are unjust; so do not fear them, and fear Me, that I may complete My favour on you and that you may walk on the right course.

(Qur’an, 2:146-150)


Wherever we decide to travel to on earth we are to direct ourselves toward the qibla, the Sacred Mosque.


But turn to the Qibla why? What is the only thing that Muslims do that would require them to need a direction that ALL Muslims would turn to? If you think about it, there is actually no other action other than Salaah. In Salaah we stand and we bow and we prostrate, but in what direction? The Qibla is the only conceivable answer given the fact that Allah repeatedly emphasises that Muslims turn to it.


Either that, or you believe that Allah wants us to walk sideways always directing ourselves to the Ka’bah. That makes no sense.





Let’s look at the next verse: -


وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا ٱلْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْناً وَٱتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى وَعَهِدْنَآ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِىَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَٱلْعَاكِفِينَ وَٱلرُّكَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ


Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma'il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer) (Qur’an, 2:125)


We are reminded that people pray at the Ka’bah. Do they pray in every direction, to and away from the Ka’bah? We are told that Allah told Abraham and Ismail to purify the house (the Ka’bah) for 3 reasons: -


  1. For those who circle around it.

  2. For those who stay for worship in the Sacred mosque (compare to 2:187)

  3. FOR THOSE WHO BOW AND PROSTRATE (in Salaah).


All of these three directly relating to the Ka’bah. Here we have an unquestionable link between Salaah and the Ka’bah (something which defines a geographical orientation for our Salaah).


Similarly with: -


وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا ِلإِبْرَاهِيمَ مَكَانَ ٱلْبَيْتِ أَن لاَّ تُشْرِكْ بِى شَيْئاً وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِىَ لِلطَّآئِفِينَ وَٱلْقَآئِمِينَ وَٱلرُّكَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ


And We located the position of the House for Ibrahim: ‘Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who circle it, and those who stand and bow and prostrate.’

(Qur’an, 22:26)


As a final point consider: -


The prophet and his followers followed the Qibla that others did (or were ‘used to’) (2:142), but they probably just took it as they either were unsure of another or they wanted the ka'bah (2:144) but were unsure (2:144) possibly due to the idols.


The fact that they were unsure PROVES that Allah DID NOT reveal to the prophet a Qibla before this (hence we don't need other sources). Additionally, if Allah had commanded that they turn elsewhere before, we would assume that the messenger would submit absolutely instead of acting like a weak Muslim hoping and wishing it was in another direction. These two points are enough to bury any opinion that the old Qibla they prayed towards was revealed to the messenger/Muslims.


Allah created this situation (that it was the only well-known one, for example among the people of the book) to test the believers once he finally assigned the ka'bah as the Qibla (2:142).


I believe that the information above is sufficient to conclude that Qibla makes no sense except for the direction for prayer (within the above context at least).





The Call For Prayer



وَإِذَا نَادَيْتُمْ إِلَى ٱلصَّلاَةِ ٱتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُواً وَلَعِباً ذٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ



When you call to prayer they make a mockery and a game of it. That is because they are people who do not use their intellect.

(Qur’an, 5:58)



It is clear that the call for prayer is not specified in the Qur’an. Certainly the one now used is not in the Qur’an. The Qur’an only acts to guide us to call to prayer and guides us to not associate with Allah. Any call for prayer that fulfils both of these is Qur’anically allowable. Let us not forget that Muslims judge by consultation and so it must be widely known and acknowledged. I would favour removing the reference to Muhammad in the Azaan.


وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱسْتَجَابُواْ لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَىٰ بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ


And those who answer the call of their Lord and establish Salaah, and whose affairs are a matter of counsel, and who spend of what We have bestowed on them…” (Qur’an, 42:38)


Timings Of The Salaah




فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ ٱلصَّلاَةَ فَٱذْكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ قِيَاماً وَقُعُوداً وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِكُمْ فَإِذَا ٱطْمَأْنَنتُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ إِنَّ ٱلصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَاباً مَّوْقُوتاً


Then when you have finished the prayer, remember Allah standing and sitting and reclining; but when you are secure (from danger) keep up prayer; surely prayer (Salaah) is a timed ordinance for the believers.

(Qur’an, 4:103)


It is clear from this verse, that we must indeed be able to derive timing information for Salaah from the Qur’an.


This generally is the most contentious topic if you were to talk to the average muslim, he would suggest that there should be 5, morning (Fajr), noon (Dhuhr), afternoon (Asr), evening (Maghrib) and night (Isha’). My current understanding leads me to believe that there are only 3 in the Qur’an, Fajr, Wusta and ‘Isha’ (Isha Having a different time range than in Sunni thinking).


I will present the relevant verses and give what I believe to be the Qur’anic guidance on prayer times. Once again we must recall that the Qur’an is complete and sufficient, with this in mind, let us proceed.


I should state that the approach taken is to use only those verses that are seen to refer to Salaah in a clear manner. There are many verses about praising and glorifying Allah at many times. I make a distinction between glorification and Salaah verses, because though one Glorifies Allah in Salaah, one does not need to perform Salaah to glorify Allah, hence one does not necessarily imply the other. I deal briefly with some of the Glorification verses in Appendix 2.


We must first note that a (24 hour) Yaum is broken up into 4 periods: -


  1. Nahar – Day

    1. From the darkness of the night till the point of sunrise.

    2. From sunrise till the sun has set.

    3. From the setting of the sun until the darkness of the night.

  2. Layl – Night

    1. The night with no light from the sun. (Layl)




The Ends Of The Day



Perform prayer at both ends of the day (tarafay-I-nahaar) and (in the period) close to the night (wa zulfann minal layl). Good actions eradicate bad actions. This is a reminder for people who pay heed.”

(Qur’an, 11:114)


وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ


The two ends of the day are in fact the two ends of night but from the direction of the day, and we are told to pray at those times at both ends of the day are close to the night.



So if we understand that ‘wa zulfann minal layl’ is further explaining ‘tarafay-I-nahaar’, then we understand that we must perform our prayer at the times defined by:



Now to be precise, we have only one of the two ends of the period defined precisely here, the night. It is with 17:78 that we get complete precision.


If we don’t understand that ‘wa zulfann minal layl’ is further explaining ‘tarafay-I-nahaar’, then we would be told to pray at two points in the day which last a few minutes, its only if we understand that ‘wa zulfann minal layl’ is a further explanation that we can get a sense of the time range for these two prayers.


In the current translations we usually see that this verse is translated as talking about both sides of the day and some hours of the night. The ‘approaches of the night’ thought to refer to either ‘ishaa or maghrib and some include asr too… But what is the two sides of the day referring to? All say morning and then some say the other end is either asr or maghrib.


So this verse is ambiguous if it is understood traditionally. That these translations (and hence the traditional understanding for them) are ambiguous, is clear.


The next verse: -


Perform prayer from when the sun declines/sets (liduluki-shams) until the darkness of the (ghasaqi-layl) night, and also the recitation at dawn. The dawn recitation is certainly witnessed.”

(Qur'an, 17:78)


أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآَنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآَنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا


Here we are told of two periods, first from the setting of the sun to the darkness of the night, second in the dawn period. ‘liduluki-shams’ has been interpreted in two ways:-



Both of which can be found in Dictionaries.


The basic meaning of the word dalaka is ‘to rub’ or rubbing.


I will interpret duluk as the setting of the sun (when the sun is rubbing with the horizon), as this then does not introduce the ambiguity associated with a period stretching from noon (zuhr) till night (layl) with respect to Salaah. We must choose the meaning of the word that removes ambiguity, not adds it.


So this verse defines exactly the period mentioned in 11:114 as the times close to the night. Namely, the time where the sun has set until the darkness of the night. This actually also defines the fajr prayer by symmetry (and working in the opposite direction).


If we understand it as it is usually translated (decline from midday). Then traditionally this period is referring to zuhr, asr, maghrib and ‘ishaa. But we are not informed what period is for what prayer either directly or indirectly. From 11:114 if you understand it as I wrote it above then you will know the ‘traditional’ periods for maghrib and fajr, but not Ishaa’ or Asr or zuhr. In fact we will see that if there is to be a night prayer, it would be a nafila, a voluntary one, and also, Asr Salaah is not even mentioned.


If we then take this traditional understanding for 17:78 along with the traditional understanding of 11:114, we are left in a state of confusion regarding the obligatory prayer times.


Under the guidance of the Qur’an (4:103) we should at least be able to derive some specific understanding from these verses, so we must reject the understanding and translation given by the previous translators as they lead to ambiguous understandings. My above translations can at least lead to a clear understanding, and hence they are more likely to be true.


The Middle Prayer



Safeguard the prayers*—especially the middle prayer (Salaahul-Wusta). Stand in obedience to Allah.”

(Qur'an, 2:238)


حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ* وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَى وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ


*Salawaat: This is the plural of Salaah, which is greater than two. This implies at least 3 Salaah (singular), especially if there is to be a middle one.


This prayer, the middle prayer, is to be taken as the mid prayer of the day, time wise and position wise.


Taking the Qur’an as complete, we must take that in its description as the middle prayer we have a complete description of its timing and period. So if we fully make use of the meaning of wusta in the sense of middle, then we can derive that the time of this middle prayer can be defined as follows.


It makes sense to think that the middle prayer cannot be in an instant, hence it is not between two specific points, so what is it in the middle of? It would have to be in the middle of the two periods we already have defined.


We already have 4 points defined by the Qur’an, 2 points for each of the dawn and sunset periods. The period defining the middle prayer can have its two end points defined by: -



Stated otherwise, the time range is the same duration as the sunset/sunrise time range (which should be theoretically identical), which is a consequence of the mid prayer time range being centred between the other two.


This means that this is a short time range, generally a couple hours placed around the midday point.

















If we look at the following verse: -


يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُوۤاْ إِذَا نُودِىَ لِلصَّلاَةِ مِن يَوْمِ ٱلْجُمُعَةِ فَٱسْعَوْاْ إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ وَذَرُواْ ٱلْبَيْعَ ذٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ ٱلصَّلاَةُ فَٱنتَشِرُواْ فِى ٱلأَرْضِ وَٱبْتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱذْكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيراً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ


"O you who believe, when the Salaah is announced on Friday, you shall hasten to the commemoration of God, and drop all business. This is better for you, if you only knew. Once the prayer is completed, you may spread through the land to seek God's bounties, and continue to remember God frequently, that you may succeed."

(Qur’an, 62:9-10)


That one would leave his business and trade to go to the prayer implies it is in the pre-noon/noon/afternoon time. That one could return to trade etc. implies that there is a useful portion of the day left. If this prayer was an evening one, then it is unlikely people would have been returning to their trade.


Some have used the following verse to try and refute having the Salaatul wusta at around midday by using the following verse: -


يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لِيَسْتَأْذِنكُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَمْ يَبْلُغُواْ ٱلْحُلُمَ مِنكُمْ ثَلاَثَ مَرَّاتٍ مِّن قَبْلِ صَـلواَةِ ٱلْفَجْرِ وَحِينَ تَضَعُونَ ثِيَابَكُمْ مِّنَ ٱلظَّهِيرَةِ وَمِن بَعْدِ صَلواَةِ ٱلْعِشَآءِ ثَلاَثُ عَوْرَاتٍ لَّكُمْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلاَ عَلَيْهِمْ جُنَاحٌ بَعْدَهُنَّ طَوَّافُونَ عَلَيْكُمْ بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ كَذٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمُ ٱلآيَاتِ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ


O you who believe! let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained to puberty ask permission of you three times; before the morning (fajr) prayer, and when you put off your clothes at midday (zzahira), and after the evening prayer (‘ishaa’); these are three times of privacy for you; neither is it a sin for you nor for them besides these, some of you must go round about (waiting) upon others; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.

(Qur’an, 24:58)


They say that the prayer is not mentioned at the time when zuhr is mentioned above, but the point to be noted here is that Allah is taking about potential times of undress, not prayer times. You may change your cloths to ‘day cloths’ before fajr prayer, you may change your cloths if you have a short break midday to relax and get out of the sun, and you may change your cloths at night after you have prayed the ishaa prayer. You would not need to change your cloths at the Salaahul wusta… Also, this has a time range larger than just the point of noon and hence it need not correspond with the noon nap/break/whatever, it could be before you go for the rest or after it. Whereas for the fajr prayer, changing clothes is more likely before and for the ‘isha prayer, changing clothes is more likely after.


Also, if we look at these (glorification) verses: -


فَسُبْحَانَ ٱللَّهِ حِينَ تُمْسُونَ وَحِينَ تُصْبِحُونَ وَلَهُ ٱلْحَمْدُ فِى ٱلسَّمَاوَاتِ وَٱلأَرْضِ وَعَشِيّاً وَحِينَ تُظْهِرُونَ


Therefore glory be to Allah when you enter upon the time of the evening and when you enter upon the time of the morning. And to Him belongs praise in the heavens and the earth, and at nightfall and when you are at midday (tuzhiroon).”

(Qur’an, 30:17-18)


We can see here that glorification of Allah takes place here dawn, evening, night and in the noon. If glorification can take place at noon, why not Salaah? In fact, it can be seen in the appendix that glorification timings in the Qur’an seem to accord for the most part with the Salaah timings…


So the middle prayer is in the pre-noon/noon/afternoon, and Allah says that we should not allow trade to keep us away from this prayer. Hence we must seek to avoid delaying praying it in its midday time, which is not that long.


And if we again recall: -


Safeguard the prayers; especially the middle prayer. Stand in obedience to Allah.” (Qur'an, 2:238)


We will note that we should try to avoid delaying the prayer. We should not allow the hustle and bustle of our day to artificially delay the prayer, as we could easily miss it due its timing and duration.



The Friday Prayer


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِنْ يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَاةُ فَانْتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انْفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا قُلْ مَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ اللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ


O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading; that is better for you, if you know.

And when the prayer is ended, then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah's grace, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.

But when they see merchandise or some amusement they break up for it, and leave you standing. Say: What is with Allah is better than sport and (better) than merchandise, and Allah is the best of Sustainers.

(Qur’an, 62:9-11)


This ayah establishes that the Friday prayer is one that all Muslims must go to regardless of whether they may lose profit or not, and in fact there is special emphasis on not letting trade distract them. But what about its timing? Is it referring to the Fajr prayer, Midday prayer or ‘isha prayer?


Now I have argued previously that the fact that we can return to business would imply that it would be at midday, but it has been noted that people now work at all hours of the day and night, so where would that leave us?







Well we can look at it in a few ways, Allah says in the Qur’an: -


وَجَعَلْنَا ٱلْلَّيْلَ وَٱلنَّهَارَ آيَتَيْنِ فَمَحَوْنَآ آيَةَ ٱلْلَّيْلِ وَجَعَلْنَآ آيَةَ ٱلنَّهَارِ مُبْصِرَةً لِتَبْتَغُواْ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلِتَعْلَمُواْ عَدَدَ ٱلسِّنِينَ وَٱلْحِسَابَ وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ تَفْصِيلاً


We made the night and day two Signs. We blotted out the Sign of the night and made the Sign of the day a time for seeing so that you can seek favour/bounty from your Lord and will know the number of years and the reckoning of time. We have made all things very clear.”

(Qur’an, 17:12)


هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلْلَّيْلَ لِتَسْكُنُواْ فِيهِ وَٱلنَّهَارَ مُبْصِراً إِنَّ فِى ذٰلِكَ لَـآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ


It is He Who appointed the night for you, so that you could rest in it, and the day for seeing. There are certainly Signs in that for people who listen. (Qur’an, 10:67)


So these would imply that it was in the plan of Allah that we would use the night for rest and sleep and the day for the seeking of our bounty (I think this pattern may well be biologically designed into us too). And it is indeed still the predominant pattern of work to work the day and not the night, although people are slipping into the night with work more and more, but still I would think day workers outnumber night workers.


The next point to be considered is that the midday point is the point at which the majority of people are likely to be working and making their money, whereas as you would go to either end of the day, the number of people steeped in business such that they would struggle to leave it (refer to 62:11), would decrease significantly. Hence the midday prayer would target the majority of people (at all times), and this maximises the test of leaving business and profit, which then maximises the benefit of remembering Allah in our worldly toils.


O you who believe! let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained puberty ask permission of you three times; before the morning (fajri) prayer, and when you put off your clothes at midday (zzahira), and after the evening prayer (‘ishaa’); these are three times of privacy for you; neither is it a sin for you nor for them besides these, some of you must go round about (waiting) upon others; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.”

(Qur’an, 24:58)


This verse helps us to understand that Allah is talking to the Arabs and their patterns; this then helps us to understand the Friday prayer verse too and its timing.


We see that the general pattern was that they would only be putting their clothes on before the fajr prayer (hence not out at work to be distracted by minimal trading opportunities). We see that they generally might take off their clothes midday (neither before nor after Salaah is mentioned), though on Friday it may or may not be done. They would generally take off their clothes at night after having completed their evening/sunset prayer.


These indicate a lifestyle that revolved around generally daytime hustle and bustle and generally rest by night. And so when Allah commands them not to be distracted by trade from the Friday prayer, they would naturally understand that this would be the middle/daytime prayer. And this also manifests itself in the continuing and somewhat preserved practice of praying the Friday prayer at midday and with an audible voice. Note also (Qur’an, 24:36-37).


Duration Of Salaah


The duration of Salaah can be derived by considering the very purpose of Salaah, namely to bring Allah to remembrance.


إِنَّنِيۤ أَنَا ٱللَّهُ لاۤ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاۤ أَنَاْ فَٱعْبُدْنِى وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلوٰةَ لِذِكْرِيۤ


"I am God; there is no other god beside Me; you shall worship Me alone, and observe the Salaah (Prayers) to remember ME."

(Qur’an, 20:14)


This implies directly that Salaah must be performed until one has properly brought Allah to remembrance. It is the state of mind that is the Goal in Salaah and not the performance of 3 or 4 rak’as.


And so one should not rush Salaah under normal circumstances. But we are allowed to shorten our Salaah at times when extending them could cause unease in us due to fear of attack, Allah describes this when we are on a journey and we fear the possibility of attack.


وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى ٱلأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُواْ مِنَ ٱلصَّلاَةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوۤاْ إِنَّ ٱلْكَافِرِينَ كَانُواْ لَكُمْ عَدُوّاً مُّبِيناً

When you are travelling in the land, there is nothing wrong in your shortening your prayer if you fear that those who do not believe may harass you…”

(Qur’an, 4:101)



Positions For Salaah



ٱلتَّائِبُونَ ٱلْعَابِدُونَ ٱلْحَامِدُونَ ٱلسَّائِحُونَ ٱلرَّاكِعُونَ ٱلسَّاجِدُونَ ٱلآمِرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَٱلنَّاهُونَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَٱلْحَافِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ ٱللَّهِ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ


Those who repent, those who worship, those who praise, those who fast, those who bow, those who prostrate, those who command the right, those who forbid the wrong, those who preserve the limits of Allah: give good news to the believers.”

(Qur’an, 9:112)


مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّآءُ عَلَى ٱلْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَيْنَهُمْ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعاً سُجَّداً يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلاً مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضْوَاناً سِيمَاهُمْ فِى وُجُوهِهِمْ مِّنْ أَثَرِ ٱلسُّجُودِ ذٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِى ٱلتَّوْرَاةِ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِى ٱلإِنجِيلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَٱسْتَغْلَظَ فَٱسْتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ ٱلزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ ٱلْكُفَّارَ وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْراً عَظِيماً


Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers - so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.

(Qur’an, 48:29)


حَافِظُواْ عَلَى ٱلصَّلَوَاتِ وٱلصَّلاَةِ ٱلْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُواْ للَّهِ قَانِتِينَ


"You shall consistently observe the Salaah , especially the middle prayer, and STAND before God in submission."

(Qur’an, 2:238)


وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ ٱلزَّكَاةَ وَٱرْكَعُواْ مَعَ ٱلرَّاكِعِينَ


Perform prayer (Salaah) and give the alms and bow with those who bow.

(Qur’an, 2:43)


وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى ٱلأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُواْ مِنَ ٱلصَّلاَةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوۤاْ إِنَّ ٱلْكَافِرِينَ كَانُواْ لَكُمْ عَدُوّاً مُّبِيناً وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ ٱلصَّلاَةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُمْ مَّعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوۤاْ أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُواْ فَلْيَكُونُواْ مِن وَرَآئِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَآئِفَةٌ أُخْرَىٰ لَمْ يُصَلُّواْ فَلْيُصَلُّواْ مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُواْ حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ وَدَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ تَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَسْلِحَتِكُمْ وَأَمْتِعَتِكُمْ فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُمْ مَّيْلَةً وَاحِدَةً وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًى مِّن مَّطَرٍ أَوْ كُنتُمْ مَّرْضَىۤ أَن تَضَعُوۤاْ أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ وَخُذُواْ حِذْرَكُمْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ ٱلصَّلاَةَ فَٱذْكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ قِيَاماً وَقُعُوداً وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِكُمْ فَإِذَا ٱطْمَأْنَنتُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ إِنَّ ٱلصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَاباً مَّوْقُوتاً


When ye travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers (Salaah), for fear the Unbelievers May attack you: For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies. And when thou (O Muhammad) art among them and arranges (their) worship for them, let only a party of them stand with thee (to worship) and let them take their arms. Then when they have prostrated let them fall to the rear and let another party come that hath not worshipped and let them worship with thee, and let them take their precaution and their arms. Those who disbelieve long for you to neglect your arms and your baggage that they may attack you once for all. It is no sin for you to lay aside your arms, if rain impedeth you or ye are sick. But take your precaution. Lo! Allah prepareth for the disbelievers shameful punishment.

Then when you have finished the prayer, remember Allah standing and sitting and reclining; but when you are secure (from danger) keep up prayer; surely prayer is a timed ordinance for the believers.”

(Qur’an, 4:101-103)


إِنَّمَا يُؤْمِنُ بِآيَاتِنَا ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهَا خَرُّواْ سُجَّداً وَسَبَّحُواْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ


Only those believe in Our verses (ayaat) who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate and exalt/glorify with/by praise of their Lord, and they are not scornful”

(Qur’an, 32:15)


فَإنْ خِفْتُمْ فَرِجَالاً أَوْ رُكْبَاناً فَإِذَآ أَمِنتُمْ فَٱذْكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ كَمَا عَلَّمَكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ



And if you fear [an enemy, then pray] on foot or riding. But when you are secure, then remember Allah [in prayer], as He has taught you that which you did not [previously] know.

(Qur’an 2:239)


It must be noted that Allah wants us to glorify him through the day, through remembrance and Qur’anic recital, and to bow with the recitation of the Qur’an if we can. We need not limit our bowing and prostrating only to the obligatory Salaah times.


Please refer to the summary for overall Salaah details.











Words For Salaah



Below are some examples of what we could say: -


قُلِ ٱدْعُواْ ٱللَّهَ أَوِ ٱدْعُواْ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنَ أَيّاً مَّا تَدْعُواْ فَلَهُ ٱلأَسْمَآءُ ٱلْحُسْنَىٰ وَلاَ تَجْهَرْ بِصَلاَتِكَ وَلاَ تُخَافِتْ بِهَا وَٱبْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذٰلِكَ سَبِيلاً وَقُلِ ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِى لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَداً وَلَم يَكُنْ لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِى ٱلْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ وَلِيٌّ مَّنَ ٱلذُّلِّ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيراً


Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speak thy Prayer (Salaah) aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between. Say: "Praise be to Allah, who begets no son, and has no partner in (His) dominion: Nor (needs) He any to protect Him from humiliation: yea, magnify Him for His greatness and glory!"

(Qur’an, 17:110-111)


ٱتْلُ مَا أُوْحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ ٱلْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلواَةَ إِنَّ ٱلصَّلواَةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلْفَحْشَآءِ وَٱلْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ ٱللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ


"You shall recite what is revealed to you of the Scripture (the Qur’an), and observe the Salaah."

(Qur’an, 29:45)


فَسَبِّحْ بِٱسْمِ رَبِّكَ ٱلْعَظِيمِ


Then celebrate with praises the name of thy Lord, the Supreme!”

(Qur’an, 56:74)


This is like ‘subhana rabiall-a’la’ as now stated in sujud.


سَبِّحِ ٱسْمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلأَعْلَىٰ


Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High,”

(Qur’an, 87:01)


This is like ‘subhana rabiall-‘azeem’’ as now stated in ruku’.

Note also: -


وَمِنَ ٱللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَأَدْبَارَ ٱلسُّجُودِ


And glorify Him during the night and after you have prostrated.”

(Qur’an, 50:40)


We must glorify Allah and recite the Qur’an with the goal of remembering Allah. We must glorify and talk only to Allah, our Salaah should be devoted solely to our Creator and Sustainer.


إِنَّمَا يُؤْمِنُ بِآيَاتِنَا ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهَا خَرُّواْ سُجَّداً وَسَبَّحُواْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ


Only those believe in Our verses (ayaat) who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate and exalt/glorify with/by praise of their Lord, and they are not scornful”

(Qur’an, 32:15)


The Qur’an is the guide for and source of what we say in Salaah.


Let us once again recall: -


قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذٰلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ


"Say, "My Salaah (Prayers), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to Allah, the Lord of the universe.  He has no partner. This is what I am commanded to believe, and I am the first to submit."

(Qur’an, 6:162-163)


Let us shun idolatry in personality or object. No more words of praise or blessing to any prophet in our prayers. They are only men with no power to do anything for us other than guarantee us hellfire if we join them with God in our worship.


If we are to make a proclamation of witness to our belief in Allah then we can do it as Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an: -


شَهِدَ ٱللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَٱلْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَأُوْلُواْ ٱلْعِلْمِ قَآئِمَاً بِٱلْقِسْطِ لاَ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ


Allah (Himself) is Witness that there is no ilah (deity) save Him. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness). Maintaining His creation in justice, there is no Allah save Him the Almighty, the Wise.

(Qur’an, 3:18)


So we state “Inni ash-hadu an laa ilaha ill-Allah!”


“… Neither speak thy Prayer (Salaah) aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between."

(Qur’an, 17:110)


When we pray alone we should vocalise our recitation and glorification.


When we pray in groups this is impractical and so there should be one reciter etc… Like we now have in the Friday prayer. The Friday is also likely to be the best-preserved practice of Salaah through the ages.


The Qur’an is truly an essential part of Salaah, its recitation brings us in awe and humbleness of our creator so that we feel ever more compelled to bow and prostrate while praising and glorifying Allah the exalted.



What About The Tashahhud?



We are supposed to say Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and Allah's mercy and blessings. in the first tashahhud (or the first part of the tashahhud).


In the Qur’an the times when salaam is said of prophets after they die do not include more immediate and personal terms like ‘you’. Read surah 37, examples are ‘Peace upon elias’, ‘Peace upon ibrahim’… So the way this salaam is sent on the prophet Muhammad has no precise Qur’anic basis. I think that it is overly personal, like Muhammad is there to hear… He is not.


Did the prophet actually also say this when he prayed? I’d say no. Can you imagine him saying this to himself on a daily basis? This same argument can be said about the second part of the tashahhud where “O Allah, send Grace and Honour on Muhammad and on the family and true followers of Muhammad just as you sent Grace and Honour on Ibrahim and on the family and true followers of Ibrahim etc… is said…


Did Muhammad say that? How is this bringing Allah into remembrance? It’s not. Recall that this is the function of Salaah. We cannot say that remembering Muhammad makes us remember Allah as there is no intermediary to the remembrance of Allah.


Does Allah tell us to do this as part of our Salaah? No. It therefore cannot be a required part of Salaah, as Muhammad has no authority to create any new Islamic rules/laws.



The Conclusion Of Salaah



Two other issues to do with the ending of Salaah (apart from the words of the tashahhud) are raising the index finger when saying, “I bear witness that that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah” etc… This cannot be a required part of Salaah as it is not mandated by Allah.


Saying salaam to the recording angels at the end of each prayer. This is not mandated by Allah and is a practice that cannot be said to be a part of Salaah.



Benefits Of Salaah



ٱتْلُ مَا أُوْحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ ٱلْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلواَةَ إِنَّ ٱلصَّلواَةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلْفَحْشَآءِ وَٱلْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ ٱللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ


Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer (Salaah); surely prayer (Salaah) keeps (one) away from indecency and evil, and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest, and Allah knows what you do.” (Qur’an, 29:45)


And remember: -


إِنَّنِيۤ أَنَا ٱللَّهُ لاۤ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاۤ أَنَاْ فَٱعْبُدْنِى وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلوٰةَ لِذِكْرِيۤ


"I am God; there is no other god beside Me; you shall worship Me alone, and observe the Salaah (Prayers) to remember ME."

(Qur’an, 20:14)


So Salaah brings Allah to remembrance, and the remembrance of Allah keeps away from indecency and evil. This is indeed a multifaceted benefit. Al hamdu lillah.



Get The Family To Pray



وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِٱلصَّلاَةِ وَٱصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا لاَ نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقاً نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ وَٱلْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ


Instruct your family to perform prayer (Salaah), and be constant in it. We do not ask you for provision. We provide for you. And the outcome rests on doing your duty. (Qur’an 20:132)



Always Keep Your Prayers



حَافِظُواْ عَلَى ٱلصَّلَوَاتِ وٱلصَّلاَةِ ٱلْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُواْ للَّهِ قَانِتِينَ


Safeguard prayer–and note the middle one. Stand in obedience to Allah.”

(Qur'an, 2:238)


وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ


Those who safeguard their prayer:”

(Qur'an, 23:9)


رِجَالٌ لاَّ تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلاَ بَيْعٌ عَن ذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ ٱلصَّلواَةِ وَإِيتَآءِ ٱلزَّكَواةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْماً تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ ٱلْقُلُوبُ وَٱلأَبْصَارُ


(They are) not distracted by trade or commerce from the remembrance of Allah and the performance of prayer and giving alms; fearing a day when all hearts and eyes will be in turmoil.”

(Qur'an, 24:37)


ٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلاَتِهِمْ دَآئِمُونَ


Those who perform prayer and are constant in it.”

(Qur'an, 70:22)


Allah expects us to pray even when we are out to battle (if we are not fighting at that point). If it is at all possible to do Salaah, we must. It is so important to bring Allah to remembrance as part of duty with Salaah and with the Praise and Glorification of Allah at All times.



Summary on Salaah



You start the Salaah by standing (especially 4:101-103 where we see that the Salaah starts with standing, see also 2:125,238) and reciting from the Qur’an (29:45), in an audible voice (17:110). After the recitation you go to bowing and then prostrating (2:43, 125, see also 22:26, 77), the Salaah ends on a prostration (4:101-103 we see here that after a/the sujud the Salaah ends). From 2:239, we know that salaah is not just standing, which is the opinion of some Muslims. We see that standing (only) for prayer is only in times of fear.


There is no indication as to how many times to do a “rak’a” or even what a “rak’a” is. Salaah works by inspiring remembrance of Allah and his greatness through the recitation of the Qur’an while standing, we then bow and prostrate to physically express the feelings of humbleness/gratitude/fear/love/submission/etc. that the Qur’an has inspired in us and to glorify and praise Allah. As the following verse indicates: -


إِنَّمَا يُؤْمِنُ بِآيَاتِنَا ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهَا خَرُّواْ سُجَّداً وَسَبَّحُواْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ


Only those believe in Our verses (ayaat) who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate and exalt/glorify with/by praise of their Lord, and they are not scornful”

(Qur’an, 32:15)


How many “rak’a”? If we are to understand the term “rak’a” as the series of motions from standing, bowing and prostrating as a “rak’a”, then as Allah does not stipulate a number, then there is no specified number that MUST be performed except 1 which is the absolute minimum unless with the exception even to doing a “rak’a” as given by (2:239). But there is no reason why for the sake of communal Salaah we cannot agree upon a number. As I stated earlier, the best-preserved physical practice of Salaah is likely to be the Friday prayer as this was communally done from the very start.


To those who say that as you can shorten the prayer then it must be at least 2 “rak’a”, the following two points can be made: -



We note in it the vocalised recitation of the Qur’an, which is not practiced in normal zuhr and ‘asr Salaah, against Allah’s command in (17:110). This is one point in support of its greater authenticity.


Qur’anically there is no harm in doing 2, 3 or 4 “rak’a”. So there is not a problem in praying with other Muslims for the most part and Allah knows best.


The prayer times are the dawn period, the sunset period and the period that is precisely between them temporally. Pray until you have remembered Allah properly.


We must not dedicate our Salaah to any other than Allah, so no salaam to Muhammad or any prayers for him to be blessed etc… Also the practice of saying salaam to the recording angels has no Qur’anic basis and adds nothing towards remembering and glorifying Allah. Just always keep in mind during Salaah, “who am I glorifying by this action and word?”


Remember always: -


"Say, "My Salaah (Prayers), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to Allah, the Lord of the universe.  He has no partner. This is what I am commanded to believe, and I am the first to submit."

(Qur’an, 6:162-163)


Your Salaah is ONLY for Allah.




Problematic Verses?


The following verse was pointed out to me before as evidence (for some reason) that we need to look outside the Qur’an for data on prayer: -


If ye fear (an enemy), then (pray) on foot, or riding, but when ye are in security, remember Allah in the manner He has taught you, which ye knew not.” (Qur’an, 2:239)


This is true, Allah has revealed the Qur’an which is also known as the zikr (reminder). In it we learn from Allah how to glorify and remember him. Consider for example:-


Sâd. By the Qur’an holding the Remembrance.” (Qur’an, 38:1)


That is what We recite to you of the Signs and the wise Reminder.” (Qur’an, 3:58)


We did not send down the Qur’an to you to make you miserable, but only as a reminder for those who have fear.” (Qur’an, 20:2-3)


Those who reject the Remembrance when it comes to them–truly it is a Mighty Book;” (Qur’an, 41:41)


And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it meet for him; it is nothing but a reminder and a plain Qur’an” (Qur’an, 36:69)


Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: 'Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire. Our Lord, those You cast into the Fire, You have indeed disgraced. The wrongdoers will have no helpers. Our Lord, we heard a caller calling us to faith: "Believe in your Lord!" and we believed. Our Lord, forgive us our wrong actions, erase our bad actions from us and take us back to You with those who are truly good. Our Lord, give us what You promised us through Your Messengers, and do not disgrace us on the Day of Rising. You do not break Your promise.' (Qur'an, 3:191-194)


You who believe! When you are called to prayer on the Day of Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah and abandon trade. That is better for you if you only knew.” (Qur’an, 62:9)


Also through Salaah with the recitation of the Qur’an we remember Allah.


We must not forget what Allah said when he said: -


Their prayer at the House (Ka’bah) is nothing but whistling and clapping. So taste the punishment because you disbelieved!” (Qur’an, 8:35)


Allah has taught us in the Qur’an to bow and worship only him, to recite the Qur’an to remember Allah and in prayer, to remember Allah and glorify him at any time and bow to Allah.


This knowledge was not with the stupid Arabs before Allah revealed it to them through his prophet Muhammad. They may well have brought Allah to remembrance with ‘partners’ and statues and stupid sacrifices and no doubt stupid chants and customs. Their actions were empty and superficial; their supplications were no more than noises.


Hence with the Qur’an Allah truly did teach us the error of such things and guided us to proper remembrance of Allah.



Conclusion



My method has been to find the most unambiguous understanding of the two primary verses. I take it as a Qur’anically defined axiom that the Qur’an is complete and detailed, I will therefore seek to interpret and understand it in a manner that is in harmony with this axiom.


This has been my approach, and the document above represents my efforts in that direction. I pray I have not made errors, and if I have I pray Allah helps me see them, either by my own effort or by the words of another.


All praise to Allah the Creator and Sustainer of all that Exists. The One who creates every moment of our existence and who is closer to us than our jugular veins.


الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ






Appendix 1: The Complete and Detailed Qur’an



"And certainly We have repeated for humankind, in this Qur’an, every kind of example, but the majority of humankind do not consent to anything but denying." (17:89)


We have put forth for humans, in this Qur’an, every kind of example so that they may remember” (39:27).


"A. L. R. These are the verses of a Book,- and a Qur'an that makes things clear. " (15:1)


"We have not instructed the (Prophet) in Poetry, nor is it meet for him: this is no less than a Message and a Qur'an making things clear: " (36:69)


"And We have revealed the Book to you which has the clear explanation of everything, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit." (16:89)


Shall I then seek a Ruler other than Allah? When He it is Who has revealed to you the Book (which is) distinctly detailed” (6:114)


And certainly We have brought them a Book, which We have detailed with knowledge, a guidance and mercy for a people who believe” (7:52)


A Book of which the verses are distinctly detailed, an Arabic Qur’an for people who know” (41:3)


Indeed We have made the verses detailed for a people who take reminder” (6:126)


Thus do We make the revelations detailed for a people who reflect” (10:24)


Thus do We make the revelations detailed for a people who use their reason” (30:28)


Is it not enough for them that We have revealed to you the Book, which is recited to them? Most surely there is a mercy in this and a reminder for a people who believe” (29:51)


5:44-50: - With reference to the Jews then the Christians then to Muslims, Allah repeatedly tells us that we must ONLY follow that which is revealed and not the words and opinions of men, which is the judgement of the times of ignorance.


And the Messenger will say: O my Lord! Surely my people have neglected this Qur’an.” (25:30)


This is not an exhaustive list. For more details on the completeness of the Qur’an for our guidance please email me.

Appendix 2: The Glorification Verses


Arabic word translations: (Using Lane’s Lexicon and Lughatul-Qur’an)


Bukran:- early morning. (bakr)

Asaal: (plu of aseela) root, base, foundation, evening time (similar to ‘asheeyan, its like when the sun is rooted in the horizon) (Lane LEXICON and lughatu lqur’an)

Gudoo: early morning

Layl: night

Fajr: Dawn

Zuhr: noon

ishaa’: (late) evening

masaa’: (early) evening.

Sabaah: morning.


What I hope to explore here are the timings that have been associated with the act of glorification. I must state that one or two above words can have differing meanings, for example the ‘ishaa and asaal. I simply chose the meaning that I thought could be nicely linked to the Salaah verses. It may be noted that in the classical dictionaries, some of the meanings of these periods have been derived from Sunni practices. I have as a rule not taken these to necessarily be the true and original meanings of these words.


In the following verses I include the transliterated words from the Arabic text relating directly to times. So let’s begin: -


So be steadfast in the face of what they say and glorify your Lord with praise before the rising of the sun (tuloo’I shams) and before its setting (gurrobiha). And glorify Him during part of the night (layl) and at the (atraaf) parts of the day (nahar), so that hopefully you will be pleased.” (Qur’an, 20:130)


This ayah tells us to glorify Allah: -



At the atraaf (Atraaf = plural greater than 2) of the day. In 11:114 Allah commands us to perform prayer at (tarafay) the sides (plural dual) of the day and in the times approaching the night. The word tarf can mean side as well as part, extremity, edge, ends etc… The most logical meaning would be to take it as ‘part’. So atraafu-nahar can mean parts of the day.


So in short, Allah is asking us to glorify him at all times. If we read on, in 20:132 we see that we are told to enjoin prayer in a manner distinct from the glorification verse (20:130). I therefore take them to be representing to differing yet not mutually exclusive phenomena.

So glory be to Allah when you enter the evening (early evening) and when you enter the morning. Praise be to Him in the heavens and the earth, in the (‘asheean) late evening and when you reach midday (tuzhiroon).” (Qur’an, 30:17-18)


So remain steadfast. Allah's promise is true. Ask forgiveness for your wrong action and glorify your Lord with praise in the late evening (‘asheeye) and the early morning (abkar).” (Qur’an, 40:55)


So wait steadfastly for the judgement of your Lord – you are certainly before Our eyes. And glorify and praise your Lord when you get up. And glorify Him in the night (layl) and when the stars set/fade out (dawn time).” (Qur’an, 52:48-49)


(It is) so that you might all believe in Allah and His Messenger and honour Him and respect Him and glorify Him in the morning (bukran) and the evening (aseela).” (Qur’an, 48:9)


We subjected the mountains to glorify with him in the evening (ashee-ye) and at sunrise (isharaaq).” (Qur’an, 38:18)


You who believe! Remember Allah much, and glorify Him in the morning (bukratan) and the evening (aseela).” (Qur’an, 33:41-42)


In houses which Allah has permitted to be built and in which His name is remembered, there are men who proclaim His glory morning (bukratan) and evening (aseela),” (Qur’an, 24:36)


He (Zakariyya) came out to his people from the Upper Room and gestured to them to glorify Allah in the morning (bukratan) and the evening (‘ashee-ya).” (Qur’an, 19:11)


He (Zakariyya) said, ‘My Lord, appoint a Sign for me.’ He said, ‘Your Sign is that you will not speak to people for three days, except by gesture. Remember your Lord much and glorify Him in the evening (‘ashee-ye) and after dawn (abkaar).” (Qur’an, 3:41)


Remember your Lord in yourself humbly and fearfully, without loudness of voice, morning (gudoo-y) and evening (asaal). Do not be one of the unaware.” (Qur’an, 7:205)


Restrain yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning (gudoo-y) and evening (‘ashee-ye), desiring His face. Do not turn your eyes from them, desiring the attractions of this world. And do not obey someone whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance and who follows his own whims and desires and whose life has transgressed all bounds.” (Qur’an, 18:28)


In houses which Allah has permitted to be built and in which His name is remembered, there are men who proclaim His glory morning (gudoo-we) and evening (asaal), not distracted by trade or commerce from the remembrance of Allah and the performance of prayer and the giving of the alms; fearing a day when all hearts and eyes will be in turmoil.” (Qur’an, 24:36-37)

Remember the Name of your Lord in the morning (bukratan) and the evening (aseela).” (Qur’an, 76:25)


And they say: "Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning (bukratan) and evening (aseela)."” (Qur’an, 25:5)


It is interesting to note that in these two times of Salaah and glorification when Muhammad was likely to be out of sight, the kuffar say that he is being told what to write of the Qur’an.


Whatever beings there are in the heavens and the earth do prostrate themselves to Allah (Acknowledging subjection),- with good-will or in spite of themselves: so do their shadows in the morning (gudoo-we) and evenings (asaal, this context defines asaal which is sometimes mistranslated as afternoon)”. (Qur’an, 13:15)


Send not away those who call on their Lord morning (gudoo-we) and evening (‘ashee-ye), seeking His face. In naught art thou accountable for them, and in naught are they accountable for thee, that thou shouldst turn them away, and thus be (one) of the unjust.” (Qur’an, 6:52)


If we read through these verses (which are not exhaustive, but they are fairly) representative, we find that the times of glorification fall into the following regions: -


Night time: -


Morning and Evening time (early and late evening): -


Noontime: -


At All times: -


I think therefore that in accordance with the Salaah timings, the glorification/supplication timings would generally fit in and around the same time regions. Some are just after a Salaah region or before or within it. Nevertheless, Glorification is a different thing from Salaah in the Qur’an and their timings need not accord.


Let us be clear that Allah wants us to keep him in remembrance at all times, because let us recall Allah orders us to establish Salaah to remember him, and surely the remembrance of Allah is the greatest.


Truly Allah is the greatest. He orders us to read the Qur’an to remember him, to appreciate his mercy and power, to express our devotion physically in body by bowing and prostrating.


And he tells us of glorification at various times because truly those who glorify Allah have properly remembered him.


And in the act of Salaah and glorification when we bring Allah into remembrance and with Allah in remembrance we are protected from Satan and averted from evil action.


All praise to Allah, surely there is none other deserving of our total submission.

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