Published Monthly by Masjid Tucson
May 1986 Ramadan 1406
Editor: Rashad Khalifa, Ph.D.
SALAT: CONTACT PRAYER
Salat prayer is the most important practice in Islam, because it is our daily worship. This is a continuation of the on-going research into this most vital issue. Since the Arabic word SALAT is rooted in the word SILAT which means connection or contact, the best translation for SALAT is CONTACT PRAYER. This should differentiate our most important practice from the commoners' statement: "I pray all day!" The statement by non-Muslims that they pray all day resulted from the erroneous translation of SALAT into "prayer." The Muslim who prays should say," I make contact with my Creator five times each day," instead of saying," I pray five times a day."
The main objective of this article is to present further evidence that AL FATIHAH is all that is required during the standing position of the contact prayers. We must read Qur’an everyday, especially at dawn (17:78), but not during the contact prayers. Not only AL FATIHAH alone is required, but also the addition of anything else during the standing position destroys the contact between you and God. As stated in Qur’an 2:37, God gave Adam specific words whereby Adam was redeemed. Similarly, God has given us specific words, namely, AL FATIHAH, to utter during SALAT. You can think of AL FATIHAH as a telephone number. If you wish to call someone, you must dial the specific numbers of that person’s telephone. You cannot establish contact unless you dial those specific numbers. When contacting your Creator, you must utter the specific number of letters and sounds that God Himself has given us.
To illustrate the error in uttering other Quranic verses after AL FATIHAH, imagine yourself doing the contact prayer. You stand up facing the Qiblah, then you open the contact by raising up your hands as you say Allahu Akbar. Then you recite AL FATIHAH saying, "In the name of God, the most gracious, most merciful. Praise be to God, Lord of the universes. The most gracious, most merciful.' Then you speak to God, saying, "Only You we worship; only You we ask for help." In addition, you continue to speak to God, saying, "Guide us in the right path, The path of those whom You blessed; not of those who incur wrath, nor the strayers." This should be the end of it in the standing position. But we used to utter additional Qur’an. This additional Qur’an is recognized by all imams of jurisprudence (Sunni and/or Shia) as non-obligatory. Now look carefully at what we used to say to God after AL FATIHAH. We used to say things like, "INNAA A’ATAYNAKAL KAWTHAR" which means "We have given you many bounties."!!! Here, we tell God, as we speak to Him, "We have given You many bounties!!!" Does this make sense? We never even thought about it. We were so wrapped up in the innovations inherited from our parents, that we didn’t think about the things we were telling our Creator. We used to say things like, "QUL HUWAL LAAHU AHAD" which means, "Say, God is One." Here we are ordering God to state that God is one!!! We used to utter things, after AL FATIHAH like, "QUL A’UZU BI RABBIL FALAQ." Here we were telling God to seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak!!! Thank God for leading us out of the darkness of innovation into the light of truth; we now see the mistakes we inherited from our parents.
WHO ARE WE?
During the past 14 centuries traditions, customs, superstitions, and innovations have crept into Islam. Gradually, these distortions came to be vested with such religious solemnity that anyone who questions them finds himself regarded as the dangerous innovator and heretic. Islam today is like a precious jewel that is buried under piles upon piles of man-made innovations. Our aim is to eliminate all distortions and present the jewel of Islam to the world.
MUSLIM ‘ULAMA CHALLENGE GOD
PRODUCE SOMETHING ‘EQUAL TO QUR’AN
RABITAT AL’ALAM AL ISLAMI, the official Arabic magazine of the Muslim World League, in its 1983 March issue carried an article titled TADWEEN AL SUNNAH by Ustad Muhammad Nizami. He quotes SUNAN ABI DAWOOD that the Prophet had declared that, "Know that Qur’an and the LIKE of it (‘mithiuhu’ i.e. Sunnah) was given to me." Mr. Nizami also states the reasons for "equality (mumathalah) of sunnah with Qur’an."
This simply amounts to the DECLARATION THAT SUNNAH IS SIMILAR TO QUR’AN. Since the written record of Sunnah is Hadith, then Hadith is LIKE Qur’an! The similarity of the two is further reinforced by the ‘facts’ (as claimed by the author). He states that Sunnah/Hadith is inspired in idea form, is used in prayers and preaching, and is ‘guidance for mankind.' He also states that the compilers of Hadith were really ‘truthful’ scholars, and that all of them are imams.’ But God has challenged the world in Qur’an: "Let them produce a Hadith LIKE IT (MITHLIHI) - i.e. like Qur’an), if they are truthful." (52:34)
History records that from the time of Rasulullah to this day the unbelieving section of humanity has never produced any hadith or book which the Muslims could use LIKE QUR’AN. But here we see an outstanding Muslim ‘Aiim, representing ‘ulamadom’ of Islam DECLARING IN AN OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE ‘ULAMA THAT THEY HAVE PRODUCED SOMETHING LIKE QUR’AN; THAT THEY HAVE THE SUNNAH/HADITH WHICH IS LIKE QUR’AN!
IS THIS NOT THE SAME AS CHALLENGING GOD BACK? IS THIS NOT EQUAL TO. ADMITTING THE ACCEPTANCE OF COD’S CHALLENGE TO PRODUCE SOMETHING SIMILAR OR EQUAL TO QUR’AN? IS THIS NOT A WORD FOR WORD FULFILLMENT OF GOD’S PROPHECY?
The legality of Sunnah/Hadith cannot be claimed on the basis of verses 53:3-4: "He does not speak on his own. This is a divine inspiration." (3) Without admitting that the Prophet’s actions that led to the incidents described in 66:1, 80:1-10, 18:23, 24, 33:37, 40:66, and 93:7 were also inspired. And it is not explained at all that having inspired the Prophet to do something, then, when done, why does Allah REPRIMAND him and immortalize those incidents in Qur'an!
Ustad Nizami quotes an hadith that "in the beginning the writing of hadith was forbidden. "Do not write anything from me except Qur’an. Those who have written anything other than Qur’an shall erase it." For the reasons that "hadith might get mixed up with Qur’an and might hinder the memorization of Qur’an." In fact, this danger of hadith ‘getting mixed up with Qur’an’ existed until the final verse of Qur’an was revealed. (The Prophet died nine days after revelation of the last verse.) Any attempt at writing Hadith during that period, therefore, constitutes clear violation of the Qur’anic commandment "You shall obey God, and you shall obey the prophet." When Abdullah ibn ‘Amr was "allowed to write hadith" in AH 7 as he became a Muslim, Rasulullah seems contradicting himself. Also earlier Muslims do not seem to have received this special treatment. The claim that the completion of Qur’an had superceded the earlier instruction is strange; no evidence is produced to the effect that Rasulullah had cancelled it! Believing that Rasulullah perfectly understood Qur’an including verses 52:34, 7:185, 77:50, 45:6, 4:87, 39:23, 68:44, 56:81, 12:111, and 31:6 (all against hadith and none of the 36 references on hadith supports it), it is hard to believe that he had cancelled his instruction NOT TO WRITE HADITH.
Again the Prophet was disobeyed by not making unanimous and uncontested selection of KHULAFA UR RASHIDEEN whom the Prophet had supposedly identified and nominated, according to his hadith, "Follow my sunnah and the sunnah of AL KHULAFA AL RASHIDEEN after me.’ The selection of the first Khalifa was contested on the very morning Rasulullah had passed away, and this matter remains disastrously divisive until today.
On the Day of Judgment, Rasulullah will complain to Allah: "0 my Lord; my people had forsaken this Qur’an." (25:30) This means that he either ignores or is ignorant of Sunna/Hadith. Either way, it is clear that he did not approve Sunna/Hadith until his death or even after. If he had approved, as claimed by Hadith, then why should he shy away from defending it on the Day of Judgment?
Mr Azami in his doctorate thesis on Hadith Literature Studies in early Hadith literature records the following information: According to Ibn Hanbal, over 7,000,000 traditions were sound, of which 6,000,000 were memorized by Abu Zur’ah" (Ibid pg 301, 1978, American Trust Publications). If this 7 million sound hadith's were spread over 23 years and the Prophet used 18 hours a day continually to disseminate these hadith's, he must have had done this at the rate of one hadith every 77 seconds! IN PRACTICAL TERMS, HE COULD NOT HAVE DONE ANYTHING ELSE!
Each compiler of hadith had collected hundreds of thousands of hadith's from which only a small fraction was accepted; e.g. Bukhari found only 7397 hadith's (mere 2602 when repetitions are eliminated) as worth recording from 600,000 hadith's he had collected. This means that by this standard of quality control nearly 99% of them were rejected and the higher the rejection rate, the more genuine the selected hadith's were!!! Yet in all other matters, we go for the Kuffar QC standards which demand the exact opposite: the lower the rejection rate, the better is the quality of the accepted items!
Yet another ugly aspect is recorded by a "professor of Islamic Studies" that: "The Prophet
himself referred to this inner aspect of his nature as in the Hadith,’ I am Araby without the letter ‘Ayn (that is "Rab" which means Lord). Who hath seen me, has seen God (the truth)."
(pg 89, "IDEALS AND REALITIES IN ISLAM" by Dr. Sayyed Hussein Nasr, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London, 1966.) This must be acceptable to the ‘Ulama as none of them has ever protested in the last 19 plus years since publication of that book. But Allah strongly condemns this:" If any of them (the prophets) claims to be a god beside Allah, we shall punish him in Hell; thus we punish the wicked." 21:29 IS THIS THE DESTINY OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET?
At least four times in Qur’an Rasulullah was commanded to follow what was revealed to him from God (6:106, 10:109, 33:2, & 75:18). At least four times he was ordered to say: I only follow what is revealed to me. (6:50, 10:15, 46:9, & 7:203) So he followed Qurtan alone. In fifty plus places Allah emphasizes that He explains His Ayaat. 25:33 says that God provides the best tafseer (explanation) of Qur’an. 75:19 says that God is the only one who will explain Qur’an. The first mufassir (interpreter) of Qur’an was Satan (7:19-21), and he has vowed to misguide us from God’s straight path (7:16-17).
Allah also declares in Qur’an that none shall abrogate His Ayaat (6:34, 6:115, & 18:27). 21:28 states that none of His prophets would contradict Him. Yet we have religious laws (based on hadith) which supercede God’s laws of 24:1-2, 6:54, 5:6, etc. Who is a better lawgiver than Allah for the sincere believers? (5:50) WHOSE TESTIMONY IS BETTER THAN ALLAH’S? (6:19)
Unfortunately, a majority of Muslim’ ULama today would readily state (unbelievable as this may be) that HADITH ABROGATES QUR’AN !!!
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