Author Topic: My Understanding of "Salah"  (Read 1133 times)

SleeplessInCairo

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My Understanding of "Salah"
« on: February 29, 2016, 08:08:34 AM »
Hey all!
 
This is an English translation of an old research paper I did regarding ?Salah?.
 
I will not use English interpretations for the verses; instead I will use the original script, and say what it means in English, as I do not feel that the existing interpretations are accurate, and the Qur?an is better read in its original language, so as to achieve a better result and give a clearer understanding.
 
Before talking about ?Salah? itself I believe it is necessary to debunk some of the other understandings I have come across:
There are some commands that are given only for the Prophet Muhammad, and the believers are not obligated to follow them. This has affected many people?s understanding of ?Salah?, and its timings, because the verses are not being read in context.
1)   The meaning of the word ?Qur?an?, misunderstanding its meaning has affected the way some people think about how to perform ?Salah?.
2)   ?Sujood? doesn?t refer to a physical movement, which has also affected the way some think about how to perform ?Salah?

Commands to Muhammad:
There are verses that talk directly to Muhammad, for example: [3:114]
وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ طَرَفَىِ ٱلنَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًۭا مِّنَ ٱلَّيْلِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلْحَسَنَٰتِ يُذْهِبْنَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّٰكِرِينَ {١١٤}
Also: [17:78]
أَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ لِدُلُوكِ ٱلشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ ٱلَّيْلِ وَقُرْءَانَ ٱلْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْءَانَ ٱلْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًۭا {٧٨}

In these verses God is speaking directly to a single person (Muhammad) and the believers are not being addressed at all.  So does that mean believers are not obliged to follow this command aswell? The answer is no!  When we look into: [3:31]
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ {٣١}
We can see that God is telling Muhammad to tell his people that if they do love God then they need to follow him (Muhammad) in order to be loved and forgiven by God.
Also when God wants to address Muhammad, with commands that do not apply to other believers   [33:50]
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ إِنَّآ أَحْلَلْنَا لَكَ أَزْوَٰجَكَ ٱلَّٰتِىٓ ءَاتَيْتَ أُجُورَهُنَّ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ يَمِينُكَ مِمَّآ أَفَآءَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ وَبَنَاتِ عَمِّكَ وَبَنَاتِ عَمَّٰتِكَ وَبَنَاتِ خَالِكَ وَبَنَاتِ خَٰلَٰتِكَ ٱلَّٰتِى هَاجَرْنَ مَعَكَ وَٱمْرَأَةًۭ مُّؤْمِنَةً إِن وَهَبَتْ نَفْسَهَا لِلنَّبِىِّ إِنْ أَرَادَ ٱلنَّبِىُّ أَن يَسْتَنكِحَهَا خَالِصَةًۭ لَّكَ مِن دُونِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۗ قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا فَرَضْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِىٓ أَزْوَٰجِهِمْ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَٰنُهُمْ لِكَيْلَا يَكُونَ عَلَيْكَ حَرَجٌۭ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورًۭا رَّحِيمًۭا {٥٠}
In one part of this verse we find God is telling Muhammad clearly and explicitly that this rule is only for him and doesn?t apply to other believers, and also in same chapter: [33:53]
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَدْخُلُوا۟ بُيُوتَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ إِلَّآ أَن يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ إِلَىٰ طَعَامٍ غَيْرَ نَٰظِرِينَ إِنَىٰهُ وَلَٰكِنْ إِذَا دُعِيتُمْ فَٱدْخُلُوا۟ فَإِذَا طَعِمْتُمْ فَٱنتَشِرُوا۟ وَلَا مُسْتَـْٔنِسِينَ لِحَدِيثٍ ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكُمْ كَانَ يُؤْذِى ٱلنَّبِىَّ فَيَسْتَحْىِۦ مِنكُمْ ۖ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَسْتَحْىِۦ مِنَ ٱلْحَقِّ ۚ وَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُنَّ مَتَٰعًۭا فَسْـَٔلُوهُنَّ مِن وَرَآءِ حِجَابٍۢ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَطْهَرُ لِقُلُوبِكُمْ وَقُلُوبِهِنَّ ۚ وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُؤْذُوا۟ رَسُولَ ٱللَّهِ وَلَآ أَن تَنكِحُوٓا۟ أَزْوَٰجَهُۥ مِنۢ بَعْدِهِۦٓ أَبَدًا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكُمْ كَانَ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ عَظِيمًا {٥٣}
We can see a pattern emerging here, where God is making it clear, that this rule is for the Prophet only.
Not every command given to the Prophet is for the believers unless explicitly stated otherwise.
When God orders Muhammad to perform ?Salah? in certain times this is an order for all of us.

Meaning of word ?Qur?an/قرءان?
A lot of people think the word ?Qur?an/قرءان? is a name, but that isn?t true, it is an adjective derived from the word ?Qor?/قرء? then the two letters ?ان? added to it.
When we look into verse: [2:228]
وَٱلْمُطَلَّقَٰتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَٰثَةَ قُرُوٓءٍۢ ۚ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَهُنَّ أَن يَكْتُمْنَ مَا خَلَقَ ٱللَّهُ فِىٓ أَرْحَامِهِنَّ إِن كُنَّ يُؤْمِنَّ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْءَاخِرِ ۚ وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوٓا۟ إِصْلَٰحًۭا ۚ وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ ٱلَّذِى عَلَيْهِنَّ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌۭ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ {٢٢٨}
We see that God has ordered divorced women to wait for 3 ?Qoro?/قروء? which is plural of ?Qor?/قرء?, so what does this word mean exactly? It means in general Evidence/Sign/Proof/Clarity, and in this context the sign or proof the divorced women are waiting for is their menstruation cycle to begin, indicating that they are not pregnant.
What about the added ?ان? in ?قرءان?? What do these 2 letters indicate?  A similar case can be seen in verse [29:64]
وَمَا هَٰذِهِ ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَآ إِلَّا لَهْوٌۭ وَلَعِبٌۭ ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱلدَّارَ ٱلْءَاخِرَةَ لَهِىَ ٱلْحَيَوَانُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا۟ يَعْلَمُونَ {٦٤}
Here God tells us that this life ?الحيوة? is simply nothing and not worth it, while the next life is  ?حيوان? which is ?حيو/life? + ?ان?, as in the ?Qur?an/قرءان?, the added ?ان? makes the word point to continuity and eternity.
So when God refers to our book as the ?Qur?an? it indicates that this book is the eternal proof or clarity and we will always discover new things about it till the end of this life.
Now we when look into verse [17:87]
أَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ لِدُلُوكِ ٱلشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ ٱلَّيْلِ وَقُرْءَانَ ٱلْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْءَانَ ٱلْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًۭا {٧٨}
Here God is telling Muhammad when to perform ?Salah?.  When he says ?Qur?an El Fajr? God means a certain time, he is not telling him to read the Qur?an, ?Qur?an El Fajr? means when the light of dawn becomes stronger so it provides us with CLEAR vision that allows us to see properly.  Simply put the verse is about 3 times to pray:
1)   Right after disappearance of the Sun
2)   Complete darkness
3)   Clarity of the dawn

Meaning of ?Sujood?:
I read numerous opinions that say Sujood isn?t a physical movement, and it is just a mental state in which you submit to and glorify someone.  I think that this understanding is based on two cases, the first one can be seen in:  [12:4]
إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لِأَبِيهِ يَٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّى رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًۭا وَٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِى سَٰجِدِينَ {٤}
Here Yusuf is telling his father that he saw a vision where the 12 planets, the sun and the moon were in a state of ?Sujood? to him.  Now some might ask: ?how can planets prostrate? That would imply that they have legs, hands, and bodies that bend??
The second case can be seen in verse:  [2:58]
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا ٱدْخُلُوا۟ هَٰذِهِ ٱلْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُوا۟ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَدًۭا وَٱدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْبَابَ سُجَّدًۭا وَقُولُوا۟ حِطَّةٌۭ نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَٰيَٰكُمْ ۚ وَسَنَزِيدُ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ {٥٨}
Here God orders the people of Israel to enter the door in state of ?Sujood?, which would be impossible if ?Sujood? means a physical movement.
These are valid concerns, but I don?t agree with completely excluding physical movements from ?Sujood?, there is a mix between ?Sujood? itself and ?Performing Sujood?, we can clearly see that it can indeed be a physical movement in some verses, for example: [32:15]
إِنَّمَا يُؤْمِنُ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَا ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا۟ بِهَا خَرُّوا۟ سُجَّدًۭا وَسَبَّحُوا۟ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَهُمْ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ ۩ {١٥}
Here God talks about believers who when they hear his verses GO DOWN and do ?Sujood?, and also in verse:  [25:64]
وَٱلَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًۭا وَقِيَٰمًۭا {٦٤}
Here God talks about believers who spend their nights STANDING in a state of ?Sujood?, and also in verse:  [3:102]
وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَآئِفَةٌۭ مِّنْهُم مَّعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوٓا۟ أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُوا۟ فَلْيَكُونُوا۟ مِن وَرَآئِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَآئِفَةٌ أُخْرَىٰ لَمْ يُصَلُّوا۟ فَلْيُصَلُّوا۟ مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا۟ حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ ۗ وَدَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ لَوْ تَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَسْلِحَتِكُمْ وَأَمْتِعَتِكُمْ فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُم مَّيْلَةًۭ وَٰحِدَةًۭ ۚ وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًۭى مِّن مَّطَرٍ أَوْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰٓ أَن تَضَعُوٓا۟ أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ ۖ وَخُذُوا۟ حِذْرَكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَٰفِرِينَ عَذَابًۭا مُّهِينًۭا {١٠٢}
This verse is talking about performing ?Salah? in times of war.  The believers divide themselves into two groups, one group performs ?Salah? while the other group guards. Now what concerns us here is the verse clearly says that when they are in a state of ?Sujood? the other group must be in front of them or  they will be defenseless, this strongly implies that ?Sujood? in this case is a physical movement.
Now the real meaning of ?Sujood? is that it is a state in which you glorify, submit and surrender to someone. Performing ?Sujood? can vary, you can do it by just feeling it in your heart, declaring it, or performing it with a physical movement. Now you should have a clearer understanding on how ?Sujood? is performed in each verse, based on context and common sense.
After removing the above obstacles, I can now talk about ?Salah? itself.


?Salah?:
The word ?Salah? means communication, or establishing a channel of communication between two parties.  In the Qur?an there is more than one type of ?Salah?, these types depend on who is communicating with whom, and these are:
1)   From God to People (Including Muhammad)
2)   From People to God
3)   From People to Dead People
4)   From People to Muhammad

From God to People
In verse:  [33:43]
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُصَلِّى عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَٰٓئِكَتُهُۥ لِيُخْرِجَكُم مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ ۚ وَكَانَ بِٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًۭا {٤٣}
Here God is telling us that he and his angels do ?Salah? on us in order to guide us out of the darkness into light.  So what kind of communication did God and his angels do? When we look into verses: [5:15] - [5:16]
} يَٰٓأَهْلَ ٱلْكِتَٰبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًۭا مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ ٱلْكِتَٰبِ وَيَعْفُوا۟ عَن كَثِيرٍۢ ۚ قَدْ جَآءَكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ نُورٌۭ وَكِتَٰبٌۭ مُّبِينٌۭ {١٥} يَهْدِى بِهِ ٱللَّهُ مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ رِضْوَٰنَهُۥ سُبُلَ ٱلسَّلَٰمِ وَيُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِۦ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٍۢ مُّسْتَقِيمٍۢ {١٦}
We can see that God sends down a book to guide us from out of the darkness, into the light.  Also in verse: [14:1]
الٓر ۚ كِتَٰبٌ أَنزَلْنَٰهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ ٱلنَّاسَ مِنَ ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطِ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْحَمِيدِ {١}
God says that he sent his prophet a book to guide the people out from the darkness into the light:  [57:8]
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِۦٓ ءَايَٰتٍۭ بَيِّنَٰتٍۢ لِّيُخْرِجَكُم مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ {٩}
God tells us that he sent clear verses to guide us out of the darkness into the light.  From these verses we can see that God?s ?Salah? is indeed his book:  [11:87]
قَالُوا۟ يَٰشُعَيْبُ أَصَلَوٰتُكَ تَأْمُرُكَ أَن نَّتْرُكَ مَا يَعْبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَآ أَوْ أَن نَّفْعَلَ فِىٓ أَمْوَٰلِنَا مَا نَشَٰٓؤُا۟ ۖ إِنَّكَ لَأَنتَ ٱلْحَلِيمُ ٱلرَّشِيدُ {٨٧}
It now makes sense when we read [11:87] why Shuaib?s people asked him if his ?Salah? prevents them from doing certain things.  The reason for this is because ?Salah? in this context means the book that God sent to Shuaib.
This type of ?Salah? is mentioned frequently in the Qur?an; in fact I found that ?Salah? in the Qur?an means; God?s book by default, unless there is a hint that it is another type? For example if we look at verse: [29:45]
ٱتْلُ مَآ أُوحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ ٱلْكِتَٰبِ وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ ۖ إِنَّ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلْفَحْشَآءِ وَٱلْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ ٱللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ {٤٥}
God tells us to read the book, and do ?Salah? because ?Salah? prevents us from doing bad things. Therefore ?Salah? by default means we should follow every order in his book at all times, and not just at certain times.

From People to God
In some verses we see God telling us about a ritual called ?Salah? That has certain rules, this is communicating to God. We should follow his book in our actions throughout the day, but at specific times of the day we need to form our own communication with God.
This ritual is about remembering God and dedicating these specific times only to him, as we can see in verse: [62:9]
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِذَا نُودِىَ لِلصَّلَوٰةِ مِن يَوْمِ ٱلْجُمُعَةِ فَٱسْعَوْا۟ إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ وَذَرُوا۟ ٱلْبَيْعَ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌۭ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ {٩}
God is telling us that when the time of ?Salah? ritual comes, we must leave everything we are doing and perform the ritual which is communication with him.  In verse: [20:14]
إِنَّنِىٓ أَنَا ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۠ فَٱعْبُدْنِى وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ لِذِكْرِىٓ {١٤}
?Salah? is mentioned as a ritual to communicate with God,This ritual has some prerequisites:  [5:6]
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ فَٱغْسِلُوا۟ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى ٱلْمَرَافِقِ وَٱمْسَحُوا۟ بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى ٱلْكَعْبَيْنِ ۚ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًۭا فَٱطَّهَّرُوا۟ ۚ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰٓ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌۭ مِّنكُم مِّنَ ٱلْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لَٰمَسْتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا۟ مَآءًۭ فَتَيَمَّمُوا۟ صَعِيدًۭا طَيِّبًۭا فَٱمْسَحُوا۟ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍۢ وَلَٰكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُۥ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ {٦}
Before this ritual we need to wash our hands, then wash our faces, then just pass our wet hands over our heads and then wipe our feet to the ankles, this should be done before EACH ritual, and if one has no water, you can just use any good, pure substance like perfumes or cologne on our faces and hands, and in the case of being too dirty or smelly we need to clean ourselves first.
Also in verse: [4:43]
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَقْرَبُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَٰرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُوا۟ مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلَا جُنُبًا إِلَّا عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىٰ تَغْتَسِلُوا۟ ۚ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰٓ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌۭ مِّنكُم مِّنَ ٱلْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لَٰمَسْتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا۟ مَآءًۭ فَتَيَمَّمُوا۟ صَعِيدًۭا طَيِّبًۭا فَٱمْسَحُوا۟ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا {٤٣}
God tells us not to do the ritual while we are in a condition where we do not know what we are saying: like being intoxicated, or in pain, and if we are dirty or smelly until we are clean, unless we are sick or we are traveling.
When we look into verse:  [4:101]
وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا۟ مِنَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلْكَٰفِرِينَ كَانُوا۟ لَكُمْ عَدُوًّۭا مُّبِينًۭا {١٠١}
God tells us that if we fear people might hurt us because of our religion we can do the ritual in a different way than we NORMALLY do it, so that no one would know what we are doing,  and discover our beliefs.  We can see this in verse: [2:239]
فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ فَرِجَالًا أَوْ رُكْبَانًۭا ۖ فَإِذَآ أَمِنتُمْ فَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ كَمَا عَلَّمَكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُوا۟ تَعْلَمُونَ {٢٣٩}
God tells us that we can do it while walking or riding, in case of fear, and also in the case of war, which can be found in verse: [4:102]
وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَآئِفَةٌۭ مِّنْهُم مَّعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوٓا۟ أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُوا۟ فَلْيَكُونُوا۟ مِن وَرَآئِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَآئِفَةٌ أُخْرَىٰ لَمْ يُصَلُّوا۟ فَلْيُصَلُّوا۟ مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا۟ حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ ۗ وَدَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ لَوْ تَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَسْلِحَتِكُمْ وَأَمْتِعَتِكُمْ فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُم مَّيْلَةًۭ وَٰحِدَةًۭ ۚ وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًۭى مِّن مَّطَرٍ أَوْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰٓ أَن تَضَعُوٓا۟ أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ ۖ وَخُذُوا۟ حِذْرَكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَٰفِرِينَ عَذَابًۭا مُّهِينًۭا {١٠٢}
God tells us that if we are at war, we shouldn?t do it at the same time, we should split into two groups, one group performing, while the other group protects.
Now how to do the ritual itself? In the verse above: [4:102] we can see that the ritual has too states, first is standing: ?Qeyam? and the second is prostrating: ?Sujood?, and as we mentioned above, the ritual is about communicating with God. So in both of these states we communicate to God.  What is the difference between the two states, and what do we say in each of them?
If you just communicated with God in any way you want, in both cases it would still be considered acceptable, but there are some hints in the Qur?an as to what we should say when standing ?Qeyam?, in verses: [3:38, 39]
هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُۥ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِى مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةًۭ طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ ٱلدُّعَآءِ {٣٨} فَنَادَتْهُ ٱلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَآئِمٌۭ يُصَلِّى فِى ٱلْمِحْرَابِ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَىٰ مُصَدِّقًۢا بِكَلِمَةٍۢ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَسَيِّدًۭا وَحَصُورًۭا وَنَبِيًّۭا مِّنَ ٱلصَّٰلِحِينَ {٣٩}
These verses show that Zakarya asked God for a son, then the angels answered his prayer while he was STANDING doing the ritual, so it?s a hint that while you are standing you can ask god anything regarding this life or the other life, you can ask for a son and for forgiveness, anything you want, but this is just a hint, because it is not 100% clear that Zakarya said this while he was in standing in that state? This verse is only telling us that the answer came to him during the standing, nothing about an immediate response or late response, just a hint.
Regarding prostrating, as I mentioned above it is about glorifying and submitting to God,  so what to say during prostrating should be along those lines, for example in verses: [17:107, 108, 109]
قُلْ ءَامِنُوا۟ بِهِۦٓ أَوْ لَا تُؤْمِنُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ ٱلْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِۦٓ إِذَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلْأَذْقَانِ سُجَّدًۭا {١٠٧} وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَٰنَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولًۭا {١٠٨} وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلْأَذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًۭا ۩ {١٠٩}
We can see people crying during prostrating, and mentioning God?s great names and his attributes. During the prostration we should say things about God?s greatness and capabilities.
The last thing about ?Salah? the ritual, is our voice, in verse: [17:110]
قُلِ ٱدْعُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ أَوِ ٱدْعُوا۟ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنَ ۖ أَيًّۭا مَّا تَدْعُوا۟ فَلَهُ ٱلْأَسْمَآءُ ٱلْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَاتِكَ وَلَا تُخَافِتْ بِهَا وَٱبْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًۭا {١١٠}
God tells Muhammad ( and us of course ) not to use a loud voice that can be heard by others, or to be silent where only our lips move, we need to say it in a tone that can be heard only by the individual.

From People to Dead People
In verse:  [9:84]
God is ordering Muhammad not to do ?Salah? on any one who dies from a certain group ( in this case they are the people that refused to go with him to war ), this implies that there is type of ?Salah? to be done for the dead? It is by praying for them and asking God to forgive them, but this has some rules, in verses: [9:113, 114]
مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُوا۟ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوٓا۟ أُو۟لِى قُرْبَىٰ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَٰبُ ٱلْجَحِيمِ {١١٣} وَمَا كَانَ ٱسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ إِلَّا عَن مَّوْعِدَةٍۢ وَعَدَهَآ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُۥٓ أَنَّهُۥ عَدُوٌّۭ لِّلَّهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُ ۚ إِنَّ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ لَأَوَّٰهٌ حَلِيمٌۭ {١١٤}
God is preventing us from asking for forgiveness for polytheists, and stating that Ibrahim only did that because his Father promised him that he will change, but after he didn?t fulfill his promise, Ibrahim stopped praying for him.
So we can pray for dead people only if they are true believers.

SleeplessInCairo

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Re: My Understanding of "Salah"
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 08:21:13 AM »
From People to Muhammad
In verse [33:56]
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَمَلَٰٓئِكَتَهُۥ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِىِّ ۚ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ صَلُّوا۟ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا۟ تَسْلِيمًا {٥٦}
God tells us that he does ?Salah? on Muhammad which as we have already discussed is about sending him the book, then God asks us to do ?Salah? on Muhammad and submit to what he brought (logically the book), that means that doing ?Salah? on Muhammad is simply following his steps. In the Qur?an there are plenty of examples about what Muhammad did during his life.  For example in verse: [16:125]
ٱدْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِٱلْحِكْمَةِ وَٱلْمَوْعِظَةِ ٱلْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَٰدِلْهُم بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِٱلْمُهْتَدِينَ {١٢٥}
Muhammad was ordered to preach using gentle methods (and of course he obeyed this order), so when we preach we should follow Prophet Muhammad?s steps and use gentle methods.

SleeplessInCairo

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Re: My Understanding of "Salah"
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 08:22:35 AM »
I realisd that there is a limit for who long the post can be so I continued in a reply, please tell me what do you think :)

faruk

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Re: My Understanding of "Salah"
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 09:00:42 AM »
Salam.  :bravo: logical post , makes sense.
39:18 The ones who listen to what is being said, and then follow the best of it. These are the ones whom God has guided, and these are the ones who possess intelligence.

SleeplessInCairo

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Re: My Understanding of "Salah"
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 09:09:56 AM »
Salam.  :bravo: logical post , makes sense.

Hey Faruk, thanks..

You don't have any disagreement?