Author Topic: salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...  (Read 38845 times)

Wakas

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salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...
« on: March 28, 2005, 01:40:35 AM »
peace All,

Some regular members here, and often new members, still believe salat=prayer, perhaps not identical to the traditional method but similar to it. This post is directed to them...

The most powerful argument against such a view can be found in 9:5 & 9:10-12.
Please note the exact same wording "wa aqamoo al ssalata" / "and uphold/maintain the salat" is used in these ayatin/signs as is used in many places when recommending salat for the believers. Thus how do they interpret these ayatin/signs with their salat=prayer view?

The reason I ask this question is not to antagonise, but to understand, as I have not seen this point addressed by anyone who holds such a view (if I have missed such a post, please reference it).

I would like to "stick my neck out" here and say that no-one will be able to answer this question without severely compromising their salat=prayer view.



Wakas
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

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hlatif

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salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2005, 03:42:09 AM »
Salaam Wakas,

I will take a stab at the question that you posed.  I think that the key word is TABA and how it is translated.

Here is what prl mentioned:
= Ta-Alif/Waw-Ba = To return; repent; turn one's self in a repentant manner (with ila or without it), turn with mercy (with ala), adapt.
[2:37, 5:39, 58:13, 33:73, 11:90, 3:90, 9:112, 13:30, 49:12, 110:3]

However, according to my reading of the Lisan AlAlrab and Qamoos Muheet, the better way to translate the word is Return/turn to GOD's way.
If you look at the occurences of the root and it's derivatives in the Qur'an you will find that it relates to
1- Return/turn to GOD's way for people
2- GOD helping people return/turn to GOD' s way.  As in TAWWAB.

Now for the AYAT that you mentioned:
9:5------fa-in taboo waaqamoo alssalatawaatawoo alzzakata fakhalloo sabeelahum innaAllaha ghafoorun raheemun
I translate this way:
So If they return/turn themselves to GOD's way (which would be Islam) and Kept upright the prayers -------

This is further explained by the 9:11:
 Fa-in taboo waaqamoo alssalatawaatawoo alzzakata fa-ikhwanukum feealddeeni wanufassilu al-ayatiliqawmin yaAAlamoona

Which I would translate this way:
So if they return/turn to GOD's way and kept upright the prayers and made come the Zakat then they are your brothers in DEEN (religion/obligation which is ISLAM as in 3:19)

I hope this helps some.  Take care and have a great day


hussein

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salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2005, 08:01:23 AM »
peace be upon you Hussein,

Thanks for having a stab. I had an inkling you would reply.

I have the following comments:

1) Your translation assumes they were initially following islam, because according to you they are returning to islam. Where in the context does it mention they were following islam previously? It doesn't, they are clearly described as idolaters/transgressors. Thus "return" is out, "turn" is possible.

2) If someone breaks an agreement/treaty, must they convert/revert to islam in order for them to be forgiven? This is what you are implying and this makes no sense. How do you reconcile such a view with 2:256 amongst other ayatin/signs?


Wakas
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

hlatif

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salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2005, 12:42:33 PM »
Salaam Wakas,
Thanks for your response.

Wakas wrote:
Quote
Thus "return" is out, "turn" is possible.

I actually put both in my translation.  I agree that the Turn to GOD's way is the appropriate use here.  This is in agreement with PRL as well as with my reading of Lisan AlARAB and Qamoos Muheet.

Quote
2) If someone breaks an agreement/treaty, must they convert/revert to islam in order for them to be forgiven? This is what you are implying and this makes no sense. How do you reconcile such a view with 2:256 amongst other ayatin/signs?

This is one of their options as put in 9:5, but it is not the only option.  Another option comes in 9:6:

9:6 And if one amongst the Pagans ask thee for safety/protection, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. For they are people without knowledge.

So, you can see that there is no compulsion here.  They can convert as in 9:5, or they can ask for their safety and it will be granted.

Salaam and take care


Hussein

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salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2005, 05:36:55 AM »
peace be upon you Hussein,

Whilst I appreciate how someone could come to such an understanding, I have the following problems:

1) 9:6 begins with "wa/and" not "or".

2)
Quote
so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure.


Thus, the option now is, they either convert or are escorted in safety to their destination, thus expelled?

3) Is there any supporting evidence for this translation (i.e. someone breaks a treaty, they either convert or are escorted in safety to their destination,  thus expelled) from the rest of al quran?

4) Do you think its just to ask someone who broke a treaty/agreement to convert to islam as one option? What if they repent/turn and uphold the law/bond, is that ok? Clearly this is the most sensible, but not according to your translation.

5) Would finding an occassion in al quran in which those who broke a treaty were still living along with the believers nullify your translation?

6) What is your translation of 9:11-12?

11. If they (Pagans) turn to God's way (i.e. convert to muslims), and they kept upright the prayers, and they bring the zakat, then they are your brothers in the system. We explain the revelations for a people who know.

12. And if they (muslims OR pagans?) break their oaths after making them, and they denounce the authority of your system; then you may kill the chiefs of rejection. Their oaths are nothing to them, perhaps they will then cease.


Wakas
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

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hlatif

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salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2005, 08:28:30 AM »
Salaam Wakas and thanks for your response,

You said:
Quote
1) 9:6 begins with "wa/and" not "or".

I will explain further
9:5 says So if they---- (Become muslim) then leave them alone.  that is one option. then 9:6 says:
9:6 And if one of the pagans asks you for safety grant it .  And that is the other option.  

There is no or but the options are understood.
Quote
Thus, the option now is, they either convert or are escorted in safety to their destination, thus expelled?


Expulsion is a wrong understanding.  the word is Ma'AMANAHUM which I would translate as PLACE WHERE THEY FEEL SAFE.  This place can be their own homes, their own tribe, in the prophets house, next door to the prophet or any where they feel safe in or out of areas of muslim control.

Quote
6) What is your translation of 9:11-12?

11. If they (Pagans) turn to God's way (i.e. convert to muslims), and they kept upright the prayers, and they bring the zakat, then they are your brothers in the system. We explain the revelations for a people who know.

12. And if they (muslims OR pagans?) break their oaths after making them, and they denounce the authority of your system; then you may kill the chiefs of rejection. Their oaths are nothing to them, perhaps they will then cease.


I have no problem with the way you translated 9:11.  I would however prefer a different interpretation for 9:12:

9:12 And if they (pagans turn muslims) break their oaths after making them, and speared in (attacked) your system, then fight (not kill) the leaders of rejection.  Their oaths are  no oaths, perhaps they will cease.

So, the way I undesrtand the two AYAT is like this;
9:11 they become muslims then they are brothers
9:12 and if they turn back to their old ways then fight their leaders.  Their oaths are not reliable (because they broke two oaths now, the first  mentioned 9-4 and the second was the oath of Islam).  Fighting them may help them cease, in attacking the religion of Islam.

There is no killing here and the fighting is only against the leaders of rejection.  You leave the rest of the pagans alone.

Salaam and have a good evening


hussein

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salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2005, 11:23:44 AM »
peace be upon you Hussein,

Thanks for clarifying.

Quote
There is no or but the options are understood.


I feel it would have been more logical with an "or", I guess "and" is acceptable. The problem is that not once are the so-called converts (i.e. believers) explicitly referenced* as such in the relevant ayatin/signs. This to me, is suspect.

*for me, 'brothers' is not an explicit reference to belief.

Quote
I would translate as PLACE WHERE THEY FEEL SAFE. This place can be their own homes, their own tribe, in the prophets house, next door to the prophet or any where they feel safe in or out of areas of muslim control.


This seems like a non-punishment! The ayatin are pretty severe, yet the transgressors/pagans get let off with an escort of safety to their own home? No compensation, no re-commitment to the broken treaty/oath, nothing. I assume they get a safety escort because they broke a pledge so there may be some animosity towards them from others, but what happens once they leave their home? Imagining a workable practical example is difficult in my opinion.

Quote

9:12 And if they (pagans turn muslims) break their oaths after making them, and speared in (attacked) your system, then fight (not kill) the leaders of rejection. Their oaths are no oaths, perhaps they will cease.


Quote
(because they broke two oaths now, the first mentioned 9-4 and the second was the oath of Islam).


I'm glad you pointed this out.
There is no formal "oath of Islam" mentioned in al quran. There is no ceremonial "oath of islam" mentioned in al quran, which they apparently made [9:12]. How would this go? What would they say? Only The God knows who is a muslim and who is not. Is there any supporting evidence in al quran for such a formal declaration/oath?

If we take into account your extrapolation of "turn (to God's way, i.e. convert to Islam)" (the underlined part not being in the Arabic)* and focus on the only thing mentioned in context which they pledged to uphold/maintain, it only leaves one option... salat.

*nor is the oath explicitly divulged (if one believes its an "oath of Islam")

My view is that there is a direct opposing comparison between "upholding/maintaining the salat" and "breaking their oaths/pledges". Thus why extrapolate when we have a meaning which fits like a glove:

Taken from PRL:

ص ل و = Sad-Lam-Waw = prayer, supplication, petition, oration, eulogy, benediction, commendation, blessing, honour, magnifiy, bring forth, follow closely, walk/follow behind closely, to remain attached, to contact or to be in contact.
In a horse race when the second horse follows the first one so closely that its head always overlaps the first horse?s body that horse is called AL-MUSSALLI (i.e. the one who follows closely / remains attached).
Central portion of the back, portion from where the tail of an animal comes out, the rump.

Especially if we take into account the core meaning of slw (to go/turn towards).
NB: One could substitute this term with similar words such as link/bond/connect, remain attached, continue contact, follow closely or commitment, i.e. a word which implies to go/turn towards (in a close/positive manner).

Also, you never answered my other questions (modified):

Quote
3) Is there any supporting evidence for this translation (i.e. someone breaks a treaty, they either convert or are escorted in safety to their destination) from the rest of al quran?

4) Do you think its just to ask someone who broke a treaty/agreement to convert to islam as one option? What if they repent/turn and uphold the law/bond, is that ok? Clearly this is the most sensible, but not according to your translation.


God bless.


Wakas
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

hlatif

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salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2005, 10:40:50 PM »
Salaam Wakas,

I would like to say that this discussion is very refreshing to me.  I thank you for it.  Now to business:
wakas said:
Quote
*for me, 'brothers' is not an explicit reference to belief.

I actually did not use the word belief.  I used Islam.  The reason I used brother in Islam is this Ayah:

3:19 The system (DEEN) before Allah is Islam (submission to His Will):

So brothers in DEEN are brothers in Islam.  Islam and belief are not totally synonymous.  You can be Muslim and not MU'MIN (believer):

49:14 The desert Arabs say, "We believe." (AAMANNA)Say, "Ye have no faith; but ye (only)say, 'We have submitted our wills to Allah,' (ASLAMNA)

Quote
This seems like a non-punishment! The ayatin are pretty severe, yet the transgressors/pagans get let off with an escort of safety to their own home? No compensation, no re-commitment to the broken treaty/oath, nothing. I assume they get a safety escort because they broke a pledge so there may be some animosity towards them from others, but what happens once they leave their home? Imagining a workable practical example is difficult in my opinion.


Several points here:
1- Islam is not a severe religion.
2- When the Pagans asked for Safety/protection then they are actually stopping the fight.  They are also accepting the authority of the prophet over them.  This is stronger than recommitting to a treatie, because they gave up.
3- They did not necessarily have to have an escort, the word was Ableghhum which means help them reach where they wanted to go.  It could be help with transportation, sending a message to some of their family to pick them up or providing an escort.
4- I expect that if the prophet provided them with safety then the muslims will abide by it.

Quote
I'm glad you pointed this out.
There is no formal "oath of Islam" mentioned in al quran. There is no ceremonial "oath of islam" mentioned in al quran, which they apparently made [9:12]. How would this go?

I used the wrong terms.  I apologise.  However, the way that they communicated that they will follow GOD's way, uphold SALAT and bring about the ZAKAT, was done by some sort of promise or oath to the muslims.

Quote
Only The God knows who is a muslim and who is not

I think that GOD knows who is a believer and who is not.  Islam is more public.  Islam is what people announce whether they are muslim or not (through whatever way they see fit). Again look at 49:14 (mentioned above) and :

49:17 They impress on thee as a favour that they have embraced Islam. Say, "Count not your Islam as a favour upon me: Nay, Allah has conferred a favour upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if ye be true and sincere.

Quote
If we take into account your extrapolation of "turn (to God's way, i.e. convert to Islam)" (the underlined part not being in the Arabic)* and focus on the only thing mentioned in context which they pledged to uphold/maintain, it only leaves one option... salat.


two points:
1- You omitted the bringing about of ZAKAT  mentioned in 9:5 and 9:11.  This is a major omission.
2- My understanding is from reading the Lisan Alarab and Qamoos Muheet, and it is consistent with the Qur'an.
Quote
3) Is there any supporting evidence for this translation (i.e. someone breaks a treaty, they either convert or are escorted in safety to their destination) from the rest of al quran?


47:4 Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom

This is an incident that happened before the 9 chapter.  However, there is no where in the Quran that stops anyone from becoming Muslim.  The generosity or ransom are different but have similar themes to the granting of safety to the one who asks for it.

I did not talk about the escorting.  I talked about helping a person get where he needed to go.  That can happen through  generosity, or through his/her people.

Quote
4) Do you think its just to ask someone who broke a treaty/agreement to convert to islam as one option? What if they repent/turn and uphold the law/bond, is that ok? Clearly this is the most sensible, but not according to your translation


I have several issues:
1- You opmitted the ZAKAT.  You need to explain it in the light of your undesrstanding.
2- You omitted Brothers in DEEN 9:11.  How do you explain that when the Aya 3:19 says that the DEEN is ISLAM.
3- Why would you make another similar deal with the people that broke it the first time?  


I do want to say that your understanding of Salat is beautiful and enriches my understanding of the traditional salat rather than antagonize it.

Salaam again and have a great day


Hussein

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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2005, 08:33:54 AM »
peace be upon you Hussein,

(the "a" on my keyboard is semi-responsive thus please excuse the missing As in my post)

You constantly refer to "Islam" with a capital 'I', thus I assumed you were referring to the religion-meaning of the word, and this religion-mening implies belief.

they must hve belief if they are upholding the prayers (according to you), BUT there is no reference to them as mumins, nothing.

the primry mening of islm is simply a word meaning compliance/submission/surrender/conformance. it shouldn't really have a religious connotation.

Im very familir with 49:14, i love tht sign. It confuses mny a trditionalist.

Quote
Several points here:
1- Islam is not a severe religion.


it can be, when it is clled for. the passge about cutting of alternate limbs comes to mind. just like this pssge, its severe, mking your trnslation seem out of place. imgine if that pssge said cut their limbs from alternate sides... or help/escort them to safety (even if they do not repent/recommit and to live amongst you as u r implying). is it possible? yes. is it likely? no. interestingly, the alternative option given in 5:45 is banishment.

Quote
2- When the Pagans asked for Safety/protection then they are actually stopping the fight.


i agree.

Quote
They are also accepting the authority of the prophet over them.


assumption. they are accepting his authority with respect to helping them to sfety, tht is all. they can still hte him and the system.

Quote
This is stronger than recommitting to a treatie, because they gave up.


no its not. if they recommited to the treaty there would be no problem. they r in compliance. same outcome as apprently 'giving up'. there is no tngible/significnt difference. i could say they give up, but still hate the prophet nd his system and try to undermine it.

Quote
3- They did not necessarily have to have an escort, the word was Ableghhum which means help them reach where they wanted to go. It could be help with transportation, sending a message to some of their family to pick them up or providing an escort.


ok, thanks for clrifying, but this point doesn't change nything though.

Quote
4- I expect that if the prophet provided them with safety then the muslims will abide by it.


thats a big ask. like i said, difficult practical exmple. they disregrd oaths / fight the believers, but get off completely free nd nobody does nothing to them. i am assuming you feel this solution is perfectly feasible practiclly.

Quote
I have several issues:
1- You opmitted the ZAKAT. You need to explain it in the light of your undesrstanding.


i dont see how this chnges nything hence i never mentioned it. ZKW simply mens positive development. (if u wish to choose one word, i like "betterment")

Quote
2- You omitted Brothers in DEEN 9:11. How do you explain that when the Aya 3:19 says that the DEEN is ISLAM.


islam simply mens compliance, it is nothing religious, hence 49:14. if i implied otherwise, it ws only because i was using it in the way i thought u were. (just for consistncy)

Quote
3- Why would you make another similar deal with the people that broke it the first time?


its called "giving someone a second chance". all throughout al qurn if we repent/turn and promise not to do it / amend, we are forgiven & given second chnce. same thing here, nothing special. in fact, according to your trns. the God treats us more harshly thn pagans, i.e. they get away with it, escorted to safety, do not recomit/repent and live amongst you. does this even make sense to you?

Quote
49:17 They impress on thee as a favour that they have embraced Islam. Say, "Count not your Islam as a favour upon me: Nay, Allah has conferred a favour upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if ye be true and sincere.


there is no formal/ceremonial public announcement of islam in entire al qurn. you continue to use the capitl 'I', even though in this sign it clearly causes an error. it cannot be "YOUR Islam".

-------

Brother hussein, lets break it down to the crux of the argument:

for your argument to hold, you need the one word 'twb/turn/repent' to extrapolate into "turn to God's way, i.e. convert to Islam" in some sort of formal public announcement, like an oath of conversion, even though...

*no part of the pagans are referenced as believers
*this option (i.e. 'you'll be forgiven if you convert') is never given in the rest of al quran
*the oath that they broke is never explicitly divulged as anything other than treaty based
*the passage/condemnation is severe, but fight against them suddenly turns into help them to safety and do nothing to them for nothing in return
*the solution according to you, to work practically is dificult to imgine
*slw has been proven in Classicl Arbic dictionries to hve an alternative mening (i.e. other thn pryer) which fits the context perfectly, and this alterntive  mening does not contradict one ayat in over 68 occurrences of slw (i.e. all of them)
*the alternative meaning is perfectly consistent and has none of the above weaknesses

Is there any pre-established belief holding you back from seeing this objectively...

?

Quote
I do want to say that your understanding of Salat is beautiful and enriches my understanding of the traditional salat rather than antagonize it.


Thanks. it took me long enough...

God bless.


Wakas
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

hlatif

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salat = prayer? How do you explain this then...
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2005, 12:32:01 PM »
Salaam Wakas and thanks for your response,

Quote
You constantly refer to "Islam" with a capital 'I', thus I assumed you were referring to the religion-meaning of the word, and this religion-mening implies belief.

In Arabic, there is no capital or small letters.  From now on I will use AL ISLAM, THE ISLAM when it is mentioned in the relevant Ayat to decrease the confusion.
Quote
*no part of the pagans are referenced as believers

This is probably the crux of our disagreement and relates to this:
Quote
they must hve belief if they are upholding the prayers (according to you), BUT there is no reference to them as mumins, nothing.

Please refer me to where I said that they have to be MUMINS.  In fact I believe that you have to be MUSLIM to uphold SALAT, whether MUMIN or not.
Quote
22:78 And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular AL SALAT, give regular AL ZAKAT, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector - the Best to protect and the Best to help!

Note how the words AL SALAT and AL ZAKAT after the word Mulsimoon.

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i dont see how this chnges nything hence i never mentioned it. ZKW simply mens positive development. (if u wish to choose one word, i like "betterment")


Because the word was AL ZAKAT and not just betterment.  Also because it was demanded of them to bring it about.  Third AL ZAKAT was asked only of the Muslims or the MUMINS.

You suggest that a pagan can bring about AL ZAKAT.  Please support this position from the Qur'an.

Quote
Quote:
               2- You omitted Brothers in DEEN 9:11. How do you explain that             when the Aya 3:19 says that the DEEN is ISLAM.


islam simply mens compliance, it is nothing religious, hence 49:14. if i implied otherwise, it ws only because i was using it in the way i thought u were. (just for consistncy)

Except that 3:19 say THE DEEN at the GOD is THE ISLAM.  Therefore one Deen and one Islam and not any compliance, as you suggest.

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*the passage/condemnation is severe, but fight against them suddenly turns into help them to safety and do nothing to them for nothing in return

The muslims could have killed them. that is severe enough.  The ones that ask safety, stopped the fight.

Quote
*the alternative meaning is perfectly consistent and has none of the above weaknesses

The biggest weakness in your argument is that it ignores AL ZAKAT and not any ZAKAT.  AL ZAKAT in all the other AYAT is asked of MUSLIMS or MUMINS and never asked of pagans.  If you can bring an AYA that asks pagan to bring about AL ZAKAT, you will be more convincing.

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Is there any pre-established belief holding you back from seeing this objectively...

I find it very difficult to believe  that the prophet himself performed AL SALAT with thousands of Muslims and That the SHIA, SUNNIS and IBADHIS (which were divided early in the history of ISLAM) agree on the Standing, Bowing and prostrating of the SALAT.  That all of that was wrong.  The disagreements between these groups were deep yet never deep in the SALAT.

How can you explain that they are all wrong?
I told you about my bias.  Tell me yours, in order to be fair.

Salaam Wakas and have a good evening

Hussein