September 1997: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

Contact Prayers (Salat)

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He was truthful when he made a promise, and he was a messenger prophet. He used to enjoin his family to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat); he was acceptable to his Lord. (19:54-55)

We inspired Moses and his brother. “Maintain your homes in Egypt for the time being, turn your homes into synagogues, and maintain the Contact Prayers (Salat). Give good news to the believers.” (10:87)

She pointed to him. They said, “How can we talk with an infant in the crib?” (The infant [Jesus] spoke and) said, “I am a servant of God. He has given me the scripture, and has appointed me a prophet. He made me blessed wherever I go, and enjoined me to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat) for as long as I live.” (19:29-31)

In fact, according to the Quran, there is only one acceptable religion to God: Submission to His will.

Anyone who accepts other than Submission as his religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he will be with the losers. (3:85)

The only religion approved by God is “Submission.” Ironically, those who have received the scripture are the ones who dispute this fact, despite the knowledge they have received, due to jealousy. For such rejecters of God’s revelations, God is most strict in reckoning. (3:19)

Contact Prayers (Salat)

The five daily Contact Prayers are very important aspects of Submission. They are constant reminders for us of our Creator throughout the day by bowing and prostrating before Him. God does

not need any of our prayers. It is we who need these practices to redeem ourselves and to attain certainty. Observing the contact prayers are among the traits of the believers. They also enjoin their family to do the same, like Luqmaan did:

“O my son, you shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat). You shall advocate righteousness and forbid evil, and remain steadfast in the face of adversity. These are the most honorable traits.” (31:17)

Those who are too arrogant to worship God, the Most Gracious, are the ones who refuse to prostrate before Him (25:60). However, they suffer the consequences by losing their souls, or having shrunken souls when they face God on the Day of judgment. Unfortunately, they will not be able to prostrate before the Lord of the universe then as they are required. They will have to run away from God to Hell since they will not be able to withstand the light of God. They will be in darkness there, and they will not be allowed to borrow any light from the believers (57:13). This temporary world is our only chance to nourish our soul in order for it to be saved from the eternal retribution. If we can manage to be saved, even barely, this will be the greatest triumph by God’s will. The recompense for the righteous soul is beyond our imagination. That is God’s promise and incredible mercy.

Every person tastes death, then you receive your recompense on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever misses Hell, barely, and makes it to Paradise, has attained a great triumph. The life of this world is no more than an illusion. (3:185)

You have no idea how much joy and happiness are waiting for you as a reward for your (righteous) works. (32:17)

The Contact Prayers must be observed at specific times during the day (4:103):

  1. The Dawn prayer must be observed before sunrise.
  2. The Noon prayer is due when the sun declines from its highest point at noon.
  3. The Afternoon prayer can be observed from mid afternoon until prior to sunset.
  4. The Sunset prayer becomes due after sunset.
  5. The night prayer can be observed after the twilight disappears from the sky.

On Fridays, the Congregational Prayer (Salat Al-Jumu`ah) replaces the noon prayer. A two-part khutbah (sermon) is followed by a prayer of two units. The Friday prayer is obligatory for all believers, men and women (62:9).

Units of Contact Prayers

There is no dispute concerning the number of units (rak`ahs) in all five daily prayers enjoined by God for Abraham and his followers. They are universally accepted to be 2, 4, 4, 3, and 4 units, respectively, for the above prayers listed. These are considered as the obligatory units ordained by God. Other additional units practiced by the traditional Muslims are disputed and vary according to different sects, from none to as many as 10 units per prayer. These extra prayers are considered Sunnah, something that Prophet Muhammad was claimed to have done. However, establishing religious rites that are not authorized by God is a gross offense. Prophet Muhammad or any messenger of God would never disobey God by adding or even slightly changing anything that God had enjoined them to do. People who follow these practices not only disobey God, but they also make the religion difficult for themselves, and for their children. God tells us in the Quran that He does not want hardship for us:

He has chosen you and placed no hardship on you in practicing your religion.... (22:78)

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