AA to everyone.
In this forum, many people have announced that they have discarded namaaz. Whilst there is no structure given in the Quran for this ritual, it is enjoined on every believer to be part of Jumuah congregational salat. The question that arises is what do we do in this congregation in absence of a clear directive on the 'how' part. In Surah Nisa:
4:101 When you go forth in the land, there is no blame on you if you
shorten the congregations of prayers, if you fear that the unbelievers
may attack you. Surely, the rejecters are an open enemy to you.
Literal translation:101. And when you travel in the land, then it is no sin on you that you shorten the prayers, if you fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. Indeed, the disbelievers are an open enemy to you.
4:102 When you (O Messenger!) are with them and establish the
congregations of Salaat for them, let some of them stand with you, and
let them take their arms. Then, after they have received instructions, let
them fall to the rear and let another party come that has not received
instructions. Let them take precautions and their arms. The disbelievers
want you to neglect your arms and other belongings so that they may
attack you once and for all. There is no harm for you to lay aside your
arms if rain impedes you or if you are ill. But take all possible precaution.
Certainly, God has prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating
Literal transalation: 102. And when you (O Muhammad) are among them, and lead the prayer for them, then let only a party of them stand with you (to pray), and let them take their arms.
Then when they have performed their prostrations, let them take their positions in your rear, and let another party come that has not prayed, so let them pray with you. And let them take their precaution and their arms.
Those who disbelieve wish, if you were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to attack you in a single rush.
And it is no sin for you, if you are inconvenienced of rain, or you are ill, that you lay aside your arms.
And take your precaution. Indeed, Allah has prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment.
4:103 Be mindful of God’s commands whatever state you are in,
standing, sitting or lying down. And when you are once again secure,
establish the congregations of Salaat. Joining the congregations of
Salaat at the times appointed by the Central authority is a duty to
[Verses 4:101-103 indicate two units of Namaz (the ritual Salaat) and
that it will always be congregational. Half of Namaz will be one unit only.
Salaat = Closely following commands]
Literal translation:103. Then when you have finished the prayer, then remember Allah, standing, and sitting down, and (lying down) on your sides. And when you are in safety, then establish prayer. Indeed, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.
So, while some brothers have arrived at a conclusion that the ritual salat is a manmade article, I would be interested in understanding their approach towards above verses. If someone decides to give up congreational prayer too, wouldn't it be violation of Allah's command (which seems quite clear). What appears to me is that there is clear directive for salat at fixed times. What is not clear is the method. If the meaning of salat is simply to 'closely follow commands' then the entire life of a muslim would be spent in salat because he would be abiding by divine decree at all times. So when 'fixed hours' are being conveyed, we have to look at salat with an alternative meaning which correctly fits the context. In 4:101, what meaning should be ascribed to salat, if we are supposed to shorten it. Certainly 'follow commands closely' doesn't fit here. Hence we would logically infer that it is the 'ritual' salat. But the 'how' part is still not explained. In absence of this explanation, should we choose to ignore these verses? Wouldn't it be injustice?
One more concern that has been bothering me lately is our assumption whether a certain ayah is literal or allegorical. In trying to gain true understanding of the glorious Quran, we should not commit the grave mistake of taking the literal for an allegory or vice versa. Else all sincere effort & consequently our life could go waste.
Seeking the truth,