I am totally on the same side with brother Naushad on this subject. Up to now, i have been reading attentively all the posts related to the subject in discussion. But Namaz, Salaat, Saum, Zakaat are now even more confused in my mind than ever. Brother Naushad asked the same questions i asked in my last post. My main focus was on "HOW" to perform Namaz/Salaat, Saum if they are not rituals? Why did Allaah not explain "HOW" to perform them? One is sure, it is that whether we have not yet come across the right/correct meaning of these words or we take them as rituals.
Case of Salaat
If Salaat is not ritual, then why did Allah ask us to wash some parts of our body when we prepare for Salaat? If Salaat is closely following Allaah's commands, this would mean we should be in the state of wudhu throughout our life since commands should be followed every single second of our life. If that is the case, then this our Deen is not more that easy that the Quran always claims to be.
If Salaat is ritual, where is the method of performing described in the Quran? Did Allaah forget? Should we believe in Dr Rashad who said Salaat (what he called contact prayer) existed before Muhammad and was passed on to generations? or should we believe in the hadith in this issue? If Salaat was only congregational then was it said during those gathering?
All of Dr Shabbir's posts especially on the Salaat are very confused to me: Salaat was only congregational (even in Spain), women stood on the left and men on the right of the prophet and so on. Here i could also boldly state that Dr Shabbir followed the same way of collecting hadiths as his forefathers Bukhari et al. by suddenly trusting the sayings of some Mullah. I always wonder what makes him believe what those people stated in their writings were True. What criteria he used to declare true the way of doing salaat as described by those Mullah? what is his evidence? For me, all that falls under conjecture, guess work, etc.
Same thing goes with Saum, Zakaat. The main is issue again is on "HOW" to perform them
Up to now, all the arguments provided to abandon the ritual practices are very sound but still not yet convincing enough for me.
Please let's keep on reflecting on these issues with open mind with hope that Allah will help us in our research to come find an unambiguous and convincing explanation to these issues under discussions.