THE GOAL OF LIFE: ".... The real existence on earth is of the one that benefits humanity." (13:17)
Let us remember that the Qur'an nowhere says, "Perform, Offer or Read Salaat/Namaaz."
As a command, it always says: AQEEM-US-SALAAT (ESTABLISH SALAAT). And you can establish only a system, not ritual.
Namaaz is an ancient Persian (Pehlawi) word which the Zoroastrians used for their prayers and it is non-existent in the Qur'an.
SALAAT = To follow closely = Following Divine commands = Mission. AQEEM-US-SALAAT = Establish Salaat = Establish the System where following the Divine commands becomes easy = Establish the Divine System = Attain the objective.
THE OPPOSITE OF SALAAT = FOLLOWING DESIRES OR LUSTS (See 19:59 below - Ittibaa'-il hawa or Ittiba'-ish-shahawaat). [THE OPPOSITE OF SALAAT IS NOT MISSING PRAYERS (NAMAAZ).]
HOW SALAAT IS WASTED:
- By not praying?
- By praying improperly?
- By missing Namaaz?
- No! Salaat is ruined by following desires and lusts instead of following Divine commands.
19:59 But after them (the great prophets 19:58) came generations that ruined the Salaat and started following desires.... [ruined the Salaat = Stopped following the Divine commands and followed their desires instead]
MUSALLI of Salaat = One who closely follows Divine commands.
TASBEEH = To strive hard = Devote full energy to a task = To swim with long strides.
Now see that AQAMAT-US-SALAAT (Establishing Salaat) shuts of lewdness, stinginess and bad conduct in the society. For example, when Salaat is established, people will seldom defy the Divine commands about keeping chastity. There will be no enticement for stealing or hoarding, being dishonest in business or hurting one's own 'self' by violating the Qur'anic Moral Values. This is because the Central Authority will be responsible for the welfare of women, men, families, orphans, widows, the elderly and the disabled.
29:45 (O Prophet) convey to people all that is revealed to you of the Book, and establish the Divine System. Establishment of the Divine System will shut off lewdness, stinginess, and behavior contrary to the Permanent Values. This is so, because God’s law is the Greatest law that can give you eminence. And God knows whatever you people contrive on your own. [21:10, 21:24, 23:70, 43:43-44, 70:21-27. Fahasha includes miserliness, and Munkar is all behavior that goes against Permanent Values given in the Qur’an]
Does Namaaz shut off lewdness, stinginess and bad conduct? No! Namaazis admit that when they speak honestly. "We pray only by habit."
All beings know their SALAAT and TASBEEH. Question: Do the birds, animals and other creations call AZAAN, do Wudhu, recite the Qur'an, bow and prostrate and carry rosary beads? No, they do their best to fulfill their duties and attain the mission assigned by the Creator.
24:41 Do you not realize that God, He is the One Whom all beings in the heavens and earth glorify, and the birds, with their wings outspread, as they fly in columns. All of them know their Salaat and Tasbeeh (mission and strife). God is Aware of what they do to fulfill His Plan.
[All creatures know their Salaat, their inborn Divinely programmed instincts. So, they spontaneously strive (do their Tasbeeh) in the best way and reach their destinations. But humans are not programmed with such inborn instincts. Given free will, they must do their Salaat by following the revealed guidance (Divine commands) and thus strive (do Tasbeeh) to achieve their assigned goal which is benefiting the society in every possible way. "The real existence on earth is of the one that benefits humanity." 13:17]
The migratory birds know their Salaat and Tasbeeh. Twice a year they fly across continents with extreme effort and end up at their assigned destinations.
The honeybee also knows her Salaat and Tasbeeh and flies straight to her destination back to her hive.
16:68 Consider how your Lord inspired the bee, “Build for yourself dwellings in hills and in trees, and in what people may build.”
16:69 “And then eat from fruits of all kind, and follow the ways that your Sustainer has made easy for you.” (God endowed the bee with navigational skills.) And then comes forth from their bellies a delicious drink of many hues, in which there is health for people. In all this, there is a message for people who are willing to listen.
[Notice the female gender used throughout for bees. They are the worker bees. Interestingly, Shakespeare wrote: Honeybees are soldiers and they have a king]
SALAAT takes humans to the desired destination as they walk on the Divinely ordained Straight Path.
SIRAAT MUSTAQEEM = The Straight, Balanced Path that takes to the desired destination.
11:56 Hud a.s. said: .... my Lord is on the Straight, Balanced Path. ...
Therefore, follow your Lord through establishing Salaat. Salaat takes you on the STRAIGHT PATH of the Lord to the coveted destination of supreme success in both lives.
Does anyone say, "I have established Salaat?" No, they say, "I have read, offered, performed prayers." Did Allah ordain it?
Dictated, not read