THE GOAL OF LIFE: ".... The real existence on earth is of the one that benefits humanity." (13:17)
Allah does not need our worship.
14:8 And Moses said, “If you deny the truth and show ingratitude, you and all on earth together, know that God is absolutely Free of want, Worthy of all praise.” [He is in no need of your worship]
We have seen that:
SALAAT = FOLLOWING DIVINE COMMANDS.
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).]
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]
WHAT 'IBADAH IS:
- Worshiping God? No!
- Ritual prayers? Namaaz? No!
- The Qur'an denounces idol worship and servitude of tyrants or priesthood as SHIRK. (SHIRK = ascribing partners to Allah).
- 'IBADAH = Obeying God alone = Being a sincere servant of Allah = Serving Allah by serving His creation = Obeying Allah's commands as given in the Qur'an = Accepting God as the only Supreme Authority.
'IBADAH IS NOT NAMAAZ and SALAAT IS CLOSELY TIED TO ECONOMIC JUSTICE.
11:85 "O My people! Always give full measure and weight with equity and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs. Do not spread corruption and disorder in the land.”
11:86 “That which God gives you as just profit is better for you if you believe. ...."
11:87 They said, "O Sho’aib! Does your Salaat command you that we should forsake the worship that our fathers practiced? - Or, that we should forsake doing what we like to do with our wealth? ...."
Salaat and Zakaat mostly come together in the Qur'an.
AQEEM-US-SALAATA WA AAT-UZ-ZAKAAT
2:110 Establish the Divine System, and set up the Just Economic Order of Zakaat ....
Rule on earth:
1. IMAN (Conviction in Allah's laws) and ACTS OF SOCIAL WELFARE GUARANTEE RULE ON EARTH.
24:55 God has promised that those of you who will believe in the Divine laws and strengthen human resources, He will make them rulers on earth, as He granted rule to the previous nations. He will certainly establish for them the System of Life that He has approved for them, and will replace their fear with peace and security....
2. SALAAT CAN BE ESTABLISHED ONLY IN A FREE LAND. Namaaz can be performed anywhere so the two cannot be the same.
22:41 Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish Salaat, set up the Just Economic Order of Zakaat, implement virtue and stop vice. And in their governance all affairs are decided according to God's decrees. [Establish Salaat = Establish the System in which following Divine commands is facilitated. Give Zakaat = Set up the Just Economic Order in which wealth circulates freely to nourish every member of the society]
Five prayers are not mentioned anywhere in the Qur'an. It ordains us to be mindful of Divine commands day through night. Translators break this statement arbitrarily into Salaat/Namaaz five times a day, a statement that does not even name Salaat.
THE ROLE OF THE MASJID - ONE UNIT OF PRAYER - RECITATION - RUKOO' - SAJDAH - METHODOLOGY OF SALAAT:
One thing that instantly facilitated efficient governance in the Islamic State was a wide network of Masjids serving as government centers. From the very first year of Hijrah, Muslims had been building mosques in their localities. The Federal, provincial and township governments oversaw that mosques were built in proper locations in every neighborhood.
One call from the Muazzin (caller of Azaan), "As-Salaatil Jami'ah" used to be sufficient to assemble men and women to the Masjid. Citizens knew that they were being called for important business. There was no clergy or "Imams" to run and manage these Masjids or conduct congregations.
Before the proceedings started, men and women would make Wudhu and pray together only one unit, standing, similar to today’s funeral prayer. The government official of each area was the leader of the area mosque. He led the congregation and recited Surah Fatiha alone. Wudhu and one unit standing prayer were intended to mentally prepare everyone for the noble task ahead.
RUKOO’ (Bowing on the knees) was understood allegorically as bowing before the commands of Allah.
SAJDAH (Prostration) meant complete mental submission to Him.
Physical Rukoo’ and Sajdah were considered immodest especially since men and women congregated together in the Masjid and so, not ordained.
Recall that all creation knows their Salaat and Tasbeeh. How would the heavens and earth, mountains, animals, birds, fish and trees physically bow and prostrate!
There was no concept of praying alone or at homes. The congregation timings were determined by the central or local officials according to the situation, once a day to once a week.
The Masjid was not a temple of worship. It was the School, the Assembly, the Municipality, the Parliament and the Government House. The respective leader would discuss real issues about the community, entertain questions, present bills, announce decisions of the Shura (Counsel) and the Assembly would legislate. People came up with their ideas for betterment of the society and devised plans for social welfare. Every citizen remained informed of the condition of the needy, the orphans, the sick, the disabled, the widows and about the condition of the State affairs. People brought up news of any socio-economic problems facing any families and they were immediately addressed.
Masjid was also the place where the leaders and officials were elected, ambassadors received, and defense matters decided. What a convenient and ready-made infrastructure for the government and public!
Later on, a Hadith was invented that it was Haraam to discuss "wordly matters" in the mosque. Alas! With this single stroke of pen, by the third century Hijrah, the Masjid had been reduced to what we see today, a temple of worship with empty rituals.
dictated, not read