Dear Brother Dawood,
I try to understand Quran by its translations or renditions - primarily from QXP, not directly by its text, for Arabic is neither my mother tongue nor I have any learning of it. Therefore, in this regard Jawaid Sir or Dr. Shabbir can explain better which they had already done – Jawaid Sir in his posts and Dr. Shabbir in his rendition – QXPvi. I just try to understand rationally from their or anybody’s translation or explanations.
Your approach of understanding from its literal meaning leaves a number of gaps and turns Quran from a self-explanatory and close ended Book to a book which depends upon history and Shan-e-Nazul and has many loose ends. Some of the gaps and loose ends are, from my point of views are:
• Wahi or Angel Jibreel visited just not only to reveal the words of Allah but for other purpose also, as you explain (66:3). Then it opens the door for believing in Wahi Jalee – open inspiration & Wahi Khafi – hidden inspiration.
• Every word spoken by Exalted Prophet falls into either of above two category – upon which whole “Barelvi” sect has developed.
• If from literal translation of 53:6-10 you conclude that it is about Angel Jibreel, then what stops someone else to literally conclude that Mount Sinai “crumbled to dust” from literal meaning of 7:143.
• Detail of Salat is not given since people “knew it exactly what it is” as you mentioned then were people at that time unaware of “Nikah”, “Talaq”, “Contract in writing” etc so Allah has to instruct/explain them about it? Were people at that time so uncultured and uncivilized that they use to enter somebody’s house without permission so that Allah has to instruct them in Quran “Take permission before entering”. Allah bothers to cover to such trivial matter but completely ignored the essentials of ritual Prayer (not Salat) in unambiguous terms. Knowledge and practices of people at that time cannot be assumed as a basis for what to include and what to exclude from Quran – which is a book for all time.
• For you Al-Jumu’ah is Friday Prayer but I will adhere to the Dr. Shabbir’s QXP – Al Jumu’ah as The Congregation. From Google Search I got this pre-Islamic name of weekdays
1. Sunday: أوّل (Awwal)
2. Monday: أَهُوَن أو أَوْهَد (Ahuwan or Awhad)
3. Tuesday: جُبَار (Jubaar)
4. Wednesday:دُبَار (Dubaar)
5. Thursday:مُؤْنِس (Mu'nis)
6. Friday:عروبة (Aroobah)
7. Saturday:شِيَار (Sheeyar)
• If Salat is ritual prayer as you insist then please give me any reference when Muslims in period of Righteous Khalifa prayed during battle as per literal meaning of 4:102 where half of them prayed and half of them guarded. Is it reasonable to assume that while during peace time God asks Muslim to be ready with saddled horses and gather all resources (8:60) and in thick of battle God would ask half of Muslims to pray during prayer time and remaining half to guard them thereby giving opportunity to enemy to wipe out whole of the army of Muslims. How convenient it would have been for enemy Commanders to just wait for Dhur Prayer, to launch their full-fledge attack on Muslim armies when half of their strength would be redundant since they would be busy in praying. Please be reminded that battle of Yarmouk was fought full 6 days – morning to evening. So at least time for Dhur and Asr prayer must have been fallen during battle.
Further, what you claim “a remarkable fact itself that Quran-mandated elements of salat are all fully preserved” is just a statistical certainty which could be destroyed by just one “Black Swan”. Just like finding of diary of Hur bin Abdur Rahman in which he recorded that Hazrat Ali served as Governor of Kufa and thereby demolishes the commonly accepted myth by both – Sunnis and Shias, that Hazrat Ali remained aloof from the governance of Islamic State during the period of first 3 righteous Caliphs and didn’t hold any office. (Reference Karbala – Fact or Fiction by Dr. Shabbir).
Furthermore, your question “How is this message and purpose compromised by ritual prayers?” suggests that you have not lived among Muslim society particularly of India / Pakistan. Had you lived among them you would not have asked that question. Just have a look on ranking of Muslim Dominated Countries in the list of Human Development Index published by UN (more precisely UNESCO, I think) to know the answer of your question.
Finally, I do pray, may be not punctually but frequently, and I give all respect which “Namaz” deserves on cultural, societal or historical basis and adhere to same stance which Allama Parwez had taken on this issue.