Dear brother, Arabic is neither my language nor I have any formal training. I am exactly doing what you are doing. I however don’t take anyone’s understanding and start following it without due reflection and pondering. Thus, my efforts to understand the book for myself. What I am communicating to you and others is my understanding, I could be WRONG. To me the book is simple/clear/Mubeen and it brings its message clearly provided we stay close to grammar, lexicon, Tasreef, and the context. So far, this methodology has not failed me.
You wrote: “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:”
First, did I say that the book depends upon the History or the Shan-e-Nazul? How did my explanation right from the verses themselves translate into “History and Shan-e-Nazul”? Did History and Shan-e-ZNazul come first or the book? Should I wrap clear and unambiguous verses in unclear and generic words and phrases only because some of the explanations of these verses is reported in other manmade sources? To me it does not matter what is out there in those sources. If my analysis of verses lead me to confirm some of those writings, be it. What I would not do and not doing is to bring in outside notions and bend the verses accordingly. Now to your points in the same order.
You wrote: “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.”
What people give names to certain things is their choice. In my understanding, Wahi Jalee and Khafi are coined to justify hadeeth literature. In my analysis, I am not relying on any such hadeeth. I am only trying to state from my analysis of the verses as how God must have conveyed his messages to his messenger. If God chose to convey certain things to his messenger in private, it is His prerogative, who am I to question it? Rather, I should try to understand it, its purpose, intent, and the broader lessons it may have for us. For example, why should I negate what is so open and clear to me in 66:3? Four lessons are clear for me in 66:1-5, (i) Even prophet did not have an authority to make something haram on himself what Allah made Halal (this nullifies the whole industry of Halal and haram), (ii) God was ever vigilant on his prophet’s conduct and other people’s schemes against him, (iii) God practically demonstrated how to break away from one’s oaths if against God’s words/wills, and (iv) angel Jibreel along with other angels was available as a helper to him.
You wrote: “Every word spoken by Exalted Prophet falls into either of above two category – upon which whole “Barelvi” sect has developed.”
This is precisely the issue when context is neglected. Not every word spoken by him is Wahi, this is evident nonsense. Did I convey any such thing? Any meanings are possible if taken out of context and lexicons. As I stated above, my analyses have nothing to do with hadeeth, whereas Barelvi and other sects are based on hadeeth or Fiqh.
You wrote: “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.”
Dear brother, events must be viewed in the context these appear in. It will take me away from the current topic to analyze 7:143. Could do so later when have some time.
You wrote: “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?”
I guess, we need to first understand the purpose(s) of the book. One of the main purposes of the book is to safeguard the rights of people. This demands legislation and its details as we understand it today. Nikah, and particularly Talaq etc. are legislative issues pertaining to the rights of individuals. Whereas Salat has altogether a different purpose and it cannot be legislated.
You wrote: “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.”
Yes, indeed it was so. Many Bedouin were not accustomed to such norms of behavior, thus, verses to that effect. As I mentioned earlier, Quranic elements of Salat including timings etc. are right there in those verses and that too very clearly. What I meant by “knowledge and practices of people” has nothing to do what prophet eventually did, rather, it was to explain that the concept of prayers/salat was well known to them. When prophet was asked to do salat himself, he knew it what salat is, i.e. it is a ritual prayer. Ibrahim traditions of Salat and Hajj were already there, though contaminated. Its method of doing and removing the contamination must have been conveyed to him in the encounter I mentioned related to chap 53.
You wrote: “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: …”
Quran does not say “Al-salat ul Juma’ “ , rather it says, “al-salatu min yaum il jumma’ = the salat on the day of congregation.” Thus, it is obvious there was a fixed day during the prophet’s time on which people used to gather to pray and that this day was known as “the day of congregation.” This must have been a fixed day, only then the word “yaum = day” can be appended next to it. This fixed day must have been one of the seven days of the week. Due to its regular usage, they subsequently started calling that day as “Jumma’.” Allama Parwez in his lughat mentions that day was called “Aruba” which was named by Ka’eb bin Lui as Yaum ul Jumma’. How does changing the name of something will change its originality and other stuff associated with it?
You wrote: “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.”
This is based on your misunderstanding the verse in question. The verse in question is [4:102]: “and when you are among them and lead them in salat…..” You see, during the time of “Righteous Khalifas” prophet was not among them. Thus, they could pray in small groups, and/or individually, whatever as appropriate and convenient. 4:101 provides the solution to other eventualities you mentioned.
You wrote: “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).”
I guess you need to distinguish between what some people wrote as history and what was the practice of an entire community. Myths and practices are two different things. One “black swan” cannot derail the practice of an entire community, whereas one “black swan” can contaminate the history/story, yet cannot fully uproot it if some others were also writing about the same history/story.
You wrote: “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.”
My analyses of Salat are not based on what people do, rather what it is from Quranic perspective. Muslims falling behind in the comity of nations is not because some (very tiny segment of overall population) do ritual prayers. It is because they did not understand what Eman is, what is its purpose, what their book demands from them, what their rituals ask of them and why, so on and so forth? When did ritual prayer demand from the prayer goers to cheat, to lie, to indulge in corruption, and lewdness, etc. etc.? Are you suggesting, all these vices are due to the ritual prayers?