TO Dr Fawad Ahmad, Asalaamu-Alaykum.
Islam is Deen of Allah (3:83) revealed to Abraham and all nations and tribes that descended from him (3:84) and Allah will not accept any other deen except Islam (3:85).
Salaat is a pledge and commitment to establish Islam (7:29) and the masjid is the nucleus of its development from the local or parish level (7:29, 72:18).
Islam is a unique system of life because in all issues of life, both secular and religious, it is opposed to all that does not conform to Reality.
For example, in religion its belief in God is not associated with the dogma and doctrines of any religion. It is merely due to the fact that He is Creator, Designer, Sustainer, Protector, etc, of the Universe. Hence, God, His Books, Prophets and its institutions like that of salaat and masjid have nothing to do with religion. They promote the secular and scientific realities of our universe without being Godless.
Likewise, from secular point of view, it is opposed to the separation of the Church and the State and promotes Diversity, Democracy and the worldview teachings of Tawhid (unity and universality) in a post-modern way of life by distinguishing God-given diversities from those made by man.
Thus, Qur’an Alone scholars that perform salaat as contact prayer don’t distinguish religion from reality. To them like the Hadithi the salaat does not have a means to an end. They just perform it like namaaz and go home. While the Qur’an Alone people who perform it as pledge do so to establish the Divine System by Shura when called upon to do so (42:13).
Hence, Abraham committed himself to the Islamic way of life based on sound reason and logic without compromising his will or intellect to the Will of God, while it was revealed to all the other Prophets of God.
In the present time (post-modern era) it should be propagated in a rational way like did Abraham and not in revealed manner.
AK Sayed (South Africa).