"As far as the salaat of bird is concerned, they do not make ablution, give call for salaat, go to the masjid, recite Qur’an in the standing position, wear proper attire to attend salaat, etc. Salaat is a “ritual pledge” towards establishing the Divine System according to the Revealed Knowledge of the Qur’an by CONSENSUS. When the Prophet (s) was told to “shorten salaat” on expedition, what did it mean?"
To understand salaat Allah has put the birds etc verse in the Quran. He has not put all of what you have written above in one verse which would have told us all of these are a requirement of a ritual prayer. When He needs to tell us something, He will put the instructions down eg write a will, get two witnesses, so He knows what He is doing.
4:94 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! When you go forth in the cause of God (to meet the armed challenge), use your discernment. And do not say to anyone who offers you peace, “You are not a believer.” You desire the worldly gains but with God are abundant gains. Even thus were you yourselves before. But God has been Gracious to you. So, use your discernment. God is always Aware of what you do. [9:128, 90:17. If the enemy inclines to peace, so shall the Muslims]
4:100 Anyone who emigrates in the cause of God, will find that God has placed refuge and abundance on earth. Whoever forsakes his home, as an immigrant to God and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then incumbent upon God. God is ever Forgiving, Merciful (the Protector and Provider of guidance).
4:101 When you go forth on an expedition or travel, there is no blame on you in shortening your Salaat congregations if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you. The disbelievers are your ardent enemies. [2:3]
Shorten salaat is mentioned in the context of war or when out and about preaching Islam. Did the Christians and Jews pray namaz in the Medina mosque when they visited the Messenger? No, he taught them the Quran and left it up to them to accept or reject. So what was done when on expedition?
When out and about when he was preaching Islam those who hear the words and accept this and then stand over, protect those that are coming to listen. These preaching sessions can be shortened as per circumstances.
4:102 When you (O Messenger) are with them (on an expedition or travel), and stand to lead them in Salaat congregation, let some of them stand up with you taking their arms with them. After they have concluded their Salaat, let them fall to the rear and let another party come forth and keep their arms in all precaution while taking instructions. The disbelievers want you to neglect your arms and belongings so that they may attack you once and for all. There is no blame on you in laying aside your arms if rain impedes you or if you are ill. But take all possible precaution for yourselves. God has readied a humiliating punishment for the disbelievers.
After you have done with the salaat congregation, you must have learnt something that you can reflect upon, standing, sitting or lying = any time, whatever you are doing. So what is learnt in a ritual namaz? Did I bow correctly, put my finger in the right place, etc i.e. nothing. What is learnt in a preaching session? Absolutely everything!
4:103 After you are done with the congregation, remain mindful of God - standing, sitting or lying down. When you feel secure once again, establish Salaat as usual. Salaat at the times appointed by the Central Authority is mandatory unto believers. [3:191, ‘Mauqoota’ = Times appointed by the Central Authority]
4:104 Do not show weakness in pursuing the enemy. If you suffer hardship they too suffer hardship. But you have hope to receive God’s reward that they cannot rightfully hope. God is the Knower, the Wise.
This learning is so that you may judge by the Quran which necessitates knowing what the Quran says, not reciting it back to Allah 5 times a day, long or short version!
4:105 We have revealed the Book to you in absolute truth that you might judge between people according to what God has shown you (in this revelation). So, do not be an advocate for the treacherous.
Fear is also mentioned in the following where you have to remain true to your right beliefs and acts:
2:238 Guard your duties pertaining to the family life (221-237) and the central duty of remaining vigilant in obeying Divine Commands. [‘Salaat-il-wusta’ is not ‘Asr]
2:239 Whether fear threatens you from without, or you are strolling, riding, relaxing in peace, remember God as He has taught you (the right and wrong) what you did not know. [3:3, 3:190-191, 4:103]
2:240 Men must testify in a written, legal will that, after their death, their widows will receive one year’s maintenance without their being obliged to leave the house. But, if they leave on their own accord, there is nothing wrong in letting them do whatever they wish to do with their own lives in a lawful manner. God is Almighty, the Wise (and He grants this permission).
Have you ever seen an army stop fighting and start namaazing? Does not happen!
A line from my Volume II says that the reason why the Iraqi forces surrendered so easily during the Gulf War was because CNN weather report said rain was due; they called it Dessert Storm for a reason!
So to you your way, to me mine.