Respected Dr. Sahab,
May you pls guide me to the concept of "Congregational Salah" before which wudu is compulsory? Is this "Namaz" to be offered 5 times in a Masjid in a specific sequence of rakats?
This subject has been discussed many times on the Forum.
WHO CONSPIRED AGAINST SALAAT & CONTRIVED NAMAAZ?
(WHO CONTRIVED NAMAAZ, THE RITUAL PRAYER?)
Following is the research of a fallible, lifelong student, Shabbir.
Allah commands us to ESTABLISH SALAAT (WA AQIMUSSALAT). Yet, most Muslims use words like 'performing', 'offering', 'saying', 'reading' and 'doing' SALAAT. These words and phrases make no sense.
In my humble opinion, translating SALAAT as prayers is a profound error. (Late) Dr. Rashad Khalifa of Arizona committed the newest grave error by translating SALAAT as "Contact Prayers"!
It is very important for us to remain consciously aware of the context. The same word used in the Qur'an (or in any other book) carries a different shade of meaning depending on the context.
SALAAT-IL-WUSTA means the Central Duty, and not the middle prayer or NAMAAZ-E-'ASR.
The ritual SALAAT or NAMAAZ is a VERY SMALL PART of the Qur'an-ordained "WA AQIMUSSALAAT". Here is some detail on the subject according to my humble understanding.
MIXING UP SALAAT WITH NAMAAZ
Interesting to read some of these tenets listed here http://tenets.zoroastrianism.com/
NAMAAZ is only a very small part of SALAAT. Think of ‘Aqaamat-is-Salaat’ or “WA AQIMUSSALAAT” (Establish Salaat). No one says that he has established Salaat. Rather, they say: I have read, offered or performed Namaaz. There was not one single person who introduced the Namaaz deception into Islam. Obviously, no person alone could do. Such conspiracies have to be state-sponsored in order to get hold of the masses. Think of the history of Christianity for a moment. The Pauline doctrine was not canonized until Emperor Constantine supported it at the Conference of Nicea in 325 CE.
WHAT ACTUALLY IS SALAAT?
2:43 And establish the Divine System, and set up the Just Economic Order in the society. And bow with others who bow to these Commands. [9:119, 89:27-30 'Salaat' = To follow closely like a runners-up (Musalli) follows the winning horse (Saabiq). 'Aqimussallat' = Establish the System that facilitates the following of Divine Commands]
The Qur’an commands us to remember Allah lying, sitting and standing any time. This is also a form of Salaat. The Qur’an repeatedly describes the functions of various creatures as their Salaat and Tasbeeh.
24:41 Do you not realize that God, He is the One Whom all beings in the heavens and earth glorify, and the birds, with their wings outspread, as they fly in columns. All of them know their Salaat and Tasbeeh (mission and strife). God is Aware of what they do to fulfill His Plan. [All creatures know their Salaat, their inborn Divinely programmed instincts. So, they can automatically strive (do their Tasbeeh) in the best way. But humans are not programmed with such inborn instincts. Given free will, they must do their Salaat by following the revealed guidance and thus strive (do Tasbeeh) in the best way]
62:1 All that is in the heavens and all that is on earth strive to manifest the glory of God, the King Supreme, the Impeccable, the Almighty, the Wise.
THE IMAMIST CONSPIRACY OF NAMAAZ: Remind yourself of the famous weird tale of the Prophet (S) ascending to heavens to meet with Allah, the so-called Me'raaj (the word is non-existent in the Qur’an). Is not Allah Omnipresent? The "Imams" of Hadith want us to believe that Allah ordained 50 ritual prayers daily for Muslims on that occasion. As the exalted Prophet was descending, Prophet Moses told him of the impossibility of the situation and sent Muhammad (S) back again and again. Imagine the Prophet (S) bargaining with God! Repeated visits to and fro then bring the number down to 40, 30, 20, 10, and finally 5! Moses a. s. wanted him to make one more trip since Muslims won't be able to do it. But Muhammad (S) said that although Prophet Moses was right, he felt shy to bargain any further. Was this Hadith, in addition to promoting ritualism, fabricated to prove Moses' farsightedness over Muhammad (S)? Only an extremely gullible mind would accept this irrational story.
The later Persian Imams built upon this tale and formulated the current Namaaz. They received strong support from the Persian Zoroastrian viziers, the Baramika. So, it were these Criminal “Imams” who "canonized" Namaaz around 787 CE. Their main philosopher was Imam Al-Khalil bin Ahmad Shikoh, the first ever compiler of Arabic to Persian dictionary, Al-'Ain.
WHY WAS IMAM HANBAL FLOGGED? Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal is reported to have been flogged by Khalifa Mamun son of Haroon because Hanbal supposedly insisted that the Qur’an being the Word of God was Ghair Makhlooq (non-creation). No! That wasn't it. It was too trivial a debate. Hanbal got flogged because he saw and opposed the Persian Namaaz (Bandagi or Gah) being incorporated into Islam.
Is Physical Prostration Immodest? The Mode of Salaat Prayer:
Hasan Basari said that physical prostration was forbidden for reasons of modesty since the Salaat prayer used to be only congregational and held only in the Masjid with men standing on the left side and women on the right. The Salaat prayer used to begin with people standing behind the local Emir (governor) and it was completed in that posture. The Emir recited only Surah Al-Fatihah OR a few other short verses relevant to the situation. Then he went ahead with the issues about community welfare and public affairs. When the assembly was adjourned, people dispersed and worked on the agreed upon decisions while engaging in their jobs or businesses. Incidentally, that also indicates that Friday was never a holiday during the early noble era of Islam. [About physical prostration, also think how birds and other creatures would conduct their Namaz.]
For the sake of clarity, we can say that, according to the most ancient sources, Namaaz or ritual Salaat was observed more like the congregational FUNERAL PRAYER is conducted today – one raka’at (unit) standing. It used to be called by the Caliph or local governors before discussing community matters.
Frequency: The central government (Khalifah with his consultative body) used to decide the frequency of Salaat Congregations. During emergent circumstances, it used to take place even five times a day. For example, when Madinah was hit by famine during Hazrat Umar’s times, he sent express camel couriers to the nearby provinces. Meanwhile, he ordered the inhabitants of Madinah to bring their food to the Masjid and vicinity and eat together rather than eating at their homes. He said that the food of two persons could easily suffice three if eaten together. This arrangement proved to be so effective that not an infant died of under nutrition during the seventeen days it took for supplies to reach Madinah from Syria, Iraq and Egypt. On the contrary, under normal circumstances, Muslims used to congregate at the Masjid just once a week i.e. Fridays alone.
(Ref: 1. 'Azwaaj-in-Nabi wal-Ashaab', by Hammad bin Hakam in 94 AH, 210 years before Tareekh Tabari. 2. 'Kitab-e-Dalail-e-Nabawwut Syedna Muhammad' by Abdul Jabbar Fatimi, written in 130 AH, 150 years before Tabari, the first ever 'canonized historian. More references follow after a few paragraphs.)
Less than 5% Muslims strictly "perform" the five times a day timely Namaaz in a Masjid and they keep announcing it. No one can say or says, "I have established Salaat." Yet, most Muslims keep arguing about Namaaz.
Violation of human Rights by the Namaazis: Then, hardly any of them would display exceptional character. And most certainly, they won’t even think of violating human rights during the process. The so-called Namaazi would leave a hungry, crying child, or a sick elderly to fulfill the so-called “Huqooqullah” (the rights of Allah), a term which nowhere appears in the Qur’an except implicitly at one place where it means helping the needy with one’s wealth. Empty rituals are certainly by no means ordained in the Qur’an.
6:141 He is the One Who creates bounties for you, such as gardens that are cultivated, greens that are wild, palm trees of various kinds, crops in diversity, olives and pomegranates, fruits that are similar and diverse. Enjoy them, but give Him His Right on the Day of the Harvest. And waste not the bounty of God. He does not love the wasteful. [‘give Him His Right’ = Give God His Right = Render to the poor what is their Divinely ordained right.]
Experiment: Call a random gathering of Muslims anywhere for Namaaz under completely unexpected circumstances. You will notice almost all of them joining the lines, most of them without Wudhu (Ablution)!
What Exactly Was NAMAAZ (Ritual Salaat): As far as I have been able to analytically search our history and Hadith, following was the probable situation in the lifetime of the exalted Prophet and Sahaba Kiraam.
• Ritual prayer or Namaaz was a small part of Aqamatis-Salaat, i.e. establishing the System that facilitates the following of Divine Commands.
• The ritual prayer was always congregational.
• Women and men both formed this congregation, women on the right side of men.
• The frequency and timing of the congregations were determined by the State as needed. It was never fixed as five times a day ritual.
• Namaaz was performed with the Emir (governor) reciting some short verses from the Qur’an relevant to the situation at hand as the congregation listened to him. The Emir would recite a few verses in the standing position as did the congregation behind him.
• Masjid was not a temple of worship. It was the Assembly, the School, the Municipality, the Parliament and the Government House.
So, after that recitation, the leader and people 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 addressing the problems facing the community and for betterment of the society. Masjid was also the place where the leaders were elected.
[Some references on WHO CONTRIVED NAMAZ? - Azwaaj-in-Nabi wal-Ashaab, written by Hammad bin Hakam in 94 AH, 210 years before Tareekh Tabari. - Kitab-e-Dalail-e-Nabawwut Syedna Muhammad (S) by Abdul Jabbar Fatimi, written in 130 AH, 150 years before Tabari, the first ever 'canonized' historian. - Haroon Wa Baramikatil Faras by Sheikhul Ifta Salman bin Abu Qasim Baghdadi. Vol 1 pg 31-55. - Meezan-il-Faris by Hujjatullah Abdul Qadir Ali Al-Moosvi pg 249-261. - Takmilatil Lughatal 'Ain 'Urfa by Al-Ustaz Jalaluddin Al-Ash'ari on Imam Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad Shikoh Tabrezi Vol 2 pg 3-5. [Imam Shikoh was the first ever compiler of Arabic to Persian dictionary, Al-'Ain]. - Mujahid-al-Munafiq Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal by Abdul Muhsin bin Mullah Ali Al-Qari, pg 67-135, "Maudhu'at-e-Kabeer" by Mullah Ali al-Qari, "Qanoon Al-Akhbaril Maudhu’ah Wa Rijal-ud-Dhu’fa" by Allama Muhammad Tahir Gujarati]