14 Oct

SALAH

 

MEANING OF الصّلوة[SALAH]

It seems possible that the word الصّلوة [salah] has been derived from the roots of ص ل ى [saly] and ص ل و [salv] as a structure. It may have been derived from both roots according to the grammar rules. It is because both of the words of ص ل ى [saly] and ص ل و [salv] are “nakıs’’ [a word that has harf-i illet] as their last letters are “harf-i illet” [a letter that may disappear or convert to another letter] and when a word is derived from these roots, the harf-i illets [a letter that may disappear or convert to another letter] at the end of the roots are omitted and turn into another letter. In such case, some complications may appear if no serious analysis is conducted about the root from which the new word is derived. Hence, in the inflection of many of the forms from the root of ص ل و [salv], the letter of و [vav] turns into ى ]ya] as a result of change and the words formed in this way seem to have formed from the root of ص ل ى [saly] at first sight.

In such cases, the first thing to do to understand the message of the Qur’an accurately is to take look at the meanings of the roots from which the word might have been derived. Therefore, we started our analysis with the roots of the words of ص ل ى [saly] andص ل و [salv] from which the word الصّلوة [salah] may have derived.

صلى [saly, sıla] means “cooking, burning, throwing on fire, resting and leaning”. The word is used with this meaning in the surah Haqqah:

Surah Haqqah 31:

Then throw him into Jahannah [Hell] [صلّوه/sallûhû].

In addition, the word took place many times in the Qur’an in different forms derived from this root, such as إصلوها [islavha], يصلى [yesla], وسيصلون [veseyeslavne], ساصليه [seüslîhi], لايصلاها [la yeslaha] and also in the same meaning. For example, the word المصلّين [musallîn] derived from the root of صلى [s-l-y] is used not as “someone providing support, helping” but as “leaning on the back or thigh of an animal”.[1]

The word صلى[saly] is also the source of the words of “throwing” and “resting, leaning” in Turkish.

However, if it is assumed that the root of the word salah, our subject matter, is saly, it will be necessary to accept that all the الصّلوة [salah] words and their derivatives mentioned in the Qur’an mean “throwing into fire, resting, leaning” in which case, it will be necessary from, for example, the imperative of صلّ [salli] with the expression of “throw into” in the surah Al-Kawthar or of صلّواعليه [sallû aleyhi] in Surah Al-Ahzab 56, to infer the meaning of “Throw/swing him [Mohammed] into fire”. As a result, there is no possibility to establish a meaning relation between الصّلوة [salah], which means “help, support, struggle, endeavor” and صلى [saly], which means “throwing into fire, resting onto fire, cooking, and burning”.

ص ل و[salv]: The word that means “thigh, back” as a noun is explained as follows: صلو [salv] means “The back of a person and a four-legged animals and the area between buttocks, and knee of a person and a four-legged animals”[2]

In line with this meaning, when it is used as a verb, the word means “thigh-ing, shouldering” and “thigh-ing”, which is a movement of positioning the thigh [the area of the leg between the knee and the buttocks] horizontally and extending it beneath a load and “shouldering”, which means taking a load on the back, express support of a load.

According to us, the root of the word salah is not saly but salv. The actual form of the word is صلوة [salvet] and as the root word is nakıs [a word that has harf-i illet at the end], as required by the general grammar rules, the word صلوة [salvet] has turned into the form of الصّلوة [salah]. Hence, in the word صلوات [salavat], the plural form of the word, و [vav] that is the actual letter of the root word appears expressly. This situation applies to many other words as well. For example, the infinitive of the ğaza [warred] is غزوة [ğazve] and the plural of ğazve becomes غزوات [ğazevat]. In the other verb inflections, ğaza‘s “vav” either transforms into ى [ya] or is omitted. It is already because there is agreement in terms of the fact that the word salah derived from the root of s-l-v and, in order to prevent a confusion of meaning, the word salah is not written like الصلاة with ا [elif] but like الصّلوة with و [vav] in the mushafs[3].

On the other hand, the meaning of the word صلّى [salla] (whose infinitive is salah) derived from the root of صلو [s-l-v] is explained in the Al-Qiyamat 31-32 in the manner that it would not allow any misunderstanding:

فلا صدّق ولا صلّى ولاكن كذّب و تولّى [fela saddaqa vela salla velakin kezzebe ve tevella= …………..].

As it is seen, four actions are mentioned in the above sentence and two of them are shown as the opposite of other two, which is as follows: While as the opposite of صدّق [saddaqa], كذّب [kezzebe] is used (namely, as the opposite of “confirmation” “denial, confutation” is used), تولّى [tevella] is used as the opposite of the word صلّى [salla]. As the word tevella which means “continuity” in terms of its form means “staying back continuously, turning the face back continuously, abstaining, staying careless, disinterest, passiveness, and thwarting the initiatives that are being taken”, صلّى [salla], which is opposite of تولّى [tevella] means “supporting continuously, not staying as an onlooker”.

Despite such express mentioning of its meaning in the Qur’an, the word salah has been nearly circumvented by the expression in Ragıb al-Isfehani’s work entitled Müfredat of “Majority of the dictionary experts” said salah; ‘pray, congratulation, and exalting”.

As a result, it is possible to summarize the meaning of the word الصّلوة [salah] as “to support, help, shoulder the problems, to undertake the solutions of the problems”. However, it is necessary to state that the problems here cover not only the individual problems but also social problems. Hence, it is not correct to reduce the meaning of the word الصّلوة [salah] to the dimension of “helping the people nearby”; it is necessary to think widely that it covers the dimension of “supporting and illuminating the society and shouldering, undertaking, and solving its problems”. The manner of realizing the help and support to be provided has two dimensions as “mental” and “financial”.

  • Salah, with its mental side, is to illuminate the individuals, thus the society, through education and training, to ensure their maturity, and direct them to the surest way;
  • With its financial side, salah means to help the needy people with work opportunities and assurance systems, shoulder them in their difficult times, and thus eliminate the problems of the society.

إقام الًصّلوة[IQAMI’S-SALAH= ESTABLISMENT OF SALAH]

The impressions in the Qur’an regarding “establishing salah” in the form of imperative and indicative phrases have so far been translated as “establish prayer accurately; they establish their prayer accurately”. The analysis we conducted in terms of the meanings of the words shows that these words were insufficient and even wrong in terms of reflecting the meaning of the expression.

As it is seen, the expression consists of the words of إقام[iqam] and الصّلوة [es-salah]. As the meaning of the word salah is explained above, we will analyze the word إقام[iqam] here.

The word إقام [iqam] consisting of the letters of ق و م [q-v-m] is the infinitive of the word qıyam, which is the opposite of the verb of “sitting” from the if‘al bab [if’al type four letter verb by adding an ‘‘e’’ to the beginning of the three letter verb] and the meaning of this form is determined in the dictionaries as “making it stand up, erecting, keeping standing”.

Accordingly, the meaning of the determinative group of إقام الصّلوة [iqami’s-salah] is “realization of the works of undertaking and eliminating the problems with the assistance and support in mental and financial aspects and sustaining it; that is to say keeping them standing”. Expression of this by concretization, “establishment of salah” is:

  • In mental grounds; inauguration of schools, public houses, and public education centers, and keeping them standing,
  • In financial grounds; opening of job areas; constitution of the security systems like retirement funds etc.; shouldering their problems by supporting the poor and the orphans-including making the singles and widows get married; establishment of the institutions for solving their problems; and keeping them standing by sustaining them.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF SALAH AND WHO ESTABLISHES IT?

Purpose of salah in mental grounds is to illuminate a person by means of convincing, making them to reach rüşd [the most righteous and the most sound, ability to distinguish between good and evil] and keeping the relation between Allah and the servant alive:

The word rüşd [the most righteous and the most sound, ability to distinguish between good and evil] means “consciousness of distinguishing the right and wrong, mental maturity, entering into the right path by finding it, and reaching the maturity of doing the good and right things”. Thus, our Rabb[4] stated in the Qur’an that rüşd is the truest and strongest thing by expressing that the Qur’an guides them to “the path of the ability of distinguishing between good and evil” (Surah Al-Jinn 2) and “the most righteous and the most sound” (Surah Al-Isra 9). Accordingly, it is possible to describe the word rushd in view of the Qur’an as “To reach and live the maturity stipulated by Islam”. However, guidance of humans to rüşd is realized in the Qur’an not as “brainwashing or bewitching” but “by raising consciousness by means of making them use their reason” that is to say “convincing” them. Hence, the purpose of salah [mental support] that is conducted through the Qur’an’s explanations is nothing but making people reach the rüşd by convincing them. This issue was confirmed by our Rabb by means of stating that the purpose of the salah conducted by Himself and His angels [the support they provide] taking the people out to the light from all the darkness:

Surah Al-Ahzab 43:

43,44He[5] is the One Who supports you to bring you out from all darkness into the light. His forces of the nature/harbinger Ayat that He sends down provide support. And He is very merciful to the believers. On the day they will meet Him, their greeting will be “Salam [health, peace, happiness…]!”. And Allah has prepared for them a noble reward.

In the education-training institutions established, while the people reach the maturity to distinguish good and right from evil and wrong, they also question the relation between them and Allah and hence the “ideal human” missed by the society takes place.

Surah Ta-Ha 14:

14Surely, I am Allah Himself. There is no deity except Me. Then worship me and establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] to remember me.

Zikrullah [remembering Allah] is “Thinking about the rights of Allah on us and the blessings that Allah gave to us; checking whether we have fulfilled our responsibilities towards Him; conducting completely the tasks He has charged; and thanking about his blessings and not being unthankful. It is being in this awareness at all times”.

SALAH IS ESTABLISHED WITH ZAQAH [TAX] and INFAK [AID]

The reason of the expressions of Establish salah, They established salah, and They establish salah along with the expressions of Give zaqah/tax too, They gave zaqah/tax too, and Let them give zaqah/tax too taking place in the Qur’an is that it is not possible to maintain salah without financial support; that is to say, it is the reality of impossibility that the social support and education-training institutions cannot be constituted without money, financial aid.

Following verses concerning the issue must be taken into account:

Surah Al-Baqara 277:

277Surely, those who believe, do amendatory deeds, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax will have their reward with their Rabb. And there will be no fear upon them, they will not grieve.

Surah Al-Baqara 2-4:

2-4This book; about which there is no doubt is a guidance for those who believe in the unseen, the unheard, the unknown places, who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], who spend from what We have provided for them for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance first for their relatives and then others, who believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before you, who has entered under the guardianship of Allah –and they definitely believe in Akhirat [Afterlife]-.

Surah Al-Baqara 43:

43Establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, acknowledge the oneness of Allah with those who acknowledge the oneness of Allah.

Surah Al-Baqara 83:

83And when We took “a certain promise” from Israelites: “You will worship none but Allah, do good to your parents, relatives, orphans and the needy, speak good to people, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax”. Then, except for a few, you turned away. And you are the ones who turn away.

Surah Al-Baqara 110:

110And you, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax! Whatever good you do for yourselves, you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah is the One Who sees best what you do.

Surah At-Tawbah 5:

5And when untouchable months/months of hajj [pilgrimage] have passed, kill those who associate others with Allah wherever you find them, seize them, imprison them and sit for them at every observation point. But if they should repent, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax, then let their ways free. Surely, Allah is the One Who removes the sins of His servants, does not punish them and has much forgiveness, the One Who is the possessor of vast mercy.

Surah At-Tawbah 11:

11If they repent after this, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax, then they are your brothers in religion. And We explain the Ayat in detail for a people who know.

Surah At-Tawbah 71:

71The believing men and the believing women; some of them are familiars who are protectors, guides of some others. They command the good which is accepted by everyone, forbid all that is evil, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, obey Allah and His Messenger. Those, Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is the One Who is the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible.

Surah Ar-Ra‘d 19-24:

19-24Then, is the one who knows that which has been revealed to you from your Rabb is the truth like the one who is blind? Surely, only those who are able to comprehend;

those who fulfill their promises to Allah and who do not break the contract,

those who combine that which Allah has ordered to be combined; the faith and the good deed,

those who fear their Rabb in awe with respect, love, knowledge and who are afraid of the evil of account,

those who had patience in order to obtain the countenance of their Rabb,

those who established Salah [established and maintained the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community],

those who spent from what We had provided for them secretly and openly for the cause of Allah

and those who eliminate evil with good remember and contemplate. It is they for whom the consequence of this home; the gardens of Eden are. They, the righteous from among their ancestors, spouses and descendants will enter into the gardens of Eden. And the forces in charge/harbinger Ayat will enter upon them from every gate: “Salam [health, peace, happiness…] be upon you for what you have had patience! How excellent is the end of this home!”.

Surah Al-Hajj 34-55:

34,35And for every people with a leader, We made a way of servitude so they may mention His name over the flawless of the animals Allah has given as provision to them. So, your god is the One God. Therefore, be Muslims only for Him. Give the good tidings to those whose hearts shake with awe when Allah is mentioned, those who are patient over what has afflicted them, who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and spend from what We have provided for them for the cause of Allah, who sincerely submit to Allah.

Surah Al-Hajj 41:

Allah will definitely help those who help Him -who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], who give zaqah/tax, instruct that which is acceptable for all and who forbid with Wahy [Revelation] and common sense that which is considered evil, if We make them have authority and home-. Indeed, Allah is very powerful, almighty. And only to Him belongs the consequence of all matters.

Surah Al-Hajj 78:

And strive for the cause of Allah properly so you may win victory, maintain your status. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you any difficulty in the religion; the religion/lifestyle of your ancestor, Abraham. He has named you “Muslims” before and in the Qur’an so the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. Therefore, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax and hold fast to Allah. He is your familiar Who guides, helps, protects. How an excellent familiar Who guides, helps, protects, how an excellent helper He is!

Surah Al-Ahzab 33:

Be staid in your houses, do not make a display as display of the former ignorance, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, obey Allah and His Messenger. – O people of the house! Truly, Allah intends to remove the impurity from you and purify you.-

Surah Fatir 18:

18And no sinner bears the sins of another. Even if the one who has many sins/who is very wealthy calls another to make him bear his sin, none of his sin will be taken from him to be borne by another one. – Even if he is a relative – Surely, you only warn those who fear their Rabb in awe with respect, love and knowledge in the desolate places and those who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Whoever purifies himself is purified for himself. And return is only to Allah.

Surah Ash-Shura 36-39:

36,39And whatever thing you have been given is the enjoyment of the simple worldly life. Only a temporary benefit of the worldly life. But what is with Allah [blessings, rewards] is better and more lasting for;

those who have believed and rely only on their Rabb,

and those who avoid major of the sins and immorality and those who forgive when they are angry,

and those who respond to the call of their Rabb, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], whose affair is to “mutually find and agree upon the best conclusion of the matter” among themselves, those who spend from that which We have provided for them for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance first for their relatives then others,

and those who help each other when injustice and assault hits them

Surah Ibrahim 31:

31Tell my servants who believe: Let them establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and spend from that which We have provided for them openly and secretly for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance for their relatives before a day comes in which there will be no trade and no friendship.”.

Surah Ibrahim 35-41:

35-41And when Abraham once said: “My Rabb! Make this city safe! Keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols! My Rabb! Surely, idols have led many among the people astray. Then, whoever follows me, he is of me; and whoever disobeys… Then you surely are the One Who forgives much and shows great mercy. Our Rabb! I have indeed settled some of my children in a barren valley next to Your untouchable House so they might establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Our Rabb! So make the hearts of some of Your servants incline towards to them so they may repay for the blessings that You have given. And provide for them from some fruits. Our Rabb! Indeed, You know that which we conceal and that which we disclose. –And nothing is hidden from Allah in the heavens/universe and on the earth.- All praise is to Allah Who has bestowed me Ishmael and Isaac in my old age; no one else may be praised. Indeed, my Rabb is the One Who hears my supplication very well. My Rabb! Make me a man who establishes Salah [establishes and maintains the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]! And from my descendants too… Our Rabb! Accept my supplication! Our Rabb! Forgive me, my parents and believers on the day when the account will be established!”.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 55:

55Your familiars who are helpers, guides, protectors are only Allah and His Messenger, and the ones who have believed, who acknowledge the oneness of Allah and establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax.

Surah An-Naml 1-3:

1-3Ta, Sin. These are the Ayat of the Qur’an, an explicit book/the book which clarifies sent as a guide to the righteous path and a bringer of good tidings to those believers who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax and certainly believe in Akhirat [Afterlife].

Surah Luqman 2-5:

2-5These are the Ayat of that book which contains laws as a guidance to the righteous path and mercy upon those who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], who give zaqah/tax, and those who certainly believe in Akhirat [Afterlife], who do good deeds –they are upon a righteous path from their Rabb. And they are the ones who will reach the salvation-.

Surah An-Nisa 77:

Have you not seen/thought about those who were told, “Restrain your hands, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax”? And when war was written upon them, a group from among them fear men in awe with respect, love, knowledge like they fear Allah in awe with respect, love, knowledge or even more. And they said: “Our Rabb! Why have you decreed war upon us, why did not You postpone us for a close time?”. Say: “Enjoyment of the world is very little. Akhirat [Afterlife], on the other hand, is better for those who have entered under the guardianship of Allah and you will not be treated unjustly, not even “as much as the speck of a date seed”.

Surah An-Nisa 103:

103And when the education-training is completed, remember Allah while standing, sitting or lying on your flanks. When you are in safety, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Indeed, Salah [duty of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified periods of time for a long time past.

Surah An-Nisa 162:

162But those who have been deep in knowledge and who believe from among those who became Jews believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before. They are the ones who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, believe in Allah and the day of Akhirat [Afterlife]. They are the ones whom We will give a great reward.

Surah An-Nur 56:

56And establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax and obey the Messenger so you may receive mercy.

Surah Al-Mujadila 13:

13Are you afraid of giving sadaqa/public revenue before your private conversation? And, you did not do it. And Allah accepted your conscious repentance. Then establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is the One Who is all aware of what you do.

Surah Al-Muzzammil 20:

20Do not doubt, your Rabb knows that you stay awake for less than two-thirds, half, a third of the night. So does a group of those who are with you. Allah determines the night and the day by a measure. He has known that you will not be able to do this duty with ease so eased your duty. Then, learn and teach what is easy of the Qur’an! He has known that there will be those who are ill among you. He has known that some of them will travel through the earth seeking of the bounties of Allah, while some others will fight for the cause of Allah. Then learn teach what is easy from it! Establish/maintain Salah [financial and spiritual support; institutions that enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax19! Loan Allah a good loan! And you will find whatever good you send forth for yourselves better and you will find its reward greater with Allah. Ask Allah for forgiveness! Indeed, Allah is the One Who forgives much, shows great mercy.

Surah Al-Anfal 3:

2-4Surely, the believers are those whose hearts fear in awe when Allah is mentioned,

who get stronger in faith when His Ayat are recited to them and who rely only upon their Rabb,

who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]

and who spend from that which We have given them as provision for the cause of Allah. Indeed, these are the ones who truly believe. For them are degrees, forgiveness and a noble provision with their Rabb.

IT IS THE BELIEVERS WHO ESTABLISH SALAH

Surah At-Tawbah 18:

18Only those who believe in Allah and the day of Akhirat [Afterlife], establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax and fear Allah in awe with respect, love, knowledge build and maintain the masjid [school] of Allah. And it is expected that they will be of those who follow the righteous path they are guided.

Surah An-Nisa 101-103:

101And when you set out for a campaign on the earth, if you fear the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb will harm you, then there will be no blame upon you if you shorten [shorten your education] Salah [work of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. Surely, the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb are explicit enemy for you.

102And when you are among those who are on a campaign and provide training and education for them, let some of them stand/join the training with you. And let them take their weapons with them. And when they have received enough knowledge and are convinced, let them stand behind you. Then, let another group who have not yet received education and training come to join you for training and let them take precautions and carry their weapons with them. The infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb wish that you become negligent of your weapons and belongings so they may suddenly raid upon you. If a trouble reaches you from the rain or you become ill, there will be no blame upon you to leave your weapons. Take your precautions as well. Surely, Allah has prepared a humiliating punishment for the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb.

103And when the education-training is completed, remember Allah while standing, sitting or lying on your flanks. When you are in safety, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Indeed, Salah [duty of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified periods of time for a long time past.

SALAH OF ALLAH TO THE PROPHET and PEOPLE

Surah Al-Ahzab 43:

43He is the One Who supports you to bring you out from all darkness into the light. His forces of the nature/harbinger Ayat that He sends down provide support. And He is very merciful to the believers.

Surah Al-Ahzab 56:

56Surely, Allah and His forces in the nature/Ayat of the Qur’an that He has sent down support/help the Prophet. O you who have believed! Support/help the Prophet and maintain his security with a complete safety!

Surah Al-Hadid 9:

9Allah is the One Who has revealed explicit Ayat to His servant to bring you out from all darkness into the light. And surely, Allah is very compassionate, very merciful to you.

Surah Al-Baqara 155-157:

155,156And surely, We will surely weaken/test you with something of fear, hunger and loss of wealth, lives and crops. Give the tidings to those who are patient and who say: “We surely belong to Allah and will return only to Him” when a disaster comes to them!

157Those are the ones upon whom some supports and mercy of their Rabb are. And they are the ones who follow the righteous path they have been guided.

EXAMPLES OF IT

Surah Ali-Imran 121-127:

121And when you left your family early in the morning to post the believers at their stations for the battle. –And Allah is the One Who hears best, knows best.- 122At the time, two groups from among you were about to corrupt although Allah was their familiar Who helps, guides, protects. –Then, let the believers rely only on Allah!-.

123-127And surely, Allah helped you at Badr when you were weak so you might repay for the blessings you are given: When you said to the people: “Is it not sufficient for you that Allah has helped you with three thousand harbinger Ayat that have been sent down?”. If you have patience and enter under the guardianship of Allah, your Rabb will indeed support you. And should they come upon you suddenly, your Rabb will help you with five thousand harbinger Ayat that are marked/that train/that are sent. And Allah made it only to give you good tidings and your hearts may be assured. And this help comes from Allah Who is the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible so Allah may eradicate or devastate a section of the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb so they may turn back as losers. Therefore, enter under the guardianship of Allah.

Surah Al-Anfal 9-12:

9When you asked the help of your Rabb and your Rabb responded: “Surely, I am helping you with thousands of harbinger Ayat one after other”.

10And Allah did this only to give you the good tidings and so your hearts may be pacified. And help is only from Allah. Indeed, Allah is the One Who is the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible.

11And when your Rabb overwhelmed you with drowsiness as a security from Him. He sent down upon you a water from the sky to purify you, remove from you the evil/harm of the malicious one, strengthen your hearts and set your feet firm; make you step firm.

12And when your Rabb programmed the forces of the nature: “Surely, I am with you so give strength to those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of the infidels; those who consciously denied the divinity of Myself and the fact that I am Rabb, so hit them in their necks and fingertips/knuckles!”.

Surah Al-Anfal 50:

50If only you could see the forces in charge when they remind the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb one by one what they did in the past and what they failed to do while being obliged to, hitting their faces and backs.

Surah At-Tawbah 25-27:

25Surely, Allah helped you at many places and on the day of Hunayn. When your number gave you confidence but it did not avail you at all and the earth was confining for you despite its vastness. Then you turned back and fled.

26Then Allah cast upon His Messenger and upon the believers the feelings of trust and tranquility/morale which pacify the heart within themselves and descended armies which you did not see. And He punished the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb. And this is the recompense of the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb.

27Then, after all this that has happened, Allah will ordain return to whomever He wills. And Allah is very forgiving, the One Who shows great mercy.

Surah Al-Ahzab 9-15:

9O you who have believed! Remember the favor of Allah upon you. When armies came to you, then We sent upon them a wind and armies that you did not see. And Allah is the One Who sees very well what you do.

10When they came to you from above and from below you. And when eyes shifted and hearts reached the throats. And you were assuming various assumptions about Allah.

11There the believers were tested and shaken with a severe shake.

12And at that time, the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease; the ill-minded were saying: “Allah and His Messenger have promised us nothing but deception”.

13And when a group from among them said: “O the people of Yathrib/Medina! There is no place for you to stay, get back immediately”. And some of them asked the Prophet for his permission, saying: “Our houses are unprotected”. Yet their houses were not unprotected. They intended only to flee.

14And if they had been entered upon from all around their houses and asked to set a social fire, they would definitely have done it. And they would not have waited long for this.

15And surely, they had given ‘a certain promise’ to Allah before that they would not turn their backs and flee. And the covenant of Allah/promises given to Allah entails a liability.

Surah Al-Ahzab 25-26:

25And Allah turned back the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb with their rage before they have obtained any good. And Allah was sufficient for the believers in the battle. And Allah is very powerful, the One Who is almighty.

26And Allah brought down those from among the People of the Book who helped the infidels, from their fortresses. And He cast terror into their hearts: you killed some of them and took captive some of them.

SALAH OF THE PROPHET: TASBIH [PURIFICATION] and REMINDER; EDUCATION-TRAINING, INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM

One of the most significant works of the Prophet and all the prophets within the scope of the task of communicating and tabyin [good tidings, warning, reminder] is “tasbih” purifying Allah from all deficiencies, and to settle oneness. This is the Prophet’s salah as well as the salah of others.

Surah Al-Isra 78-79:

78Establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] from setting/downing of the sun until the darkness of the night and ensure the learning-teaching of the day.194 Because learning-teaching of the day is worth seeing.

79And from the night. Also, additionally only for you, fulfill Salah by waking up at night! It is expected that your Rabb will take you to a good position.

Surah Ali-Imran 39:

39Then, while Zechariah was fulfilling Salah [teaching], standing on the special desk, the harbinger Ayat called him: “Surely, Allah is giving you the good tidings of John, of the righteous as the confirmer of the words of Allah, the master/the leader, a prophet of modesty”.

TASBIH

We mentioned in the analysis of Surah Al-Qalam 29 that the word تسبيح [tasbîh] in the dictionary that derived from the root of سبح [sebh], which means “moving in air and water, passing by, going away by swimming” and that its meaning in the Qur’an is that keeping Allah away from the things that do not befit Him, exalting Him, perceiving that He was equipped with all kinds of mature titles, and speaking of this loudly in every opportunity. In a nutshell, تسبيح [tasbih] is “to know the creator and make Him known with all His qualities”. Hence, tasbih is unrelated with the recital of “sübhanallah” 33 times after the prayers with 33′ and 99′ tasbihs–as mentioned in the rumors attributed to Abu Huraira.

TASBIH [PURIFICATION] OF NAME

Tasbih of a name [keeping away from deficiencies, exalting] is in fact tasbih of the owner of that name because the superiority and sanctity of the owner of a name is expressed with the superiority and purifications of the name. Even though some scholars have said “Name and its owner are the same” they all accepted that the purpose behind purifying the name is related with the purification of the owner of the name. Hence, here, the objective of “tasbih of a name” is to keeping the names and title that do not befit Him away from our Rabb.

In the period in which the Qur’an was sent down, wrong and pointless beliefs were widespread among the Arabs, such as

  • Angels were the daughters of Allah,
  • Uzayr and Jesus were Allah’s son,
  • Some angels and idols are helpful to get closer to Allah,
  • Presence of an affiliation (lineage) between Jinn and Allah. Hence, the order of “tasbih of the name” requires the names and titles reflecting such beliefs must be taken out of the names and titles of our Rabb immediately.

The Prophet must inform and train the society in this regard first; that is to say, he is required to introduce Allah accurately.

Surah Ali-Imran 41:

41Zechariah said: “My Rabb! Show me an evidence/a sign for me”. Allah said: “Your evidence/sign is that you will not speak to people except for signs for three days. And remember your Rabb much, purify Him all the time from all deficiencies”.-

Surah Al-Hijr 98-99:

98,99Then purify from all deficiencies with the praise of your Rabb, be among those who submit and worship your Rabb so “the certain knowledge” may come to you!

Surah Ta-Ha 130:

130Then be patient over what they say and introduce Allah/teach them with praise of your Rabb that He is purified from all deficiencies before the sunrise and before the sunset as well so you may be content!

Surah Al-Furqan 58:

58And you, trust and rely upon the One Who is ever living, the One Who does not die and purify Him from all deficiencies with His praise. The One Who is ever living, the One Who does not die is sufficient as being aware of sins of His servants.

Surah Al-Mu’min (Ghafir) 55:

55Then have patience. Indeed, promise of Allah is truth. Ask forgiveness of your sin and continuously purify Him from all deficiencies with the praise of your Rabb.

Surah Qaf 39-40:

39,40Therefore, be patient against what they say. And before the sun rises and sets and in a part of the night; at every turn, purify with the praise of your Rabb. And purify Him after submissions/convincements; after making deniers believe.

Surah At-Tur 48-49:

48,49And be patient for the judgment of your Rabb. Indeed, you are before Our eyes. And when you arise, in a part of the night and setting of the stars, purify your Rabb from all deficiencies with His praise. Purify Him from all deficiencies!

Surah Al-Waqi’ah 74 and 96:

74Then, purify the name of your glorious Rabb/keep it away from all deficiencies/teach that He is purified from all deficiencies!

96Then, purify the name of your great Rabb/teach that He is purified from all deficiencies’!

Surah Al-A‘la 1:

Purify the sublime name of your Rabb.

Surah Nasr 1-3:

1,2When the help of Allah and the conquest come and when you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in groups, 3immediately purify Him from all deficiencies with the praise of your Rabb and ask Him for forgiveness. Indeed, He is the One Who accepts repentances much, gives many opportunities to repent, ever.

Surah Haqqah 52:

52Then purify the name of your great Rabb!

REMINDER

Surah Al-Jathiyah 21-22:

21Or do those who commit evils think that We will make them, in their life and in their death, like those who have believe and do amendatory deeds? How evil they judge!

22And Allah formed the heavens/universe and the earth in truth and to recompense everyone with what he has earned. And they will not be treated unjustly.

Surah Al-An’am 70:

70And leave those who have taken their religion as amusement and diversion/who have taken amusement and diversion as their religion, whom the worldly life has deluded and remind with the Qur’an: If a person falls into a manipulation and destruction with what his own hands produced and earned, there will be no familiar who helps, guides, protects nor supporter, intercessor for him from among those that are inferior to Allah. Even though he wants to pay any price for his crime, it will not be taken from him. Those are the ones who fall into manipulation/destruction with what they earned. A drink of scalding water and a painful punishment will be for them for they were not grateful.

Surah Qaf 45:

45We know better what they say. And you are not, over them, the one who forces them. So, remind those who fear My threat with the Qur’an.

Surah Adh-Dhariyat 54-55:

54,55So, turn away from them. You are not to be blamed. And remind them. Because, reminding benefits the believers.

Surah At-Tur 29:

29Then remind them! You are not a soothsayer, the one who is supported by secret forces/is a madman by the favor of your Rabb.

Surah Al-A‘la 9-10:

9,10Therefore remind immediately, if the reminder benefits/will benefit; the one who is respectful will be reminded.

Surah Al-Furqan 52:

52Then do not obey those infidels who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb and strive against them with your best efforts, with the Furqan!

BELIEVERS MUST FULFILL SALAH [SUPPORT] FOR THE PROPHET AS ALLAH AND HIS ANGELS DO

Surah Al-Ahzab 56:

56Surely, Allah and His forces in the nature/Ayat of the Qur’an that He has sent down support/help the Prophet. O you who have believed! Support/help the Prophet and maintain his security with a complete safety!

SALAH TAKES PLACE WITH SPENDING, NOT WITH WORDS

It is very expressly stated in the Qur’an that a person cannot conduct salah from his/her place by speaking and that “spending” is certainly required for salah:

Surah At-Tawbah 99:

99And among the Bedouin Arabs are some who believe in Allah and the day of Akhirat [Afterlife] and consider what they spend as closenesses with Allah and supports of the Messenger. Open your eyes! Indeed, this is a closeness for them. Allah will soon admit them into His mercy. Indeed, Allah is the One Who removes the sins of His servants, does not punish them and has much forgiveness, the One Who is the possessor of vast mercy.

While this verse that specifies that salah is to be conducted with “spending” is available in the Qur’an, which is the unique source of our religion, an application of salah consisting of just “speaking” has unfortunately entered into what is believed and lived as a religion. This application which is very popular within the scope of a weird religion that is invented by the traders of the religion by the way of emptying the content of concepts and distorting the meanings of words in terms of the relation between the religion and the language is called “performing salavat”, “reciting salavat-ı sharifa”. The deformity in this issue has reached such dimensions that various “salavat” models like “Salate’n-Tunciye”, “Salate’n-Nariye”, “Salat-ı Tefriciye” etc. were created and saying them was put before all the worships. For example, after the prayer recited by the imam after prayer in the mosques, he says “Lillahi’l-Fatiha” while the congregation recites salavat by saying “Allahümme salli ala seyyidina…” instead of Surah al-Fatiha because thousands of hadiths have been fabricated regarding salavat and the intercession have been depended to it.

As evidence regarding such numerous deformed interventions in terms of forwardings to salavat –translated by falsification and wrong translation – was shown the ayah of Surah Al-Ahzab 56.

From these wrong translations, a meaning that “Allah and angels perform salavat to the Prophet and Muslims must perform salavat too” takes place.

The question of “What is the performance of salavat?” was responded in the Ilmihals/life knowledge books as saying “Allahümme salli …” etc.

In order to understand “performing salavat” or “reciting salavat-ı sharifa”, it is also necessary to refer to the Qur’an –without forgetting that the word salah means “mental and financial support:”

SALAVAT

In the Qur’an, Allah and angels perform salah not only for our Prophet but also for the believers–to bring them out to the light from all the darkness:

Surah Al-Ahzab 43:

He is the One Who supports you to bring you out from all darkness into the light. His forces of the nature/harbinger Ayat that He sends down provide support. And He is very merciful to the believers.

When this verse is compared with the following verse, it is understood better how the salah of Allah is and what it means:

Surah Al-Hadid 9:

    9Allah is the One Who has revealed explicit Ayat to His servant to bring you out from all darkness into the light. And surely, Allah is very compassionate, very merciful to you.

Surah An-Nur 41:

41Have you not seen/thought about that which is in the heavens/universe and on the earth, that which flies in line [birds, bees, clouds, storms] purifies Allah from all deficiencies? Each of them certainly knows its purification and support/contribution to the nature. And Allah is the One Who knows best what they do.

As it is seen, one of the salavat of Allah; that is to say, His helps; His supports is that “He has sent down ayat that show the truth manifestly on His servants”.

In addition, it is stated thatThose are the ones upon whom some supports and mercy of their Rabb are’’ (Surah Al-Baqara 157) who say “We surely belong to Allah and will return only to Him” when a disaster comes to them!” when Allah weakens/tests them with something of fear, hunger and loss of wealth, lives and crops.

In addition to these, in many verses which we provided the meanings under the title of “Salah [support] to the Prophet” salavat of our Prophet is being mentioned.

Nevertheless, it is sad that there has been an understanding among the Muslims that rendered “salavat” a tong twister so far and the problems created by this understanding were not contemplated and questioned. For example, to whom, why, and how will Allah perform salavat for His Prophet and servants? It is because it is Him Who creates, makes live, Who will forgive and He is the Owner of the day of the religion. What is the logic of performance of salavat by Allah who possesses all the powers? Or have Allah and the angels set up a salavat choir and do they invite us to take part in it? To whom does salavat that is performed tens of times a day by people provide benefit and what is that benefit? If Almighty Allah will show mercy for His Prophet and forgive him, isn’t it possible for Him to forgive him directly without making us beg?

Actually, a response was fabricated for such questions; it was said that when salah is related with Allah, it means “mercy to his servants”; when related with the angels, it means “asking for forgiveness for the servants”; and when related with the servants it means “prayer”. However, they are not related with the truth and were fabricated because they could not settle the issue. As a result, such tricks did not help but complicate the issue. Because, in the surah Al-Baqara, the expression of Those are the ones upon whom some supports [salavat] and mercy of their Rabb are (Surah Al-Baqara 157) was ordered and Mercy and salavat [Support] were expressed as different things.

Hence, in order not to distant from the essence of the issue, it is necessary to turn back to the real meaning of the word salah and not to disengage from it.

However, the issue does not end here because, like the word salah, سلام [selam] and تسليم [teslim] have entered in our culture with a wrong meaning. Hence, it is mandatory to explain the expression of ve sellimu teslimen (Surah Al-Ahzab 56). It is observed that in the current translations, the expression is given a meaning –with some word differences– …and greet with complete submission. However, according to the real meanings of the words, the expression does not have such meaning. It is because the roots of the words of سلّموا [sellimû] and تسليماً [teslimen] in the ayat are selm and silm consisting of the letters of س ل م [s-l-m] and expressed with various vowel points. Regardless of which one is accepted, these roots mean “being sound”.

The expressions of sellimu and teslimen are emr-i hazir [the imperative] and infinitive from the “tef’il [tef’il type four letter verb by repeating the middle letter]” of mezidat [a verb that is formed by adding letters to a three letter verb]. The meaning in this case is “making secure, protect and provide security”. For example, the expression of sellemehullah means “Allah has protected him and ensured his security”. Thus, the meaning of the expression in the ayat that is our subject matter means “and safeguard the Prophet by way of ensuring complete security”. In order to ensure the Prophet’s security completely, it is necessary that the people around him must struggle with heart and soul. Otherwise, it is not possible to ensure the security of the Prophet with words and with the wishes in the form of tongue twisters. Hence, when these ayat were sent down, Sahabah [close friends of the Prophet] did not go aside and say, “Allahumme salli and sellim…” but started acting with all they had and with their heart and soul and supported our Prophet on the way of Allah and ensured his security this way.

Upon this explanation, translation of the verse that is our subject matter must be as follows:

Surah Al-Ahzab 56:

56Surely, Allah and His forces in the nature/Ayat of the Qur’an that He has sent down support/help the Prophet. O you who have believed! Support/help the Prophet and maintain his security with a complete safety!

In the surah that contains this verse, private life, family life, secrets and concessions of our Prophet are explained. It is necessary to consider the entire surah to understand the verse in question. If the surah is read without breaking the integrity of it in terms of subject and passages, the concept of salavat will be understood better and the consequence of those people who upset the Prophet by not performing their duty of providing support and security in line with the order of Allah will be seen (in the 57-58th ayat).

As the word يصلّون [yusallûne] mentioned in the ayah is the simple present tense, it brings the stress that Allah and the angels are “doing what is needed for the Prophet continuously” to the expression. Hence, the believers who are obliged to provide support, ensure the Prophet’s security, and endeavor for this work must not remain seated in their places but they must be in their duties at all times. As the Prophet is not among us today, this duty [the duty of ensuring support and security] must be conducted toward the persons and institutions that establish salah [that constitute and sustain mental and financial support].

After these explanations, it is beneficial to scrutinize the condition of those people who think that they perform salavat by saying, “Long live, my Sultan!” and similar tong twisters by believing in the fabricated rumors because of treachery or ignorance. The issue is as follows in our opinion:

Allah says: Surely, Allah and His forces in the nature/Ayat of the Qur’an that He has sent down support/help the Prophet. O you who have believed! Support/help the Prophet and maintain his security with a complete safety! However, they say “Allahumme salli ala muhammed and sellim… [O, Allah! You, help Muhammad, You support him, You ensure his safety…]”.

What a big contrast and what a disgusting insolence!

Nevertheless, the nature of the salah to be performed for our Prophet has been specified in the Qur’an quite expressly:

Surah At-Tawbah 99:

99And among the Bedouin Arabs are some who believe in Allah and the day of Akhirat [Afterlife] and consider what they spend as closenesses with Allah and supports of the Messenger. Open your eyes! Indeed, this is a closeness for them. Allah will soon admit them into His mercy. Indeed, Allah is the One Who removes the sins of His servants, does not punish them and has much forgiveness, the One Who is the possessor of vast mercy.

The words referred to as “performing salavat” in the weird religion resemble the expressions of the Israelites, People of Moses said: “O Moses! Surely, we will never enter there as long as they are there. Then, you and your Rabb, go and fight. Surely, we are those who sit here”. (Surah Al-Ma’idah 24), and the Israelites paid a heavy price for it. These events are depicted in the Qur’an in the surah Al-Ma’idah and the Bible’s Numbers; 13-14. If Muslims understand salah and salavat in their form mentioned in the Qur’an, they will carry out the following task that is within the scope of salah–given in Al-Anfal:

Surah Al-Anfal 60:

60And collect any kind of force as you can against them and prepare war horses so you may terrify those who are enemy to Allah, your enemies and lower ones than those whom Allah knows but you do not. And whatever you spend for the cause of Allah will be paid to you fully and you will not be treated unjustly.

Thanks to this, getting rid of the vileness experienced for the time being will be easy; otherwise, history will keep repeating.

SALAHS OF THE ENTITIES IN THE UNIVERSE

Surah An-Nur 41:

41Have you not seen/thought about that which is in the heavens/universe and on the earth, that which flies in line [birds, bees, clouds, storms] purifies Allah from all deficiencies? Each of them certainly knows its purification and support/contribution to the nature. And Allah is the One Who knows best what they do.

In this ayah, it is stated that all the creatures in the sky and on earth purify Allah [they witness that Allah has all the best names and is purified from all deficiencies]. We also see this in the Surah Al-Isra:

Surah Al-Isra 44:

44All the heavens/universe, the earth and all that is between them purify Allah from all deficiencies. There is not anything that does not purify Allah from all deficiencies with His praise. But, you do not understand well their purifying Allah from all deficiencies. Surely, He is the One Who forbears, forgives much.

However, here, the expression of Each of them certainly knows its purification and support/contribution to the nature says that every creature has a salah [support] and they fulfill it. We know that everything in the universe was created for a reason and not in vain.

Surah Sad 27:

27And We did not form the heavens/universe, the earth and that is between them without a purpose. That is the assumption of the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb. Woe to those infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb because of the fire of Jahannah [Hell]!

Surah Ali-Imran 190-191:

There are many evidences/signs in the formation of the heavens/universe and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day surely for those who remember Allah while standing, sitting and lying on their sides; those who contemplate over the formation of the heavens/universe and the earth: “O our Rabb! You did not form this without a purpose; purified are You from all deficiencies. Protect us from the punishment of the Fire!

In addition, Surah Al-An’am 73, Surah Joseph 5, Surah Abraham 19, Surah Al-Hijr 85, Surah An-Nahl 3, Surah Al-Ankabut 44, Surah Ar-Rum 8, Surah Az-Zumar 5, Surah Al-‘Aqaf 3, Surah Ad-Dukhan 39, Surah Al-Jathiyah 22 and Surah At-Taghabun 3 may also be studied.

The issue we would like to mention here is the expression of “that which flies in line” in the ayah. The word طير [tayr] in the ayat does not only mean a “bird” but also all kinds of flying objects ranging from bugs and birds to aircrafts and clouds. We would like to provide some information regarding some of them we remember here.

BEES

First, they produce honey to provide contributions to the humanity but they have more important duties than producing honey: Pollination. 90% of the pollination in the world is realized by bees. In the absence of bees, nothing (fruits, vegetables, cereals, etc. ) will grow on earth.

BIRDS

Birds constitute a significant ring of the food chain. In addition, they provide unbelievable support for the health and continuity of the ecosystem.

CROWS

The types of crows living in forest find acorns and keep them in tree hallows or bury into ground to eat them later but they forget where they have buried them. These acorns germinate on the course of time and become saplings, and then trees. Other types that feed on walnuts throw down the walnuts to break and eat their meat; that ones that do not break turn green and become trees in time; this way, they ensure the multiplication of the walnut trees. In addition, they play an important part in forestation and renewal of forests by carrying other seeds with their mouths or within their excretions.

Pigeons support humans in communication and hawk and falcon in hunting. Raptors hunt the living beings like the rodents, reptiles, frogs and small birds and keep their numbers under control in nature. The bird species that eat insects eat many agricultural pesticides to provide economical value and reduce the disease cases like malaria by eating mosquitoes. Vultures that eat carcasses eliminate many potential disease risks.

The phosphor cycle in nature is realized by means of the fish-eating birds. Return of phosphor from the sea to the land is realized by fishery and the excretion of the seabirds eating fish.

Supports of the energy obtained from wind and the clouds by carrying the rainwater are known by everyone.

THE BEST SALAH [ES SALATU’L-VUSTA]: THE GATHERING

Surah Al-Baqara 238-239:

238,239Collectively maintain the Salat [supporting financially and spiritually; institutions that enlighten the community] and the best Salah [the best of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community; Salah of the weekly gathering day]346. And stand for Allah, being always respectful; work; keep education-training and social support institution operational. But if you are in a fearsome environment, then maintain, perform it while on foot or riding; on the move. And when you are safe and secure, remember Allah as He has taught you that which you do not know.

The expression of الصّلوة الوسطى [es-salatu’l-vusta] taking place in this verse has not yet been clarified despite many debates among the Muslims. Notwithstanding an agreement in terms of understanding this expression as “middle prayer” there have been about 40 rumors and 19 different views about which prayer is mentioned by “mid prayer”.الصّلوة الوسطى [es-salatu’l-vusta] is the “morning prayer” for some, “noon prayer” for some, and “mid-afternoon prayer” for some others. As a result, in regard to es-salatu’l-vusta, a result or reality that can be accepted by everyone could not have been reached either in the classical understanding that evaluates salah as “prayer” or in the logical approaches of the questioning mind.

We had to accept the sturdiest one as true among the current views in this regard as we did not conduct an in-depth research. However, our studies on the Qur’an and language caused us to understand the issue better and we are sharing the result here that we have obtained.

Let us state right away that we think our Prophet and first Muslims knew the salatu’l-vusta very well because regarding salatu’l-vusta, during the period of our Prophet and the Mohammad’s companions, no question was asked to our Prophet and no discussion took place.

In the start of the analysis of the subject, two issues must first be taken into account in view of the expressions in the verses:

1) The الصّلوة الوسطى [es-salatu’l-vusta] in the ayah is a determinative adjective clause. In other words, adjective and mevsuf [to be described] are with lam description and is not indeterminate. That is to say, salatu’l-vusta, which is a muarref [determinative] expression, is a proper noun and a salah known by everyone.

2) As in the expression of Maintain the salahs and salatu’l-vusta in the ayah, complement, qualified noun are present; it is understood that the salatu’l-vusta is another salah that is different from the salahs we know. Hence, it is a mistake to accept salatu’l-vusta as one of the daily salahs.

WHAT IS SALATU’L-VUSTA?

Doubtlessly, the first condition to understand an issue is to known the original language of the issue at hand. Therefore, the first thing to solve the matter is to find the true meaning of the world of الوسطى [al-vusta] in the Arabic language. However, finding the true meaning of the word is not enough to solve the problem; it is also necessary to confirm that the word was used in the Qur’an with this meaning also by the Qur’an.

Thus, it is necessary to start the analysis with the word وسط [v-s-t] from which the word الوسطى [al-vusta] has been derived. In Lisan al-Arab and Taj al-Arus, most notable two sources of the Arabic language without question, provide the following remarks for this issue:

The وسط [v-s-t] root word is spelled as vesat and vest. When spelled as Vesat it is a noun and when spelled as vest, it is an adverb in use.

This word means “the part of a thing, between its two ends”. (We can perceive it as the own middle point of something). It is used as “I grabbed the rope in the middle”, “I broke the arrow in the middle.”.

In the customs of the Arabs, the mid part of something is the most benevolent and beneficial part of it. For a Bedouin who will ride on his horse or camel, the most benevolent part of the horse or the camel is not the back nor the neck but the mid part of its waist. Best benevolent place for the sheepfold he/she will establish for the camels is the mid part of the pasture. The most benevolent [beautiful and suitable] part of a necklace to wear a pearl or diamond is its mid part. In addition, most beautiful and beneficial behavior is the moderate one among the same type of behaviors. For example, generosity is a behavior that is between stinginess and extravagancy. Courage is a behavior between cowardice and aggressiveness.

For this reason, the word وسط [vest] has been generalized with the meaning of “benevolent, beneficial, superior”. When the Arabs want to say, “He is from the evsat of the tribe”, they mean, “He is the benevolent, beneficial, and honorable man of the tribe”. On the other hand, when they say, “Look at this vesit person”, they mean, “Look at this benevolent, honorable person”.

And the expression of our Rabb, “Thus We have made you righteous/vasat people with a leader so you may testify over the people and the Messenger may testify over you” (Surah Al-Baqara 143) means “And we have made you such a people that is benevolent, beneficial, and honorable”.

There are about 40 rumors about the es-salatu’l-vusta specified in Surah Al-Baqara 238, which contain 19 different opinions. The strongest view about them is that “salat-ı vusta is the mid-afternoon salah, morning salah and Jumu’ah salah”.

Ebu’l-Hasen said, “es-Salatu’l-vusta is the Jumu’ah salah. The most benevolent/best salah is Jumu’ah salah. Whoever raises an objection, to this, it would be a mistake”.

In addition, Ibn Side said in his book of al-Muhkem, “Whoever says salat-ı vusta is anything other than Jumu’ah, he/she would be wrong”.[6]

As can be understood from such remarks, the word vesat which means “middle” is used among the Arabs as “benevolent, beneficial”. Hence, with the word الوسطى [al-vusta], which is the feminine form and ism-i tafdil [superlative] of وسط [v-s-t] and evsat, which is its masculine form, also mean “the most benevolent, the most beneficial”; just like in the words akbar and kübra; hasen, and hüsna.

The derivatives of the word الوسطى [al-vusta] are mentioned in the Qur’an 5 times, 2 of which being masculine (Surah Al-Qalam 28 and Al-Ma’idah 89).

Surah Al-Qalam 28:

The best of them said: “Did I not tell you “Do you not purify Allah from deficiencies?”

Surah Al-Ma’idah 89:

89Allah will not hold you responsible for your oaths you take unintentionally/utter out of habit. However, He will hold you responsible for the oaths you take intentionally/under covenant; its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people with the best of which you feed your families or clothing them. Or, to free a slave. For whoever can not find anything to give is to fast for three days. This is the expiation for the oaths when you break. And guard your oaths. Thus Allah makes His Ayat clear for you so you may repay.

Surah Al-Adiyat 5:

… then plunge into the most valuable resources and assets of a community.

The word is also mentioned in Al-Baqara 143 and Al-Baqara 238.

As the fact that the word Vusta means “the most valuable, the most beneficial” is determined and approved by the ayat of the Qur’an, it is now necessary to understand the الصّلوة الوسطى [es-salatu’l-vusta] in Al-Baqara 238, emerging with the combination of the words of الوسطى [al-vusta] and الصلوة [es-salah], as “the most beneficial, the most benevolent/best salah”.

THE QUR’AN HAS NOTIFIED ABOUT “THE MOST BENEFICIAL, THE MOST BENEVOLENT SALAH”

If a meaning stated clearly in the Qur’an is not understandable, then this would constitute a deficiency for the Qur’an–but the mübin (that in which the truth and falsehood has been distinguished) and elaborate Qur’an is excluded from this– and incompleteness for the believers. In our opinion, this expression understood by our Prophet and his companions has turned to be incomprehensible in the chaos that took place with the rumors on the course of time. As can be understood from the Qur’an, salatu’l-vusta [the most benevolent salah, salah of the day of meeting/gathering], was made obligatory with the order of Collectively maintain the Salat and the best Salah [safeguard altogether] (Surah Al-Baqara 238). And then, later on, a reference was made to it with the surah Jumu’ah.

Surah Al-Jumu’ah 9:

9O you who have believed! When it is called for Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] on the gathering day, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, leave business. If you should know, this is better for you.

Salah that is specified in Al-Baqara 238 as الصّلوة الوسطى [es-salatu’l vusta] is the salah conducted on “Jumu’ah/gathering day”.

Therefore, the meaning of the expression of es-salatu’l-vusta according to the Qur’an is this.

Subsequent to this evidence in the Qur’an, it is vain to look for an evidence or rumor in terms of which salah the salatu’l-vusta is!

JUMU’AH [LOCAL AGENDA MEETING, CONGRESS, CONFERENCE, MEETING]

The word Jumu’ah comes from the root of ج م ع [j-m-a] that means “gathering”. The linguist A’meş reads it as الجمْعة [Jumu’ah]; Asım and Hejaz read it as الجُمُعة [Jumuu’ah]. Reading as “Jumu’ah” is according to the Uqaylid dialect.

يوم الجمعة[YEVMU’L-JUMU’AH]

The phrase of yevmu’l-Jumu’ah consisting of the words of Yevm [day] and Jem’ [gathering] means “the day of gathering, the day of meeting”. The day of a week the Arabs called as “al-Arube” has been changed subsequently as يوم الجمعة [yevmu’l-Jumuu‘ah/meeting day].

There is no clarity about the identity of the person who transformed “Arube” into “Jumuu‘ah’’. Some asserted that Quraish changed it for a meeting in the Daru’n-Nedve and some others assert that it was changed Ka‘b b. Lüey, one of the ancestors of the Prophet. The nearest one to the true knowledge is that it was changed in Medina by the Muslims.[7]

The issue takes place in the classical sources as follows:

Ibn Sirin said:

— The people of Medina came together for Jumu’ah before the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came to Medina and before the Jumu’ah (fardth) was sent down. They are the ones who called Jumu’ah to that day. Such that: They said: “The Jews have a day when they come together once in seven days: Saturday; the Christians have such day as well: Sunday. Let us resolve upon a day on which we can come together, remember Allah, perform prayer and some remainders” or they said something similar. They also said: “Saturday is the day of the Jews and Sunday of the Christians; so, you determine this day as the Arube day. Upon this, (with the name of Abu Umame) gathering took place around Es‘ad b. Zurare (r.a). He led them in two-rakah of prayer and gave them advice. They called the day when they came together as “Jumu’ah”. Es‘ad slaughtered a sheep for them and they ate it in the lunch and dinner, as they were not many in number. Therefore, the first Jumu’ah in the history of Islam is this.

I say: As it was told to have come in the future, they were 12 persons then. Also according to the rumor the person who brought them together and led them in the prayer is Es‘ad b. Zurare.

  1. This is the case in the hadith quoted by Abdu’r-Rahman Ka‘b b from Ka‘b’, Maliq’s father.

al-Beyhaki tells the following:

— According to what is quoted to us from Mûsa b. Ukbe, who also quoted from Ibn Şibab ez-Zühri, Mus‘ab b. Umeyr is the first person who brought together the Muslims for a Jumu’ah prayer in Medina before the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came.

al-Beyhaki said:

— It is possible that Mus‘ab gathered the Muslims for a Jumu’ah prayer with the help of Es‘ad b. Zurare and, therefore, Ka‘b gave this duty to him [to Mus‘ab].[8]

Prior to the hijra/immigration, he wrote a letter to Mus‘ab Ibn Umeyr who was sent to teach Islam to the Muslims in Medina, and ordered “See the day on which the Jews expressly read the Psalm; you, bring together your women and sons, and practice two-rakah prayer after noon time”. Upon this order, Mus‘ab became the first person who led prayer in Medina. He continued this task until the Prophet came to Medina.” The number of the congregation led by Mus‘ab (r.a) in Jumu’ah prayer was 12.[9]

Before the hijra/immigration of our Prophet, the Muslims of Yesrib [the name of Medina at that time] were convening with Es‘ad ibn Zurare and consulting with each other. “They took a decision saying, “The Jews and the Christians are meeting one day a week; let us come together one day a week”, and started to convene. And they decided that the meeting would be held on the sixth day of the week (fifth for us) because it was the marketplace day set up in Yesrib and people were coming to shop from the nearby areas. This way, attendance to the meeting would be more. This way, the “yevmu’l-arube”, became “yevmu’l-Jumuu’ah/meeting day”. Later on, its new name started to be used.

According to the historical documents, the Prophet performed the first Jumu’ah at the place called Ranuna in Salim ibn Avf masjid[school]. When the Prophet conducted his hijra/immigration to Medina, he first stayed as a guest in Kuba at Amr ibn Avf. He stayed there on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and laid the foundation of the Masjid of Kuba; then he set off to go to Medina on Friday. When he arrived in the area of Benu Salim, he recited khutba there and performed salah of the day of Jumu’ah for the first time. This is the first Jumu’ah salah application of Prophet.

Translation of the compound of يوم الجمعtrة [yevmu’l-Jumu’ah] as “Jumu’ah day/the day of Cuma/Friday” is the translation of one of two words in Arabic into Turkish and leaving the other in Arabic, which is both wrong and causes that the meaning remains covert. This brings together many wrong beliefs and deeds. Hence, the meaning of “meeting day” must be given to the compound of the yevmu’l-Jumu’ah.

Details like the day and time of the meeting day and the manner of fulfilling salah on such days, conditions of participation, were not provided in the Qur’an. In the Qur’an, the salah that would be practiced on the meeting day is the most benevolent of the salahs and that this salah must absolutely be protected.

Surah Al-Baqara 238-239:

238,239Collectively maintain the Salat [supporting financially and spiritually; institutions that enlighten the community] and the best Salah [the best of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community; Salah of the weekly gathering day]346. And stand for Allah, being always respectful; work; keep education-training and social support institution operational. But if you are in a fearsome environment, then maintain, perform it while on foot or riding; on the move. And when you are safe and secure, remember Allah as He has taught you that which you do not know.

The ayah that makes Jumu’ah fardth is this; not the Jumu’ah 9 ayah.

Then, when called for salah on the day of the meeting, it was ordered to “hasten for the remembrance of Allah”.

Surah Al-Jumu’ah 9:

9O you who have believed! When it is called for Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] on the gathering day, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, leave business. If you should know, this is better for you.

This means that in the salah that will be applied on the day of meeting, “remembering Allah” will be ensured. The believers will take the required precautions to ensure that this takes place under the best conditions and that the best efficiency can be obtained. Fiqh/religious laws experts determined some conditions for the salah performed on the meeting day entitled “conditions of its necessity” and “conditions of its manner”. Details of them are available in the Fiqh/religious laws books.[10]

The reason for asserting such conditions is to ensure the Jumu’ah [meeting; congress, conference] in the healthiest and most productive manner.

In the Fiqh/religious laws books, conditions of the Jumu’ah’s obligation are listed as follows:

  • Being a male,
  • Being free,
  • Residing in a city,
  • Being healthy,
  • Being safe.

In addition, for such conditions, some reasonable causes as well as some applications from the period of the Prophet and the Sahabah [close friends of the Prophet] and history of the initial period of Islam are shown as an evidence.

We will make brief explanations on these clauses.

Independence/freedom:

This condition is appropriate because the musallas and masjids[school] where the salah will be established [meeting places] are houses of Allah. There is no discrimination of kings and slaves there; everyone is free and in equal status and declares his/her opinion freely; thoughts of no one can be restricted; and no one can be subject to investigations because of his/her opinion. When a person who is not free alleges an idea that is contrary to the opinion of his/her master or parson or institution, this would harm himself/herself. Hence, a person who is not free either declares an idea in parallel with that of his/her master or remains neutral. Therefore, attendance of those people who are not free in terms of law, politics, and whose opinions are controlled to such meetings is not necessary.

Residing in a city:

Meeting is an obligatory duty for the domestic population of the area without distinguishing men or women. It is not obligatory for the guests and passengers because people coming from elsewhere temporarily do not know about the problems of the area and do not know the people participating in the meeting. Thus, it is fine if they do not attend the meeting. If they do, they become listeners and receive information.

It is unnecessary to explain the conditions of being healthy and safe; not to be blind, disabled, or ill. These are important issues in every business. The issue that we will take into account is the condition of “being a male”.

In the classical works, followings are written in terms of this subject:

To people who believe in Allah and the day of Akhirat (Afterlife), Jumu’ah prayer is obligatory. However, passengers, slaves, women, children, and patients are exempt from this.[11]

Jumu’ah prayer is not obligatory for women. However, if they perform the prayer together with the congregation, it will be enough and they will not be able perform the noon prayer.[12]

Allah notified about all His commands and prohibitions without discriminating between nationality, race, and gender, as general and absolute commands and prohibitions. Islam is the religion of disposition and universal; it covers every race, every society, every gender and every country. He did not discriminate women and men when it comes to their duties and their being servants. He never considered women a second-class human, a Muslim with lack of reason and religion (such acceptances have been attributed to Islam by impertinent persons and acknowledged by the unwary ones. These types of beliefs and assumptions are substantial amount of carelessness). There is no ayat in the Qur’an specifying that participation of women in the salah practiced on the day of meeting is not obligatory.

According to Sunnah and History of Islam books, it appears that the Prophet wished the women to go to the masjids [school] and that their spouses must not prevent it and that the women had taken part in the Jumu’ah/Meetings until the period of the Umayyad. However, a rumor stated as hadith in some books that were caused to be written to gain political authority was used as a material in this regard: In this hadith, assumedly our Prophet ordered as follows:

Jumu’ah salah is Allah’s right on every Muslim within the congregation and it is obligatory. However, slaves, women, children, and patients are exempt from this.

The hadith scholars express that Tarık b. Şihab, who is the narrator of this hadith, had seen the Prophet but did not hear anything from him.

The reality is: The political authority of that day thought about to break the resistance in the society to continue their unfair power; they take the women who constituted half of the society away from the Jumu’ah/Meeting and secluded them in their houses with the excuses as if they can cause problems. This is still ongoing…

The Fiqh/religious laws book also determined the following as the conditions of the performance of the meeting day salah by acknowledging some events as evidences:

  • Veliyyu’l-emr,
  • Izn-i amm,
  • Time,
  • Jamaat,
  • Khutba,

Let us detail them:

1) Veliyyu’l-emr: The head of the official authority, president of the state or viceroy.

2) Izn-i amm: Meeting place being open for everyone and practice of it in a place where the civilian authority issues a permit (like a meeting consent).

These two are the conditions with no possibility of application due to the current political structure. Such conditions are already unavailable in Islam. Muslims can gather anywhere (first Muslims came together in a sheepfold); they elect the Jumu’ah/meeting president [congress assembly chair] from among themselves; perform “remembering of Allah” and then scatter along the earth to look for the blessings of Allah. Islam is lived at the limits set by Allah; not for the zeal or consent of a person. Those who related these two conditions to the official authority and civil administrations were unable to work it out in the laic systems. As required by their beliefs, they could not say, “The Jumu’ah salah /Jumu’ah prayer cannot be performed” under these conditions” and they could not get rid of the concern that the Jumu’ah prayer they performed would not be accepted. Hence, they increased the Jumu’ah/meeting, which consisted of two-rakah prayer and khutba, to 16 rakah. They never found a convincing answer to the question of how to intent to 16 rakah.

These conditions were brought in Islam by the subsequent politicians who wished to control Muslims. This way, pure Islam was degenerated as the Islam of the Arabs, Persians, Seljuks, and Ottomans. Every Muslim is a natural member of this meeting. No Muslim can be restricted when it comes to participation. For a person whose participation is restricted for any reason, there is no responsibility for not participating.

3) Time: In the present application, it’s the fifth day of the week, Yevmu’l-Jumu’ah [Meeting Day].

The day of Jumu’ah was not determined by Allah. The Muslims of Medina who applied the first Jumu’ah resolved about the sixth day of the week (which is the fifth day of the week for us since the Arabs start the week on Sunday) as the Yevmu’l-Jumu’ah/Meeting Day, in consideration of the social and economical conditions they were experiencing; and this application has continued since then. If Muslims in any location find it appropriate to apply the Yevmu’l-Jumu’ah/Meeting Day on another day of the week or at varied times of a day, this must be welcomed with respect.

Our Rabb ordered as follows:

Surah Al-Jumu’ah 9:

9O you who have believed! When it is called for Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] on the gathering day, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, leave business. If you should know, this is better for you.

As entire day is highlighted in this ayah, Jumu’ah/Meeting can be applied at any time of a day. Muslims can also adjust this according to the social and economical conditions of their region. The day and time applications to date are customs. They were not determined and mandated by Allah.

Although the Fiqh/religious laws books determine this time of the noontime of Jumu’ah/Meeting day, it is specified in the authentic hadiths of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) that he performed it before and after noontime. In addition, the expression of “yevmu’l-Jumu’ah/meeting day” is present in the ayah, which means that there is a divine approval for it to take place at any time of the day.

4) Jamaat: This condition was discussed among the scholars; it was said according to the rumors known that it must have been 3 persons by some of them, while some others said 7 persons, and some said 40 persons. We understand from them that Jumu’ah was performed with 3, 7 and 40 persons. However, the essence is: there is a number with plural meaning in Arabic, which is 3. As it was said in the ayah, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, and as the smallest plural is 3, presence of 3 persons is enough for the meeting, regardless of whether they are males or females or mixed.

Here, it is necessary that the Muslims must take the conditions of taking part in salah we explained above into account; that they must not be junub nor drunk; that they must clean themselves with water, or clean earth in the absence of water; that they must not come to the meeting being dirty and smelly; and that they must come there by wearing their jewelry.

As we can learn from the History and Sunnah books, for the Jumu’ah, the Prophet was taking full ablution, wearing his white and clean outfits, and spreading nice odors on. He was suggesting these to everyone.

5) Mısr/Settlement: In every settlement, Jumu’ah/Meeting is performed in only one location. It is wrong to hold a Jumu’ah/Meeting every 100 meters as they do today. Holding a separate Jumu’ah/Meeting in every mosque of a settlement is contrary to the purpose of Jumu’ah/Meeting. The objective is not attained in such applications. Hence, it was said, “If multiple Jumu’ah/Meeting is held in a settlement, the one that starts Jumu’ah first will be the Jumu’ah of the congregation; others will not”. Even though Imam A‘zam Abu Hanifa stated that it is not to perform Jumu’ah creating multiple congregations in different places in a settlement, it is more attention-inviting that those people who allege that they belong to the Hanafi sect make this mistake more often than the members of other sects.

6) Khutba: Khutba is “remembering Allah” stated in Jumu’ah 9

This condition was construed in different ways among the sects and in-sectarian imams. The best of them belongs to Imam A‘zam Abu Hanifa. He said, “Khutba is “remembering Allah”, which is confirmed by the clear statement of the ayah. But this saying of Abu Hanifa was understood that “If the imam gets up the mimbar and says ‘Allah’, the khutba completes”.

Khutba is performed on a particular agenda. The person reading the khutba acts as a sort of council chairperson in a congress. Everyone has a right to speak, even without censor. As everything spoken there is for remembering Allah and within the framework of the understanding of “The one remaining silent against injustice is a mute devil”, no Muslim becomes subject to investigations or reprobation because of his/her views and criticism. Everyone has a full right of immunity.

Even though the utterances like, “Worldly words are not spoken in a masjid” or “It is wrong to speak during khutba” are present in the Ilmihals/life knowledge books, they are the things put into practice by the powers with no tolerance against criticism. This way, speaking in the meeting venue was prohibited and the tongues of the participants were locked up. As written in Bukhari, it was deemed a crime when a participant said, “silent” to his friend.[13]

Such things that are in no way related with Islam, were fabricated by some people who render the Muslims, who need to be active, nimble, and alert, a herd of sheep and they were successful in doing it: There is no conscious congregation in the Masjids today; no one tells anything even though the things imam utters are completely wrong or lies. The male congregation who said, “We shall not abide by you before you explain and convince us about how you found the garment on you and how you owned it”, to the Caliph Omar when he said, while reading the khutba, “Silence, and listen to me”; and the female congregation who raised objection by saying, “How can you apply restrictions in the mehir [life insurance, honor wealth] not limited by Allah?” are all history now.

We stated above that the objective of the meeting is zikrullah. Regarding zikrullah, our special note at the end of the Surah Al-A‘raf can be viewed.[14] Shortly, zikrullah/remembering Allah is not saying “Allah, Allah, Allah…” by taking prayer beads but “thinking about Allah’s rights on us, the blessing He presents to us; contemplate whether we have fulfilled our responsibilities to Him as servants or not; and carrying out the tasks he assigns to us completely; thanking about his blessing and not being unthankful; and being in such consciousness at all times”.

Through such an application, no doubt, a kind of weekly maintenance of the Muslims is conducted; their beliefs and deeds are revised; their works regarding the subsequent week are scheduled; and the disputes between them, setbacks in their lives, things to be done, inconveniences, sorrows, criticisms are discussed and settled freely with complete immunity and participation of every Muslim without being affected by anyone. In addition, thanks to this meeting, Muslims get to know each other, discuss, refresh their friendship, increase their knowledge and consciousness, cooperate and show it to everyone. They do not fill in the mosque like a herd, do not drowse there, and turn back home. –Therefore, the meeting day salah is es-Salatu’l-Vusta [the most benevolent salah].– Then, they disseminate along the earth to search for the blessings of Allah, through such dynamism. How beautiful and meaningful…

According to the valid Sunnah and historical documents, our Prophet used the masjid [school] for all kinds of public services and social activities. Today, masjids/mosques must be open for all social and cultural activities like congress, conference, exhibition centers, and libraries education and training. Masjids/mosques must be rendered no longer the places of inactivity/idleness and hypnotizing and must be provided with its original identity in Islam. That is to say, masjids/mosques must be the venues of salah, the places of enlightenment , awareness and illumination.

This is the Islam’s Jumu’ah… Muslims’ local agenda meeting must be in this fashion!

TIMES OF SALAH [MENTAL and FINANCIAL SUPPORT]

Surah Al-Isra 78-79:

78Establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] from setting/downing of the sun until the darkness of the night and ensure the learning-teaching of the day.194 Because learning-teaching of the day is worth seeing.

79And from the night. Also, additionally only for you, fulfill Salah by waking up at night! It is expected that your Rabb will take you to a good position.

These are the initial ayat that determined the times of salah [mental and financial support]. Even though they are present in a Meccan surah, these ayat belong to the Medina period.

As we stated above, the purpose of salah [mental and financial support] is to turn a person –by supporting in mental and financial grounds– into one who is useful for himself/herself and the society. As the mental side of salah ensures one to reach rüşd [the most righteous and the most sound, maturity] our Rabb showed the substantial amount of importance He gives to education and training, which is the way of realizing such an important objective, with His instruction that the mental part of salah must not be abandoned even under the risk of being attacked by enemies:

Surah An-Nisa 101-103:

101And when you set out for a campaign on the earth, if you fear the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb will harm you, then there will be no blame upon you if you shorten [shorten your education] Salah [work of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. Surely, the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb are explicit enemy for you.

102And when you are among those who are on a campaign and provide training and education for them, let some of them stand/join the training with you. And let them take their weapons with them. And when they have received enough knowledge and are convinced, let them stand behind you. Then, let another group who have not yet received education and training come to join you for training and let them take precautions and carry their weapons with them. The infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb wish that you become negligent of your weapons and belongings so they may suddenly raid upon you. If a trouble reaches you from the rain or you become ill, there will be no blame upon you to leave your weapons. Take your precautions as well. Surely, Allah has prepared a humiliating punishment for the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb.

103And when the education-training is completed, remember Allah while standing, sitting or lying on your flanks. When you are in safety, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Indeed, Salah [duty of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified periods of time for a long time past.

What is included in the above verses is the mental side of salah because it is natural for salah to lose its financial aspect in an ambiance where life security is in the foreground. Almighty Allah, however, commands that the mental side of salah must not be abandoned even in this situation. For this reason, salah was made into a course, like meals in three times for feeding the body, and performance of salah was requested to be conducted in particular times to ensure the continuity of spiritual feeding of the person. The fact that “salah” is a task that will be carried out by the believers at particular times of a day is primarily for realizing the continuity of the belief in Allah in the mind of humans. Researches of religion psychology show that negligence by a person of his/her internal orientations render him/her spiritually blind person and as a result of it, the person fails to be a “constructive member of the society”. Thus, establishment of salah [provision of sustainment by constituting mental and financial support] is a very important duty for a person. Because of this importance, this duty is wanted to be established mandatorily in particular times of the day [morning, evening, and night]:

Surah An-Nisa 103:

103And when the education-training is completed, remember Allah while standing, sitting or lying on your flanks. When you are in safety, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Indeed, Salah [duty of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified periods of time for a long time past.

It is understood from the expression of كتابا موقوتا [kitaben mevqûten/decree with specified periods of time] in the ayat, that salah must be established in particular times and must not be overlooked. A salah that has not been established on due time is like a meal not eaten or a pill not taken timely.

Allah Who commands to establish salah has manifestly specified the times in which they are to be established:

Surah Hud 114:

114And fulfill your Salah [establish and maintain supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] at the two ends of the day and in the early hours of the night, because good deeds remove evil deeds. This indeed is a reminder for those who take lessons.

In this ayah, our Prophet was ordered to establish salah 3 times as both sides of the daytime [morning and evening] and in the early times of the night [isha].

Surah Al-Isra 78-79:

78Establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] from setting/downing of the sun until the darkness of the night and ensure the learning-teaching of the day.194 Because learning-teaching of the day is worth seeing.

79And from the night. Also, additionally only for you, fulfill Salah by waking up at night! It is expected that your Rabb will take you to a good position.

In these ayat, our Prophet was also ordered to establish salah at the two sides of the daytime [morning and evening], and a part of the night [isha]. That is to say, the times ordered are morning, evening and night. In addition, as an extra for the Prophet, he was ordered to fulfill [as an additional task] the night salah [fulfillment of salah by getting to sleep and waking up].

Scrutiny will reveal that the expressions in Surah Hud 114 and Surah Al-Isra 78-79 are the same and they specify the times of salah. However, these times were articulated in different style and varied words in line with this Qur’an’s general style. The point that must be taken into account is that all these different words have the same meaning.

In order to learn the reality about the issue, it is necessary to understand these ayat well and, in order to understand the ayat well, it is necessary to know well the meanings of the words of دلوك الشّمس [dülûku’ş-şems], قرآن الفجر [qur’ane’l-fecr], طرف [taraf], تهجّد [teheccüd] and نافلة [nafile] specified in the ayat.

دلوك الشّمس [dülûku’ş-şems]: This possessive construction consisting of the words of dülûk and şems, means the “setting of the sun, its disappearance”. However, some commentators gave the expression in question the meaning of “bending of the sun”. In the dictionaries entitled Taj al-Arus and Lisan al-Arab, an attention inviting detail regarding the issue was included and it was stated that the reason for giving the word dülûk the meaning “bending” was for the purpose of ensuring that salah is understood to be performed five times.[15]

According to the actual meaning of the word dülûk, the determinative group of dülûku’ş-şems refers to the time of “evening”. Hence, Ali, the fourth Caliph, and Abdullah b. Mes‘ûd, Sa‘id ibn Jubair, Nehai, Muqatil, Dahhak, Süddi, Ibn Abbas and Mujahid preferred this meaning.

However, there were those who understood the “noon time” from the word when the word dülûk was given the meaning of “bending”. In the classical sources, Ibn Omar, Cabir, Ata, Katade, and Hasan are reported to have adopted this view.

Even though it was alleged that both meanings can be understood from this phrase taking place in Surah Al-Isra 78, the articulations determining the times of salah in Surah Hud 114 prevent that the meaning of “bending of the sun” is perceived and that, from this meaning, the salah of noontime is intended because in Surah Hud 114 our Prophet was ordered “to fulfill Salah at the two ends of the day and in the early hours of the night” and the meaning has been clarified. It is because the word zülefen mentioned in Surah Hud 114 has the same meaning as the word ğasaq mentioned in Surah Al-Isra 78, which is “the time when it gets dark; early hours of the night”. That is to say, both words are the equivalent of time of “isha”. It is precisely understood from this situation the order in Surah Al-Isra 78-79 and the order in Hud 114 are same. That is to say, in these three ayat, the times of establishing salah were explained in different styles by using identical words.

On the other hand, many commentators alleged that the phrases of dülûku’ş-şems and ğasakı’l-leyl express different times. However, the phrases do not express different times; they express the beginning and ending of period. As follows: in Surah Al-Isra 78, it was ordered to establish salah “from sunset until the darkness of the night”. This expression specifies the time not two salahs but a single salah [evening salah].

قرآن الفجر [qur’ane’l-fecr]: With this expression that means a “learning-teaching of the day” morning salah was intended and this salah is concerned mainly with education and training.

طرف [taraf]: This word means “township; adjacent area”. When a “taraf” of something is mentioned, its exterior, not interior, is understood.[16] Thus, in the Fiqh/religious laws, from the expression of “Both sides [taraf] of a person”, a person’s mother, father, grandfather, that is to say descendants, as one party; and children and grand children as the other party. Similarly, “both sides [taraf] of a table”, two split parts of the table are not understood, but the things on the left and right of the table are understood.

The plural of the word taraf is etraf. This word has been adapted into Turkish with its meaning in Arabic. Etraf is related with the outside of the referred thing. For example, when someone is told, “Look at your etraf”, he/she looks not at his/her hands, face or body, but at the whereabouts; right, left, front and back. It is possible to give more examples like “etraf of the country” that means outside of the country or “etraf of the world’’ that means outside of the world..

From the expression of both sides[taraf] of the daytime in the ayah, the “morning” and “evening” times, which remain outside the “daytime”, are understood, not “mid morning” and “mid-afternoon” times that are the parts of the “daytime”.

The word هجد [hecd], which is the root of تهجّد [teheccüd] is from “ezdad” [opposites] and has two opposite meanings. That is to say, it means both “to sleep” and “wake up”. Some derivatives of hecd have been known to be as follows: Hacid, “sleeping”; tehcid, “eliminating the sleep, waking up”; teheccüd, “waking up from sleep and perform salah”; müteheccid, “a person who wakes up at night and performs salah”.[17]

نافلة [nafile]: This word means “the addition on the original”.[18] As understood from the ayah, our Prophet would fulfill his salah not during the time between the start of darkness and dawn time, but by waking up from his sleep. This explains that Allah’s Messenger, who would act as a leader, guide, and teacher in the society (and his inheritors) would prepare a plan-program for education training alone at night. Real meaning of teheccüd is this.

2 of the salahs determined as 3 times according to the Qur’an were mentioned in another ayah by their names:

Surah An-Nur 58:

58O you who have believed! Let those who are under your protection in accordance with the laws and those among you who have not yet reached the age of ability to distinguish between good and evil to ask permission on three occasions; before the morning education-training, at noon when you put aside your clothing and after the night education-training. These are the three times for you, open and unprotected. There is no sin upon you nor upon them other than these. They move among you and some of you are upon some others. Thus Allah makes the Ayat clear to you. Allah is the One Who knows very well, the One Who is the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible.

As a result, in Surah Al-Isra 78-79, salah was ordered to be conducted 3 times as morning, evening, and night. Same things were also ordered in Hud 114; it was ordered that 3 times [providing financial support by way of education-training and eliminating the problems in mental grounds and ensuring the sustainability of this support] must be established. As the Prophet generally established “salah and prayer” together, unfortunately, the times of salah have come to be understood by mistake as “the times of prayer”.

Despite the fact that the first addressee in the ayat whose that inform about the times is our Prophet, it covers the entire ummah [people, community] because the commands to the people, community take place in his personality first as he is the leader, guide of the people, community:

Surah Al-A‘raf 158:

158Say: “O mankind! Surely I am the messenger sent by Allah, the owner of the heavens/universe and the earth, the only supreme god, the One Who gives life and the One Who takes life, to you all. Then, believe in and obey His Messenger, who believes in Allah and His words to guide you to the righteous path; the Prophet from the Mother City; from Mecca”.

The duties of salah, fasting, hajj [pilgrimage], and zaqah/tax were present in the laws of the prophets after Prophet Abraham. It is understood from the Surah Al-Ma’un and Surah Al-Anfal 35 that the Meccans were fulfilling salah, too [providing mental and financial support and sustaining it]. According to Al-Alaq 9-10, our Prophet was fulfilling salah even before he became a prophet [he was providing mental and financial support to the people close to him]. However, such salahs were the salahs that have lost their character. The Qur’an has condemned the salahs that were not important in terms of their results and that were conducted in the form of a show together with yes-men and restructured salah on an axis of sincerity [mental and financial support].

WHY HAVE SALAHS BEEN ALLOCATED TO NIGHT IN THE AYAT?

The times of salah specified in the ayat of Hud and Al-Isra [morning, evening, and night] are in the night section of the day. The wisdom of this situation is also available in the Qur’an:

Surah Al-Muzzammil 1-7:

1-4O the one who confines himself in his house!15 Arise by the night – except for a short while; sometimes half of the night sometimes a little more or a little less – and serve! While conveying the Qur’an that is revealed to you, put in order properly! 5Indeed, we will cast upon you a very heavy word/the Qur’an.

6Night time is more convenient/better in terms of studying in peace, more effective in terms of speaking/communication. 7Surely, there is a prolonged occupation for you by day.

Daytime is the time when many commotions are experienced even for the prophet. Salah [mental and financial support] is an activity to which a person must devote himself/herself, who must be in concentration [sincerity and humbleness] However, it is not possible for people to devote themselves completely to salah during daytime as the things like works to do and trading because minds of everyone are on their jobs as the daily jobs are to be completed. Hence, they said “No salah is possible with distress in heart”. Of course, salah intended to mean with this is the salah ordered by Islam; its form established or thought to be established by the majority to have an obligation done is not salah because the salah established during the time in which the mind is busy with many concerns is not a true salah; it consists only of a form. True salah is the salah fulfilled by a person by submitting himself/herself to Allah with a peaceful heart.

It is therefore Almighty Allah determined morning, evening, and night times for salah time and allocated the daytime to work for sustenance.

As it is seen, such issues were clearly specified in Surah Al-Muzzammil 1-7. Mandatory and long running efforts await everyone in the orchards, gardens, workplaces. At the end of the day, all the works end and people go back home for tranquility in the said three times. This way, it is possible for them to come to the mosque and to be a community.

The expressions, in the ayat, of Night time is more convenient/better in terms of studying in peace, more effective in terms of speaking/communication. Surely Surely, there is a prolonged occupation for you by day specify the “most suitable” time for people regarding education and training.

Therefore, such timing was stipulated under the geographical and social conditions of Arabia on that day and it is possible to determine the most appropriate times for salah in different geographies and social environments for salah in our opinion.

BENEFITS OF SALAH

Our Rabb specified the benefits of salah in the Qur’an as follows:

Surah Al-Ankabut 45:

45You, recite/follow what has been revealed to you from the book and establish Salah [establish and maintain the institution that supports financially and spiritually; enlightens the community]. Indeed, Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; the institution that enlightens the community] prevents from transgression, evil. And remembrance of Allah is indeed greater. And Allah knows that which you do and produce.

Surah Hud 114:

114And fulfill your Salah [establish and maintain supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] at the two ends of the day and in the early hours of the night, because good deeds remove evil deeds. This indeed is a reminder for those who take lessons.

Surah Al-Baqara 110:

110And you, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax! Whatever good you do for yourselves, you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah is the One Who sees best what you do.

Surah At-Tawbah 103:

103Take sadaqa/public revenue from their wealth so you may purify them by sadaqa/public revenue. And support them. Surely, your support is reassurance for them. Allah is the One Who hears best, knows best.

It is understood from these ayat that “salah” eliminates the transgressions and viciousness in a society. It is not possible that the persons educated and having social assurance and support to commit a crime. As in the proverb of “No doctor enters a house where the sun enters”, no crime enters a house, town, and country where salah enters.

FAHSHA’ [IMMORALITY]

The word فحشاء [fahsha’] means “bad business, reproachful word or behavior, getting over the line, being rampant in words and answers”. The plural of the word is فواحش [fawahish].

Linguist Ragıb al-Isfehani has defined the words of fuhsh, fahsha’ and fahisha as “extremely bad words and actions”.[19]

The word fahisha, which is qualified as the “bad business” in Surah Ali-Imran 135 is stated in 13 places, and its plural fawahish in 4 places in the Qur’an. The word was used in general as multiple transgressions in the Qur’an. As these transgressions and our other explanations regarding this concept have been previously given in the analysis of the surah An-Najm have been given,[20] we recommend reading the details there.

MUNKAR [EVIL]

Munkar refers to the things that are being accepted as bad by humanity and unsightly by Almighty Allah.

Our Rabb mentions in the Qur’an with the order of inviting all to good, instruct good deeds that are accepted by all, preclude evil via revelation and common sense that humanity has been equipped with a conscientious capacity that can distinguish between the good and evil, useful and harmful, positive and negative things. The human who is able to evaluate what is good and what is evil with this conscientious capacity placed into his/her nature is unable to use such internal mechanism carefully without the presence of the scales of transcendental, divine values that restrict him/her; on the contrary, he/she endeavors to legitimate the evil and wrong with various psychological mechanisms. The fact that “devil shows a person his/her deeds as beautiful deeds” can be assessed as an internal trap captures the person who fails to recognize such legitimating psychological mechanisms. “Munkar” known accurately by the person with his/her common sense is also prohibited by our Rabb and He also supports the conscientious diagnosis of humanity and provides it with a strong religious sanction that will ensure it to prevent the bad and badness. It is because humans are unable to inspect themselves sufficiently even in terms of avoiding the things that they know absolutely harmful. Failure of the prohibition of alcoholic beverages imposed in the 1930s in the US to be successful despite all the legal enforcements and on the other hand, apparent fall in drinking alcoholic beverages in the Islamic societies is a good example that shows the impact of religious sanctions in preventing what is bad.

Allah qualifies the persons who establish salah as those who “helped Allah”, “saved himself/herself”, “on the right path” and gives them many promises:

Surah Al-Hajj 41:

Allah will definitely help those who help Him -who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], who give zaqah/tax, instruct that which is acceptable for all and who forbid with Wahy [Revelation] and common sense that which is considered evil, if We make them have authority and home-. Indeed, Allah is very powerful, almighty. And only to Him belongs the consequence of all matters.

Surah Al-A‘la 14-15:

The one who purifies himself, who fulfills Salah; supports others financially and spiritually; strives to enlighten the community mentioning the name of his Rabb will definitely save himself.

Surah Luqman 2-5:

2-5These are the Ayat of that book which contains laws as a guidance to the righteous path and mercy upon those who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], who give zaqah/tax, and those who certainly believe in Akhirat [Afterlife], who do good deeds –they are upon a righteous path from their Rabb. And they are the ones who will reach the salvation-.

Surah At-Tawbah 18:

18Only those who believe in Allah and the day of Akhirat [Afterlife], establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax and fear Allah in awe with respect, love, knowledge build and maintain the masjid [school] of Allah. And it is expected that they will be of those who follow the righteous path they are guided.

Surah At-Tawbah 71:

71The believing men and the believing women; some of them are familiars who are protectors, guides of some others. They command the good which is accepted by everyone, forbid all that is evil, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, obey Allah and His Messenger. Those, Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is the One Who is the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible.

Surah At-Tawbah 99:

99And among the Bedouin Arabs are some who believe in Allah and the day of Akhirat [Afterlife] and consider what they spend as closenesses with Allah and supports of the Messenger. Open your eyes! Indeed, this is a closeness for them. Allah will soon admit them into His mercy. Indeed, Allah is the One Who removes the sins of His servants, does not punish them and has much forgiveness, the One Who is the possessor of vast mercy.

Surah Al-Baqara 277:

277Surely, those who believe, do amendatory deeds, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax will have their reward with their Rabb. And there will be no fear upon them, they will not grieve.

Surah Ar-Ra‘d 21-24:

Those who combine that which Allah has ordered to be combined; the faith and the good deed,

those who fear their Rabb in awe with respect, love, knowledge and who are afraid of the evil of account,

those who had patience in order to obtain the countenance of their Rabb,

those who established Salah [established and maintained the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community],

those who spent from what We had provided for them secretly and openly for the cause of Allah

and those who eliminate evil with good remember and contemplate. It is they for whom the consequence of this home; the gardens of Eden are. They, the righteous from among their ancestors, spouses and descendants will enter into the gardens of Eden. And the forces in charge/harbinger Ayat will enter upon them from every gate: “Salam [health, peace, happiness…] be upon you for what you have had patience! How excellent is the end of this home!”.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 12:

12And surely, Allah took the solemn covenant of Israelites. And We sent from among them twelve supervisors/leaders. And Allah said: “I am surely with you. If you establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, believe in My messengers, support them and loan Allah a good loan, I will definitely remove your evil deeds and admit you into the gardens of Jannah [Heaven/Paradise], underneath of which rivers flow. And whoever among you disbelieves; consciously denies the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb after this, he has certainly gone astray from the righteous path”.

Surah Al-A‘raf 170:

170And as for those who cling onto the book and establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], We will not let be lost the reward of those who amend/do good.

Surah Al-Anfal 2-4:

2-4Surely, the believers are those whose hearts fear in awe when Allah is mentioned,

who get stronger in faith when His Ayat are recited to them and who rely only upon their Rabb,

who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]

and who spend from that which We have given them as provision for the cause of Allah. Indeed, these are the ones who truly believe. For them are degrees, forgiveness and a noble provision with their Rabb.

SALAH IS THE OCCASION OF HELP OF ALLAH

Our Rabb has explained how and through which occasions He would send the help to His servants and notified that this would be with patience and salah, not with mere prayers.

Surah Al-Baqara 45-46:

45-46And seek help through patience, Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. –Surely, seeking help through patience and Salah is very difficult for all other than those who show respect; who believe from the bottom of their hearts that they will meet their Rabb and they will be returned to Him.-

Surah Al-Baqara 153:

153O you who have believed! Ask for help through patience and Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. Indeed, Allah is with those who have patience.

BAD RESULTS OF ELIMINATION OF SALAH

Elimination of salah takes place by the exclusion of salah [mental and financial support] from the lives of humans and by the end of its application. Almighty Allah reprimands those people who do not stay away from salah and who prevent it as “people who turn away”, warns them that they will absolutely see the punishment of their transgression and declares that those who fail to be one of those providing support and help will certainly go to hell:

Surah Al-Baqara 83:

83And when We took “a certain promise” from Israelites: “You will worship none but Allah, do good to your parents, relatives, orphans and the needy, speak good to people, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax”. Then, except for a few, you turned away. And you are the ones who turn away.

Surah Mary 59:

59-61A bad generation came after them, and they took away Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; striving to enlighten the community] from their lives. And they followed their desires. Therefore, they all, except those of them who have repented and believed and done righteous deeds, will be punished for their transgression. Then those of them who repent and believe and do righteous deeds will enter Jannah [Heaven/Paradise]; to the gardens of Eden which Rahman [Allah; the One Who shows great mercy on the earth to all living beings that He created] promised to His servants – even though they did not see – and they will not be treated unjustly at all. Surely, His promise will certainly be fulfilled.

Surah Al-Alaq 9-13:

9-10Have you seen the one who forbids a servant when he fulfills Salah [supports financially and spiritually; strives to enlighten the community]? 11-12Have you ever thought, if that servant who fulfills Salah is upon the righteous path or commands taqwa! [being under the guardianship of Allah]! 13Have you ever thought, if that one who forbids the one who fulfills Salah denied and turned away!…

Surah Al-Muddaththir 39-47:

38,39Every one who has found his self – except for the companions of the right – is a pledge for what he has earned.

40,41The companions of the right will be in the gardens. They will ask each other about the criminals: 42”What led you into the Saqar?” 43The criminals will say: “We were not of those who fulfill Salah [support financially and spiritually; strive to enlighten the community], 44and we did not give opportunities for those unemployed so they might earn their living. 45And our deeds were in vain together with those whose deeds were in vain. 46,47And we denied the Day of Religion until indisputable and inevitable death, the Qiyamat [Resurrection] came to us”. 48Now, help and intercession of intercessors, helpers will not benefit them.

It is enough to view the present condition of the world of Islam to see how the words of our Rabb regarding “People forgetting salah will be punished for their transgression” in Surah Mary 59 and “The towns committing atrocity are manipulated/destroyed” in Surah al-Kahf 59. The most outstanding reason for the countries within that world to be underdeveloped in terms of science, technology, economy, art and morality; in sum, everything that determines the standards of human life; is nothing but their exclusion of salah for 1500 years, in our opinion.

“CAMEL OF ALLAH” MENTIONED IN THE PARABLE OF THE PROPHET SALIH and THE PEOPLE OF THAMUD IS ALSO SALAH

In the Qur’an, when the parable of the Prophet Salih and the People of Thamud is being narrated, “Allah’s camel” and its “share of water” are mentioned. What is symbolized by “camel” here is also salah. The People of Thamud failed to give the share of the camel and chopped its legs and then were destroyed. That is to say, this people did not give the zaqah/tax to enliven the social help and support institutions, nor did they perform infak [aid] and this situation caused their destruction.

SALAH IS NOT TO BE FOR EVERYONE

HUŞÛ (SINCERITY) and RİYA (HYPOCRISY)

Salah cannot be established by everyone, but manly man. Following ayat attract our attention in this regard:

To patience, salah [to training, education, social support institutions]

Surah Al-Baqara 45-46:

45-46And seek help through patience, Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. –Surely, seeking help through patience and Salah is very difficult for all other than those who show respect; who believe from the bottom of their hearts that they will meet their Rabb and they will be returned to Him.-

Surah An-Nur 37:

36-38There are such men in the houses in which Allah lets Himself to be raised and His name to be mentioned, who continuously purify Allah, commerce and business do not distract them from remembering Allah, establishing Salah [establishing and maintaining the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and giving zaqah/tax. They fear a day in which hearts and eyes will overturn so Allah may recompense them with the best of what they did and increase from His bounties for them. And Allah provides for whom He wills without account.

Let us look at the following ayat relating to the approaches of the polytheists and hypocrites to salah:

Surah An-Nisa 142:

Surely, the hypocrites try to deceive Allah. Yet, He is the deceiver upon them. And when they stand for Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]/ go into public, they move lazily, being irresolute hesitating between the two, they do not stay with the believers nor the infidels, they make a display to the people. And they remember Allah but a little.

Surah Al-Ma’un 4-7:

4-7Woe to those who are careless, apathetic to their Salah, who fulfill Salah [while they look like they support others financially and spiritually; strive to enlighten the community] for showing off, and forbid that even small kindnesses should reach to a needy!

As can be understood from these ayat, there are two kinds of fulfiller of salah in the society. One is the fulfiller of salah with sincerity and the other is the fulfiller of salah for hypocrisy. Hence, we are to understand the expression of huşû well.

HUŞÛ: Huşû means “a person’s turning of his/her eyes toward the ground; squint and giving a sound from nasal cavity”.[21]

In the Qur’an, the word huşû takes place in the following ayat:

Surah Al-Mu’minun 1-2:

1Indeed, the believers have maintained their status/succeeded.

2They are the ones who are sincere in their Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; striving to enlighten the community].

Surah Al-Ahzab 35:

35No doubt that the men who have entered the religion of Islam and the women who have entered the religion of Islam, the believing men and the believing women, the respectful men and the respectful women, the truthful men and the truthful women, the patient men and the patient women, the humble men and the humble women, the men who give sadaqa/public revenue and the women who give sadaqa/public revenue, the men who fast and the women who fast, the men who guard their chastity and the women who guard their chastity, the men who remember Allah frequently and the women who remember Allah frequently; Allah has prepared for them a forgiveness and a great reward.

Surah Ali-Imran 199:

199And indeed, among the People of the Book are those who believe in Allah, what has been revealed to you and what was revealed to them –as the ones who respect Allah sincerely-. They do not exchange the Ayat of Allah for a price. They are the ones whose reward is with their Rabb. Indeed, Allah is the One Who is swift in accounting.

Surah Al-Isra 107-109:

107,108Say: “Whether you believe in the Qur’an or you do not; those who were given knowledge before; when the Qur’an is recited, they fall in prostration, submitting. And they say: “Purified is our Rabb from all deficiencies. And the promise of our Rabb will certainly be fulfilled”.

109And they fall upon their chins, crying. And the Qur’an increases their respect and humility.

Surah Fussilat 39:

39Surely, when you see the earth barren and We send down water upon it; it is among His evidences/signs that it quivers and grows. Surely, the One Who gives life to it will indeed resurrect the dead. Indeed, He is the One Who is competent over everything.

Surah Al-Anbiya 89-90:

89,90And Zechariah; when he called to his Rabb: “My Rabb! Do not leave me alone; You are the best of inheritors” and We responded for him. And We bestowed him John. And We amended his wife/made her that she could give a birth. Indeed, they were racing in good deeds, and supplicating Us in hope and fear. And they felt a deep respect to Us.

Surah Al-Hashr 21:

21If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain/a massive creature, you would certainly have seen it sincerely respectful, humbled and coming apart out of fear in awe with respect, love and knowledge for Allah. And We present to the people these examples so they may give thought.

Surah Al-Ghashiyah 2-4:

2,3There will be people who will be humbled and humiliated on that day even though they worked hard and exhausted.

Surah Al-Qalam 42-44:

42On the day when the truth will be laid bare, things will start to be more significant, become serious and they will be invited to submit, they will not be able to. 43Their eyes will be humbled and a humiliation, disgrace will cover them. Yet, they were invited to submit when they were safe and sound.

44So, leave those who deny this word/the Qur’an to Me! We will seize them from where they do not know.

Surah Al-Qamar 6-8:

6-8So, turn away from them. The day when the Caller will call them to an unknown/odd thing, on that day they will emerge from their graves running fast to that inviter with their eyes humbled. As if they are locusts spreading. Those infidels; who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb will say: “This is a difficult day”.

Surah Ash-Shura 45:

45And you will see them being brought to the fire while they are humbled from humiliation, looking around at the corner of their eyes. Those who have believed will say: “Surely those who lost are the ones who caused themselves, their families and the people who are close to them to lose on the day of Qiyamat [Resurrection]”. Open your eyes! Surely, those who do wrong; act against their own good by associating others with Allah are in an enduring punishment.

Surah Al-Ma’arij 43-44:

43On that day, they will come out from their graves rapidly. As if they are running towards something that is erected.

44With their eyes looking down in humiliation, being covered with humiliation. That is the day with which they have been threatened!

Surah An-Nazi’at 8-9:

8On that day, hearts will beat trembling.

9Their eyes will be humbled.

Surah Ta-Ha 108:

108That day, they will follow the inviter that has no deviation, then all voices will be reduced for Rahman [Allah; the One Who shows great mercy on the earth to all living beings that He created]. You will hear only a low voice.

Surah Ash-Shu’ara 217-219:

217-219And rely on the One Who is the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the possessor of vast mercy Who sees you when you rise/come out to perform your messenger duties and walk among those who have submitted.

Surah Al-Hadid 16:

16Has the time not come for the believers that their hearts should fear in awe at the remembrance of Allah and that which has come of the truth so they do not become like those who were given the Book before but their hearts have hardened because a long time has passed over them. And most of them have gone astray from the path.

These ayat show that while huşû is used mainly as the “respect of the body parts”, it means an “overall respect”. Hence, we can define the word huşû as “the respect we will show to our almighty creator sincerely and consciously with our voice, face and heart”.

Polytheists and hypocrites fulfill salah as well but they do it as a “show:”

Surah An-Nisa 38-39:

38Indeed, Allah does not like those who are arrogant and who brag about themselves; those who are stingy, instruct others stinginess and conceal that which Allah has given to them from His bounty and those who spend their wealth so it may be seen by the people while they do not believe in Allah and Akhirat [Afterlife]. And We have prepared for the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb a humiliating punishment. And to whomever satan is a contemporary/close companion; how an evil companion he is!

39And what harm would come to them if they believed in Allah and the day of Qiyamat [Resurrection] and spent from that which Allah had provided for them for the cause of Allah? And Allah is the One Who knows them very well.

Surah An-Nisa 142:

Surely, the hypocrites try to deceive Allah. Yet, He is the deceiver upon them. And when they stand for Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]/ go into public, they move lazily, being irresolute hesitating between the two, they do not stay with the believers nor the infidels, they make a display to the people. And they remember Allah but a little.

Surah Al-Anfal 35:

35And their support by the Bayt [House]/Kaaba is only to whistle and applause, a show. –Then taste this punishment for you have disbelieved; consciously denied the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb!-

Surah Al-Baqara 262-264:

262The reward of those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance first for their relatives and then others and do not brag after what they give and do not hurt is with their Rabb. There is no fear upon them and they will not grieve.

263A word in a way that is acceptable for all and to forgive is better than a sadaqa/service fee to be taken followed by bragging and hurting. Allah is free of need, is the One Who forbears much.

264O you who have believed! Do not invalidate your sadaqas by bragging and hurting like the one who spends his wealth to show off even though he does not believe in Allah and the last day. His example is like the example of the boulder on which is a dust, then becomes bare when hit by downpour. They can not keep anything from what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the people of infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb.

It appears through the scrutiny of these verses that the infidels perform salah too but they do so for some bad purposes. As follows: It is specified in these ayat that the people giving sadaqa (sadaqa is also in the scope of salah; it is a social support) only for the sake of pomposity and show intended to create sense of indebtedness in the people to whom they give the sadaqa and to obtain material and spiritual interest from this.

A person must fulfill salah to thank and please Allah as understood from these ayat. He/she must repay for the blessings Allah has given to himself/herself such as reason, opinion, knowledge, experience, assets and health with huşû and complete respect to Allah. He/she must know that the true owner of the blessings given is Allah, not himself/herself. He/She must not get spoiled like the people of Saba’ and Korah. Our Rabb gave their situation as an example to us:

Surah Al-Qasas 76-83:

76,77Surely, Korah was among the people of Moses and transgressed against them. We gave him such treasures that its keys would definitely be heavy for a people of a strong men. Once his people said to him: “Do not exult! Allah surely does not like those who exult. And seek the home of Akhirat [Afterlife] through what Allah has given you. And do not forget your share from the world! And do good as Allah has done good to you. And do not desire corruption in the world. Indeed, Allah does not like the corrupters”.

78Korah said: “This wealth has been given to me because of a knowledge that I have”. Did he not know that Allah had manipulated/destroyed of many generations before him those who were greater than him in power, who had more followers, more accumulation than him. – And these sinners will not be questioned for the sins of the others. –

79Then Korah came out before his people in ornaments and glory. Those who desired the worldly life said: “If only we had like what was given to Korah! Surely, Korah is the owner of a great fortune”.

80And those who were given knowledge said: “Woe to you! For those who believe and do righteous deeds, the reward that Allah will give is better. And only those who have patience will be granted it”.

81And then We caused the earth to swallow him and his house. There was no company for him to help from among those that are inferior to Allah and he was not of those who were able to defend and save themselves.

82And those who wished to be in his position yesterday overnighted and said: “O, so Allah extends provision for whomever He wills of His servants and restricts it. Had Allah not given us a bounty, He would have caused the earth to swallow us as well. So, the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb will not save themselves”.

83That home of Akhirat [Afterlife]! We will prepare it for those who do not seek corruption and arrogance on the earth. And the outcome is for those who have entered under the guardianship of Allah.

Surah Saba’ 15-21:

15Surely, there was an evidence/a sign for the people of Sheba in where they took as their home: Two gardens on the right and on the left! –“Eat from the provision of your Rabb and repay for the blessings for Him! How a beautiful land and a very forgiving Rabb!”-

16But they turned away; they did not repay for the blessings. So, We released upon them the flood of the dams and turned their two gardens into two gardens with bitter fruits, tamarisks and some “persimmon trees”.

17This is how We recompensed them for they disbelieved; consciously denied the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb. And We recompense only those who are very ungrateful.

18And We made many cities between them and the cities which we had blessed. And We determined travels for them: -Travel between them by nights and days in safety!-

19Then they said: “O our Rabb! Lengthen the distance between our journeys!” and treated unjustly to themselves by doing wrong; acting against their own good. And now, We made them tales and dispersed them in total dispersion. Surely, there is an evidence/a sign in this for everyone who repays for what he is given and is patient.

20And surely, Iblis/thinking ability243 confirmed his assumption about them and they followed Iblis except for a party of believers.

21But, there was no authority for Iblis over them. But, We would separate those who believe in Akhirat [Afterlife] from those who does not have sufficient knowledge about it; mark them and show. And your Rabb is the One Who protects everything well.

Surah Al-Kahf 32-43:

32And present to them an example of two men: We gave one of them two vineyards of all kinds of grapes and bordered two vineyards with date palms. And We made between them a field for crops.

33And both gardens produced their crops without any deficiency. And We made a river flow between them.

34And there was another income for the owner of these two vineyards. Therefore he said to his companion while he was talking to him: “I am greater than you in wealth and stronger than you in number of men”.

35,36And this man entered his vineyard while he was treating himself unjustly: “I do not think that this will ever perish. And I do not think that the Hour will come. And even if I would assume that I was taken to my Rabb, I would certainly find a better consequence than this”.

37-41And his companion said to him while he was talking to him: “Do you not believe in the One Who formed you from dust and then a drop of water/liquid and made you a mature human? But as for me; He is my Rabb, Allah. And I do not associate anyone with my Rabb. Why did you not say, when you entered your vineyard: “What Allah wills, happens! There is no authority but Allah!” Although you see me less than you in wealth and children, maybe my Rabb will give me a better one than your vineyard. And He will send a calamity upon yours from the sky so your vineyard becomes a slippery ground. Or the water of your vineyard will be drawn into the ground so you will never be able to seek it”.

42,43And that man who owned those two vineyards was surrounded/ruined with his wealth. Thereafter, he wringed his hands for the expenses he made to his vineyard. The garden collapsed upon its trellises and he was saying: “O woe to me! If only I had not associated anything with my Rabb”. There was no people to help from among those that are inferior to Allah for that person. And he was not the one who was capable of avenging for himself/helping himself.

It is seen that for the people who fail to establish salah with sincerity and who establish it without respect and who fulfill it for personal interests and for a show by not accepting the material of salah is from Allah, their deeds will not benefit them.

In the last sections of Al-Baqara 264, a perfect analogy is drawn with the expressions of Those are like the boulder with soil all over it, which becomes bare when hit by downpour. They cannot benefit from their earnings and it is taught with this that the salah and benevolences established by the hypocrites without believing will be worthless and not valid before Allah.

Surah Ali-Imran 85:

85And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, then it will never be accepted from him. And one who seeks a religion other than Islam will be among the losers in Akhirat [Afterlife].

Surah Al-Kahf 102-106:

102So did those infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb think that they might take some familiars who help, guide, protect from among those that are inferior to Me? Indeed, We have prepared Jahannah [Hell] as a hosting feast (!) for the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb.

103Say: “Should we inform of the greatest losers in deeds? 104They are those whose efforts are lost while they think that they produce good work”.

105They were the ones who consciously denied/disbelieved in the Ayat of their Rabb and meeting Him so, all deeds that they did have become worthless. On the day of Qiyamat [Resurrection], We will not take them into account/give them any importance.

106Jahannah [Hell] will be their recompense for their disbelief; that they have consciously denied the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb and ridiculed My Ayat and messengers.

ALLAH CONVEYED SALAH WITH EVERY MESSENGER

Our Rabb expressed He communicated His order of “establish salah” through every messenger of Him to the entire humanity.

To our Prophet:

Surah Al-Kawthar 2:

2Therefore, fulfill Salah [support financially and spiritually; strive to enlighten the community] for your Rabb and endure the difficulties you will encounter!

Surah Ibrahim 31:

31Tell my servants who believe: Let them establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and spend from that which We have provided for them openly and secretly for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance for their relatives before a day comes in which there will be no trade and no friendship.”.

Surah At-Tawbah 103:

103Take sadaqa/public revenue from their wealth so you may purify them by sadaqa/public revenue. And support them. Surely, your support is reassurance for them. Allah is the One Who hears best, knows best.

Surah Ta-Ha 132:

132And instruct your family, relatives to fulfill Salah [support financially and spiritually; strive to enlighten the community] and you, be steadfast in it too. We do not ask you for provision. We provide for you. And outcome is for “being under the guardianship of Allah”.

Surah Al-Ankabut 45:

45You, recite/follow what has been revealed to you from the book and establish Salah [establish and maintain the institution that supports financially and spiritually; enlightens the community]. Indeed, Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; the institution that enlightens the community] prevents from transgression, evil. And remembrance of Allah is indeed greater. And Allah knows that which you do and produce.

Surah Al-An’am 162-163:

162,163Say: “My Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; striving to enlighten the community], my servitude; all my worship, my life and my death are only for Allah, Rabb of all universes, Who has no partners. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims”.

To Prophet Moses:

Surah Ta-Ha 11-15:

11Then, when he came to it, he was called: “Moses! 12I, it is I Who is your Rabb. So, leave the people who are close to you and your belongings here,141 indeed, you are in the purified valley, in Tuwa/a valley cleaned twice. 13And I have chosen you; then heed that which will be revealed to you; heed the 14warning of “14Surely, I am Allah Himself. There is no deity except Me. Then worship me and establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] to remember me.

Surah Yunus 87:

87And We revealed to Moses and his brother, “Prepare some schools in Egypt for your people and make your schools your goal and establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give good tidings to the believers!”.

To Prophet Jesus:

Surah Mary 30-33, 36:

30Surely, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the book and made me a prophet. 31He has rendered me blessed wherever I am. He has given me Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; striving to enlighten the community] and zaqah/tax as a liability as long as I live. 32And He has made me kind to my mother. And He has not made me a tyrant, an unhappy one. 33And Salam [health, peace, happiness…] be upon me, on the day I was born, on the day I will die, and on the day I will be resurrected again as alive.

36And indeed, Allah is my Rabb, and He is your Rabb as well. So, worship Him, this is the straight path

To Prophet Abraham:

Surah Ibrahim 35-41:

35-41And when Abraham once said: “My Rabb! Make this city safe! Keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols! My Rabb! Surely, idols have led many among the people astray. Then, whoever follows me, he is of me; and whoever disobeys… Then you surely are the One Who forgives much and shows great mercy. Our Rabb! I have indeed settled some of my children in a barren valley next to Your untouchable House so they might establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Our Rabb! So make the hearts of some of Your servants incline towards to them so they may repay for the blessings that You have given. And provide for them from some fruits. Our Rabb! Indeed, You know that which we conceal and that which we disclose. –And nothing is hidden from Allah in the heavens/universe and on the earth.- All praise is to Allah Who has bestowed me Ishmael and Isaac in my old age; no one else may be praised. Indeed, my Rabb is the One Who hears my supplication very well. My Rabb! Make me a man who establishes Salah [establishes and maintains the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]! And from my descendants too… Our Rabb! Accept my supplication! Our Rabb! Forgive me, my parents and believers on the day when the account will be established!”.

To Prophets Ishak and Jacob:

Surah Al-Anbiya 72-73:

72And We bestowed him Isaac and Jacob in addition. And We made them all righteous people.

73And We made them leaders who guided by Our command. And We revealed to them to do good deeds, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax. And they were the ones who worshipped only to Us.

To Prophet Zachariah:

Surah Ali-Imran 39:

39Then, while Zechariah was fulfilling Salah [teaching], standing on the special desk, the harbinger Ayat called him: “Surely, Allah is giving you the good tidings of John, of the righteous as the confirmer of the words of Allah, the master/the leader, a prophet of modesty”.

To Prophet Ismail:

Surah Mary 55:

55And he ordered his family/people around him Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; striving to enlighten the community] and zaqah/tax. And his Rabb was pleased with him.

To Prophet Luqman:

Surah Luqman 13, 16-19:

13And when Luqman said to his son, instructing him: “O my son! Do not associate others with Allah, surely, associating others with Allah is very wrong; acting against own good. 16O my son! Surely, associating others with Allah; even if that evil should be the weight of a seed of mustard and should be within a rock or in the heavens/universe or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is the One Who is subtle, aware in truth. 17O my son! Establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], order good, avoid evil. Be patient over what befalls you. Surely, these are certains of the matters. 18And do not puff out your cheeks to people, do not frown and do not walk arrogantly on the earth. Indeed, Allah does not like all those who are boastful and self-deluded. 19And be moderate in your pace, lower your voice. Surely, the harshest of sounds is the voice of the donkeys”.

To Prophet Shu‘ayb:

Surah Hud 87:

87They said: “O Shu’ayb! Is it your Salah [your religion that includes supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] that commands you that we should abandon what our ancestors worshipped and that we should not do whatever we will with our wealth? Indeed, you are a tenderhearted and right minded man”.

To the Israelites:

Surah Al-Baqara 83:

83And when We took “a certain promise” from Israelites: “You will worship none but Allah, do good to your parents, relatives, orphans and the needy, speak good to people, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax”. Then, except for a few, you turned away. And you are the ones who turn away.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 12:

12And surely, Allah took the solemn covenant of Israelites. And We sent from among them twelve supervisors/leaders. And Allah said: “I am surely with you. If you establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, believe in My messengers, support them and loan Allah a good loan, I will definitely remove your evil deeds and admit you into the gardens of Jannah [Heaven/Paradise], underneath of which rivers flow. And whoever among you disbelieves; consciously denies the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb after this, he has certainly gone astray from the righteous path”.

To the believers:

Surah Al-Hajj 78:

And strive for the cause of Allah properly so you may win victory, maintain your status. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you any difficulty in the religion; the religion/lifestyle of your ancestor, Abraham. He has named you “Muslims” before and in the Qur’an so the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. Therefore, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax and hold fast to Allah. He is your familiar Who guides, helps, protects. How an excellent familiar Who guides, helps, protects, how an excellent helper He is!

Surah Al-Jumu’ah 9-10:

9O you who have believed! When it is called for Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] on the gathering day, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, leave business. If you should know, this is better for you.

10And when Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] has been concluded, disperse across the earth and seek from the bounties of Allah. And remember Allah often so you may succeed and maintain your status.

Surah Al-Muzzammil 20:

20Do not doubt, your Rabb knows that you stay awake for less than two-thirds, half, a third of the night. So does a group of those who are with you. Allah determines the night and the day by a measure. He has known that you will not be able to do this duty with ease so eased your duty. Then, learn and teach what is easy of the Qur’an! He has known that there will be those who are ill among you. He has known that some of them will travel through the earth seeking of the bounties of Allah, while some others will fight for the cause of Allah. Then learn teach what is easy from it! Establish/maintain Salah [financial and spiritual support; institutions that enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax! Loan Allah a good loan! And you will find whatever good you send forth for yourselves better and you will find its reward greater with Allah. Ask Allah for forgiveness! Indeed, Allah is the One Who forgives much, shows great mercy.

To the entire humanity:

Surah An-Nur 56:

56And establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax and obey the Messenger so you may receive mercy.

Surah Ar-Rum 31-32:

31,32Enter under the guardianship of Allah, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] as the ones who turn to Him from their hearts, do not be among those who associate others with Allah; those who have divided their religion asunder, who have divided into separatist groups. –Each separatist group brags with that which is with them.-

Surah Al-Baqara 110:

110And you, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax! Whatever good you do for yourselves, you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah is the One Who sees best what you do.

SALAH IS THE DISPLAY WINDOW OF RELIGION

The issue that salah represents religion and is the display window of religion was stated in the clearest manner in the ayah regarding the salah of Prophet Shu‘ayb:

Surah Hud 87:

87They said: “O Shu’ayb! Is it your Salah [your religion that includes supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] that commands you that we should abandon what our ancestors worshipped and that we should not do whatever we will with our wealth? Indeed, you are a tenderhearted and right minded man”.

The word salah in the expression of Does your Salah command us to abandon those deities worshipped by our ancestors and our rights on our possessions? stated in this ayah represents the “religion” because, just like a the photograph of a person’s face is considered a sufficient and valid evidence in the determination of his/her identity, salah, which is a deed and belief of social aid, represents the “religion” as the most significant feature of the religion reflecting outside and constitutes one of the most determine indicators of it.

Our Rabb expressed that salah represents the religion through different statements (for example, by showing salah as the one of the characteristics of the believers, pious ones, those who can accept warnings; specifying that it is required for being subject to mercy and grace; considering it is the indicator of belief; stating that salah is one of the behaviors considered “being rightous”) in other ayat as well:

Surah Al-Baqara 2-4:

2-4This book; about which there is no doubt is a guidance for those who believe in the unseen, the unheard, the unknown places, who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], who spend from what We have provided for them for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance first for their relatives and then others, who believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before you, who has entered under the guardianship of Allah –and they definitely believe in Akhirat [Afterlife]-.

Surah Al-Mu’minun 9:

9And they are the ones who maintain their Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; the institutions that enlighten the community].

Surah Fatir 18:

18And no sinner bears the sins of another. Even if the one who has many sins/who is very wealthy calls another to make him bear his sin, none of his sin will be taken from him to be borne by another one. – Even if he is a relative – Surely, you only warn those who fear their Rabb in awe with respect, love and knowledge in the desolate places and those who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Whoever purifies himself is purified for himself. And return is only to Allah.

Surah Fatir 29-30:

29,30Surely, those who recite the book of Allah, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and spend from that which We have provided them for the cause of Allah secretly and openly/provide sustenance for their relatives, they expect a business that has no possibility/probability to go bankrupt so Allah may give them their rewards in full and increase his bounty for them. Indeed, He is very forgiving and the One Who repays.

Surah An-Nisa 162:

162But those who have been deep in knowledge and who believe from among those who became Jews believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before. They are the ones who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, believe in Allah and the day of Akhirat [Afterlife]. They are the ones whom We will give a great reward.

Surah Al-Baqara 177:

177It is not “being righteous” to turn your faces to east and west. But, “the righteous people” are the ones who believe in Allah, the day of Akhirat [Afterlife]/the Last Day, angels, the Book, prophets; who give their wealth to relatives, orphans, needy, travelers and paupers and the ones who do not have freedom even though they love wealth and who give their wealth by loving Allah and who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], who give zaqah/tax. And they are the ones who fulfill their promise when they promise and who have patience in the times of hardship, illness and war. They are the ones who are true. And they are the ones who have entered under the guardianship of Allah.

Surah An-Nur 56:

56And establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax and obey the Messenger so you may receive mercy.

CONDITIONS OF TAKING PART IN SALAH

Those people with the understanding that accepts salah as “prayer” deemed the cleaning expression in Surah Al-Ma’idah 6 as a must of prayer and proclaimed the Surah Al-Ma’idah 6 ayah as “the ayah of ablution”.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 6:

6O you who have believed! When you rise towards Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; the institutions that enlighten the community]/go in public, wash your faces and hands up to your elbows. Wipe over your heads and feet to your heels with your hands. If you are junub/out of your senses because of excessive lust, clean yourselves over and over [engage in sexual intercourse, ejaculate and bathe]. If you are ill or traveling or one of you comes out of the bathroom or have had physical contact with women/had sexual intercourse and then could not find water, seek clean earth. Then wipe your faces and hands with clean earth using your hands. Allah does not intend to make any difficulty for you but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you so you may repay for the blessings that are given to you.

However, according to the information provided by the surat of Al-Hujurat, Al-Mujadila and An-Nur in the Qur’an and history books, the Arabic society in the period when the Qur’an was sent down was a mass of people who did not know to knock on a door and how to enter the house of someone else; unaware of the manners of having talks and discussions; lack of table manners; weak in social relations to the extent that it can be considered as none; and the worst, without the culture of cleaning. There are many documents regarding the fact that they went to the masjid [school] with filthy clothes, muddy feet, doughy hands, smelly mouths of onion and garlic and that they even defecated in the middle of the masjid [school]. Thus, Al-Ma’idah 6, which is called “the ayah of ablution” is an ayah for teaching the Arabs of the time to come before the society clean. This situation is also underlined in the following verse:

Surah Al-A‘raf 31-32:

31O mankind! At every masjid’s [school] nearby; in public take your adornments, eat and drink but do not be extravagant; indeed Allah does not like the extravagant ones.

32Say: “Who made haram/forbidden the adornments which Allah brought forth for His servants and the clean provisions?” Say: “These are for those who believe in simple worldly life – only for them on the day of Qiyamat [Resurrection] -.” Thus We explain the Ayat in detail for a people who know.

As it is understood from these ayat clearly, cleaning of people, their clean outfits, and their wearing of jewelry are for their own relations. These are required for them to love and show respect to each other as well.

Adaptation of the issue of dressing and cleaning to Allah, by comparing Him with the governors of provinces or districts before whom one must appear clean and in good clothing by some people results from their inability to appreciate Allah appropriately. In fact, Allah does not pay regard to the appearance of people; He appeals to the hearts. And a person is before Him anytime, anywhere, any case. Allah does not request any process to welcome people before Him.

On the other side, the people with same understanding misled the Muslims by providing wrong definitions in terms of the states of being “junub”, mentioned in Surah Al-Ma’idah 6 and Surah An-Nisa 43 and “intoxicated” mentioned in An-Nisa 43. The truth is in our analysis below:

Surah An-Nisa 43:

43O you who have believed! Do not approach Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; the institutions that enlighten the community]/do not go in public until you are aware of what you are saying while you are intoxicated, until you engage in sexual intercourse and bathe –except travelers– when you are junub. If you are ill or traveling or one of you have come from bathroom or contacted women and you could not find water, then seek clean earth. Then wipe your face and hands using your hands. Indeed, Allah is pardoning, very forgiving.

BEING JUNUB and JANABAT

In the Fiqh and Ilmihal/religious laws and life knowledge books, being junub was defined as the “situation requiring full ablution; a big state of lack of ablution” and janabat as “The person in this condition and has not yet had full ablution” and explanations like “A person who has had a sexual intercourse or wet dream or ejaculated due to lust by looking at or touching to someone is called junub and his/her such condition is janabat”.

In view of these definitions and explanations, it was resolved that a male and female who has sexual intercourse even without ejaculation will be junub and a male will be considered junub with the ejaculation and a female will be considered junub with her being in wet dream for coquetry, looking, thinking or similar reasons and ejaculation taking place as a result of satisfaction through dream or another way will cause to be being junub.

Considering these judgments, it was considered haram/forbidden for a junub to enter a masjid, perform prayer, have the prayer performed, fast, read the Qur’an, touch the Qur’an, recital of the Qur’an to him/her and walk around the Kaaba.

In addition to this prohibition, threats regarding the badness of being junub like, “No angel enters a place where a junub is”, “No plant flourishes in the soil stepped by a junub”, “The soil he/she steps on and his/her bed curses the junub until he/she baths”, were –even by ascribing to our Prophet– were uttered.

However, being junub mentioned in the Qur’an is not the above-defined state of being junub-janabat. In our opinion, they have been fabricated to keep people away from religion and education and it is sad that our Prophet’s name was used as a tool for it.

This mistake has been so widespread that the word junub was given definitions in dictionaries–as if this word was not present in the Arabic language before Islam– within the framework of the terminological meaning we provided above; hence, similar information was included in the classical sources:

Word Junub has no gender, deuteronomy, and plural because this word is infinitive as the words of buud and kurb [farness and nearness]. Sometimes, they lighten this word and call it cenb. There were people who have read the word like this.

al-Ferra says: The expression of a person’s state of junub is derived from janabat. In one accent, it was said that the word junub was told to have been made plural, just like unk and a’nak, tunub and etnab [neck, necks, tent peg, and poles] as well. If this word is used as canib with the intention for the singular, the expression of cünnab is used for the plural, like referring a horseback rider and riders as rakib and rukkab. The word means “distance” in its origin. It takes this name as a junub distances from the state of prayer because of the fluid he/she brings out through lust. The poet says:

Do not make me deprived by keeping me away from my sibling (who is slave beside me)!

Because I am a person who remained awkward among the tents.

Junub man is also used as a “stranger man”. In the same way, janabat [mücanebet] means “A male’s being intimate with a female”.[22]

ACTUAL MEANING OF THE WORD

Following information is available in the classical works concerning the word جُنُبْ [junub] that is one of the derivatives of the word جنب[jenb]:

The word Jenb means “A part of something; a part torn from a small-big thing”. The words of canib and junub means, “ğarîb” [something very distant]. The expression of Cenebe’r-raculü means “Person has repelled it, fended it off”. Ezheri said the following: “As getting nearer to the salah emplacements was prohibited, it was called ‘junub.’”. Ibn Esir said: “Junub is a person who is required to take a bath because of the ‘sexual intercourse and ejaculations;’ janabat means ‘spermatic fluid.’”[23]

However, it is not possible to accept the views of Ezheri and Ibn Esir mentioned in Lisan al-Arab; because this word was also available in the Arabic language prior to the Qur’an as well. It was prohibited with the Qur’an to near the salah emplacements [musalla; education-training and social aid, support places].

BEING JUNUB and THE QUR’AN

The word junub takes place in the Qur’an totally 33 times with different derivatives, being as it is in 2 ayat. All of the derivatives of the word are around the main axis of “a part that is distant from the main matter” and those of the mentioned in that ayat of Surah An-Nisa 36, 43; Surah Al-Qasas 11 and Surah Al-Ma’idah 6 are in the junub form and others are in different forms. For example, the words in the ayat of Surah Az-Zumar 17, Surah An-Nisa 31, Surah Ash-Shura’ 37, Surah An-Najm 53, Surah An-Nahl 36, Surah Al-Hajj 30, Surah Al-Hujurat 12, Surah Al-Ma’idah 90 and Surah Ibrahim 35 took place with the “ictinab” meaning “staying away; avoiding” form that entered also Turkish with its meaning in Arabic.

Surah Ibrahim 35:

And when Abraham once said: “My Rabb! Make this city safe! Keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols!

The forms of canib, ecnebi, cenab derivatives of this word, have been turned into Turkish words with the same meanings and canib means “side, edge” and ecnebi means “an expat; foreigner”. Cenab means “stayed away from deficiencies” which is used for Allah as “Cenab-ı Hakk, Cenab-ı Allah” and some select persons are referred to as “… cenabları”.

In summary, the word junub means concisely “something distant; something detached”. In an assessment in the light of the ayat of An-Nisa 43 and Al-Ma’idah 6, it is understood that this word means “The one detached from life, lost his/her balance and fails to behave with common sense due to lust, awakening of desire”. Hence, as known by everyone, a person in this state becomes detached from life and the world and loses his/her common sense.

It is understood from here that being junub is not the state between the “ejaculation of the sperm and taking a bath”, but “the tense state between the lust and ejaculation”.

So our Rabb stipulated in both Surah An-Nisa 43 and Surah Al-Ma’idah 6 that the persons must not attempt salah; that is to say, they must not go to the education-training and social support areas in such a tense state. In other words, participation of the persons who are detached from life and who fail to act with common sense was prohibited to take part in such social activities and He ordered that the tense ones must first alleviate their desires and then go out before the society after taking a bath because a person who reaches tranquility will not have a attention problem caused by the state of being junub; on the contrary, he/she will be able to fulfill the requirement of salah in a calm and understanding manner. As a person who has reached tranquility and calmed, he/she would already not inflict harm to anyone, it is meaningless to keep him/her distant from the society and curse him/her.

INTOXICATION

The word سكارى [sükara] mentioned in the ayah is from the derivatives of the word سكر [sekr] and sekr was shown in Lisan al-Arab as the opposite of sahv.[24] In this case, in order to understand the word sekr better, it is necessary to know the meaning of sahv.

Allame Ibn Manzur explains the word صحو [sahv] as follows:

Sahv means the “disappearance of a cloud, clarity of the sky, disappearance of intoxication, and departing of superstitious and lack of control”.[25]

As can be understood from here, the first meaning of the word was with the events in nature; daylight, that is to say, the purification of the sky from clouds, fogs, dusts and smoke was referred to as sahv and the opposite of it is the state of the sky in clouds, fog, dust, and smoke, was referred to as sekr.

As it is seen, the word sükara does not cover the intoxication taking place only with the effect of the substances like alcohol. The word sukr means in its broad sense all the mental confusion, corruption that prevent a person’s use of his/her mental faculties fully because mental confusion may appear under the effect of any drug or things like sleep, lust, fear, pain, panic and stress as well. Hence, there are many ayat in the Qur’an regarding the intoxication taking place outside the effect of the substances like alcohol:

Surah Qaf 19:

19Indeed, the stupor of the death comes in truth: -“O man! This is that which you were avoiding.”-

Surah Al-Hijr 14-15:

14,15And even if We opened a door upon them from the heavens/universe and they ascended up through there, they would indeed say: “Our eyes have been dazzled/blurred. Actually, we are a people affected by magic”.

Surah Al-Hijr 72:

72You have never seen in your life such disgraced ones who prepared their end in their passion for lust.-

Surah Al-Hajj 1-2:

1,2O people! Enter under the guardianship of your Rabb, indeed the tremor of the moment of Qiyamat [Resurrection] is a great thing. On the day that you will see it, every nursing woman will forget that she is nursing. And every pregnant woman will deliver what she carries or miscarry. And you will see people intoxicated while they are not. Yet, the punishment of Allah is severe.

As a result, people must not take part in salah when they are under the effect of alcoholic beverages or drugs and when they are sleepy, afraid, painful, sad and stressed.

Apart from the ayat of Surah An-Nisa 43 and Surah Al-Ma’idah 6, there are many ayat in the Qur’an in the form of a condition of taking part in salah (stating that salah must be conducted only for Allah; with a heart and sincerity directed to Allah; far from showing off; neither overtly nor covertly; in consciousness and timely manner, without adopting as entertainment; without being lazy and continuously):

Surah Al-An’am 162-163:

162,163Say: “My Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; striving to enlighten the community], my servitude; all my worship, my life and my death are only for Allah, Rabb of all universes, Who has no partners. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims”.

Surah Ar-Rum 31-32:

31,32Enter under the guardianship of Allah, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] as the ones who turn to Him from their hearts, do not be among those who associate others with Allah; those who have divided their religion asunder, who have divided into separatist groups. –Each separatist group brags with that which is with them.-

Surah Al-Mu’minun 2:

2They are the ones who are sincere in their Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; striving to enlighten the community].

Surah An-Nisa 142:

Surely, the hypocrites try to deceive Allah. Yet, He is the deceiver upon them. And when they stand for Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]/ go into public, they move lazily, being irresolute hesitating between the two, they do not stay with the believers nor the infidels, they make a display to the people. And they remember Allah but a little.

Surah Al-Ma’un 1-7:

1Have you seen/have you ever thought about the one who denies the fact that everyone will be recompensed for his deeds, good or evil, in Akhirat [Afterlife]/the one who denies the principles of Allah that regulate the social order? 2,3He is the one who repulses the orphan and does not encourage on giving opportunities for those poor so they might earn their living.

4-7Woe to those who are careless, apathetic to their Salah, who fulfill Salah [while they look like they support others financially and spiritually; strive to enlighten the community] for showing off, and forbid that even small kindnesses should reach to a needy!

Surah Al-Ma’idah 58:

58And when you invite them to Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community], they take it in ridicule and amusement. This is because they are a people who do not reason.

Surah Al-Anfal 35:

35And their support by the Bayt [House]/Kaaba is only to whistle and applause, a show. –Then taste this punishment for you have disbelieved; consciously denied the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb!-

Surah At-Tawbah 54:

54And it was only their disbelief; their conscious denial of the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb, their consious denial of that His Messenger was true messenger, their reluctance to Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community], and unwillingly spending for the cause of Allah that prevented their expenditures from being accepted.

Surah Al-Isra 110:

110Say: “Call Him Allah or call Him Rahman [the One Who shows great mercy on the earth to all living beings that He created]. With whatever thing you call Him, the best names belong to Him. Do not fulfill your Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; striving to enlighten the community] openly nor secretly; whispering. And seek a way between them”.

Surah Al-An’am 92:

92This is the Book full of blessings and confirming what is mentioned within, which We have sent down upon you so you may warn the Mother City and the people nearby. Those who believe in Akhirat [Afterlife] also believe in it and they protect their Salah [supporting financially and spiritually establish and the institutions that enlighten the community].

Surah Al-Ma’arij 22-35:

22Except “Those who fulfill Salah” [those who made supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community their principle].

23Those who fulfill Salah are the ones who maintain their Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community].

24,25And those who fulfill Salah are the ones within whose wealth is a known right for those poor who ask and are shy to ask.

26And those who fulfill Salah acknowledge the day of recompense.

27And those who fulfill Salah are the ones who fear the punishment of their Rabb.

28Indeed, the punishment of their Rabb is not that from which one is safe.-

29-31And those who fulfill Salah are the ones who guard their chastity. –Except for their spouses and those whom their covenants possess318. Because, they will not be condemned when they approach them. Those who seek beyond that; they are the transgressors.-

32And those who fulfill Salah stand behind their trust and promises.

33And those who fulfill Salah fulfill their testimonies.

34And those who fulfill Salah maintain their Salah [principles of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community].

35And these ones who fulfill Salah will be hosted in Jannah [Heaven/Paradise].

Stating the conditions of taking part in salah this way, Our Rabb explained in the following ayat that salah is time-based and trading must not be preferred to salah:

Surah An-Nisa 103:

103And when the education-training is completed, remember Allah while standing, sitting or lying on your flanks. When you are in safety, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Indeed, Salah [duty of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified periods of time for a long time past.

Surah Al-Isra 78-79:

78Establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] from setting/downing of the sun until the darkness of the night and ensure the learning-teaching of the day.194 Because learning-teaching of the day is worth seeing.

79And from the night. Also, additionally only for you, fulfill Salah by waking up at night! It is expected that your Rabb will take you to a good position.

Surah Hud 114:

114And fulfill your Salah [establish and maintain supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] at the two ends of the day and in the early hours of the night, because good deeds remove evil deeds. This indeed is a reminder for those who take lessons.

Surah An-Nur 37:

36-38There are such men in the houses in which Allah lets Himself to be raised and His name to be mentioned, who continuously purify Allah, commerce and business do not distract them from remembering Allah, establishing Salah [establishing and maintaining the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and giving zaqah/tax. They fear a day in which hearts and eyes will overturn so Allah may recompense them with the best of what they did and increase from His bounties for them. And Allah provides for whom He wills without account.

Surah Al-Jumu’ah 9-10:

9O you who have believed! When it is called for Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] on the gathering day, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, leave business. If you should know, this is better for you.

10And when Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] has been concluded, disperse across the earth and seek from the bounties of Allah. And remember Allah often so you may succeed and maintain your status.

WHO PREVENTS SALAH?

Surah Al-Ma’idah 91:

91Truly satan wants to plant animosity among you through Hamr/intoxicants [alcoholic drinks/drugs for pleasure/anything that dulls/numbs consciousness by any means outside of medical uses] and gambling and avert you from remembering Allah, His reminder and Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. Then, are you the ones who have abstained/desisted?

Surah Al-Alaq 9-13:

9-10Have you seen the one who forbids a servant when he fulfills Salah [supports financially and spiritually; strives to enlighten the community]? 11-12Have you ever thought, if that servant who fulfills Salah is upon the righteous path or commands taqwa! [being under the guardianship of Allah]! 13Have you ever thought, if that one who forbids the one who fulfills Salah denied and turned away!…

SALAH IS THE EXPRESSION OF BELIEF

Surah At-Tawbah 5:

5And when untouchable months/months of hajj [pilgrimage] have passed, kill those who associate others with Allah wherever you find them, seize them, imprison them and sit for them at every observation point. But if they should repent, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax, then let their ways free. Surely, Allah is the One Who removes the sins of His servants, does not punish them and has much forgiveness, the One Who is the possessor of vast mercy.

Surah At-Tawbah 11:

11If they repent after this, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax, then they are your brothers in religion. And We explain the Ayat in detail for a people who know.

Surah Al-Baqara 43:

43Establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, acknowledge the oneness of Allah with those who acknowledge the oneness of Allah.

Surah Al-Baqara 45-46:

45-46And seek help through patience, Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. –Surely, seeking help through patience and Salah is very difficult for all other than those who show respect; who believe from the bottom of their hearts that they will meet their Rabb and they will be returned to Him.-

Surah Al-Baqara 125:

125And We made this Bayt [House]/the first school for the people a place to return and a place of security. –And get a place for Salah [a place where supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community will take place] from the place that Abraham served.- And We took covenant from Abraham and Ishmael, saying: “Keep my Bayt [House] pure for the travelers, those who worship, who submit, who acknowledge the oneness of Allah”.

Surah Al-Baqara 153:

153O you who have believed! Ask for help through patience and Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. Indeed, Allah is with those who have patience.

Surah An-Nisa 77:

Have you not seen/thought about those who were told, “Restrain your hands, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax”? And when war was written upon them, a group from among them fear men in awe with respect, love, knowledge like they fear Allah in awe with respect, love, knowledge or even more. And they said: “Our Rabb! Why have you decreed war upon us, why did not You postpone us for a close time?”. Say: “Enjoyment of the world is very little. Akhirat [Afterlife], on the other hand, is better for those who have entered under the guardianship of Allah and you will not be treated unjustly, not even “as much as the speck of a date seed”.

Surah An-Naml 1-3:

1-3Ta, Sin. These are the Ayat of the Qur’an, an explicit book/the book which clarifies sent as a guide to the righteous path and a bringer of good tidings to those believers who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax and certainly believe in Akhirat [Afterlife].

Surah Al-Ahzab 28-34:

28,29O Prophet! Say to your wives: “If you desire the simple worldly life and its adorned attraction, then come, I will pay you a compensation for divorce and release you with a good release. If you desire Allah, His Messenger and the final home, then Allah has definitely prepared a great reward for those among you who do good”.

30,31O women of the Prophet! Whoever of you should commit a clear, abominable immorality, punishment of the crime will be increased double fold. And this is very easy for Allah. And whoever of you shows respect to Allah and His Messenger constantly and does righteous deed, We will give her reward to her twice. And We have prepared for her a noble provision.

32-34O women of the Prophet! You are not like anyone among women; if you enter under the guardianship of Allah, do not speak attractively, those in whose hearts is disease; ill-minded would covet. Speak in a way that is acceptable for all. Be staid in your houses, do not make a display as display of the former ignorance, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, obey Allah and His Messenger. – O people of the house! Truly, Allah intends to remove the impurity from you and purify you.- And remember the Ayat of Allah that are recited in your houses and the laws, rules, principles that are set forth to prevent injustice, corruption and chaos. Indeed, Allah is the most gracious, the One Who knows what is hidden, the One Who knows well inner and hidden sides of everything.

Surah Ash-Shura 36-39:

36,39And whatever thing you have been given is the enjoyment of the simple worldly life. Only a temporary benefit of the worldly life. But what is with Allah [blessings, rewards] is better and more lasting for;

those who have believed and rely only on their Rabb,

and those who avoid major of the sins and immorality and those who forgive when they are angry,

and those who respond to the call of their Rabb, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], whose affair is to “mutually find and agree upon the best conclusion of the matter” among themselves, those who spend from that which We have provided for them for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance first for their relatives then others,

and those who help each other when injustice and assault hits them.

Surah Al-Mujadila 12-13:

12O you who have believed! When you whisper with the Messenger [when you have a private conversation with him/receive special service], give sadaqa/public revenue before your conversation. This is better and purer for you. If you are not able to find anything despite this, then Allah is definitely the One Who forgives much and shows great mercy.

13Are you afraid of giving sadaqa/public revenue before your private conversation? And, you did not do it. And Allah accepted your conscious repentance. Then establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is the One Who is all aware of what you do.

Surah Al-Bayyinah 5:

5Yet they were only commanded, to worship Allah as people purifying the religion only for Allah, to establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], to give zaqah/tax. And this is the correct/true/incorruptible religion.

Surah Al-An’am 71-72:

71,72Say: ‘‘Shall we invoke those that do not benefit us and do not harm us from among those that are inferior to Allah? Or should we be turned back just like those whom the devils enticed and made them wander on the earth confused while they have companions who invite them to the right and good, saying ‘come to us!’ after Allah has guided us to the righteous path?”. Say: “Surely, the righteous path of Allah is what the true righteous path is. And we have been commanded to submit to Rabb of all universes and to fulfill Salah; establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community and to enter under the guardianship of Allah. And Allah is the One only to Whom we will be gathered”.

SALAH IS NOT FULFILLED FOR INFIDELS AND HYPOCRITES

Surah At-Tawbah 84:

84And do not support anyone who has died from among them, do not stand over his grave. Surely, they are infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb and that His Messenger is the true messenger. And they have died as they have gone astray from the righteous path.

In this ayat, original of the ritual applied as a funeral prayer today is mentioned. The Prophet and believers must not by any means fulfill salah for, provide support to and stand beside the grave of person known to have died as an infidel.

In the classical sources, the reason for sending down this ayah is shown as the Prophet’s leading of performing the funeral prayer of Abdullah b. Ubeyy b. Selül despite he knew he was a hypocrite. However, what is mentioned in this ayat is not prayer but salah.

As can be understood from the ayat, in the cases of demise, people come together at the grave of the deceased and salah was used to be fulfilled for him/her; that is to say, his/her debt, inheritance, will and the aids he/she left for his/her family were being organized. In this ayah, our Rabb commands not to fulfill salah for the polytheists and hypocrites.

For such persons, praying for forgiveness was also prohibited: Surah At-Tawbah 80, 113.

SALAH IS FULFILLED FOR THOSE WHO TURN FROM DISBELIEF AND DISSENSION [ALL KIND OF SUPPORT IS GIVEN]

Surah At-Tawbah 101-104:

101And among those around you of the Bedouin Arabs who are hypocrites. And among the people of Medina are those who have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You do not know them. We know them. We will punish them twice then they will be returned to a great punishment.

102And others have confessed their sins too. And they have mixed a righteous deed with another which was evil. Perhaps, Allah may accept their repentances. Indeed, Allah is the One Who removes the sins of His servants, does not punish them and has much forgiveness, the One Who is the possessor of vast mercy.

103Take sadaqa/public revenue from their wealth so you may purify them by sadaqa/public revenue. And support them. Surely, your support is reassurance for them. Allah is the One Who hears best, knows best.

104Do they not know that Allah accepts repentances of His servants, takes sadaqa and that Allah is the One Who accepts repentances most, gives many opportunities to repent, shows great mercy?

SALAH IS NOT NEGLECTED EVEN UNDER THE MOST DIFFICULT CONDITIONS

Surah Al-Baqara 238-239:

238,239Collectively maintain the Salat [supporting financially and spiritually; institutions that enlighten the community] and the best Salah [the best of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community; Salah of the weekly gathering day]346. And stand for Allah, being always respectful; work; keep education-training and social support institution operational. But if you are in a fearsome environment, then maintain, perform it while on foot or riding; on the move. And when you are safe and secure, remember Allah as He has taught you that which you do not know.

Surah An-Nisa 101-103:

101And when you set out for a campaign on the earth, if you fear the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb will harm you, then there will be no blame upon you if you shorten [shorten your education] Salah [work of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. Surely, the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb are explicit enemy for you.

102And when you are among those who are on a campaign and provide training and education for them, let some of them stand/join the training with you. And let them take their weapons with them. And when they have received enough knowledge and are convinced, let them stand behind you. Then, let another group who have not yet received education and training come to join you for training and let them take precautions and carry their weapons with them. The infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb wish that you become negligent of your weapons and belongings so they may suddenly raid upon you. If a trouble reaches you from the rain or you become ill, there will be no blame upon you to leave your weapons. Take your precautions as well. Surely, Allah has prepared a humiliating punishment for the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb.

103And when the education-training is completed, remember Allah while standing, sitting or lying on your flanks. When you are in safety, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community]. Indeed, Salah [duty of supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community] has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified periods of time for a long time past.

MUSALLA

The word مصلّى [musalla] is from the root of ص ل و [salv] and infinitive with the letter mim of the verbs of صلّى [salla], يصلّى [yusallî] and means the “place, venue, where salah is fulfilled”. When the word salah was perceived as “prayer”, this word was accepted as “namazgah” [a place where the prayer is performed].

However, musalla is the place where the “mental and financial social supports and activities will be conducted”. This word takes place in the Surah Al-Baqara:

Surah Al-Baqara 125:

125And We made this Bayt [House]/the first school for the people a place to return and a place of security. –And get a place for Salah [a place where supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community will take place] from the place that Abraham served.- And We took covenant from Abraham and Ishmael, saying: “Keep my Bayt [House] pure for the travelers, those who worship, who submit, who acknowledge the oneness of Allah”.

In this ayah, when Abraham was being narrated, an order was sent in a clause in brackets Get a musalla [room to fulfill salah] from the place of Abraham with which constitution of an international musalla [education and social support center] in Mecca where the education school inaugurated by Abraham is situated. Importance and function of Musalla was underlined in the following ayat:

Surah Al-Ma’idah 106:

106O you who have believed! When death is ready for one among you, testimony at the time of bequest is two just people from among you. Or two people who are not from among your people if you are traveling across the earth and disaster of death should strike you. If you doubt, let them wait after Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. Then let them swear by Allah: “We will not sell our oaths for a price even if he should be a relative, we will not hide the testimony of Allah. Otherwise, we will be among the sinners”.

Surah Al-Hajj 34-55:

34,35And for every people with a leader, We made a way of servitude so they may mention His name over the flawless of the animals Allah has given as provision to them. So, your god is the One God. Therefore, be Muslims only for Him. Give the good tidings to those whose hearts shake with awe when Allah is mentioned, those who are patient over what has afflicted them, who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and spend from what We have provided for them for the cause of Allah, who sincerely submit to Allah.

When the historical documents are examined, we see that no independent musalla was acquired during the Meccan period; that the different places like houses, gardens and sheepfolds were used as musalla and masjid [school] during the period of siege; that the believers conducted their meetings, trainings and educations in those places and that they solved their social problems there. In Medina, the area situated in approximately 650-meter distance to the west of the masjid[school] where the mosque called مسجد الغمامة [Masjid-i Ğamame/ Masjid of Cloud] is present today was assigned as a “musalla” and salah [all the social support activities] were established there.

As an evidence of this issue, corruption of religion and emptying the content of concepts, we are providing the following information from Bukhari:

Abu Sa‘id Hudri (r.a) said: “The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was going up to the musalla on the day of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The first thing he started to do was salah. Then he was turning back from salah, standing up when the congregation was sitting in order, preaching to them by turning to them and giving his recommendations and commands. He even used to dispatch a troop if he wished to do so or order another thing and then turn back to Medina from musalla”.

Abu Sa‘id told the following: “While people were doing like this (complaint with the sunnah) at all times, I finally went up to the musalla on a Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha day with Mervan ibn Hakem. At that time Mervan was the ruler of Medina. When we arrived at the Musalla, I saw that there was the mimbar made by Kesir ibnu’s-Salt there and that Mervan was attempting to rise on that mimbar before he performed salah! I (to prevent) caught his outfit and drew him. He drew me as well. Finally, he climbed on the mimbar and performed khutba before the salah. I told to him:

  • I swear you have changed (the Sunnah of the Prophet).

He answered:

— Ya Eba Sa‘id! The thing you know has gone (that is to say, it is no longer enforceable).

I said:

  • The thing I know is, I swear, more benevolent than what I don’t know (according to what you say).

Mervan said the following upon this:

— As people would not sit for us after the salah, I replaced [khutba] it to perform before the salah.[26]

SAJDAH [SUBMISSION]

The first appearance of the word sajdah means “a camel’s bending of its neck for its owner to climb on it” and “the bending of the branches of a prolific date trees suitable for its owners convenient stretch and picking”. Later on, the word has come to be used as “loyalty of the people by nodding on the reliefs on the money the kings have printed”.[27]

In this case, سجدة [sajdah] means “surrendering of a person consciously to another –by accepting the other party is stronger than him/her– submission, and not get out of his/her authority”. “The sajdah of the angels to Adam” mentioned in the Qur’an has such meaning too. That is to say, the angels [natural forces] –as he was stronger than them– submitted to Adam [knowledgeable person].

In the word sajdah does not include the meaning of “lying flat”. This action is expressed with the word خرور [harûr]. Thus, in some ayat, it is mentioned as خرّوا سجّداً [harrû sücceden] which means “they prostrated in submission”.

The ayat containing the expression of “prostrating in submission” are the following:

Surah Yusuf 100:

100And he exalted his father and mother upon a high throne. And all of them submitted to him. And Joseph said: “My father! This is the interpretation of what I saw. Indeed my Rabb has made it true. My Rabb certainly did favor to me by getting me out of prison and bringing you through the desert after satan sown enmity between me and my brothers. Indeed, my Rabb is the One Who gives bounties to whatever He wills. Indeed He is the One Who knows best, the One Who is the best law maker”.

Surah Al-Sajdah 15:

15Only those who fall in prostration, submitting when they are reminded and those who purify from deficiencies with the praise of their Rabb and who do not act arrogantly believe in Our Ayat.

Surah Al-Isra 107-109:

107,108Say: “Whether you believe in the Qur’an or you do not; those who were given knowledge before; when the Qur’an is recited, they fall in prostration, submitting. And they say: “Purified is our Rabb from all deficiencies. And the promise of our Rabb will certainly be fulfilled”.

109And they fall upon their chins, crying. And the Qur’an increases their respect and humility.

There is ”falling to the ground” because of fear, which is not Sajdah:

Surah Al-A‘raf 143:

143When Moses arrived to the place on the time We had assigned and his Rabb spoke to him. Moses said: “O my Rabb! Show me Yourself so I can look at You!”. And his Rabb said to him: “You can never see me but look at that mountain, if it should remain in its place then you will see Me”. Then when his Rabb manifested Himself to the mountain, it scrambled and then Moses fell unconscious. When he recovered his consciousness, he said: “I purify You, I have turned to You; I have repented and I am the first of the believers”.

Prostrations of the believers in the prayer was the way of their exhibition of submission to Allah in order to fulfill the order of Pray to your Rabb by exalting Him and lowering yourselves continuously and secretly/openly; serve the prayer (Surah Al-A‘raf 55), as the expression of loyalty and submission was by means of prostration in the past.

After explaining the meaning of the word Sajdah this way, it becomes easier to understand the words of “Sajdah” in the Qur’an accurately.

For example, the words of Sajdah in the following ayat mean “submitting to someone else consciously–as he/she is powerful–”:

Surah Yusuf 4:

4When Joseph said to his father: “O my father! Indeed I have seen eleven stars, the sun and the moon; I have seen them submitting to me”216

Surah Yusuf 100:

100And he exalted his father and mother upon a high throne. And all of them submitted to him. And Joseph said: “My father! This is the interpretation of what I saw. Indeed my Rabb has made it true. My Rabb certainly did favor to me by getting me out of prison and bringing you through the desert after satan sown enmity between me and my brothers. Indeed, my Rabb is the One Who gives bounties to whatever He wills. Indeed He is the One Who knows best, the One Who is the best law maker”.

Submission of his siblings and parents to Joseph means “their giving of their life orders to the control of him and not getting out of his authority”.

Surah Al-A‘raf 161:

161They were once told: “Dwell in that city and eat whatever you will from therein and say “Hitta” [forgive our sins]! and enter through the door as submitted. We will forgive your sins and increase to the doers of good”.

Here, sajdah does not mean lying at the gate of the town but “to submit to the authority of that town”. Same issue was mentioned in Surah Al-Baqara 58 and Surah An-Nisa 154 as well.

Apart from the submission conducted consciously, there is a willy-nilly submission in the Qur’an, which is “submission of the entities other than humans that they do willy-nilly in accordance to their creation and fates”:

Surah Ar-Ra‘d 15:

15And those who are in the heavens/universe and on the earth and their shadows submit only to Allah willingly or unwillingly.

Surah An-Nahl 49:

And living creatures and the forces of the nature that are in the heavens/universe and on the earth submit to Allah without arrogance.

Surah Al-Hajj 18:

18Have you not seen/thought about that whoever is in the heavens/universe and on the earth, the sun, the moon, stars, mountains, trees, moving creatures and many of the people submit to Allah? And many of them are the ones upon whom the punishment has been justified. And whomever Allah humiliates; there is none to exalt him. Surely, Allah does what He wills.

MASJID

مسجد [masjid] is the infinitive with the letter mim [name of a place] of the verb of سجد يسجد [secede, yescüdü] and means the “place where Sajdah is performed/caused to be performed”, which is unrelated with the prostrating oneself in the prayers performed today. This means “The place where the persons who think contradictorily and act contradictorily are convinced, submitted to the truth”; in short, “education-training, convincing area”.

With this meaning, masjid is the “areas where the mental dimensions of salah are established”. Musalla is the area where the financial aspects of salah, mental and social support are applied through large participations”. Prophet established the salah in the masjid in narrow frame and at the “musalla” in the broader frame [in crowded participations like eids, weekly meetings, funeral, and war preparation].

Hence, the word salah derived from the root of ص ل و [salv] and its derivatives are not related with the known “prayer” today in any way. Yes, while something different from salah, “prayer” is also present in the Qur’an, which is also Allah’s order. Thus, every believer must perform his/her prayer duty.

RUKU

Ruku reminds everyone to “bowing down and bending of the waist by inclining while standing in prayer” because the word was carved into the minds this way centuries ago. In the classical works, it was expressed that the purpose of ruku specified in the ayah was “entire prayer” and that through the “cüz’iyet metonymy” art, part of the prayer is mentioned but the intention was for the entirety. In all the interpretations and tafsirs, the word was used with this meaning and the expression of perform ruku was understood as “perform prayer”. In this case, the meaning of the ayah has taken the form of “When it is said to them ‘perform prayer’, they do not. Woe to the deniers on that day!”

Understanding the ayat in this manner is wrong in our opinion because there was no order in terms of prayer in question when this surah was sent down. It is already meaningless to say “Perform prayer” to the people who have not yet believed. As it is necessary for the accurate understanding of the ayah to know the right meanings of the words, the word ruku was looked up in Lisan al-Arab and following meanings were reached:

1) الرّكوع [ruku] means “hudû” [bow, bending, downsizing, obeying by surrendering, softening the word; telling politely and sweetly].

2) Ruku means “inhina” [cringe]. The elderly people whose waists are bent due to age are called rakea’ş-şeyhu [old man was cringed].

3) Ruku means “a rich person’s becoming poor later on” (an equal meaning to the idiom of “broken in the waist”.).

4) Ruku means “not worshipping to idols but submission to Allah” [acting as hanif]. The Jahilliyah Arabs called raki [performer of ruku] and rakea ilellah [performed ruku for Allah] to those people who do not worship idols but only Allah among themselves.[28]

In our opinion, the meaning in the 4th clause is the meaning that ensures the accurate perception of the ayah. In this case, it possible to translate the ayah as follows: “When it is said to them ‘Don’t worship idol, worship the one and only Allah’, they do not” or “When it is said to them ‘Submit to the truth and obey, they do not submit and obey’“.

After this judgment, by saying O woe to the deniers on that day, the deniers were threatened for the tenth and last time. Accordingly, intention was to tell them almost the following: “You liked the world and its tastes. Nevertheless, if you had not turned away from your Creator, if you had believed, if you had submitted to Him and you were in the position of asking for the worldly tastes and if you committed sins without deliberation along with your belief, you would have had a chance to get rid of the wrath of the hell and to acquire a reward.[29]

AZAN [ANNOUNCEMENT]

Upon the explanation of salah and establishment of salah, the question of when the believers are to come together for them takes place. Presently, there are many modern ways for this call/announcement such as letters, telephone, telegram, newspaper, radio and TV, electronic mail, sms etc. But the place of “azan” is different. Azan is not a mere announcement but a teaching and warning message for the societies it covers. As people debate “whether azan can be Turkish or not” and azan has lost its spirit and function in the society, we needed to mention this issue.

As done to many religious principle, azan was corrupted, diverted from its origin, and it lost its essence-spirit. It is presently in the position of notifying the time of something, the time of prayer, like the bells of churches or civil defense sirens. Acting through the acceptance that it is like this in the actual debates, remarks are made as follows:

Azan is Islam’s unchanging symbol. It is the indicator of the presence and identity of Muslims wherever in the world. There is a custom and agreement in view of its recital in its original language for 15 centuries. As the actual purpose of azan is the notify that the time has come and to invite for salah, delivery of such invitation to the Muslims speaking different languages can only be possible by addressing to the common consciousness of them and its method is to recite it through the known essential utterances.[30]

As this is the case, the discussions like the recital of azan by the people with nice voice, whether times of azan can be recited with different musical modes and conflict can be settled by a central announcement system, etc. becomes the agenda. Acting through this logic, blessed azan becomes no different from bells-sirens.

Yes. Azan today is a pile of slogans notifying about the times of prayer and composition performed with the musical modes. Its meaning has been lost and its message is no longer taken into account. The persons who recite and hear them do not know its meaning and understand its message. Only the notification of the time of the prayer makes the hearers the time of prayer has come. Let us come to the point:

In the dictionary, azan means “hailing, making known and announcement”. As a concept, azan is the special expression in order to announce when the “salahs will take place; that is to say, when the Muslims are to come together”.

The word azan takes place in the Qur’an in various forms in dictionary meaning. As a concept, instead of the word azan, the word nida is used: Surah Al-Ma’idah 58, Surah Jumu’ah 9.

Azan is a special form of invitation belonging to the Muslims. Its wording was determined through the joint decisions of Prophet and Sahabah [close friends of the Prophet]. Azan was started to be applied in the time of Medina. In Medina, the Muslims were waiting for the times of salah in their houses, going out to the street when they heard the azan and making calls by saying “es-Salah, es-Salah!”. When Muslims multiplied and expanded around the area, a way of solution was sought to announce to everyone and discussions were conducted. Different proposals and views were scrutinized. Finally, the azan of today was adopted.[31]

It is asserted in the Shiite sources that azan actually had the expression of “hayye ale’l-hayri’l-amel” [come on to the benevolent works] but Hz. Omar abolished it. Hz. Bilal recited the morning azan for the first time by climbing on the roof of a high house belonging to a woman from the Nejjarites.[32] This way, azan was started to be applied in Hegira II year. Then, a special place was made at the back of the Masjid al-Nabawi to perform azan.

Muslims’ azan does not consist merely of announcements like those of the Christians and Zoroastrians. Azan that has a profound meaning and supreme message and that invites the believers to obey Allah, to be conscious, to be alert, to taqwa [entering under the guardianship of Allah] and Islamic rear up is at the same time a manifest of freedom.

But today, the reciting person does not know what he says and the hearer does not understand its profound meaning and supreme message. Only they understand the lunch, mid-afternoon, and evening times have come. This type of azan is not related with the azan targeted by Islam. Azan is not only a call of coming together for prayer. Actually, there is no need for a call for prayer. As can be seen in the issue of prayer below, prayer is a worship that can be performed at all times. Thus, azan is an announcement of belief, an invitation of strengthening belief and an announcement of unity and shows the Muslims the way of salvation by means of inviting to only Allah and a only leader and brining salah to the forefront. Azan is at the same time a reminder; it invites Muslims to worship to Allah and calls the non-Muslims to surrender to Allah. Salah is the symbol of being a servant to Allah and one of the basic pillars of religion.

It must be remembered that azan is not only heard but also recited consciously with the muezzin.

Hence, azan must notify about the times of salah and take people to the salvation by exciting the hearts and strengthening the belief.

CAN AZAN BE IN ENGLISH? (NOT CAN IT BE READ)

As it is not possible to translate azan word-to-word, translation does not reflect the harmony, impact and profound meaning in its original. However, the utterances can be translated; the intention can be told and the message can be transmitted this way.

If the listeners do not know, understand and become unable to perceive the words the listen to, no purpose of azan can be realized and no one is impressed. Only the time of salah (for the time being, prayer) time is understood to have come. If this was the intention, it would be easier and more practical to do this with the modern devices of the time. Then, in addition to the original of azan, its translation must be given as well. The call must be done in two languages and the messages of the religion must be transferred to the masses.

Azan can be recited in Arabic with its English translation as follows:

Allahu akbar (Allah is greater than …)

Eşhedü enla ilahe illallah (I witness that there is absolutely no other deity than Allah)

Eşhedü enne muhammeden rasulullah (I witness that Mohammed is absolutely Allah’s messenger)

Hayye ale’s-salah (Come on to the salah)

Hayye ale’l-felah (Come on to the salvation/success/victory)

Allahu akbar (Allah is greater than …)

La ilahe illallah (There is no other deity than Allah)

These important messages must be served to the masses without choking with the symphonic and harmonic features by the persons with good articulation, announcers and muezzins.

There have been some operations regarding azan in history. Omar has removed the expression of hayye ale’l-hayri’l-amel in azan, added es-salatu hayru’n-mine’n-nevm [Prayer is more benevolent than sleep] for the morning azan. Shiites also created differences on azan. They protected the expressions of hayye ale’l-hayri’l-amel and made the eşhedü enne aliyyen veliyyullah, eşhedü enne aliyyen huccetullah additions.

The utterances of the azan are not unchangeable. Vociferating for salah was assented by Allah: Al-Ma’idah 58 and Jumu’ah 9. What matters is the delivery of the message in the form and in the spirit.

JAMAAT and ESTABLISMENT OF SALAH WITH JAMAAT

The origin of the word jamaat is the word jam, which means “coming together, gathering”. Jamaat, in the dictionary, means “human community, group of humans coming together. In its broader sense, jamaat is the “community of people who come together around and idea and belief”.

As a Fiqh/religious laws term, jamaat “is the community of believers who establish salah together with a leader.”

In its widest meaning, it is a concept that expresses the community of the ummah [people, community] of Islam. All the Muslims in the world are a “jamaat” as a whole. The main feature of this jamaat is that they have the same religion and same belief. Wherever they live in the world, all the Muslims are the members of the jamaat of Islam.

Jamaat is not the people brought together by the conditions or by coincidence. Members of a jamaat are not the people who do not know what they are doing and who are unconscious people unaware of the conditions under which they come together. Jamaat is a conscious association, not a useless crowd. Useless crowd is the mass brought together by the circumstances and its way and goal are not clear. It is a herd brought together through an interest, by and effective wind or a keen propagandist. A herd is taken by drifting by smart keen shepherds in the way that they wish.

In order for a group of people to be a jamaat, they must come together around a certain idea and to attain a certain target, they must depend on certain principles, and they must be led by a competent leader identified with the jamaat.

IMPORTANCE OF BEING JAMAAT

People must live altogether as required by their creation. Islam propounds to train and enliven the Muslims as a conscious society. At the same time, it settles and develops the consciousness of living, devotion, attention to others, compliance with righteousness and law, solidarity, sharing the sorrows, division of blessings and burdens. Our religion wishes these ideals are carried out in the most beautiful way and they must be done through the consciousness of worship.

Principles of Islam, which is a jamaat religion, can be applied most beautifully and perfectly with jamaat. Our religion has ordered that Muslims become a conscious jamaat. Our Prophet showed such example jamaat by personally constituting it. Jamaat is a protective armor and a stronghold.

Persons who become jamaat know better, like, show respect and provide support and help each other. They complete the incomplete parts of each other this way and they share the pain of each other just like a body.

Our Rabb says about this issue as follows:

Surah As-Saff 4:

4Surely, Allah likes those who fight in His path in a row as though they are a wall joined firmly.

See how the Prophet explains it:

Abu Mûsa al-Eş‘ari has sent word: the Prophet said in his khutba, “Loyalty of a believer to another believer is like a wall clamping stones to each other” and then clasped the fingers of his both hands. The Prophet used to sit at the masjid. If someone came to him to ask him for something and wished something from him, he would turn his face to us and say the following:

— Attest me; you will be given the fee/reward of this good deed. In addition, Allah certainly conducts that which He wishes upon the request of His Prophet.[33]

Muslims become a jamaat on the understanding of the Qur’an. Between them are fellowship, solidarity, help, devotion and respect. Among them, there are not the things like lineage, class, tribe, occupation and regional superiority.

The Qur’an invites the Muslims to come together around the Qur’an.

Surah Ali-Imran 103:

103And cling firmly onto the rope of Allah all together/guard yourselves with the rope of Allah, do not become divided and remember the favor of Allah upon you: When you were enemies to each other and Allah brought your hearts together. Then you became brothers by His favor. You were on the edge of a fire pit and He saved you from there. Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat/evidences/signs for you so you may follow the righteous path you are guided.

Woe to those who degenerate Islam by ascribing the rumor of “Dispute in my ummah [people, community] is mercy and grace” to the Prophet who said “Jamaat is mercy and grace, division is torture” by complying with Allah’s words of And together cling onto the rope of Allah/guard yourselves with the rope of Allah, do not split and remember the blessings of Allah upon you!

HOW SALAH BECAME PRAYER

We expressed above that prayer [praying by lowering] is Allah’s order also. We understand the fact that the expression of Pray to your Rabb by exalting Him and lowering yourselves continuously (Surah Al-A‘raf 55) in the ayah is plural, prayer must be collectively performed as it increases the sincerity, excitement and agitation.

However, we explained above in the issue of salah that, salah must also be fulfilled with sincerity and salah infested with hypocrisy will not work in details. It is understood that with a salah to be fulfilled in sincerity and invocation that will be performed with humbleness and lowering ourselves in the Qur’an and what is reasonable and acceptable is to perform these two duties together. This way, salah will be purified from hypocrisy and become beneficial for the person. Hence, the Prophet did so and made people do so. According to the informations at hand, the Prophet performed “praying with lowering” [led prayer] collectively in every meeting and then the “salah” [mental and financial support program] in every meeting.

However, as we explained in the “Musalla” section above, because of the oppression of Mervan and similar ones, the Prophet’s applications were altered, full meaning of the concept of “salah” was emptied, salah disappeared from the musalla and masjids and only “prayer” was performed. This way, the word salah was translated to the literature as “prayer”.

As it is known, the musalla and masjids are considered “beytullah” [House of Allah]. As we explained in the subject of Jumu’ah above, the people coming together at the beytullah can conduct all kinds of political and administrative criticisms and recommendations freely without being subject to investigation, within the Islamic limits. The cruel rulers who diverted from Islam and became uncomfortable with criticisms prohibited the establishment of salah at the masjids and musallas and allowed only the prayer with lowering. In the prayers performed during daytime, silence reading is an application that has transferred from those periods of oppression.

Later on, “salah” has come to be understood only as “prayer” [praying by lowering]. The handmaids of the palace wrote in their books “Salah is pray, prayer” and those of them who are relatively honest, like Ragıb, passed the buck to others, by saying, “Dictionary experts say, ‘salah, is the prayer, congratulation, exalting’”

This must be remembered at all times that with the domination of the earth by the Islamic rules, interests of many fractions [many of Umayyites and Hasimites, deniers, hypocrites] were sabotaged. They, instead of defying Islam directly, tried the way of restructuring Islam in line with their interests after corrupting it. By the deed of the ulama of the palace [Multiplication of the source of the religion and fabrication of hadiths], basic concepts of the religion were distorted and as in the example of “salah” the concepts were provided new meanings; this way Islam was reversed. Such “fake religion” created by their oppressive methods they established was imposed to the societies. The governances that continued the Umayyads’ understanding subsequently [the Abbasids, Mamluks, and the Ottomans after Yavuz Selim] continued this misunderstanding and implementation. They deemed those people who wished to embrace Islam and the Qur’an (many of whom were the Prophet’s relatives and friends) deserving of all kinds of cruelty to the extent that they laid siege around Mecca, destroyed the Kaaba and decimated thousands of Muslims. For this reason, the governors of the period were registered in the history as “tyrants”. This way, the fake religion became a system and still continues its existence in a very wide geography.[34]

QIBLA

Another significant issue that must be clarified when it comes to salah is “qibla” because some asserted that the ayat of Surah Al-Baqara 142-151 that includes qibla as a subject matter “bring the condition that the face must be turned toward the Kaaba in the prayer to ensure unity in drift” and like the concept of “salah” the concept of “qibla” became emptied and they imposed it this way for centuries. However, as it will be seen in the following analyses, there are no words of “prayer” and even “salah” in the mentioned ayat and the issue of qibla is entirely unrelated with the prayer.

The origin of the word القبلة [qibla] is the root of ق ب ل[q-b-l]. This word’s قَبل[qabl] form means “before” and قُبل[qubl] form means “front” and opposite of the word دُبُر[dübür/back]. The word qıble, around the axis of the meaning of “front” means جهة [cihet = direction shown by the face; front direction].[35]

When attention is paid to the ayat in the Qur’an where it is used, it is seen that the word qibla is not in the meaning of “front direction” physically according to the physical location but used as “the direction on which one is present or toward which one steers in terms of opinion, belief and principle” that is to say, “social- political target; strategy”. Then, it is more appropriate to refer the word qibla, concisely as “target” or “strategy”.

Surah Al-Baqara 142:

142The fools among the people will say: “What is it that averts those from the actual goal/the strategy?”. Say: “The east and the west [all directions] belong only to Allah. He guides to the straight path whomever He wills/whoever wills”.

In this ayat, it is preliminarily explained that halfwits will accuse the believers by saying, “What is it that averts them from the qibla [target, strategy]? and hence, and a miracle is presented by means of bringing tides from the unseen. On the other hand, the Prophet and believers understood that there would be the accusations to be made and the responses to be given to them and there would be intellectual attacks they would be subject to when they advance toward their targets which will be given to them thanks to Allah’s notification and they are prepared to confront them.

The word سفيه[sefîh] means “halfwit and light” and mentioned in the ayah as süfeha [halfwit] in plural. What is meant with this “sefih people” who speak unrealistically, who tell lies and slander, deliberately or not are the Jews and hypocrites in Medina:

Surah Al-Baqara 13:

13And when it is said to them, “Believe as the people have believed”, they say: “Shall we believe as those fools have believed”. Be careful! Indeed, they are the ones who are fools. But, they do not know.

Following quotes and views about the reason for sending down and ambiance of Surah Al-Baqara 142, the first of the ayat regarding the issue of qibla, are present in the classical sources:

According to the rumors of the imams of hadith, Ibn Omar –as told by Malik– said: When the Muslims were performing prayer at the Kuba, someone came to them and said:

— On this night, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was sent down the Qur’an and he was ordered to turn to the Kaaba.

And they turned there. At that time, their faces were turned to the area of Damascus [Bayt al-Maqdis]; they turned to the Kaaba.

According to Bukhari’s quote from al-Bera, Prophet (Peace be upon him) performed prayer for sixteen or seventeen months toward the Beytu’l Makdis. However, he was wishing his qibla to be to the Beytullah. His first prayer he performed (toward the Beytullah) was a mid-afternoon prayer. A community performed prayer as well. One of the people who performed prayer with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) passed by a people of masjid who was bowing and said the following:

–I witness by the name of Allah that I performed prayer together with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) toward Mecca.

Upon this, they turned toward the Beytullah as they were. Before the replacement of the qibla toward the Beytullah, there were persons who performed prayer toward the (old) qibla and were killed [fell a martyr] and we did not know what to tell about them. Upon this, Almighty Allah sent His ayat of Allah would never make you lose your faith (Surah Al-Baqara 143).

As it is seen, the mid-afternoon prayer is mentioned in this narration, while morning prayer in Maliq’s prayer: This order was given to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in the Selemeites Masjid after the leading the two-rakah of the fardth and he turned his face to the Kaaba at the time of the prayer. Thus, the masjid was given the name of Masjid al-Kiblahtain [a masjid with two qiblas]. As mentioned by Ebu’l-Ferec, Abbad b. Nehik was together with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in this prayer. Abu Omar stated in his work entitled et-Temhid that Nuveylei, daughter of Eslem, and one of the women of the Akabe:

— I was performing the noon prayer. At that time, Abbad b. Bişr b. Kayzi came and said the following: “The Prophet (Peace be upon him) has turned to qibla –or the Beytu’l Haram-. Upon this, males passed to place of the females and vice versa”.

It was also said that this ayah was sent when prayer was not being performed. The narrations of many are like this. The first prayer performed towards the Kaaba was the mid-afternoon prayer. Allah’ knows best what the truth is.

Another one says: “When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came to Medina, he wanted to warm the hearts of the Jews. He turned to their qibla to encourage them to believe in Islam. When their stubbornness was revealed clearly and when he became hopeless about them, he kept looking to the sky as he wished to be turned to the Kaaba. He liked the Kaaba as it was Abraham’s qibla”.

These remarks were quoted from Ibn Abbas.[36]

Let us specify here forthwith that the “qibla” stated in the Qur’an is in no way related with “the direction taken in a prayer” and the change of qibla is also unrelated with turning from al-Masjid al-Aqsa to Masjid Al-Haram. Such understandings were put into practice on the course of time in order to vitiate Islam and to render the principles worthless because an attempt to designate a direction for acting as a servant is above all contrary to the Qur’an:

Surah Al-Baqara 115:

115And the east and the west [all directions] belong only to Allah. Then, wherever you turn, there is the face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is the One Whose knowledge and mercy is vast and limitless, the One Who knows best.

“Turning during the praying by lowering yourselves [in prayer] is not related with turning the face toward a direction physically; it is a spiritual turning, which is understood from the following ayat:

Surah Ar-Rum 31-32:

31,32Enter under the guardianship of Allah, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] as the ones who turn to Him from their hearts, do not be among those who associate others with Allah; those who have divided their religion asunder, who have divided into separatist groups. –Each separatist group brags with that which is with them.-

Surah Al-Mumtahinah 4-5:

4,5There is definitely an excellent example for you in Abraham and those who were with him –except the saying of Abraham for his father: “I will certainly ask forgiveness for you. And I have no power against anything from Allah”-. When Abraham and those with him said to their people: “We are away from you and what you worship from among those that are inferior to Allah. We have denied you. And there has emerged an animosity and hatred between you and us forever until you believe in Allah alone. O our Rabb! We have relied only on You, turned to You. And to return is only to You. O our Rabb! Do not make us a tool of trial for the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Yourself and the fact that You are Rabb! Forgive us! O our Rabb! Surely, You are the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible!”.

After demonstrating that an attempt to determine absolutely a direction for serving for Allah is contrary to the Qur’an, another thing to do within the frame of the analysis of Surah Al-Baqara 142 is to determine what is meant with the words of Jews and hypocrites specified in the ayat with the words of What is it that averts them from their qibla [target, social-political strategy]? [What is the Muslims’ qibla and to which they turn]. However, in this determination, there is an issue that must not be overlooked: the concept of “aversion from the qibla” in no way means putting from the earlier targets and strategies aside but it means that new targets and strategies were determined as an addition to the initial ones!

FIRST QIBLA [SOCIAL TARGET, STRATEGY]:

In the Qur’an, in the ayat that had taken place until sending down these ayat since the first revelation, it appears that the target and strategy are “teaching of the oneness, reminder, warning, striving [jihad] with the Qur’an, giving good tidings, patience and behaving with forgiveness and tolerance”.

NEW QIBLA:

As can be seen in the following ayat clearly, the new targets and strategies of the Muslims are constituted by the establishment of salah [inauguration of schools, creation of the social support institutions and sustainment of them], collection of zaqah/tax, invite all to good, instruct good deeds that are accepted by all, preclude evil via revelation and common sense, acting through principles that prevent cruelty and ensure justice and battling if necessary … in summary, practice of Abraham’s applications in Masjid Al-Haram; becoming a state with the structuring oriented to education-training.

Surah Al-Baqara 143:

143Thus We have made you a righteous people with a leader so you may testify over the people and the Messenger may testify over you. And We have determined the goal/strategy that is upon you so We may separate; mark and show/declare those who would follow the Messenger from those who would turn back on their heels. This goal/strategy We have determined is indeed very difficult for the people except for those whom Allah guides. And Allah would never make you lose your faith. No doubt that Allah is very compassionate, very merciful to all people.

With this ayah, it was specified that because of the enlargement of the qibla [target], the last ummah [people, community] would be a benevolent people, community that will witness the other peoples, communities and the believers and the persons who looked as believers to be distinguished thanks to this and the new target will be very heavy and difficult for those who do not believe.

Indeed, “establishment of salah”, which was one of the new targets was found to be very heavy by those who lacked of sincerity and this situation was expressed in different ayat expressly:

Surah Al-Baqara 45-46:

45-46And seek help through patience, Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. –Surely, seeking help through patience and Salah is very difficult for all other than those who show respect; who believe from the bottom of their hearts that they will meet their Rabb and they will be returned to Him.-

Surah An-Nisa 142:

Surely, the hypocrites try to deceive Allah. Yet, He is the deceiver upon them. And when they stand for Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]/ go into public, they move lazily, being irresolute hesitating between the two, they do not stay with the believers nor the infidels, they make a display to the people. And they remember Allah but a little.

In addition, these people with no belief, as explained in the Surat of At-Tawbah and Al-Anfal, did everything not to take part in the war and to make the Muslims give up the war and turned back upon every opportunity:

Surah Ali-Imran 144:

144And Muhammad is only a messenger. Indeed, messengers have passed before him. If he dies or is killed, will you turn back? Whoever turns back, let him know that he can not harm Allah at all. And Allah will recompense those who repay for the blessings they have.

Surah Ali-Imran 149:

149O you who have believed! If you obey the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb, they will turn you back on your heels and then you would become among the losers.

The remark that the ummah [people, community] that turn to the new qibla would be a benevolent people, community thanks to the new qibla is based on the principle that this people, community would conduct “invite all to good, instruct good deeds that are accepted by all, preclude evil via revelation and common sense’’ and expand outside for knowing and exalting Allah, in order to perform the targets and strategies given to them.

Surah Ali-Imran 110:

110You are the best community who is brought forth for mankind. You command that which is accepted good by everyone, forbid that which is accepted evil by Wahy [Revelation] and common sense and you believe in Allah. If the People of the Book had believed, it would indeed have been better for them. Some of them are believers but most of them are those who have gone astray from the path.

VASAT UMMAH

The وسط [v-s-t] root word is spelled as vesat and vest. When spelled as vesat it is a noun and when spelled as vest, it is an adverb in use.

This word means “the part of a thing, belonging to it, between its two ends”. (We can perceive it as the own middle part of something). It is used as “I grabbed the rope in the middle”, “I broke the arrow in the middle”.

In the customs of the Arabs, the mid part of something is the most benevolent and beneficial part of it. For a Bedouin who will ride on his horse or camel, the most benevolent part of the horse or the camel is not the back but the mid part of its waist. Best benevolent place for the sheepfold he/she will establish for the camels is the mid part of the pasture. The most benevolent [beautiful and suitable] part of a necklace to wear a pearl or diamond is its mid part. In addition, most beautiful and beneficial behavior is the moderate one among the same type of behaviors. For example, generosity is a behavior that is between stinginess and extravagancy. Courage is a behavior between cowardice and aggressiveness.

For this reason, the word وسط [vest] has been generalized with the meaning of “benevolent, beneficial, superior”. When the Arabs want to say, “He is from the evsat of the tribe”, they mean, “He is the benevolent, beneficial, and honorable man of the tribe”. Or, when they say, “Look at this vesit person”, they mean, “Look at this benevolent, honorable person”.

And the expression in this ayah,Thus We have made you a righteous people with a leader so you may testify over the people and the Messenger may testify over you” (Surah Al-Baqara 143) means “And we have made you such an ummah [people, community] that is benevolent, beneficial, and honorable”.

WITNESSING OF THIS UMMAH [COMMUNITY] TO THE PEOPLE

The fact that this ummah [people, community] would bear witness to the other peoples is mentioned in the Surah Al-Hajj in addition to the ayah that is hour subject matter:

Surah Al-Hajj 78:

And strive for the cause of Allah properly so you may win victory, maintain your status. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you any difficulty in the religion; the religion/lifestyle of your ancestor, Abraham. He has named you “Muslims” before and in the Qur’an so the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. Therefore, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax and hold fast to Allah. He is your familiar Who guides, helps, protects. How an excellent familiar Who guides, helps, protects, how an excellent helper He is!

As it is known, the first strategy in Islam was the warning of those who are close first and then Ummu’l-Kura [Mecca] and surrounding areas. Because of the determination of the new qibla [–so to speak – raising the bar of the target and strategy], it would not be sufficient to warn the acquaintances and the people of Mecca but it would be necessary to invite the peoples in distant places to Islam. That is to say, the wahy (revelation) would be delivered to them, the commands and negations would be notified, attempts would be made to convince them, their attitude toward such invitation would be checked, and thus, this ummah [people, community] would be the witness to the other peoples, communities in view of whether they comply with the truth or not.

Surah Al-Isra 15:

15Whoever follows the path that is guided, he will follow the path that is guided for his own good. And whoever goes astray, he will go astray against his own good. And no bearer of burdens bears the burden of another. And We have never been the Ones Who would punish unless We sent a messenger.

As no punishment would be charged without warning, this ummah [people, community] would be the witness that whether the reminder has been delivered to the other peoples, communities or not.

So, with this new qibla [target strategy] determined, the Prophet started cross-border conveyances, commands and negations; sent letters to the top rulers of the surrounding societies, which were served to Necaşisi in Abyssinia, Mukavkıs in Egypt, Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, Iranian Emperor KAl-Isra, Oman Meliqs Ceyfer and Abd, and al-Ahsa governor al-Münzir. We are presenting the letter sent to Mukavkıs, the ruler of Egypt in the period:

THE LETTER WHICH WAS SENT TO MUKAVKIS IN EGYPT

In the name of All-merciful and Gracious Allah. From Allah’s servant and messenger Mohammed to Mukavkıs, raised by the Copts. Salam [health, peace, happiness…] be upon the ones following the true path.

Accordingly, I am calling you with a complete invitation of Islam. Be in Islam. You will ultimately be in safety and peace. Allah will double your reward. If you stay away from this, the sin of all the Copts will be collected on you. Say: “O Companions of the Scripture! Let us meet on a word that we share; the principle of ‘let us worship none other than Allah, not associate anything with him and not adopt gods from among the subordinates of Allah’. If the Companions of the Scripture turn away despite this, say, “Witness that we surely are the Muslims. (Surah Ali-Imran 64)

Allah’s messenger Mohammed.

As a result, this ummah [people, community] will deliver Allah’s messages to all the humans and watch whether they have faith and witness like witnessing of the Prophet Jesus.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 117:

I only said to them what You had commanded me; ‘Worship Allah Who is my Rabb and your Rabb’. And as long as I was among them, I was a witness over them. But when you took my life; reminded me that which I had done in the past and what I had failed to do while being obliged to, then You became the One Who observes them. And indeed, You are the witness over all things.

Surah Az-Zumar 69:

69And the area on that day will shine with the light of your Rabb, the book will be placed, prophets and witnesses will be brought and it will be judged between them in truth. And they will not be treated unjustly.

Surah An-Nur 13:

13Why did not those who brought forth this accusation bring four witnesses for this? Since they did not bring witnesses, then it is they who are the liars in the sight of Allah.

With the expression of And Allah would never make you lose your faith. No doubt, Allah is the Most Passionate, the Most Merciful over all people (Al-Baqara 143), believers are encouraged for service as in all times.

Surah Ali-Imran 195:

195And, their Rabb responded them: “Surely, I never let the deed of any worker among you get lost, whether male or female –that you all are same-. Therefore, those who emigrated, were driven out from their homes, were harmed in My cause, who fought and are killed; I will definitely remove their evil deeds from them and admit them into the gardens of Jannah [Heaven/Paradise], underneath of which rivers flow, as a reward from Allah. And Allah is the One Who has the good of the reward with Him”.

Surah An-Naml 89:

89Whoever brings a good, there will be a better one than what he brought for him/there will be a good for him for what he brought. And they are the ones who will be safe from fear on that day.

Surah Al-Baqara 144:

144We certainly see what you expect from Us. Now, We will turn you to a goal/strategy that you will be pleased with. Now, turn your face towards Masjid al-Haram/the untouchable educational institution; always concentrate on education. And you, wherever you are, turn your faces towards it! Those who have been given the Book surely know that this duty is the truth coming from their Rabb. And Allah is not unaware, uninformed of what they do.

While it is specified in this ayah that some problems of the Prophet will be eliminated and that he would be pleased as well, the new qibla is marked although the target and strategies are not explained completely, and first our Prophet and then all the Muslims were ordered to turn their faces to the “direction of the Masjid Al-Haram”. There is a very important point to be paid attention here, which is the fact that faces will be turned to the “direction of the Masjid Al-Haram” not to the “Masjid Al-Haram” itself.

The word vech in the ayah means not only a “face” but also “the entire self and existence” because vech [face] in Arabic is the most determinative part of the living beings as a headshot photograph represents the identity of a person, according to the “cüz’iyyet metonymy” art. Turning face to sky means “praying and being in expectation”. With sema in this expression, the point beyond universe/creatures [the point of culmination] was intended.[37] It is because, by nature, a person looks at the sky not to the ground while thinking about Allah. Hence, a person who raises his/her hands to the sky while praying begs to Allah by turning his/her face to the sky when there is inconvenience. In the customs, an expression of “fallen from sky” is used in extraordinary events; even the religions and scriptures from Allah are called “heavenly religions, heavenly scriptures”. Therefore, our Prophet’s turning his face up to the sky means his prayer by inclining to Allah with all his self and existence.

Concerning the ayah at hand, a few examples from the classical understandings are as follows:

You will be pleased means you like the…” es-Süddi says: “When the Prophet practiced prayer toward Bayt al-Maqdis, he used to raise his head toward the sky to see what would be ordered to him. He liked and was desirous of practicing prayer toward the Kaaba. Upon this, Exalted Allah sent down his order of “We see you turn your face toward the sky”. Abu ishak asserts al-Bera says as follows: “Prophet (Peace be upon him) practiced prayer toward Beyt-i Makdis for the period of sixteen or seventeen months. Prophet (Peace be upon him) was wishing that his qibla would be turned toward the Kaaba. Upon this, Exalted Allah sent down his order of “We see you turn your face toward the sky”.[38]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not like turning to Beyt-i Makdis and was wishing to turn to the Kaaba. But he could not tell this with his tongue; hence, he was turning his face to the sky. Ibn Abbas alleged that the Prophet said the following:

— O, Gabriel! I wish Allah turn me from the Jews’ qibla to another one because I no longer like to turn there.

Upon this, Gabriel said the following:

— I am a servant like you; ask this to your Rabb!

Later on, the Prophet was looking toward the sky at all times hoping that Gabriel would bring what he wished. Thus, Allah sent down this ayah.[39]

Ibn Merdûyeh Kasım narrates the hadith that al-Omari quotes from Ibn Abbas and says: “The Prophet (Peace be upon him), after his prayer toward Jerusalem, greeted and raised his head toward the sky. At that moment, the ayah of Turn your face to Masjid Al-Haram was sent by Allah. Gabriel (a.s) guided him and turned his head to the gutter side of the Kaaba. In the hadith specified in Hakim’s Müstedrek quoted by Şu‘be through YAl-A‘lâ ibn Ata, Yahya ibn Kumta says: “I saw Abdullah ibn Amr sitting at the Masjid Al-Haram by the gutter and he recited the ayah of We will turn you now to a qibla that you will like. And then he said that this was the Kaaba”. Hakim says: “This hadith’s attribution is precise. However, Bukhari and Muslim did not confirm him with hadith reference. He narrates this hadith from Huşeym and YAl-A‘lâ ibn Ata through Ibn Abu Hatim Hasan”. Others told the same too. Hence, one of the two views of late Şafii. The intention accordingly is to aim Qibla’s itself. According to Şafii’s other view–which is shared by the majority– the intention is “inclination”. Hakim states through Muhammed ibn Ishak from Ali (r.a): in terms of the ayah of Turn your face to the Masjid Al-Haram side, he said “to that direction”. Then, “This hadith’s attribution is precise, but Bukhari and Muslim did not confirm with hadith reference”. This opinion is the opinion of Ebu’l-Aliye, Mujahid, Ikrime, Sa‘id ibn Jubair, Katade, Rebi ibn Enes, and others. As shown by another hadith, qibla is the point between the east and the west. Abu Nu‘aym says: “Züheyr reported to us from Berra that: Prophet (Peace be upon him) adopted Jerusalem as qibla for sixteen or seventeen months. Nevertheless, he internally wanted the Kaaba to be the qibla. He practiced the mid-afternoon prayer. There was a community with him. One of the persons performing prayer with him came out and encountered a person of masjid who was in bowing. The man said “I witness by the name of Allah that I performed prayer with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) toward the direction of Mecca”. Upon this, they turned toward Mecca. Abdurezzak says: “Al-Israil quoted from Berra to us: when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came to Medina, he performed prayer for sixteen or seventeen months. However, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) wished to be turned to the Kaaba. Finally, the ayah of Truly, We see you turn your face toward the sky… and then he was turned to the Kaaba. Nesei quotes from Sa‘id ibn al-Mualla as follows: “In the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), we were going to the masjid early and practicing our prayer. One day, we dropped by the masjid. Prophet (Peace be upon him) was sitting at the mimbar. I said: “There must be something new happened that the Prophet is sitting at the mimbar”. At that time, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) recited the ayah of Truly, We see you turn your face toward the sky…. When he completed the ayah, I told to my friend, “Before the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gets down from the mimbar, let’s practice two-rakah prayer and be the first ones who practice this prayer”. We stood one after another and practiced two-rakah prayer. Then, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was down from the mimbar and made people practice the prayer. It was a noon prayer practiced on that day. Ibn Merdûyeh Abdullah quotes from ibn Omar: the first prayer practiced by the Prophet (Peace be upon him) turning toward the Kaaba is the noon prayer and it is mid prayer. However, the popular idea is that the first prayer led by the Prophet turning to the Kaaba is the mid-afternoon prayer. Therefore, the news was reached to the people of Kuba in delay, only in the time of morning prayer.[40]

However, in the ayah that is our subject matter, as well as in other ayat specified in this passage, it is seen that the words of salah or prayer with lowering continuously are not present but unfortunately, some people, has replaced the “Turn of a face toward to the direction of Masjid Al-Haram, to the qibla in a satisfactory manner” with “Muslim’s turning toward the direction of the Masjid Al-Haram while performing prayer” in minds. In our opinion, such behavior is infidelity, beyond carelessness and attempt of falsification and deterioration of religion.

Surah Al-Baqara 145:

145And surely, even if you bring those who have been given the Book all the Ayat, they would not follow your goal/strategy. And you are not the one who follows their goal/strategy either. Then, they are not obliged to follow each other’s goal/strategy. And indeed, if you follow their vain, transitory desires despite all this knowledge having come to you, then you will definitely be among those who treat their very selves unjustly.

In this ayah, the expression Those who have been given the Book surely know that this duty is the truth coming from their Rabb. And Allah is not unaware, uninformed of what they do in the previous ayah is being detailed and information about the Jews are given that the Prophet would address. Later on, the importance of the strategy to be followed by the Prophet is explained and non-compromising of this strategy is warned harshly.

As it is seen, in the ayah, it was specified that they have their qiblas [targets, strategies] according to themselves that they will not obey despite his demonstration of many evidences and that they will not comply with the Prophet’s qibla.

As it is known, the qibla of the Jews is “golden heifer-calf, that is to say, gold.’ The qibla of the believers is education and justice. In order to realize this, it is necessary to establish salah, give zaqah/tax, conduct of inviting all to good, instruct good deeds that are accepted by all, preclude evil via revelation and common sense, conduct jihad [strive] and battle if necessary. In such case, neither the Jews whose qibla is “gold” nor the nonbelievers can adopt a strategy like giving lives and properties.

Even though it seems that Prophet was addressed with the expression of “you” here, actual addressee is the believers. With the expression of And indeed, if you follow their vain, transitory desires despite all this knowledge having come to you, then you will definitely be among those who treat their very selves unjustly in the ayah, it is ordered that no roadmap other than the Qur’an is to be adapted.

Surah Al-Jathiyah 23:

23Have you ever thought/seen the one who has taken his own vain, transitory desire as his deity and whom Allah led astray upon a knowledge, sealed his ear and heart and set a curtain upon his eye? Who will guide him to the righteous path after Allah? Will you still not remember and reason?

Surah Al-Qiyamat 5:

5Actually, man desires to spend what is before him; the rest of his life stuck in evil by disbelieving in the religion-faith: 6He asks: “When is the day of Qiyamat [Resurrection]?”

Classical sources have provided the following regarding this ayat:

Rumor has it that the Medina Jews and the Najran Christians said to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), “Bring us a miracle as the prophets before you did!” Upon this, Allah sent down this ayah. The fact that is the closest to the truth is that this ayah has not been conferred about a newly beginning event; on the contrary, it is one of the remaining judgments regarding the change of the qibla.[41]

Surah Al-Baqara 146-147:

146And those whom We have given the Book know the Prophet as they know their own sons. Surely, some of them definitely conceal the truth even though they know.-

147The truth is from your Rabb. Then, never be among those who doubt!

In this ayah, the principle that every humanly thing can be approached with doubt and one must not hesitate when it comes to the things coming from Allah because from Allah, emanates only Truth.

In addition, in these ayat, attention to the Jews’ narcissism and arrogance is invited; it reveals that, despite they know the Prophet is a true prophet just like they know their own sons and what he does is truth, a group from among them concealed this truth. Reason for such behavior of them is given in other surat:

Surah An-Naml 14:

14And while their selves were completely convinced with these, they consciously denied them for they did wrong; acted against their own good by associating others with Allah and because of their arrogance. – Look how was the end of the corrupters! –

Surah Al-Baqara 89:

89And when a book; the Qur’an which comes from Allah to confirm what is with them –then, they intended to prevail over the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb and that which they recognized came to them- they concealed it themselves. Then, curse of Allah/deprival of His mercy is upon those who conceal the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb.

Classical sources provided the following events in terms of this ayat:

According to the rumor, Omar told the following to Abdullah b. Selam: “Do you really know Mohammad (Peace be upon him) as you know your own son? He gave the following answer: Yes, even beyond that. Allah sent down His custodian in His heaven to His custodian on earth by specifying his qualifications and I knew him with these qualifications. As for my son, I don’t know about what his mother did”.[42]

As told about Omar (r.a), he asked about the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to Abdullah ibn Selam (r.a). Abdullah ibn Selam told the following in response: “I know him better than my son”. When Omar said, “Why?” He said, “Because I don’t question that Mohammad is a prophet but I can question my child because his mother might have committed treason”. Then, Omar kissed his head.[43]

Surah Al-Baqara 148-151:

148And there is a direction for everyone; so they turn to that direction. Therefore, always haste for good/bring the good forward. Allah will gather you together wherever you are. Indeed, Allah is the One Who is the most competent over everything.

149And wherever you are, turn your face towards Masjid al-Haram/the untouchable educational institution immediately. Surely, this is the truth coming from your Rabb. And Allah is not careless to, unaware of your deeds.

150,151And wherever you are, turn your face towards Masjid al-Haram/the untouchable educational institution immediately. And you, wherever you are, turn your faces towards it as I have sent you a messenger from among you so he may recite the Ayat to you, purify you, teach you the book and the laws, rules and principles that are set forth to prevent injustice, corruption and chaos and teach you that which you do not know, so there will be no proof against you –except for those who do wrong; act against their own good by associating others with Allah-, and so I may complete My favor upon you and so you may follow the righteous path. Then, do not fear them in awe with respect, love, knowledge, fear Me in awe with respect, love, knowledge.

In this group of ayat, after explaining that there are ideal targets and social and political strategies adopted by every people and that everyone steers towards his/her own target, the instruction of haste for good/bring the good forward then And from wherever you are, turn your face towards the Masjid al-Haram/the untouchable educational institution is repeated and order is given to adopt the “direction of Masjid Al-Haram” as qibla.

The word viche in the original of the ayah means “the direction toward which the face turns” which is the synonym of the word “qibla”. The direction here is the sociological -political direction; that is to say, target, ideal and strategy.

The most important point to invite attentions in this paragraph is the justification of making the “direction of Masjid Al-Haram” into “qibla” [target, social political strategy]. The justifications specified in the above ayat are as follows:

1) There will be no proof against you –except for those who do wrong, act against their own good– ; that is to say, your state of being most powerful than everyone and no one can oppress you.

2) As I send upon you a messenger from among you so he may recite the Ayat to you to purify you, teach you the book and the laws, rules and principles set forth to prevent injustice, corruption and chaos and teach you that which you do not know and so I may complete My favor upon you; that is to say, making use of the book and wisdom and get rid of lack of knowledge thanks to the expansion of the religion of Allah.

3) So you may follow the righteous path; that is to say, you can reach the salvation.

So Allah shows these issues as justification for adopting the direction of Masjid Al-Haram as a qibla/target. Upon a bit of contemplation; it is a reality that every honest person will accept that with the turn of a face in the prayer physically toward the Masjid Al-Haram, these truths will not be accrued; that is to say, by doing so, what Allah wants from us will not be provided.

Then, what must be understood from the expression of “towards Masjid Al-Haram”? Answer to this question is given in the Qur’an as follows:

Surah Ali-Imran 96-97:

96,97Indeed, the first house that was built as a blessing for the mankind and a guide for all universes is the one that is in Mecca. There are explicit evidences/signs; the place where Abraham performed duty [where he was educated, trained and rose up against association others with Allah] in it. And whoever enters there will be safe. And visiting the Bayt [House]/theological education center, going there for theological education is a right of Allah upon the people who are able. And whoever conceals the truth, let him know that Allah is certainly free of need of all universes.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 97:

97Allah has made Kaaba; the Bayt al-Haram, the haram/forbidden month, offering beasts as food for those who fulfill hajj [pilgrimage] and marks attached to the animals that are sent so those who fulfill hajj [pilgrimage] may eat, a standing; shaking, salvation of themselves for the people. This is so you may know as well that Allah knows all that is in the heavens/universe and on the earth and Allah is the One Who knows everything in truth.

When what is highlighted in the above ayat is taken into account, following can be determined regarding the properties of “Masjid Al-Haram”:

  • Masjid Al-Haram or Beytullah or Kaaba (they all mean the same thing) is a house [school] prepared for humans (not for only one person) on earth.
  • There, the place of the Prophet Abraham [where he stood up and rebelled and fought against the tyrants] is present.
  • There, everyone must be safe, untouchable and free, there must not be oppression and cruelty.
  • There, the laws, rules and principles set forth to prevent injustice, corruption and chaos must be put into practice and everyone must learn what he does not know.
  • That place must be kept clean for those people visiting there and walking around, worshippers, teachers and students.
  • Muslims must adopt a musalla [the place where salah is fulfilled] from the place of Abraham.
  • Those people who find the opportunity to visit must visit there.

When the properties of the “Masjid Al-Haram” specified in the Qur’an are determined as stated above, it is seen that what is pointed out is not about the physical structure of the Masjid Al-Haram, Beytullah or Kaaba, but their functions and making of the Kaaba by the Prophet Abraham is his inauguration and operation of the school of education. Accordingly, what must be understood from the expression of “towards Masjid Al-Haram” and what must be done to turn “towards Masjid Al-Haram” appear automatically:

  • Autonomous divinity schools [“All Natural Sciences are naturally divinity schools] must be opened and the teachers who teach the divinity and education in these schools [those who perform ruku] and students [those people who are convinced to receive a divinity education] must be superintended.
  • Social support institutions must be established for the establishment of salah.
  • Required military power and organization must be established to be superior to the enemies. Good educators and military officers must be trained in this field.

Therefore, the qibla/strategy specified in the Qur’an and ordered by Allah is this. It is not turning of their direction by people toward Mecca physically while performing prayer.

With this strategy, the Prophet will teach the society Allah’s principles that prevent cruelty and ensure justice and earn the title of governor in the society. After these ayat, the period of Medina, our Prophet became actually “President” [he carried out the task of being a messenger and governorship, including commandership].

Following ayat are for such duty of him:

Surah Ali-Imran 31:

31Say: “If you love Allah then follow me so Allah may love you and forgive your sins for you. And Allah is the One Who removes the sins of His servants, does not punish them and has much forgiveness, the One Who is the possessor of vast mercy”.

Surah An-Nisa 80:

80Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah. And whoever turns away, We have not sent you as a protector/guardian for those who turn away.

Surah Al-Hashr 7-8:

7,8And the Fai [revenues yielded without fighting and making any effort] Allah has given to His Messenger from the people of that city belong to Allah, the Messenger, those poor who have immigrated – and they have been expelled out of their lands and deprived of their wealth while seeking for the bounty and acceptance of Allah, and they help Allah and His Messenger. They are the ones who are the righteous-, orphans, the needy and travelers so the luxury brought by the power; the authority will not only be for the rich among you. Whatever the Messenger has given you, take it immediately. And whatever he has forbidden you, turn away from it. And enter under the guardianship of Allah. Indeed, Allah is the One Whose punishment/penalty is very severe.

Surah An-Nisa 59:

59O you who have believed! Obey Allah, obey the Messenger and those in authority/main governor from among you. Then, if you disagree over anything, rely on Allah and His Messenger for it, if you should be the ones who believe in Allah and Akhirat [Afterlife]. This is better and more appropriate in finding the best solution.

As a result, we say: Qibla is not the element of prayer as practiced but the social and political target of the Muslims in life.

                                                                                       Hakkı YILMAZ

                                                                                       istekuran@hotmail.com

                                                                                       www.istekuran.net

[1] Lisan al-Arab, 5/387; Taj al-Arus, 19/606

[2] Lisan al-Arab, 5/387; Taj al-Arus, 19/606

[3] Collection of the Qur’an into book

[4]    Rabb means “The One Who disciplines and educates, One Who guides his creations to a certain target/targets within the frame of a schedule, one who programs and manages the development”. This word, in absolute terms, is used for Allah alone. As to humans, it is used in such forms as “the rabb of the house”, “the rabb of the workplace”, etc. The English term closest to this term in the context of meaning is “boss”. While having a meaning close to rabb, this word does not cover the meaning of rabb entirely as it is used only in the commercial context. For this reason, since we did not have the possibility to explain the term rabb with multiple words, we had to leave it in its original Arabic form. Therefore, our readers should keep the above mentioned definition in their minds.

[5]    Allah does not have a gender. However, in the language of English, 3rd singular personal pronoun is used differently for male and female. It is the male personal pronoun which is used in the official writings such as law, circular notice and regulations. Because of this character of the language of English, the pronoun of ‘’He’’ has been used for ‘’Allah’’.

[6] Lisan al-Arab, v. 9, p. 297-301; Taj al-Arus, v. 10, p. 442-448

[7] Lisan al-Arab, 2/204; Taj al-Arus, 11/73, “J-m-a”

[8] Qurtubi

[9] Suyûti, ed-Durru’l-Mensûr, VI, 218; quoted from Darekutni by: Ibn Sa‘d, Tabakat, III, 118

[10] es-Serahsi, II/22-23; Ibnü’l-Humam, Fethu’l-Kadir, I/417

[11] Abu Davud, I/644, hadith no: 1067; Darekutni, II/3; Bağavi, Şerhu’s-Sünne, I/225

[12] es-Serahsi, II/22-23; Ibn Abidin, Reddü’l-Muhtar, I/591, 851-852

[13] Sahih-i Bukhari, “Kitab al-Jumu’ah”, Bab: 35, No: 57

[14] Tebyinu’l Qur’an; v. 3, p. 137-145

[15] Taj al-Arus, v. 13, p. 560-561 and Lisan al-Arab, v. 3, p. 398-399

[16] Lisan al-Arab, v. 5, p. 589

[17] Lisan al-Arab, v. 9, p. 31-32

[18] Lisan al-Arab, v. 8, p. 658-660

[19] al-Müfredat, “Fahsha”

[20] Tebyinu’l Qur’an; v. 1, p. 427-430

[21] Lisan al-Arab, 3/101-102

[22] Qurtubi, al-Camiu li-Ahkami’l-Qur’an

[23] Lisan al-Arab, 2/216-222; Taj al-Arus, 1/377, 86

[24] Lisan al-Arab, 4/623, “Skr”

[25] Lisan al-Arab, 5/285, “Sahv”

[26] Bukhari, “Two Bairam”, Bab: 6, No: 8

[27] Lisan al-Arab; v. 4, p. 497

[28] Lisan al-Arab; v. 4, p. 232-233, “Rakea”

[29] Tebyinu’l Qur’an; v. 2, p. 69-71

[30] Current Religious Issues Consultation Meeting 1, Final Declaration Clause, 36

[31] For more information, see Sunnah books

[32] Abu Davûd, “Salah”, 3

[33] Bukhari, “Kitab al-Adab”, Bab: 36, No: 56

[34] History books can be viewed for the details of the issue

[35] Lisan al-Arab; 7/227-234 “Qbl”

[36] Qurtubi, al-Camiu li Ahkami’l-Qur’an

[37] For the detailed meaning of the word sema, see. Tebyinu’l Qur’an; v. 1, p. 526-527.

[38] Qurtubi, al-Camiu li Ahkami’l-Qur’an

[39] Razi, al-Mefatihu’l-Gayb

[40] Ibn Kesir

[41] Ibn Kesir

[42] Qurtubi, al-Camiu li Ahkami’l-Qur’an

[43] Razi, Mefatihu’l-Gayb

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