Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Salatul Wusta or The Middle Prayer


Today there are many arguments as to the number of salat that God ordained for the Muslims to do their duty to worship Him daily. There are those who propagate that there are only three times as God mentioned only three names of Salat in the Quran and there are others who claimed that there is no ritual at all in the Quran.

However Surah 2:238 and Surah 62:9 is confirmation that God in the Quran ordained the daily obligatory prayers or Salat to be five times a day.

The first evidence which expressed clearly the argument of five Salat is shown in the Surah 2:238: “Guard strictly your prayers (salawaat) and the Middle Prayer (Salatul Wusta)” (Surah 2:238)

By having a Middle Salat logic will tell us that it cannot be accompanied by one or three or five or any odd number of Salat. A Middle Salat can only be in between two or four or six or any even number of Salat that come with it,

Having said that, the word “salawaat” in Arabic is a plural of not less than three because for a dual Salat there is an Arabic word “salataani”. So if one takes the “salawaat” in the above verse to be just three Salat which is an odd number the “Middle Salat” cannot be associated with it because when it added into the total it adds to four and four cannot have the Middle Salat in it!

So the truth is clear from the word “salawaat” the number of Salat God command us to preserve daily must be a total four Salat plus the Middle Salat in between the four Salat this will adds up to a total of five Salat daily.

The other strong evidence which points the daily obligatory prayers to be five times daily is the Surah 62:9 O you who believe! When the call to prayer (Salat) on a day of congregation, hasten earnestly to the remembrance of God, and leave of business: that is best for you if you but knew! And when the Salat is finished, then may you disperse through the land and seek the bounty of God; and celebrate the praise of God often that you may prosper

This command is made to establish the Salat during the peak of business time and during the Prophet days the time can only fit in at the Middle time or Wusta time between the sun’s decline at noon and the sun’s decline at sunset. Wusta time can only be at business time and it cannot be at be at the time of sun’s decline at noon from its zenith or at sunset because according to the Quran these two times are near or at the people privacy times as stated:

O you who believe! let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained to puberty ask permission of you three times; before the morning prayer, and when you put off your clothes at midday in summer, and after the prayer of the nightfall; these are three times of privacy for you; neither is it a sin for you nor for them besides these, some of you must go round about (waiting) upon others; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise. (Surah 24:58)

So there is a relationship between Surah 2:238 to preserve all the Salats with the addition of the Salatul Wusta or the Middle Prayer which is in turn is associated and supported by the Surah 62:9 in determining the “Wusta” time of prayer during the day.

The time of the Middle Prayer or the Salatul Wusta is adjoined by the other four times of Salat as follows

The time to establish the Salat at the Sun’s decline from its zenith at noon

Establish regular prayers at the sun's decline towards the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony. (Surah 17:78)

And to establish at the time of dawn, dusk and night time.

And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: For those things, that are good remove those that are evil: Be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord): (Surah 11:114)

Thus the times ordained by God in the Quran are

Dawn (Surah 11:114), noon (Surah 17:78), business time or Wusta/Middle (Surah 2:238 & Surah 62:9), dusk (Surah 11:114) and night time (Surah 11:114)

These are the times God makes it very suitable for you to remember Him through the Salat but at other times you can remember Him through the zikir which is done without the ritual of ablution.

O ye who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer/salat; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere. (Surah 2:153)

Enjoin prayer/salat on thy people, and be constant therein. We ask thee not to provide sustenance: We provide it for thee. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for righteousness. (Surah 20:132)


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