Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Freewill and Predestination

There are claims that man can recognize the true God in all the many images of God by the words that have been used: Peace and Love. If, as the Bible says, "God is Love," then anything associated with an image of God that conflicts with Love must also conflict with God, then it must be false. Many scriptures have these contradictions and even the Bible has such fallacy. In passages, God is said to urge the killing of entire cities; men, women, and children demonstrate that this is not Love. If the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is connected to just and loving God then there is a contradiction. However for God to do that He must surely have good and valid reason that the destruction of some people benefited some others with the mercy of God against the tyranny of the wicked people that is being destroyed.
One of the major controversies among Christians or Muslims is the extent of predestination that God has ordained. At the extremes are those who claim that God uses only one to the exclusion of the other. Either extreme is wrong if the Bible or the Quran is the book from God that both predestination and freewill should be in operation. Then the question is how do these extremes is to be comprised with good and sound reasons based on the evidences from each of the Bible and the Quran.
Some Christians claim that God predestines people for hell. This concept is never stated directly, although the Bible indicates that God does use evil people to accomplish His purposes. “The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Proverb 16:4) Paul indicates in the book of Romans that evil Pharaoh was "raised up" to demonstrate God's power. “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” (Roman 9:17) Paul goes on to say that God chose Jacob over his brother Esau, For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth: It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger.  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” (Roman 9:11-13) and John says that God will give the kingdom of Israel to the beast to fulfill His word: “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” (Rev 17:17). And in curiosity God created the crooked serpent as stated in the Bible: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Genesis 3:1) The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. (Job 26:11-13)
In Christian theology, God is described as omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; a notion which some people, Christians and non-Christians alike, believe implies that not only has God always known what choices individuals will make tomorrow, but has actually determined those choices. That is, they believe, by virtue of his foreknowledge he knows what will influence individual choices, and by virtue of his omnipotence he controls those factors. This becomes especially important for the doctrines relating to salvation and predestination.
Roman Catholic teaching
Illustrating as it does that the human part in salvation (represented by holding on to the rope) must be preceded and accompanied by grace (represented by the casting and drawing of the rope), the image of the drowning man holding on to the rope cast and drawn by his rescuer corresponds closely to Catholic teaching, which holds that God, who "destined us in love to be his sons" and "to be conformed to the image of his Son", includes in his eternal plan of "predestination" each person's free response to his grace.
The Catholic Church holds to the teaching that "by free will, (the human person) is capable of directing himself toward his true good … man is endowed with freedom, an outstanding manifestation of the divine image'." Man has free will either to accept or reject the grace of God, so that for salvation "there is a kind of interplay, or synergy, between human freedom and divine grace". "Justification establishes cooperation between God's grace and man's freedom. On man's part it is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent: 'When God touches man's heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God's grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God's sight' (Council of Trent)."
God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace, the fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man's free acting through his collaboration. For Catholics, therefore, human cooperation with grace is essential. When God establishes his eternal plan of 'predestination', he includes in it each person's free response to his grace, whether it is positive or negative: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place" (Acts 4:27-28).[52]
The initiative comes from God, but it demands a free response from man: "God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace. The fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man's free acting through his collaboration". "Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, they can then merit for themselves and for others the graces needed for their sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life."
Orthodox criticism of Catholic doctrine
Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky has stated that the teaching of John Cassian, who in the East is considered a witness to tradition, but who "was unable to make himself correctly understood", "was interpreted, on the rational plane, as a semi-pelagianism, and was condemned in the West". Where the Catholic Church defends the concept of faith and free will these are questioned in the East by the conclusions of the Second Council of Orange. This council is not accepted by the Eastern churches and the Catholic Church's use of describing their position and St Cassian as Semi-Pelagian is also rejected. (Pelagian is the theological doctrine propounded by Pelagius, a British monk, and condemned as heresy by the Roman Catholic Church in A.D. 416. It denied original sin and affirmed the ability of humans to be righteous by the exercise of free will)
Although the Roman Catholic Church explicitly teaches that "original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants", some Eastern Orthodox nevertheless claim that Roman Catholicism professes the teaching, which they attribute to Saint Augustine, that everyone bears not only the consequence, but also the guilt of Adam's sin.
Freedom and predestination is one of the most frequently asked questions among students of faith —partly because of modern man's great concern for freedom, but also, for the largely unconscious reason that we intuitively know both these things must be true because they are the aberration of every good story.
Predestination in the Quran
The belief of the pre-Islamic Arabs in the control of events by time is described in the Quran (Surah 45:24): "There is only our present life; we die and we live, and time [dahr] alone destroys us." The conception of the ajal, or term of life, also occurs several times, but it is God who both fixes the ajal beforehand and then brings about the person's death: "He is the one who created you from clay, and then fixed an ajal" (Surah 6:2); "God will not defer [the death of] any person when his ajal comes" (Surah 63:11). There is thus a sense in which God takes over the functions of time; indeed, " There are also several passages in the Qurʾān in which it is stated or implied that humankind's fate is not merely determined by God beforehand but also written down: "No misfortune has happened either in respect of the land or of yourselves but it was in a book before we [God] brought it about" (Surah 57:22). There is claim a clear statement of the uselessness of trying to avoid what has been predetermined is given in a passage about those who criticized Muḥammad's decision, when attacked in Medina by the Meccans, to go out to Mount Uhud to fight: "If you had been in your houses, those for whom killing was written down would have sallied out to the places of their falling" (Surah 3:154). The Qurʾān also speaks of God as the source of man's rizq, or provision: "He lavishes rizq on whom He wills, or stints it" (Surah 30:37); this may be regarded as a reflection of the common experience in desert life that one tribe might have plenty while a neighboring tribe was starving.
Just as the pre-Islamic Arab did not believe that his acts were predetermined, but only their outcome, so this seems to be all that is implied by the Quranic statements about ajal and similar matters. All Muslims hold that human freedom in some sense and human responsibility in acting are implied in the Quranic teaching that God judges mortals on the Last Day and that their good and bad deeds are weighed in balances. Human freedom is not necessarily contradicted by such verses as: "Do not say of anything, I am doing that tomorrow, without adding, "So please Allah!" (Surah 18:23-24)
Common Question
Everybody knows in islam we are taught that we have free will and we have the right to make choices and we choose what we want to do...  but it is also a known fact that Allah SWT knows the unseen, the past the present the future so he knows what you are going to do. That is not to say that you don't have free will it just means that God already knows what you are going to do....
The question is: why then run this "test" (essentially life is a test) - when the outcome is predetermined since Allah already knows what we will do... usually when you conduct a test or experiment you are in search for the outcome but since Allah is all knowing all seeing he already knows the outcome...
It seems that there are many who just wanted some insight on this, most will say they are in no way questioning why God is doing what He is doing as they are sure He has His own reason but many people will just thought about it from a humanly perspective and thought if there are any verses or information on regards to this topic to be concerned.
The Islamic concept of freewill
Disputes about freewill in Islam began with the Mu'tazili vs Hanbali disputes, with the Mu'tazili arguing that humans had "qadar," the capacity to do right or wrong, and thus deserved the reward or punishment they received, whereas Hanbali insisted on God's "jabr," or total power and initiative in managing all events. Schools that developed around earlier thinkers such as Abu Hanifa and al-Ash'ari searched for ways to explain how both human qadar, and divine jabr could be asserted at the same time. Ash'ari develops a "dual agency" or "acquisition" account of free will in which every human action has two distinct agents. God creates the possibility of a human action with his divine jabr, but then the human follows through and "acquires" the act, making it theirs and taking responsibility for it using their human qadar.
Qadar is an Arabic word for destiny and divine foreordainment. Qada' is an Arabic word with multiple meanings including. divine decree/fate. Both Arabic words may or may not be used interchangeably depending on the context. Essentially, destiny is what Allah has decreed. (And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion. (Surah 65:3)     
According to the Quran Allah has knowledge of everything in His creation. Nothing occurs except by His will. In Surah 16:40 it is stated: For to anything which We have willed, We but say the word, "Be", and it is. Human beings are given free will, and it must be made clear that destiny does not have a cause-and-effect influence on the choices humans make. It is stated in the Quran in Surah 4:115 If anyone contends with the Messenger even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men of Faith, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell, what an evil refuge! That man has control over their destiny. The choice that human make are all within Allah’s knowledge as stated: And if any one earns sin, he earns it against His own soul: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom Surah 4:111.
Concept of predetermination or what is Islam
Qadar is one of the aspects of aqidah. Some Muslims believe that the divine destiny is when God wrote down in the Preserved Tablet ("al-Lauḥ al-Maḥfūẓ") all that has happened and will happen, which will come to pass as written. According to this belief, a person's action is not caused by what is written in the Preserved Tablet but, rather, the action is written in the Preserved Tablet because God already knows all occurrences without the restrictions of time. On the other hand, the causal relationships are also part of Qadar, since human acts affect what's stated in the Erasing And Stating Tablet ("Lauḥ al-Mahu w al-Ithbat"). The phrase reflects a Muslim doctrine that Allah has measured out the span of every person's life, their lot of good or ill fortune, and the fruits of their efforts. Again Allah does not need to force anyone to do good or evil by interfering in his will, and nobody will bear witness that Allah did so. When referring to the future, Muslims frequently qualify any predictions of what will come to pass with the phrase Insha'Allah, Arabic for "if God willed it." The phrase recognizes that human knowledge of the future is limited, and that all that may or may not come to pass is under the control and knowledge of God.
However it should be noted that people are not predestined by Allah to enter Hell. Rather people will only bear their own sins that they themselves committed with free will and no one will be responsible for another person’s deeds. The Quran holds that no man will be treated unjustly and everything will be judged by Allah. The Qur'an says this in the following verse:
Say: “You will not be questioned as to what we are guilty of, nor shall we be questioned as to what you do. Say: Our Lord will gather us together, then will He judge between us with the truth; and He is the greatest Judge, the All-knowing."  (Surah 34:25-26)
"They will cry out to them: Were we not with you? They shall say: Yea! But you caused yourselves to fall into temptation, and you waited and doubted, and vain desires deceived you till the threatened punishment of Allah came, while the arch deceiver deceived you about Allah." (Surah 57:14)
The Qur'an makes it clear that the man goes to Hell because he chose to do bad deeds, he goes to Heaven by doing good deeds and even if Allah had chosen to guide them to the truth they themselves would choose to reject the faith:
"And if Allah had known any good in them He would have made them hear, and if He makes them hear they would turn back while they withdraw." (Surah 8:23)
"Nor would thy Lord be the One to destroy communities for a single wrong-doing, if its members were likely to mend. If thy Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people: but they will not cease to dispute. Except those on whom thy Lord hath bestowed His Mercy: and for this did He create them: and the Word of thy Lord shall be fulfilled: "I will fill Hell with jinns and men all together." (Surah 11:119)
The Quran says:
"For those who do good is good (reward) and more (than this); and blackness or ignominy shall not cover their faces; these are the dwellers of the garden; in it they shall abide." (Surah 10:26)
If thou couldst see, when the angels take the souls of the Unbelievers (at death), (How) they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): "Taste the penalty of the blazing Fire- "Because of (the deeds) which your (own) hands sent forth; for Allah is never unjust to His servants: "(Deeds) after the manner of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them: They rejected the Signs of Allah, and Allah punished them for their crimes: for Allah is Strong, and Strict in punishment: "Because Allah will never change the grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: and verily Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things)." (Deeds) after the manner of the people of Pharaoh and those before them": They treated as false the Signs of their Lord: so We destroyed them for their crimes, and We drowned the people of Pharaoh: for they were all oppressors and wrong-doers. (Surah 8:50-54)
History of Islamic variation in the belief of predestination
There are only two groups who represent the extremes regarding Qadar and are considered outside the fold of Islam. Al-Jabiriyah are of the opinion that humans have no control over their actions and everything is dictated by Allah. The other group is Al-Qadiriyyah and they are of the opinion of humans having complete control over their destiny, to the extent that Allah does not even know what we will choose to do. The correct view according to the Quran should be in the middle between these two views, where it is believed that Allah has knowledge of everything that being devised for bad or good intention in the hearts, but that humans have freedom of choice to do the actual actions. It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. (Surah 50:16)
Among the historical proponents of the view of the doctrine that Allah has knowledge of everything and human have freedom of choice were: Ibn Umar was a strong proponent of this concept and among those who criticized this view of the doctrine were Ma'bad al-Juhani, the first man who discussed Qadar in Basra.
The same concept falls into the Sunni who enumerate Qadar as one aspect of their creed (Arabic: aqidah‎) They believe that the divine destiny is when God wrote down in the Preserved Tablet ("al-Lawhu 'l-Mahfuz") all that has happened and will happen, which will come to pass as written. According to this belief, a person's action is not caused by what is written in the Preserved Tablet but, rather, the action is written in the Preserved Tablet because God already knows all occurrences without the restrictions of time. An individual has power to choose, but since God created time and space he knows what will happen. God is without any bond of time and space. Therefore, what will happen has meaning only to humans, who are limited in time and space. An analogy is with someone who watches a repeat of a football game on TV for the second time, who knows what will happen next, while for the first time watcher the next move is unknown.
Evidences in the Quran
However the Quran is clear what is being freewill and what has been predetermined in the Prescribed Book or Lawhu Mahfuz. The glaring evidence is the subject matter of only  the live span of each individual and misfortune is fixed as stated in the following verses in the Quran:
Nor can a soul die except by Allah's leave, the term being fixed as by writing. If any do desire a reward in this life, We shall give it to him; and if any do desire a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve us with) gratitude. (Surah 3:145)
The other listing as predetermined is misfortune or musebah which can occur to an individual as being sick or hit by an accident or natural disaster happening anywhere in the world is written in Lawhu Mahfuz or the Prescribed Book as shown by the following verses of the Quran:
No misfortune (musebah) can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence: That is truly easy for Allah: (Surah 57:22)
If good befalls thee, it grieves them; but if a misfortune (musebah) befalls thee, they say, "We took indeed our precautions beforehand," and they turn away rejoicing. Say: "Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector": and on Allah let the Believers put their trust. (Surah 9:50-51)
Other than the above it will be determined by one’s own effort living in this world whether he get rich because of his effort, do good or bad, he controls his own destiny. But for those who believe in Allah, anything good he gets even out of his effort he will attribute it to God and any bad he did is out of his own doing as stated in the following verses of the Quran:
Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul. and We have sent thee as a messenger to (instruct) mankind. And enough is Allah for a witness. (Surah 4:79)
To the righteous (when) it is said, "What is it that your Lord has revealed?" they say, "All that is good." To those who do good, there is good in this world, and the Home of the Hereafter is even better and excellent indeed is the Home of the righteous. (Surah 16:30)
And ye have no good thing but is from Allah: and moreover, when ye are touched by distress, unto Him ye cry with groans; Yet, when He removes the distress from you, behold! Some of you turn to other gods to join with their Lord. (Surah 16:53-54)
Our supplications as shown in the Quran of former men of faith therefore do change circumstances in our life and of much avail. Some examples in the Quran:
And in no wise covet those things in which Allah Hath bestowed His gifts More freely on some of you than on others: To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn: But ask Allah of His bounty. For Allah hath full knowledge of all things. (Surah 4:32)
Abraham made his supplication even for paradise in his prayer.
"O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous; "Grant me honorable mention on the tongue of truth among the latest (generations);  "Make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss; "Forgive my father, for that he is among those astray; "And let me not be in disgrace on the Day when (men) will be raised up; "The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, "But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart. (Surah 26:83-89)
It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. If misfortune or musebah falls on you do not forget to say this invocation.
Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, Who say, when afflicted with calamity (musebah): "To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return": They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance. (Surah 2:155-158)
Therefore seek Allah’s grace and help for the good of this world and the good of the hereafter
Nay, seek (Allah's) help with patient perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit, who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord, and that they are to return to Him. (Surah 2:45-46)
Say: "O Allah! Lord of Power (And Rule), Thou givest power to whom Thou pleasest, and Thou strippest off power from whom Thou pleasest: Thou enduest with honor whom Thou pleasest, and Thou bringest low whom Thou pleasest: In Thy hand is all good. Verily, over all things Thou hast power. "Thou causest the night to gain on the day, and thou causest the day to gain on the night; Thou bringest the Living out of the dead, and Thou bringest the dead out of the Living; and Thou givest sustenance to whom Thou pleasest, without measure." (Surah 3:27-28)
On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. "Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith." (Surah 2:286)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day of Congregation, voluntary, and funeral Salat


Salat on the day of Congregation
According to the Quran the Surah 62:9 the call to Salat is made on a day of congregation but since the Muslims have taken the sixth day of the week as a day of congregation then it is valid only if it meets the criteria stated in the Quran.
It is stated in the Quran that particular day must be a working or business day and should not be treated as a holy day or holiday. To God there is no “Holyday” as any day is a good day to Him so He does not need total dedication the whole day only to worship Him. He wants those who believe in Him also work to earn a living and to seek their bounty during the same day. This means that a day of rest in the week is for the benefit of human and not for God as Allah does not need to rest.
The difference between the Day of Congregation to the Muslim compared to that of the Jew, they make a day in total dedication to God as the Sabbath Day where none of them were allowed to do work except dedication to worship God. The categories of work that cannot be performed include cooking, washing clothes, constructing, repairing, and writings, making a fire, cutting, fishing and so on and because of this overzealous towards dedication to Him, God test them with the fish as narrated in the following verse of the Quran
Ask them concerning the town standing close by the sea. They transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. For on the day of their Sabbath their fish did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no Sabbath, they came not; thus We make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression.
(Surah 7:163)                                                                  
In the Quran we are told not to be like the Jews who would only be cheating themselves by imposing unnecessary prohibition and we on the other hand are to do our normal work and be employed or do our business as per any normal day, only at the appointed time when the call is made we are to hasten earnestly to the remembrance of God and after the Salat is completed we are to disperse through the land and seek the bounty of God as stated in Surah 62:9-10. During the Prophet’s time when the call was made on the Day of Congregation the people will hasten to the remembrance of God by establishing the Salat in congregation and after the Salat the Prophet will give the summon on the message of the Quran. It is stated that giving sermon about the Quran and doing the Salat is the best form of remembrance of God and this is what the Prophet did by obeying the command according to the following verse of the Quran:
Recite to what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish the Salat surely the Salat wards off abomination and evil. Certainly the remembrance of God is greater and God knows whatever you do.” (Surah 29:45)
The above verse is the evidence that the Prophet gave summon on the Quran and this is the opportune time to spread the message of the Quran and unlike the present situation the sermon has turn more political and very minimum is said over the message of the Quran. Furthermore more teaching from other books had crept into the sermon of the day of congregation and many are seen as to be contradictory to the teaching of the Quran. Even the simple procedure whether to do the Salat or the recitation of the sermon is done first have been manipulated. According to the Quran the Salat is to be established first and then only the sermon about the Quran as stated in the Surah 62:9 when the call is made to Salat we are to hastens or hurry to remember God by performing the Salat and after the Salat only the sermon is to be delivered. The evidence is shown in the Quran when the Prophet have finished his Salat and as he was to deliver the sermon many of the attendants attempt to withdraw from the congregation and the Prophet request that they come back with the following expression for them to stay a bit longer to listen to the remembrance of God:
But when they see some bargain or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave thee standing. Say: "The blessing from the Presence of Allah is better than any amusement or bargain! And Allah is the Best to provide for all needs." (Surah 62:11)
The time of salat on the day of Congregation
The Salat on the Day of Congregation during the Prophet’s time was performed at the time of Wusta or the Middle time which is in the center between the mid noon and the sunset prayer. It was not done at mid noon or “dzohor” because of the Arab custom of staying at home at this time at noon, fajar and Ishaa’. The following verse stamped any idea of congregation Salat being held at those times of the day:   
O you who believe! Let those whom your right hands possess and those who have not attained puberty ask your permission three times before they come to your bedroom before the dawn prayer (Salatil Fajri), and when you put off your garments at noon (dzohirati), and after the evening prayer (Salatil Ishaa’). These are three times of privacy for you. Outside these times there is no blame on you or them, if you move about attending to each other. Thus God make clear to you the Signs and God is All Knowing, All Wise. (Surah 24:58)
From the above verse it is a certainty the Prophet would not disrupt the custom of his people where he acknowledged their privacy times. And the time of sunset or maghrib is also not describing the suitablity for the Prophet to do the congregation because if the congregation is done at Maghrib time after the Salat it will be night time and night time is rest time according to the Quran where good Muslims is supposed to adhere and be with their families instead of busy doing more business and trading. The following verses give exposit of the night:
It is He that has made you the night that you may rest therein and the day to make things visible to you. In this are signs for those who listen. (Surah 10:67)
We have made the night and the day as two of Our signs: the sign of the night have We obscured, while the sign of the day We have made to enlighten; that you may seek bounty from your Lord and that you may know the number and count of the years: all things have We explained in detail. (Surah 17:12)
So the time of Salat on the Day of Congregation can never be other than at the time of Wusta or the Middle Salat time which is reflected to the time of Salat as later afternoon as depicted in the Surah 62:9 in the Quran. As such since the day Friday is declared as the day of congregation in the Muslims majority countries by the evidence from the Quran it is therefore should be a business or working day. A day of rest for the general public or Holiday should fall on other than the declared day of congregation.
Voluntary salat for extra Credit
The voluntary Salat for extra credit is no different than the obligatory Salat except that it is to be performed at the times other than the times ordained by God for the obligatory Salat. God does not restrict those who wish to dedicate his soul to Him at anytime and anywhere as long as the obligatory Salat at definite times take priority. The Salat for extra credit is advisable to do at night time since the night time is long and good for the soul as shown by God for the Prophet Muhammad to concede:
Prosperous is he who purifies himself, and glorifies the Name of his Lord and then Salat.
(Surah 87:14-15)                                   
And spend part of the night in prayer; this is an additional prayer for you (O Muhammad), so that your Lord may award you the chosen place of praise and glory! (Surah 17:79).
Truly the rising by night is most potent for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (framing) the Word (of Prayer and Praise). (Surah 73:6)
It is the commitment to do utmost dedication to God that will drive and push people to spend their time to earn the extra credit for doing more than the obligatory duties. As ordinary people, it will be difficult to achieve as the Prophet have achieved or even those of his companions but it is worth a try to copy and strive to that of his level. The Prophet and those with him were seen to have spent two third or half of the night doing their extra voluntary Salat and reading the Quran and this is depicted in the following verses for us to ponder:
Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing: and who say, “Our Lord! Avert us the wrath of hell, for its wrath is indeed an affliction grievous. (Surah 25:64-65)                                                           
Surely your Lord knows that you stand in vigil nearly two thirds of the night or half of the night, or a third of the night, and also a party of those with you; but God determines the night and the day. He knows that you are unable to keep count of it, so He has turned to you in Mercy, therefore recite as much of the Quran as is easy for you. He knows that some of you are sick and others are travelling through the land seeking God’s bounty, and others are fighting in God’s cause. Therefore recite of the Quran as much as is easy for you, and establish Salat and pay the alms, and lend to God a beautiful loan. And whatever good you send forth for your souls, you shall find it with God as a better and a greater reward. And ask God’s forgiveness, surely God is All Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah 73:20)
The funeral salat in the Quran
In the Quran there is evidence that the Prophet did not performed the funeral Salat to everybody, he was to be selective as he was commanded by God to Salat only to those who were true to the faith and when known hypocrites died he was cautioned by God not to attend to their funeral ceremony. The Quran is specific in its message and warning by impressing the Prophet of those who were hypocrites especially those who refused to participate to go to battle with him. Those hypocrites trying to seize the opportunity during victories to get a share of the gain or booty but were not committed to the war effort, those were the people whom God warn not to associate with them until they die as stated in the following verse of the Quran: 
And never Salat over any one of them when he is dead, nor stand over his grave, they disbelieved in God and His Messenger and died while they were transgressing. (Surah 9:84)    
From the above command of God to the Prophet not to Salat for those who were hypocrites, it can be deduced that the Prophet did prayers for genuine believers during his time. This kind of Salat was performed for the demise as a last respect to the deceased and it is done during the funeral session at the grave site. The posture of respect for the dead is the standing position as reported in the above verse and this posture of standing is universally accepted. Most communities in the world will do the posture of standing to respect their dead. Thus the Quran is in support of this practice but not to prostrate towards the dead as the prostration at the humblest position on the forehead is only for the submission to God.
Therefore this Salat at the funeral session is different from the normal daily obligatory Salat as the Prophet was reported to be seen only doing the standing position. There is no other reference in the Quran reporting the Prophet did other postures during funeral session and thus by this evidence it give the indication that the Prophet will perform the Salat for the final sending off the demise at their funeral but this is only for those who were faithful to the religion. As he was commanded by God not to stand at the funeral of the hypocrites and also not to stand at their grave, this means that for the believers it is an exception and was permissible.
In order to show the action of respect it is a universal value for any religion when somebody they loved passed away there will be a solemn send off. Those who attend the burial ceremony stand up to pay their last respect and give a few nice words of departure and the Quran is not without such words of this kind of final sending off. The Quran provide many examples of words that can function by relaying good words as a last respect for the deceased before his final departure. The recitation for the funeral Salat is for our admonition that we too will depart from this world some day and it is normal that eulogy is done for the deceased. The following verses of the Quran are taken in relation for the funeral Salat:  
 The commence of the Salat will always be to read the Surah Al Fatiha because it is “The Opening” chapter of the Quran and a suppliant It will normally followed by the recitation of the declaration that our life and death is only for God and link the eulogy of the demise as a last respect that his soul will be among those who repent and recipient of God’s mercy, the verses are extracted from the Quran as follows:
In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds;
Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
Master of the Day of Judgement.
Thee do we worship and thy aid we seek.
Show us the straight way,
The way of those on whom Thou has bestowed thy Grace,
Not the way of those who earn Your wrath,
Nor of those who go astray. (Surah AlFatiha).
“Truly, my Salat and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are all for God, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surah 6:162)
And after the above recitation other verses can be compiled from the Quran to put together some good words for the demised before he or she is send off for final burial. The best words come from the Quran and the Prophet will not refuse to excerpt the appropriate quote for those faithful believers who were with him at time of peace and at the times of war. It can be seen that the example of the prayers of the angels below meet the stipulation. The Prophet will initially proclaimed the praise of his Lord and declared his subservient to Him and then ask forgiveness for those who believe and this is extracted from the Quran:
“Our Lord, You embrace everything in Your Mercy and Knowledge, therefore forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and protect them from the chastisement of hell. Our Lord, and admit them to the Gardens of Eden which You have promised them and those who are righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their posterity, indeed You are the Almighty, the All Wise. And preserve them from ills, and whoever You preserve from ills on that Day, indeed You have showed him mercy, and that is the greatest triumph.” (Surah 40:7-9)                                                      
The recitation of the above verses of the Quran is to be in middle tone and all family members and friends should congregate to perform the last ritual for the deceased as his final departure. The ending of the funeral Salat will also be the same as any other Salat and the ending is always be “Praise be to God” and to Him is our return:
"To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return":- (Surah 2:156)
“Glory be to You O God “Peace, “All Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds”. 
(Surah 10:10)
From the evidences in the Quran burning the dead is not sanctify but there are indications that ground burial is the preference. There are some verses depicted in the Quran where the deceased was buried as is shown in the story of the siblings of Adam who excavated to bury his brother and the story of the young men who God made them sleep in the cave for some numbered years when finally they were buried under a place of worship as shown in the following verses respectively:
Then Allah sent a crow digging up the earth so that he might show him how he should cover the dead body of his brother. He said: Woe to me! Do I lack the strength that I should be like this crow and cover the dead body of my brother? So he became of those who regret. (Surah 5:31)
And thus did We make (men) to get knowledge of them that they might know that Allah's promise is true and that as for the hour there is no doubt about it. When they disputed among themselves about their affair and said: erect an edifice over them; their Lord best knows them. Those who prevailed in their affair said: We will certainly raise a mosque (masjid) over them. (Surah 18:21)
In conclusion about the salat Allah have put in all the detail for our guidance and nothing have been left out it only depend whether ourselves is willing to submit to his Words or show arrogance towards it, the choice is ours.
There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end. (Surah 6:38)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Salat practices which contradict the Quran.
Below are some more of the many practices which contradicted with the practices of the Prophet as shown by evidences in the Quran.  
The voice tone during recitation in the Salat
According to the Quran when recitation is made in the Salat, God commanded the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) to recite it at mid tone which is neither loud nor silent but in between. Thus it was done in a solemn manner where the Prophet did not pitch a loud recitation nor he kept silent to himself in his recitation, but enough to be heard by those who prayed close behind him. This was his way which he followed and obeyed the command on the tone which is inspired and commanded to him in the following verse:
Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speaks thy Salat aloud, nor speaks it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between." (Surah 17:110)
Based on the above command, the Prophet will be reciting in all the Salat whether the obligatory or the extra credit Salat at mid tone. Even at any of the postures during standing, bowing or prostrating he will be reciting his praises in mid tone. The above is indisputable and it is conclusive enough to reveal of his recitation in mid tone as to call on God, one should not be too emotional with himself in grieve or in anger but learn to humble oneself the right way when worshipping God.     
However the present Salat contradict with the Surah 17:110 as the Suboh is done all in a laud tone, the dzohor and  asar is done all in silence, the maghrib is done two unit in laud and one unit in silence and the night /ishaa salat recitation is done two unit in silence and two unit is laud tone. They totally discarded God’s command to do at mid tone! It is imperative that those who believe in the message of God in the Quran to make amend and seek the forgiveness of God for His mercy in this world and in the next world.
Understanding what is said in your Salat
Most Muslims other than Arab speaking will not understand what they are reciting in their Salat as most of them do not take the trouble to understand in their mother tongue the meaning of the words they utter in their Salat. They normally memorize it in the Arabic text like a parrot and then recite it at every Salat with the minimum of change between one Salat and another. There is the requirement that when one perform the Salat one must perform by reciting words one can understand and this mean that they either recite it in their mother tongue or learn the meaning of the Arabic words until they understand it as and when they read the prayers in their Salat. God’s command is specific He would not like His servant to talk to Him as a drunken with a mind befogged, He Said:
O ye who believe! Approach not Salat with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say…… (Surah 4:43)
It is important that when one does his Salat he understand what he is saying to God whether he is asking something, or praising or remembering Him by words glorifying Him otherwise he may be saying something which may cause God’s displeasure. Reciting the verses of the Quran is expedient when performing the Salat but one must be selective because there are commands also to utter it to the disbelievers and therefore unsuitable to be recited in the Salat. The following surah is address to the disbelievers but those ignorant Muslims recite it in their Salat to God in defiant of His warning in the above Surah 4:43.
O you who reject faith!
I worship not that which you worship
Nor will you worship that which I worship.
And I will not worship that which you worship,
Nor will you worship that which I worship.
To you will your way and to me mine. (Surah Al Kafirun 109)
There are many other verses one can choose and select the best meaning that is appropriate to recite when one is doing his Salat. Yet there are many who memorize the Arabic text without understand the meaning and recite it in their Salat. These are the category of people whose minds are befogged and they are no less than a drunkard who God admonishes that they should not approach Salat or prayer at all.
The time for doing obligatory salat cannot be neglected
The message of the Quran is specific and clear when God mentioned that the Salat is obligatory it means that those who believe will make sure that they will never miss to do their duty to God. They will ensure that they will not forget or over slept when it is the time to establish the Salat. A missed Salat is a missed time in contact with God and only He will have the right to forgive such fault. The consequences of missing the Salat are described from the following verses of the Quran and it invoke God’s wrath:
They were succeeded by a people who neglected the Salat and pursued their lusts. They shall presently meet with their doom, except those who repent and believe and act righteously. Such shall enter Paradise and shall not be wronged at all. (Surah 19:58-59)
What has brought you into hell? They shall say: We were not of those who performed the Salat. (Surah 74:42-43)
There is no excuse for failure to establish Salat because God has provided a guide to be easy on those who have problem to do the normal Salat with all the ritual of cleansing and physical actions. If one is busy and is travelling and he fears he may be attacked by his enemies or he fear he will miss his Salat on time he can shorten the time taken to do his Salat as from normal time and also he can do it in a free style as appropriate as he thinks fit, God is Great He does not want to make thing difficult for His servants and the following verses proved His Words:
And when you journey in the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve will cause you distress, surely the unbelievers are your open enemy. (Surah 4:101)
If ye fear (to misses the Salat), pray on foot, or riding, as may be most convenient, but when ye are in security, celebrate Allah's praises in the manner He has taught you, which ye knew not before. (Surah 2:239)
This shows that God make it easy those who follow His message to do the Salat at the time appointed in a free style when he is in difficult situation but he is supposed to make up by performing the normal Salat as and when the position become normal again. One has to make a substitute unless time do not permits him to do the normal Salat because of one reason or another, and as an example the time to do it has expired by the encroaching of the next Salat time.
There is no excuse even for the sick or if there is no water one has to establish the Salat as stated in the Surah 5:6 “But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you come from office of nature or you have been in contact with your women and you find no water then take yourself clean sand and rub therewith your faces and your hands, God does not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean and to complete His favor to you that you may be grateful.” As such it is obligatory to establish the Salat at any circumstances and no excuse to miss the duty to God based on the above verses of the Quran.  
On the contrary there are some hadith narrations saying that the Prophet allowed a salat time to be missed but make it up by combining by doing the salat with another salat time. This clearly contradicted with the message of the Quran which command to perform the Salat at the time appointed whether while walking or riding. The contradictory is shown as reported in Sahih Muslim:
9) Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) combined the noon prayer with the afternoon prayer and the sunset prayer with the 'Isha' prayer in Medina without being in a state of danger or rainfall. And in the hadith transmitted by Waki' (the words are):" I said to Ibn 'Abbas: What prompted him to do that? He said: So that his (Prophet's) Ummah should not be put to (unnecessary) hardship." And in the hadith transmitted by Mu'awiya (the words are):" It was said to Ibn 'Abbas: What did he intend thereby? He said he wanted that his Ummah should not be put to unnecessary hardship."  (Book 004 Hadith 1520)
The above narration is completely untrue as Prophet will never miss to do any single salat time which contradict the Quran because in such a situation those who combined their Salat will naturally missed one of the obligatory Salat as they will be doing both the Salat either earlier one single time at noon or later in the late afternoon Salat time. And if they do another two at a single time at sunset then they will miss the Ishaa Salat. In the above examples the combining of two salat in a single time lead to the consequences they will be doing for the day only three Salat instead of five. The obligatory Salat is to be fulfilled irrespective of situation as God has made it easy to perform in various situation and circumstances whether riding or walking.
There is no command to mention prophet names in the Salat
On the purpose of Salat, we have been commanded by God to establish it as a ritual to worship Him and Him alone. It is to Him that we call upon as to remember Him, glorify Him, praise Him and seek His blessing and His mercy so as to have a meaningful life in this world and the next world. We are to worship Him alone and invoke not any else along with Him in the Salat and the following verses is a reminder of His injunction:
”Verily I am Allah; there is no god but I; so worship Me only and establish the Salat for My remembrance.” (Surah 20:14)
And the places of worship are for Allah alone: So invoke not any one along with Him. (Surah 72:18)
In spite of the warning by God in the above verses, the structure of the present Salat stated that the “tashahhud” (witnessing) is compulsory to be recited during certain sitting positions and if not recited will nullify the Salat being performed. The English translation of the present Salat “tashahhud akheer” at the final sitting position contravene God’s command that Salat is only for His remembrance and no one else and the contravention by adding the remembrance of the prophets as given below:
“All greetings belong to Allah. All righteousness is due to Allah. All the best prayers are for the sake of Allah. Peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be on you, O Prophet. May peace be upon us and on the devout slaves of Allah. I testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. O God sends your mercy on Muhammad and his kindred as you have sent Your mercy on Abraham and his kindred. O God, send your blessings on Muhammad and his kindred as you have blessed Abraham and his kindred. You are the Most praised, The Most Glorious.
As can be seen from the above meaning of the “tashahhud” those who recite the above give dedication to the prophets Muhammad and Abraham in their Salat they have transgressed the basic purpose of their Salat which is to dedicate their Salat only to God. It is absolutely inexcusable whether they understand or not the meaning of the above recitation instead of talking only to God as commanded in their Salat  they are also talking to the Prophet Muhammad in the first person as if he is still living. It is undeniable when one says “Peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be on you, O Prophet” one should realizes that he is saying it in the first person and this feat is blasphemous as the Prophet Muhammad is already dead and none can speak to him whether in the Salat or at any other time and place.
It appears that those who were responsible to compose the above dedication of the “tashahhud” to the Prophet Muhammad to be recited in the Salat are sinister in their intention as it contradicted against the message of the Quran. In the Quran the Prophet Abraham’s kindred the father was not given mercy or being blessed by God as he died a disbeliever. The following evidence provides proof to that event:
It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire. And Abraham prayed for his father's forgiveness only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy to Allah, he dissociated himself from him: for Abraham was most tender-hearted, forbearing. (Surah 9:113-114)
Thus it is faulty to claim as stated in the dedication of the “tashahhud” that God has given mercy and blessing to the kindred of Abraham as one of his kindred the father was clearly a pagan. Even Abraham did not pray for his father so those who recited the “tashahhud” have not only transgressed the message of the Quran and the command of God to treat Salat only for His remembrance alone, they are also guilty of invention of talking to the Prophet directly in their Salat. It is therefore a great flaw to claim the Salat of today is following the Salat of the Prophet simply because it is impossible the Prophet recited the “tashahhud”, he cannot be talking “Peace or Salam” to himself and testify himself as a messenger of God. Therefore he must have been reciting other relevant verses for the dedication and worship to God alone. Those verses are all in the Quran and for us to pick the right ones for application in our salat.
There is no salat subh in the Quran but salat Fajar
There is a big misconception on one of the obligatory daily Salat today which is done in the early hours of the morning. As most Muslims will establish their Salat at the time of dawn which is in its Arabic word at “subh”, this is done with the “niyyah” or the intention mentioning the Arabic word “subh”. However in the Quran the Prophet (Pbuh) performed the salat Fajr instead of the salat Subh.  There is a different between the time of “subh” and the time of “fajar” in the Quran but the English translation cannot pinpoint this difference as both the Arabic words are being translated as dawn.
The time of “subh” which is performed today is actually the early morning bordering part of the late end of the night. Whoever perform the Salat at “subh” is actually not performing the obligatory Salat commanding by God in the Quran which is at “fajar” he is thus performing the voluntary for extra credit or “nauwafil” Salat. By doing this everyday he is actually missing one obligatory Salat and thus he is only performing only four out of the five obligatory Salat ordained by God in the Quran. It is described in the Quran “subh” unlike “fajar” which is already bright is still shady dark as the sun has not expose it light at a bright phase yet as confirmed by the following verse:
The Messengers said: "O Lut! We are Messengers from thy Lord! By no means shall they reach thee! Now travel with thy family while yet a part of the night remains, and let not any of you look back: but thy wife (will remain behind): To her will happen what happens to the people. Morning (subh) is their time appointed: Is not the morning (subh) nigh?"  (Surah 11:81)
The description of the story of Lut above showed that the morning of “subh” is just after the night is ending or in another words “subh” is the time bordering the end part of the night and this is not the time to establish the obligatory Salat of dawn yet. Even after the time of “subh” there is still another phase of time described in the Quran to be after “subh” but before “fajar” which is “sahar” as this reference shows:
The people of Lut rejected (his) warning. We sent against them a violent tornado with showers of stones, which destroyed them, except Lut's household: them We delivered by early dawn (sahar). (Surah 54:33-34)
So there are three part of the morning or dawn as described in the Quran in sequence as it breaks the night to be the time of “subh” by the example the time immediately after night when Lut’s people were punished, then the time of “sahar” the example of which they have been delivered or saved and only after this is the time of “fajar” and the time of fajar is the time to establish the obligatory Salat commanded by God in the Quran. The Salat at the time of “fajar” is confirmed by its timing and the description of the time starts when it is bright enough to make the distinction between white and black linings as stated in the following verses below:
O ye who believe! Let those whom your right hands possess, and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before the morning prayer (salatifajri), .., (Surah 24:58)
and seek what Allah has ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn (minal fajri) appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night appears (Surah 2:187)
Failure of Muslims to obey the command to recite a compulsory verse in the Salat
Most Muslims will know that the Surah Fath or the Opening Surah is compulsory to be recited in the Salat but very few were taught that there is a verse in the Quran which is obligatory to be recited but were never being obeyed.  Without the recitation of this verse there is possibility one’s Salat might be nullified as there is a clear instruction to “Say in your Salat” commanded by God in the following verses of the Quran:
Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speaks thy Salat aloud, nor speaks it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between." And Say (in your Salat): "Praise be to Allah, who begets no son, and has no partner in (His) dominion: Nor (needs) He any to protect Him from humiliation: yea, magnify Him for His greatness and glory!" (Surah 17:110-111)
The above command is the most overlooked item in the Salat structure and most Muslims were ignorant of it importance. It is imperative that it is time this command is to obeyed and total guidance should be taken from the Quran as God confirms that it is guidance sure for those who believe in the hereafter and an Unseen God.
Verily this Qur'an doth guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the Glad Tidings to the Believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward; (Surah 17:9)
For We had certainly sent unto them a Book, based on knowledge, which We explained in detail, a guide and a mercy to all who believe. (Surah 7:52)