Salat in the Quran
Email with question:
Can you please show me where do we find all the details of Salat in the Quran?
This is one of the favourite questions asked by those who follow hadith as a second source of law besides the Quran. It is essential before we answer this question that we determine whether we believe God or not.
"Shall I seek other than God as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed?" 6:114
The above words confirm that all the details of our religion are found in the Quran which is confirmed to be "fully detailed" and that we should not accept any source of religious laws other than the Quran. We also read in 6:38 that nothing has been left out of the book, and in 16:89 that the Quran offers explanation to all things. Do we believe God that the Quran has all the details? The majority of Muslims will say: "yes, but ......"
This reply urges us to read 6:114 again! Do we see the word "but" in the text? The answer is no! God does not accept "ifs" and "buts"! We either believe God unconditionally or we are kidding ourselves. So we decide (God willing) to believe God and search for all the Salat details in the Quran.
As soon as we start our Quranic search we are faced with a problem! Many of the details of Salat which we were taught all our lives cannot be found anywhere in the Quran! We do not find the number of raka in the Quran. We are not told in the Quran how many times to wash our hands or face in ablution. We are not told how many times we should say "Allahu Akbar" in our Salat ... etc. Then how can we say that all the details are in the Quran?
The hadith advocates immediately pounce and deliver their famous comment: "you see! the Quran does not have all the details"! So where do we go from here? It seems that we have to decide between one of the following options:
1- The Quran does not have all the details, God is not telling us the truth in 6:114, 6:38 and 16:89!
2- The Quran has all the details. These details are not in the Quran because they are not authorised by God, and thus they are not part of Islam.
We can search for a third option, but there is no third option unless we incorporate one of the words "if" or "but"! Due to our unconditional belief in the words of the Quran, we decide to accept option number 2 above. This impels us to accept all the Quranic details for Salat to be the only lawful details required and authorised by God. We must also reject all details which we cannot find in the Quran, no matter who preaches them or where they came from. These additional rituals can only be corruptions that were added to the religion sometime after the death of the Prophet. The examples are many: The 24434 format for the number of raka, the 8 or 9 steps of ablution (when the Quran authorises only 4 steps in 5:6), the five prayers (when God authorised only three Salat by name), the commemoration of Muhammad and Abraham (and their families and companions) when God commanded us to observe the Salat to commemorate His name alone (20:14, 6:162), all these are examples of non Quranic rituals that have never been authorised by God.
This alerts us to what God says about those who uphold rituals which were never authorised by God:
"Or do they have partners (with God) who legislate for them religious laws which were not authorized by God? If it were not for a preordained decree, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed the transgressors shall have a painful punishment." 42:21
So what does the Quran say about Salat and how it can be conducted?
In simple words, the following acts define the the Quranic Salat:
1- Wudu (ablution) as decreed in 5:6
2- Face Mecca as Qiblah (direction of prayer) as in 2:144
3- Commemorate the name of God alone in prayer (6:162, 20:14)
4- Use Quranic words and not words from any other source, this is the message of 29:45
5- Stand, then bow then prostrate in that order while commemorating God.
This is the Quranic Salat, simple, spiritual and dedicated to God alone. For further details and all the Quranic references, please check the following page: Salat in the Quran
Please take your time in checking all the sub pages too, they contain the Salat words, Salat times and other details.