God has given us assurance in the Quran that He has clearly explained everything what we need to believe and to do the righteous deeds, and those who have truly believed in God and the Quran accept His assurance expressing their gratitude to Him without having any buts in their minds. Thus, when we are confused or it seems that something is not right, we must explore the Quran to derive the appropriate explanation of it or to get rid of any confusions from our hearts about it, even a matter that we may think has not been mentioned in the Quran. However, the practice of Salat as seen among different sects and sub-sects around the Muslim arena has been corrupted in many ways but this study is aimed to get the correct method of Salat from the Quran, the final edition of God’s scripture as well as a guidance for the righteous and the reminder for the world. As a matter of fact, millions of Muslims being unaware of such corruptions are reciting a lot of garbage in the Salat as taught by their ignorant scholars and mullas while expecting to make Heaven being righteous:
[7:52] And certainly, we have provided them with a scripture we explained it with knowledge of a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe.
[12:111] Certainly, there has been a lesson in their history for the people of intelligence. This has not been a fabricated Hadith but a confirmation of which was of its before, and a detailed explanation of all things, and is a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe.
[18:109] Say, “If the ocean had been ink for my Lord’s words, certainly, the ocean had run out before that my Lord’s words ran out, even if we brought of like it as ink supplement.”
[31:27] And if that whatever in the earth of trees were pens, and the ocean were (ink), adding to it of its after were seven oceans, God’s words had not run out. Indeed, God is Almighty, Wise.
[33:40] Muhammad has not been a father of anyone of your men but has been a messenger of God and seal of the prophets, and God has done being Knower of everything.
Note: The core message in the verse is to let us know that Muhammad has been blessed by God with a message being God’s messenger, a seal of the prophets and the final edition of God’s scripture but for sure, it is not an order for us to idolize him being proud of him to be the last prophet, which has not reflected in the message except misinterpretation.
[38:87] It (Quran) is but a reminder for the world.
[6:51] And you (prophet) shall warn with this (Quran) those who fear that they will be gathered to their Lord; for them there is no protector other than Him nor is there any intercessor that they may fear.
Note: The core message in the verse is a commandment from God for all of us to make every effort to be righteous not expecting any intercession to save our individual soul on a Day of the Gathering.
God has designed Salat based on our need and has made it the prime source of nourishment for the growth and development of our souls. He knows when and how we are to nourish and recharge our souls through Him (32:9). Thus, He has commanded us to observe the Contact Prayer at specified times (4:103) as He has taught us (2:239) to remember Him (20:14, 6:162) and His remembrance through it is the greatest (29:45):
[32:9] Then He shaped him and blew into him from His spirit. And He made for you the hearing, the eyesight, and the understanding; very little of what thank you give.
Note: God has confirmed the presence of soul in our body and has made it the driving force that is to be taken care of by everyone of us to develop being thankful to Him.
[4:103] When you have done the Contact Prayer (Salat), then you shall remember God while standing, sitting or on your sides (lying). But when you have been secure, then you shall observe the Contact Prayer. Indeed, the Contact Prayer has been on the believers a decree at specified times.
Note: This commandment is for the believers when they were in war with the disbelievers but the core message in the verse is for all of us to observe Salat at certain times as specified by God, which eliminates any extra units to 5 times salat prayers as well as extra salat prayer beyond 5 times salat prayers.
[2:239] Then if you have feared (God), so is walking or riding. Then when you have been secure, then you shall remember God as He taught you what you were not knowing.
Note: We are to observe Salat at all our circumstances to remember God as He has taught us.
[20:14] “Indeed Me, I am God; there is no other god beside I. So, you (Moses) shall worship Me, and shall observe the Contact Prayer (Salat) for My remembrance.
Note: God (Allah) is our god (Elah) and we need to just remember Him through our Salat, the way He has taught us as found in (2:239).
[6:162] Say (Muhammad), “My Contact Prayers, my worship practices, my life and my death, are devoted absolutely to God, Lord of the universe.
Note: All our prayers and praise are to be dedicated to God, Lord of the universe. Thus, mentioning names of any messenger or prophet or asking for wealth or well-being nullify our prayer.
[29:45] You (Muhammad) shall recite what is revealed to you of the scripture, and shall observe the Contact Prayer (Salat). Indeed, the Contact Prayer prevents from the wickedness and the evil deeds, and surely, the remembrance of God (through it) is the greatest, and God knows what you (all) do.
Note: Salat is the prime source to develop our souls being a direct contact with God at 5 times a day. Hence, the topmost priority is to be given to observe it on a regular basis in a perfect manner.
The above verses explicitly talk about the Salat. Although these verses have not provided us with a set of detailed instructions to observe Salat but there is a clear indication of its purpose and the content that must be used in the Salat prayer in the remembrance of God being fully devoted to Him to recharge our souls. The level of details that God has given us in the Quran is enough for the believers to continue Salat in a perfect way being an existing practice as well as to recover it if it is lost or corrupted down the generations.
Distortions and extra recitation
Those who have been blessed by God to study the Quran may know that the practice of Salat is very old, even it is older than many of us think of it. But it is unfortunate that the Salat is the most corrupted and distorted rite of all the rites given to us by God as practiced today by the majority people all over the world claiming them to be Muslims. The infiltration of corruptions and distortions are found in different aspects of Salat including extra Salat, extra rakats and even extra recitation at different positions during the prayer. While all of us should know that a slightest change of it from our end will impact its God given design and makes it ineffective to serve the purpose. However, let us limit this study to what are recited during the Salat to understand the distortions in the recitation to derive the correct method of Salat. There are lots of corrupted practices of Salat in regard to the recitation according to various sects but here are the very common ones that are practiced as of to date down the generation on the basis of recommendations from different scholars and imams:
- The recitation of a short sura or a part of a long sura upon completing sura 1 (Al-Fatehah), including in the first 2 Rak’ahs (units) of prayer if it is a 3-unit and 4-unit prayer.
- The recitation of the word “Aaaameen” at the end upon completing sura 1 (Al-Fatehah).
- The recitation just after returning to standing from bowing before making a move to prostration (Rabbanaa Lakal- Hamd).
- The recitation between two prostrations (Allahumma Aghfirlee warHamnee wa-Ehdinee war-Zuqqnee).
- The recitation of the Tashahhud at the sitting position appending Muhammad’s name as a messenger of God.
- The recitation of the Darud at sitting asking blessing for Muhammad and Ibrahim as well as their families.
- The recitation of the Salaam appending mercy of God (As’salamu `Alaykum wa-Rahmatullah).
Validation of distortion and extra recitation
Salat is not just recitation of some words at certain positions, but it is more than that. We are to concentrate on what we are uttering so that it is observed being reverent to God reflecting to our hearts, i.e., our souls. Thus, the recitation must be in a befitting manner so that it helps us develop our souls being responded by God. However, let us discuss each of the above corrupted recitations to understand whether it is a distorted recitation or an extra recitation:
1. The recitation of a sura or a part of a long sura after completing Sura 1: Al-Fatehah is an extra recitation because:
a. Sura 1: Al-Fatehah is given for our prayer while the rest of the Quran is given for our guidance.
b. The initial, Alif Laam Meem is a gateway to access our guidance, which has reflected in the 2nd verse of sura 2: Al-Baqarah – this book wherein there is no doubt, is a guidance for the righteous.
c. The positions of sura Al-Fatehah and sura Al-Baqarah in the physical composition of the Quran play an crucial role while sura Al-Fatehah is a 5th revelation and sura Al-Baqarah is a 87th revelation.
d. There are 6 Alif Laam Meem prefixed suras: 2, 3, 29, 30, 31 and 32 in the Quran. But sura 2: Al-Baqarah whose 2nd verse has the mention of guidance for the righteous is placed in the 2nd position in the composition of the Quran just after sura 1:Al-Fatehah to affirm us that the rest of the Quran, i.e., from sura 2 to sura 114 is our guidance to be followed to become righteous.
e. The placement of sura Al-Fatehah in the 1st position of the physical composition of the Quran and its content along with its numeric properties makes it different from the rest of the Quran, being our guidance.
f. In the prayer, we cannot give guidance to God reciting a short sura or a part of any long sura from our guidance. It can be clear from a simple logic that we need God’s guidance but God does not need our guidance. It always moves down not moves up.
g. Since there is conformity in the God’s system, God has given us specific words in the sura 1: Al-Fatehah for our redemption being Children of Adam as He gave Adam and Eve specific words for their redemption that has reflected in the following verses of the Quran:
[7:23] They (both) said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive for us and have mercy on us, surely, we will be with the losers.”
[2:37] Then, Adam received words from his Lord, so He redeemed him. He is the Redeemer, the Merciful.
[48:23] God’s system which has certainly passed from the past, and you will not find that there is any change in God’s system.
2. The recitation of the word, “Aaaameen” upon completion of the recitation of Al-Fatehah is the distortion of Al-Fatehah, destroying its numeric property such as the cumulative total of its verse numbers is equal to its total number of words in the 7 verses, which is 28. Besides, the origin of this word is not confirmed to be Arabic while the Arabic instance of “Amin” means to entrust, secure etc.. Moreover, the purpose of reciting this word is addressed in the recitation of returning to standing from bowing – God responds who praises Him (sami-‘a allahu liman hameedah).
3. The recitation of the phrase, Rabbanaa Lakal- Hamd at standing position i.e., upon returning to standing from bowing and before making a move to prostration to praise God is an extra recitation as every position and every move there is a specific recitation, and the recitation specified at the standing position is the recitation of Al-Fatehah being Allahu Akbar to open the prayer. Thus, the recitation of this phrase even breaks the ground rule. In addition, there is no enough time between returning to standing from bowing and before making a move to prostration to recite this phrase to observe Salat being reverent to God, which is already done in the 2nd verse of sura Al-Fatehah.
4. The recitation of the Arabic phrase, Allahumma Aghfirlee warHamnee wa-Ehdinee war-Zuqqnee between two prostrations is an extra recitation as Salat is just to remember God for the nourishment of our souls as well as to implore Him for guiding us to the straight path but not imploring Him for anything like our health, provisions, wellbeing etc.. In addition, there is no enough time between two prostrations to recite this phrase to observe Salat being reverent to God while the recitation as specified at sitting is tashahhud “Ash-hadu An laa-Elaha Ella Allah; Wahdahu; laa-Shareeka Lah”. Thus, such recitation also breaks the ground rule.
5. Tashahhud is recited to dedicate our prayer to God alone (Ash-hadu An laa-Elaha Ella Allah; Wahdahu; laa-Shareeka Lah), which is distorted by adding the recitation of imploring God for peace and mercy of Muhammad as well as declaring Muhammad as a messenger of God. We do not need to introduce Muhammad to God, as He knows who he is and He has chosen him as a messenger. It is our concern that we can accept him as a messenger of God just to focus on the message (Quran) sent through him, and absolutely, there is no focus on any person whoever he may be. Even, it does not make any sense from our common sense that when Muhammad prayed or led the prayer he had done such recitation. The recitation in the Salat is the same for all of us whether anyone is a messenger, prophet, shahaba, mulla or imam. Thus, the recitation in the Salat is universal and there are many good reasons of it. So there should not be any confusion that it has been distorted by the so called religious scholars down the generations like many other insertions they have done in the God’s religion. However, the divinely preserved Talbiyah (Labbayka, allahumma labbayk; labbayka, laa-shareeka laka labbayk. Innal-hamda wan-n’imata laka wal-mulk, laa-shareeka lak) recited by the pilgrims throughout the Hajj is a physical evidence for us to understand the distortion of Tashahhud, which has conformity with it.
6. Darud is recited at the sitting position asking God for blessings of Muhammad and Ibrahim including their families. But Salat is not designed by God for imploring Him for the blessings of any prophet and his families except asking Him for the redemption of our sins and the nourishment of our individual soul even if we pray in a group. In addition, it is the direct violation of the commandment in the Quran “Make no distinction between any of His messengers” as found in 2:136, 2:285, 3:84 & 4:152. Hence, we do not even need to think to understand that Darud is an extra recitation to corrupt the Salat idolizing prophets Muhammad and Ibrahim.
7. Salaam is recited to end the prayer wishing the Peace of God upon all the believers to stay in the straight path what we ask Him in the recitation of verse 6 of sura Al-Fatehah. Hence, appending the extra word, wa-Rahmatullah is a distortion of the Salaam (As’salamu `Alaykum).
In addition to the logical evidences described above, God has also provided us the means to physically confirm the correct method to observe Salat eliminating any traces of doubts from our hearts through reflecting on certain numeric properties of Al-Fatehah and 6 other Arabic phrases that are recited in the Salat prayer as shown in the tables below:
Table 1a: Numeric properties of Sura Al –Fatehah
Note: The juxtaposition of sura # and its sequence of verse # represents the recitation of Al-Fatehah.
Table 1b: Numeric properties of Sura Al –Fatehah (upper and lower lips touching)
Table 2: Numeric properties of 6 Arabic phrase
Table 3: Numeric properties of all recitation
Fact 1: The juxtaposition of sura # of Al-Fatehah, which is 1, and its sequence of verse # which is 1234567 represents the recitation of sura Al-Fatehah, and the resulting number is a multiple of 19 => 11234567 = 19x591293 (see table 1a for details).
This mathematical interpretation confirms that we must only recite sura Al-Fatehah consisting of 7 verses as placed in the number 1 position in the composition of the Quran, without combination of any sura or a part of a sura at standing position and this is the only recitation that has been prescribed for the standing position considering the recitation of “Allahu Akbar” for opening of the prayer being a separate step and it is noteworthy that every rak’ah (unit) starts with the recitation of “Allahu Akbar”.
Fact 2: When sura Al Fatehah is recited our upper and lower lips touch each other precisely 19 times where there are “Baa” and “Meem” in the Arabic words. There are 4 Baa’s and 15 Meem’s) in the Al Fatehah. In addition, the total gematrical value of the 4 Baa’s (4×2) and 15 Meem’s (15×40), is a multiple of 19 => 8 + 600 = 608 = 19x32 (see table 1b for details).
This mathematical confirmation is a clear indication that the sura 1: Al-Fatehah is especially designed and given to us for our prayer as well as redemption of our sins in addition to its numeric properties such as # of verses, # of words and # letters in it. Hence, any type of distortion of it such as any other recitation between Allahu Akbar and Al-Fatehah, silent recitation of its first verse and the recitation of Aaaameen at its end nullifies our prayer.
Fact 3: The distribution pattern of word number in the Al-Fatehah consisting of 28 words, which is 2:3:4:8 is as same as the distribution pattern of word number in the other 6 Arabic phrases consisting of 22 words recited in different positions including opening and ending the prayer, which is also 2:3:4:8 (see table 1a and table 2 for details).
This mathematical interpretation is a confirmation to eliminate any distortions and extra recitation from the recitation of Salat to observe Salat with appropriate recitation. Hence, the Salat is designed with a specific number of words and we must discard the words or phrases that have been added to corrupt the recitation of the Salat even some words or phrases may sound appropriate to us to make the corruptions attractive to us being the bait of the Satan and his allies.
Fact 4: If we add the total number of components of recitation, which is 7, the total number of words in the recitation, which is 50 and the total number of letters in the recitation, which is 228, the sum is a multiple of 19 => 7 + 50 + 228 = 285 = 19x15 (see table 3 for details).
This simple mathematical interpretation is a letter level confirmation of the recitation what should be recited at different positions to observe Salat at 5 times a day eliminating any distortion and extra recitation at any position of Salat prayer, leaving no room for any confusion but the solid proof of appropriate recitation for the vast majority of Muslims all over the world, which is a big concern for them, even its details are missing in the literature of the Quran in their view.
Fact 5: The total verse # of the sura 1: Al-Fatehah, which is 7 equals to the total # of components of recitation of Salat, which is 7 as well (see table 1a and table 3 for details).
This mathematical symmetry is a clear indication that the recitation in Salat is especially designed with the sura 1: Al-Fatehah and the 6 other Arabic phrases to be recited in different positions, and is given to us for observing the Salat for the growth of our souls as well as redemption of our sins.
The practice of Salat is very old but God has preserved its method, even today when the practice has been corrupted in many ways. But still Muslims around the world pray in the same way following the same steps and physical positions such as 1. opening, 2. standing, 3. bowing, 4. returning to standing from bowing, 5. Going to prostration from standing, 6. prostrating, 7. sitting, 8. returning to standing from prostration, 9. returning to sitting from prostration, 10. ending (turning the face right and left). When we are aware of such divine preservation, do we still should have difficulty to understand that why a set of detailed instructions how to observe Salat is not included in the Quran?
However, a set of detailed instructions that many of us may expect is not in the Quran but it has appropriate detail to understand the corruptions to get rid of them as made to the recitation of the Salat down the generations. Moreover, God has provided us a means in the Quran to physically confirm the correct method to observe Salat eliminating any traces of doubts from our hearts. Now Muslims around the world have to re-educate themselves to understand the Quran to find the fact from a given appropriate detail as assured by God. They also have to understand the mathematical coding of the Quran, an integral part of it and the reminder for the humans unveiled through His messenger when the punishment is almost due (27:82). This reminder is a blessing from God for the scientifically and technologically advanced community for accurate interpretation of His teachings and laws, and for confirming practices, commandments and events to have them done right way.
This study reveals distortions and extra recitation in the Salat prayer, entered stealthily may not be known to many of us. Besides, when people are accustomed to a corrupt practice for a sufficient period of time, it becomes normal to them. They go with the majority with a sense of security and accept the corrupt practice spread by the media without justification. Those who can realize that Salat is the prime source to nourish their souls but corrupt practice does not contribute to their growth for not being responded by God, can take initiatives to do it right way. If they wish to do so, would not have to make too much sacrifice but accept divine instructions and proofs to be righteous.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.