However, one of the prevalent myths in the western world is that Muhammad was the founder of Islam. Even the majority of people who call themselves Muslims think that the prophet Muhammad instituted the practices of Islam. In fact, Islam is called the “religion of Abraham” (Millata Ibrahima) throughout the Quran (2:130, 2:135, 3:95, 4:125, 6:161, 16:123) and all its practices were established with him, long before the Quran’s revelation (2:128, 21:73, 22:78). Thus, all the messengers came after Abraham observed the practices given to him by God (10:87, 19:31, 19:55, 19:59). This included the prophet Muhammad who was also enjoined to follow the religion of Abraham (16:123). These practices included the contact prayer (salat), the obligatory charity (zakat), the fasting (siyam) and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj). However, here are the details from the historical perspective and updates in the Quran to confirm the practices of Islam established with Abraham, long before the revelation of the Quran:
- Covenant with Abraham and Ismail to use the station of Abraham as a prayer house as well as to purify it for the people to go around as well as to bow and prostrate.
[2:125] And when we made the House a place of meeting for the people and security, “You shall use the station of Abraham as a prayer house, and we made a covenant with Abraham and Ismael that you shall purify My house for those who go around, those who devote, those who bow and those who prostrate.”
- Abraham prayed to make it (Mecca) a secure city and to provide its people with fruits, who believed in God while God promised to provide the disbelievers as well to give them temporary enjoyment, and then He will force them to the retribution of the Fire.
[2:126] And when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this a secure city, and provide its people with fruits to whoever among them believed in God and the Last Day.” He (God) said, “And whoever disbelieved, then I will grant him enjoyment a little, then I will force him to the retribution of the Fire and a miserable destination.”
- Abraham and Ismail prayed to teach them the religious rites and the scripture raising up messengers from among their descendants:
[2:127] And when Abraham and Ismael raised the foundations of the House (they prayed), “Our Lord, accept this from us. You are the Hearer, the Omniscient.”
[2:128] “Our Lord, make us submitters to You, and from our descendants let there be a community of submitters to You. And show us our rites and redeem us. You are the Redeemer, the Most Merciful.
[2:129] “Our Lord, and raise up in them a messenger from them to recite to them Your revelations, and teach them the scripture and the wisdom, and purify them. You are the Almighty, the Most Wise.”
- They said “you have to be Jews or Christians to be guided,”rather you have to follow the religion of Abraham not to make you fool.
[2:130] And who would turn away from the religion of Abraham (millati Ibrahima), except one who fooled himself? And we have chosen him in this world, and in the Hereafter he will be with the righteous.
[2:135] And they said, “Be Jews or Christians that you may be guided.” Say, “No, (we follow) the religion of Abraham (millati Ibrahima)– monotheism (haneefan), and he was not an idol worshiper.”
- Fasting is decreed for us in the Quran, which was also decreed for the previous generation, making the update of permitting sexual relation during the nights of fasting.
[2:183] O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, so that you may be righteous.
[2:187] Permitted for you is to approach unto your wives during the nights of fasting. They are garments for you and you are garments for them. God knew that you used to betray your souls. So He has redeemed you and has forgiven you. Now, you may have relation with them and seek what God has prescribed for you. And you may eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then, you shall fast until the night. And do not have relation with them while you are devoted in the masjid. These are the God given limits, so do not transgress them. Thus, God makes His revelations clear to the people so that they may be righteous.
- God has informed us the truth that anyone who submits himself to God and follows the religion of Abraham is a righteous one.
[3:95] Say, “God has informed the truth. Then, you shall follow the religion of Abraham (millati Ibrahima) – monotheism (haneefan), and he was not an idol worshiper.”
[4:125] And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to God, and he is a righteous and follows the religion of Abraham (millati Ibrahima) – monotheism (haneefan)? And God has accepted Abraham as a (devoted) friend.
- Covenant with the Children of Israel for observing the contact prayer and paying off the obligatory charity.
[5:12] God took a covenant from the Children of Israel; and we raised among them twelve patriarchs (naqeeban). And God said, “I am with you, if you observe the contact prayer (salat), give the obligatory charity (zakat), and believe in My messengers and support them, and loan to God a loan of righteousness, then I will, surely remove your evil deeds and admit you into gardens with the rivers flowing beneath them. But whoever disbelieved after this among you, he has, certainly strayed off the right path.”
- A prayer of righteous to be guided in a straight path, the perfect religion of Abraham.
[6:161] Say, “My Lord has guided me in a straight path, the perfect religion of Abraham (millata ibrahima) –monotheism (haneefan), and he was not an idol worshiper.”
- The disbelievers deserved the punishment for not remembering God being devoted to Him in their prayer.
[8:35] And their contact prayer at the Shrine was nothing but an imitation with voice and posture (mukaan watasdiyatan). So, taste the retribution because of what you used to disbelieve.
- Moses and his brother were commanded to make their houses as places of worshipin Egypt, which was an opportunity for them and their people to observe the contact prayer.
[10:87] And we inspired Moses and his brother that settle your peoples in houses of Egypt, and make your houses as places of worship (qiblatan) and observe the contact prayer (salat). And give good news to the believers.
- Abraham prayed for making him and his descendants to be observer of the contact prayer expecting acceptance from their Lord.
[14:40] My Lord, make me an observer of the contact prayer (salat), and from my children. Our Lord, and accept my prayer.
- Muhammad was enjoined to follow the religion of Abraham while he had been chosen to deliver the final scripture, the Quran as guidance, clear teachings and statute book (2:185).
[16:123] Then we inspired you (Muhammad) that you shall follow the religion of Abraham, (millata ibrahima) – monotheism (haneefan), and he was not an idol worshiper.
- The believers were commanded to observe the contact prayer with a moderate tone.
[17:110] Say, “Call God, or call the Most Gracious; whatever you call, to Him the best names.” And do not be loud in your contact prayer (salat) nor be silent in it, and seek between that manner (moderate tone).
- Jesus observed the contact prayer and paid off the obligatory charity as long as he was alive.
[19:31] “And He made me (Jesus) blessed wherever I go, and enjoined me with the contact prayer (salat) and the obligatory charity (zakat) as long as I am alive.
- Ismail advised his family to observe the contact prayer and to give the obligatory charity.
[19:55] He (Ismail) used to enjoin his family with the contact prayer (salat) and the obligatory charity (zakat), and his Lord was pleased with him.
- The later generations of people who lost their contact prayer will suffer the consequences.
[19:59] Then generations came after them who lost the contact prayer (salat), and they followed the desires. So, they will see the consequence.
- Abraham and his descendants were made imams and they were commanded to do righteous works as well as to observe the contact prayer and to give the obligatory charity.
[21:73] We made them (Abraham, Lot, Issac, Jacob) imams who guided with our commandments, and we inspired to them to do righteous works, and to observe the contact prayer (salat) and to give the obligatory charity (zakat). And they were worshipers of us.
- The location of the House was assigned to Abraham to use it as a prayer house and to purify it for the people to go around as well as to bow and prostrate.
[22:26] And when we assigned to Abraham the location of the House that do not associate anything with Me and you shall purify My House for those who go around, those who devote, those who bow and those who prostrate.
- God has commanded us to strive in His cause as we should strive for His cause according to the religion of our father Abraham, who named us Submitters, which made requirements for us to observe the contact prayer, to give the obligatory charity and to hold fast to God as He is the best Lord and the best Supporter.
[22:78] And you shall strive in the cause of God as you should strive for His cause. He has chosen you and has placed no hardship on you in the religion, the religion of your father Abraham. He is the one who named you “Submitters” from before as well as in this. Thus, the messenger shall serve as a witness among you, and you shall serve as witnesses among the people. So you shall observe the contact prayer (salat) and give the obligatory charity (zakat), and hold fast to God; He is your Lord, the best Lord and the best Supporter.
- The marriage of Moses was a historical event, which indicates that Hajj did exist long before.
[28:27] He said: “I wish you to marry one of my two daughters that you serve me for eight pilgrimage period of time (hijajin), but if you complete ten, it will be from your part, and I do not wish to make it difficult for you. God willing, you will find me righteous.”
- Luqman advised his son to observe the contact prayer as well as to advocate righteousness, to forbid from the evil and to be patient.
[31:17] “O my (Luqman) son, you shall observe the contact prayer (salat), and advocate righteousness, and forbid from the evil, and be patient over what befalls you. These are the most honorable traits.
- The history of Abraham and Ismail has a connection with two Hajj ritualssuch as (1) animal sacrifice and (2) stoning for condemnation of Satan.
[37:102] When he grew enough to work with him, he said, “O my son, I see in a dream that I am sacrificing you. What do you think?” He said, “O my father, do what you are commanded to do. You will find me, God willing, patient.”
[37:103] So when they both submitted, and he put his forehead down.
[37:104] And we called him: “O Abraham.
[37:105] You have fulfilled the dream.” It is thus that we reward the righteous.
[37:106] Indeed, it was a difficult test.
[37:107] And we ransomed him with a great sacrifice.
[37:108] And we left him in the later generations.
- Percentage of obligatory charity (zakat) came down to us from the past as known amount.
[70:24] And they set aside a known amount (haqqun maloomun) of their wealth.
Literary confirmation of the practices of Islam established with Abraham found in 34 verses across 17 suras, has also a mathematical confirmation. The total of the relevant sura and verse number is a multiple of 19 => 3496 = 19x184 (see the table below for details):
It is noted that the verse, 17:110 is the update of observing the contact prayer with a moderate tone while the verse, 2:187 is the update of permitting sexual relation during the nights of fasting.
The references in connection with the ancient shrine (Ka’ba) founded by Abraham together with Ismail, the prayers of Abraham, the practices of the messengers and the righteous after Abraham, the covenant with the children of Israel, and updates of certain practices bear sufficient proofs that the practices of Islam existed, long before the revelation of the Quran. Even the literary information supported by the mathematical confirmation strengthens our hearts eliminating any traces of doubts to accept this truth from God. Thus, those who believe the prevalent myths around us that Muhammad was the founder of Islam or he instituted the practices of Islam show their ignorance of the Quran.
It is a fact that Islam is called the “religion of Abraham” (Millata Ibrahima) in the Quran as all religious practices of Islam were established with him. These practices included the contact prayer (Salat), the obligatory charity (Zakat), the fasting of Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) while the Quran only deals with the practices of Islam where there were updates in any of those practices. The tone of voice during the contact prayer was set to a moderate tone while the sexual relation was permitted during the nights of fasting if someone does not devote himself in the masjid considering the Ramadan being a blessed month for enhance remembrance of God while to do it for experiencing the Night of Power (laylatal qadr) is an innovation. Thus, all the messengers came after Abraham observed the practices given to him by God including the prophet Muhammad.
In addition, the majority of Muslims today have distorted the teachings of Muhammad, just like the Jews and Christians distorted the teachings of Moses and Jesus, respectively. Instead of following the guidance of the Quran, they believe in conjecture and insist on following the innovations and corrupted practices attributed to Muhammad. Is it not unfortunate to mention that this is the fate of the true religion of God in the world? However, if we can concentrate to the fact that the practices of Islam were established with Abraham, long before the revelation of the Quran, and can go with the truth, instead of myths and conjectures around us, our chances would be higher to get into the Hereafter to enjoy the eternal happiness therein avoiding the painful retribution as promised by God.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.