Meaning Of The Term Ṣalāh

Question

The Qur'an uses hundred of times the words "Aqīmū al-ṣalāh". Does it mean, only to make a line and perform stand and sit? Please clarify. The Prophet (sws) and the Companions are thought only to have permission for this 'Yoga' or something meaningful later hidden by history.


Answer

We believe that when the Qur'an commands the believers aqīmū al-ṣalāh or uses the word ṣalāh and its cognate terms it means to diligently offer the ṣalāh. What is ṣalāh? The Prophet Muhammad (sws) and the Muslim community of his time took it to mean the same ṣalāh the Muslims offer all over the world. It has not been constructed on the basis of isolated ḥadīth reports but the entire Muslim generation of the Prophet's time was taught this and their children leant it from them. The process continued till our time without interruption. Therefore, there is no doubt in that the first addressees of the Qur'an including the Prophet (sws) took the word to mean the ṣalāh we know today. Our knowledge is absolutely certain and sound as it has reached us through the most authentic historical process. The Qur'anic references to ṣalāh also make it abundantly clear that it is only the worship ritual which is intended. I am sorry your derogatory comment on the worship ritual of Islam is not a praiseworthy act. We need to learn to respect the worship rituals of the believers.

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