Question: I have been browsing the internet for Quranist websites and their views on salat (commonly understood to be the Muslim ritual prayer) is very worrying? Why do you modify the Salat which the Muslims agree on and why do some of you reject it totally?
The question of Salat is usually the first one asked by other Muslims to Quranists upon hearing that we reject Islamic Traditions. How else can we learn to pray, they ask?
Because Quranism is an association of individuals and groups, we do not have a single explanation for our views on salat. However, we are content to say that Salat as what the Traditional Muslims depict is not the ubiquitous institution they say it is.
For a start, the Quran doesn’t tell us:
1. How many times there are (as in with the phrase ‘X number of times’. See 24/58 for times of privacy which explicitly uses ‘three times’)
2. What to recite for any prayers.
3. What is the format of movement
If Salat was the institution that Traditional Muslims say it is, why is there so much variation?
Please note that this article isn’t saying ‘don’t perform any ritual’. If the ritual prayer works for you, by all means practise it. It is advisable to continue to increase your knowledge of The Quran, and apply as you learn.
Further reading about Salat from various Quranists’ perspectives:
- Quranic Salat and its Role in Establishing Islam and Imaan
- The Purpose of Salat
- Defining Salat
- Disproved once and for all: salat = prayer
- Three or Five Prayers in the Quran?
- An understanding of salat from Al Quran (The Reading)
- Thoughts on Salat Timings
- Compilation of the Salat Discussions
- Quran on Salat