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Religious Duties


By Ijaz Chaudry



AM - Al-Muzzammil


SBO - A Gift From God

When Abraham implored God in 14:40, he did not ask for wealth or health; the gift he implored for was: "Please God, make me one who observes the contact prayers (Salah)." The religious duties instituted by God are in fact a great gift from Him. They constitute the nourishment required for the growth and development of our Souls. Without such nourishment, we cannot survive the immense energy associated with God's physical presence on the Day of Judgment. Belief in God does not by itself guarantee our redemption; we must also nourish our souls (6:158, 10:90-92). Additionally, 15:99 states that observing the religious duties instituted by God is our means of attaining certainty:


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AM - There are several verses in the Quran, which contradict the highlighted statement made by SBO above such as;


(Quran 5:69) Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, and the Christians; any of them who (1) believe in GOD and (2) believe in the Last Day, and (3) lead a good life, have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.


This verse is complete in itself and God's promise to the world; this verse does not stipulate that one has to do the rites of Islam, only the three simple things have to be observed as stated above.


Please correct me if I am wrong SBO, your understanding of "nourishing the souls" mean practicing the five pillars of Islam? This understanding as emphasised in the Quran translation done by Dr Rashad Khalifa where he has used one word "righteous", to explain three different Arabic words with three different meaning into one. And the word "righteous" is understood to be performance of the rites of Islam. This phenomenon is touched in the next topic conclusion.


You have stated (Quran 6:158) in support of your argument;

(Quran 6:158) Are they waiting for the angels to come to them, or your Lord, or some physical manifestations of your Lord? The day this happens, no soul will benefit from believing if it did not believe before that, and did not reap the benefits of belief by leading a good life. Say, "Keep on waiting; we too are waiting."


The Arabic word here is "khairun" which is "leading a good life" and nothing to do with performing rites of Islam. I know Dr Rashad Khalifa has translated this word as "righteous" which most people understand it to be maintaining the rites of Islam. And sometimes it is misleading as in this verse (Quran 6:158). The Arabic word for "righteous" is "mutaqeen", which is also used in the Quran, but sparingly. The word "mutaqeen" is indeed related to rites of Islam, but that word is not used in this verse.


But there is more simpler and profound verses which all Muslims recite when they perform Salat, but totally ignore its meaning in their lives as follows;


(Quran 1:6) Guide us in the right path;

(Quran 1:7) the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers.


All the prophets were blessed, and religion is not compulsion (Quran 2:256), therefore according to (Quran 1:6-7) we can follow the path of any prophet we wish. Since prophet Adam and Noah only believed in God, it makes it okay to do that, for those who wish to do that.


Those who want to follow Abraham, and perform rites of Islam that is also okay and they will be paid there due rewards therein if the rites are performed correctly.


Our God is a Just God who is cognisant of the past and the future. So if God allowed Adam and Noah to redeem them, with only belief in God, then why would God not allow believers today to do the same? We know God's system remains the same.


I don’t want to leave any stone unturned; therefore I will explain all the verses you have applied to promote your understanding of "A gift From God", these are as follows;


(Quran 14:40) "My Lord, make me one who consistently observes the Contact Prayers (Salat), and also my children. Our Lord, please answer my prayers.


Abraham's request to God to consistently observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), was specific to him and his children. It was definitely not for all believers!! If it would have been for all believers than it would have contradicted (Quran 5:69) and several other verses of the Quran, some of which have already been discussed under this topic. 


(Quran 15:98) You shall sing the praises of your Lord, and be with the prostrators.

(Quran 15:99) And worship your Lord, in order to attain certainty.


Once again (Quran 15:98) emphasises the fact that these are specific believers who follow Abraham and do the Contact Prayer's (Salat). It is quite true that if one requires obtaining certainty one has to perform correct rites of Islam. These two verses do not apply to all believers, based on (Quran 1:6-7 & 5:69), and explained earlier. We know the difference between Muslims and Mu'mens (Submitters and Believers) (Quran 49:14). (Quran 15:98-99) is talking about Mu'mens.  According to the Quran those who follow (Quran 5:69) are classed as Muslims (Submitters).


(Quran 10:90) We delivered the Children of Israel across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them, aggressively and sinfully. When drowning became a reality for him, he said, "I believe that there is no god except the One in whom the Children of Israel have believed; I am a submitter."


(Quran 10:91) "Too late! For you have rebelled already, and chose to be a transgressor”.


(Quran 10:92) "Today, we will preserve your body, to set you up as a lesson for future generations." Unfortunately, many people are totally oblivious to our signs.


Once again believing in God is the only reference made by Pharaoh in (Quran 10:90) without deliberating in how he would be a submitter. He did not emphasise the fact that he will perform rites of Islam; he only talked about belief in God. The obvious reason for him not being accepted as a believer was that he was overwhelmed by the fear of dying and that was the reason why he said that he is a submitter.


Indeed, (Quran 10:91) is in line with the fact that one of the factors of being submitter is to lead a good life and Pharaoh did not do that he transgressed, a secondary reason why God did not accept him as a submitter (Quran 5:69).



The following verses I believe sums up this page, "study the Quran carefully";

(4:82) Why do they not study the Quran carefully? If it were from other than GOD, they would have found in it numerous contradictions.


(54:17) We made the Quran easy to learn. Does any of you wish to learn?