Some people say there is no form of worshipping in our religion and that salah (prayer) is used in the meaning of dua (supplication) in the Quran. Is it true?

Details of the Question
Some people say that there is no salah (prayer) in the Quran, that it is mentioned as dua and that it should be made through the heart. Will you inform us about the issue?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

When a person accepts a creator, this accepting necessitates a price and a reward. We will pay this price and Allah will give us a reward. That is, a person who accepts Allah as his Lord eats from where Allah orders. He breathes in air and drinks water from the place where he is ordered; he sees, hears and thinks from where he is ordered. That is, a person cannot say, “I believe in Allah but I will eat with my ear, not with my mouth. I will smell with my mouth, not with my nose; I will hear with my eye, not with my ear; I will see with my ear, not with my eye.”

If he says so, he will be disgraced. He will also end his life because he has acted contrarily to the divine laws in the universe.

Similarly, a person who does not worship in the way that is ordered in the Quran, which is Allah's second shari’ah and law, will fall into the same state. For, Allah says,“perform prayers (salah)”. If man says, “O Lord! I believe in You but I do not have to obey Your order regarding this issue. I will act as I wish”, he will definitely harm his spiritual life. Since Allah has power over everything, since He is the chief of everything, since our life continues by everything obeying His order and we feel comfortable, we will be His real slaves by obeying His orders as everything in the universe does.

Fards cannot be interpreted. Nobody has the right to misinterpret fards and to distort the truth. For, there is no vague point that necessitates interpretation. Allah ordered it and the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) taught the believers how to do it throughout his life. These orders were applied in all of the centuries that followed the Era of Bliss. The spiritual guides who lived in those centuries gave great importance to nafilah worshipping along with fards so that believers would make progress in approaching God. Big and small mosques, religious schools and dervish lodges were abundant everywhere.   

Then, the end of time approached. People started to indulge in the world, move away from the religion, indulge in debauchery and pursue their own interests. People abandoned worshipping, threw knowledge aside, moved away from understanding; the feeling of taqwa in hearts decreased.

In Arabic, prayer means "salah"; its plural form is salawat. Prayer is a deed of worshipping that starts with takbir and ends with salutation, and that includes certain acts and words. It is an expression of glorifying, extolling and thanking Allah. Prayer is mentioned in more than ninety times in the Quran.

The phrase "perform prayers and pay zakah" is used in many places in the Quran.

"Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers especially the middle prayer." (al-Baqara, 2/238).

"Such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times." (an-Nisa, 4/103).

"And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being True (in faith); to establish regular Prayer; and to practise regular Charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight." (al-Bayyina, 98/5).

"So establish regular Prayer give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector― the― Best to protect and the Best to help." (al-Hajj, 22/78).

When the Prophet (pbuh) sent Muadh b. Jabal to Yemen, he said to Muadh:

"You are going to people of a (Divine) Book. First of all invite them to worship Allah (alone) and when they come to know Allah, inform them that Allah has enjoined on them, five prayers in every day and night; and if they start offering these prayers, inform them that Allah has enjoined on them, the Zakah. And it is to be taken from the rich amongst them and given to the poor amongst them; and if they obey you in that, take Zakah from them and avoid (don't take) the best property of the people as Zakah. Avoid the curse of an oppressed person because there is no screen between his invocation and Allah." (Bukhari, Zakah, 41, 63; Nasai, Zakah, 1; Darimi, Zakah, I).

As it is known, the main source of Islamic sciences is the Quran and hadiths. Hadiths are the news from the Prophet (pbuh) about his words, deeds and consent (approval). They also include the principles that need to be obeyed and accepted as model.

The Prophet (pbuh) said,

"Pray as you have seen me praying."(Bukhari, Adhan, 18)

 Then, a person who performs prayers unlike the Prophet (pbuh) are not regarded to perform prayers.

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