The Second Pillar of Islam: How Muhammad Treated Prayers.
Did Muhammad fear Allah and respect Prayers?
In articles 4A-G in this series, we have studied the various types of prayers in Islam and how they benefited our prophet. Most of Muhammad clever followers understood the motives behind his establishment of the prayers. So they preferred to go Jihad, which brought them wealth and women, than bearing the burden of praying and spending most of their time with Muhammad in his mosque-cum-military camp. Prayers were the traps that Muhammad used to bribe, recruit, and train his follower for Jihad, and finally send them to Jihad expeditions against the non-Muslim tribes. That was his ultimate goal. When a few of his followers really took the prayers as the way of salvation, Muhammad was disturbed by their attitude, and spoke to them openly to advised that they should not be too religious and spend too much time on praying.
The best deed is prayer. Don’t pray excessively. But offer prayers regularly. (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:41)
“You should not be extremist in religion, but try to be near to perfection. Pray in the mornings, afternoons and during the last hours of the nights. The most beloved religion to Allah is the tolerant HANIIFIYA”. (Sahih al-Bukhari 1:38)
Narrated Ibn Mas’ud: A man kissed a woman (unlawfully) and then went to the Prophet and informed him. Allah revealed: And offer prayers perfectly at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night (i.e. the five compulsory prayers). Verily! Good deeds remove (annul) the evil deeds (small sins) (11.114). The man asked Allah’s Apostle “Is it for me?” He said, “It is for all my followers.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:504)
The major purpose of Muhammad’s creation of Islam was to capture the revenue-generating pagan temple of Kaaba at his ancestral city of Mecca. Sensing his real intentions, the nobles of Mecca offered him shared equal position in management of the Kabaa, if he stopped mocking their gods. Our greedy prophet turned down the offer, because he wanted to become a sole proprietor of the Kabaa, and continued to mock their gods. To silence him, the people of his tribe too started mocking on him. When his uncle and protector Abu Talib died, who had pledged to protect Muhammad with his blood, he started feeling insecure and decided to leave Mecca. He immediately made a trip to Taif to find refuge their, but the people of Taif refused him. Then, in another two years, Medina was becoming a fertile ground for him to emigrate to as his faith was spreading there. And on one fine day in June 622, when most of Meccan his followers had already migrated to Medina, Muhammad allegedly fearing a possible attack ran away Mecca by leaving his cousin Ali in his bed to suffer the possible attack. Muhammad always wanted someone else to sacrifice their life for him–in this case, Ali, his cousin and son of his protector Abu-Talib. So, this was the payback for sacrifice and protection Abu Talib accorded to Muhammad.
When Muhammad came to Medina he stayed first in his grandfathers or maternal uncles’ house. (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:39) (Due to security reasons)
Muhammad always feared for his life and didn’t trust others in this matter. That was what expected when he created so many enemies on his way to success by underhand and violent means. Yet eventually, Muhammad had to taste his own medicine as he died of poisoning by a Jewess, whose whole family was brutally killed by Muhammad during his raid on Khybar, or he might have been assassinated by a close relative.
While he left Mecca, the desperate Muhammad gave up the idea of becoming the proprietor of the wealthy temple of Kaaba and the leader of Mecca. But he never gave up his ambition for power and leadership. Power-hungry as he was, Muhammad, having found refuge in Medina, wanted to try his luck to become the ruler of his adopted city to fulfill his dream in one way or another. After reaching Medina, a mixed city of Jews and Pagans—Jews being the wealthy and dominant, he has decided to deceive the Jews and started elevating the Jewish God and their sacred religious places and symbols in his new verses. He started offering his pagan prayers facing toward Jerusalem, where was the sacred Jewish temple of Solomon (Bait-Al-Maqdis). Thus, the Jewish temple of Solomon (Baith Al-Maqdis) at Jerusalem replaced the Pagan temple of Kabaa at Mecca as the as Qibla of his prayers. He also adopted many of customs of the Jews, such as fasting, circumcision, ablution (wudu) and prohibition of pork meat etc. He hoped that this will please the Jews of Medina and accept him as their leader. In this way, he sacrificed the ‘House of Allah’ – ‘Baith Allah’ that Allah allegedly created prior to this Universe without any ceremony. He carried out this sacrifice on his own without any external pressure. The Jews were pleased that Muhammad turned toward their sacred temple at Jerusalem, but rejected his call to embrace Islam as they understood the hidden agenda and found many errors in his verses. But as Muhammad his blood-soaking raids on Meccan caravans for making a living, the peace-loving Jews of Medina started rethinking their support to this highway robber. When they realized his intentions of becoming the ruler of Medina using Islam as bait, the Jews started mocking his creed and criticize his violent actions. After nearly 17 months, Muhammad eventually realized that the Jews will not only reject his religion, but may even harm it by revealing many weaknesses and errors in his verses. So, on the hand he decided to eliminate them, and on the other, he started turning the focus of Islam away from Jerusalem to Mecca. So he changed the Qibla towards the Kabaa in Mecca again after 17 months. There are several hadiths on this subject.
Narrated Bara’ bin ‘Azib: Allah’s Apostle prayed facing Baitul-Maqdis for sixteen or seventeen months but he loved to face the Ka’ba (at Mecca) so Allah revealed: “Verily, We have seen the turning of your face to the heaven!” (Quran 2:144) So the Prophet faced the Ka’ba and the fools amongst the people namely “the Jews” said, “What has turned them from their Qibla (Bait-ul-Maqdis) which they formerly observed”" (Allah revealed): “Say: ‘To Allah belongs the East and the West. He guides whom he will to a straight path’.” (Quran 2:142) A man prayed with the Prophet (facing the Ka’ba) and went out. He saw some of the Ansar Praying the ‘Asr prayer with their faces towards Bait-ul-Maqdis, he said, “I bear witness that I prayed with Allah’s Apostle facing the Ka’ba.” So the people turned their faces towards the Ka’ba. Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:8:392,395-397
According to the Quran, Muhammad never did anything on his own. Whatever he did was Allah’s wish.
He does not speak of his own desire but it is a revelation sent to him” (Quran 53:3-4)
But the hadiths quoted above inform us that he offered his prayers toward Baitul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for 16-17 months, but he turned toward the Kabaa after Allah revealed verses, commanding to do so. But if the Quranic verses 53:3-4 are true, did someone else than Allah earlier command Muhammad to turn toward Jerusalem for praying? And if it was also Allah command, then why Allah says different thing in different verse? (Quran 2:144)
Who forced Muhammad to take Jerusalem as Qibla for 17 months? After failing to become the leader of Mecca, Muhammad started his luck to become the leader of Medina. And to impress the dominant community of Jews of Medina, he created a false ancestry of his own with the Jewish patriarch Ibrahim and his son Ishmael, and started praying facing towards the sacred Jewish temple of Solomon at Jerusalem. The educated Jews, particularly their Rabbis, were not ready to accept his plagiarized forgery of Jewish scriptures. For seventeen months, he tried hard to persuade them. Finally, when Muhammad lost his hopes, he changed the direction of prayer back toward Mecca, and started attacking the Jews with ferocity until he captured all their towns and villages in Medina.
This is how Muhammad respected the most sacred Muslim holy place, “The Kaaba”.
Muhammed prayed facing the enemy.
At the Battle of Dhat ar-Riqa’, a group formed a row and prayed along with Muhammad, and a group fought with the enemy. He led the group which was along with him. Then they departed and formed a row facing the enemy. Then the second group came and he led them in the remaining prayer. (SAHIH MUSLIM 4:1829)
Muhammad said prayer in front of she-asses, sheep and she-camels.
Muhammad may have said his prayers in front of different things as pagan creeds respect all kind of things. But I don’t understand why he would say prayers in front of ‘she-ass’ and ‘she-camels”. However, several hadiths inform us that Muhammad always rode on ‘she-animals’!
Narrated Abu Al-Taiyah: Anas said, “The Prophet prayed in the sheep fold.” Later on I heard him saying, “He prayed in the sheep folds before the construction of the mosque.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:8:421)
Narrated Nafi: “I saw Ibn ‘Umar praying while taking his camel as a Sutra in front of him and he said, “I saw the Prophet doing the same.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:8:422)
Narrated Nafi: “The Prophet used to make his she-camel sit across and he would pray facing it (as a Sutra).” I asked, “What would the Prophet do if the she-camel was provoked and moved?” He said, “He would take its camel-saddle and put it in front of him and pray facing its back part (as a Sutra). And Ibn ‘Umar used to do the same.” (Sahih-Al-Bukhari 1:9:485)
Praying with a donkey in front of you is okay … but not a woman.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Once I came riding a she-ass when I had just attained the age of puberty. Allah’s Apostle was offering the prayer at Mina with no wall in front of him and I passed in front of some of the row. There I dismounted and let my she-ass loose to graze and entered the row and nobody objected to me about it. (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:9:472)
My Muslim brethren! We mentioned earlier about the equal importance given to Muhammad’s Mosque at Medina and the Kabaa at Mecca, although Kabaa is supposedly the House of Allah? Did you realize about the similarity, size and calligraphy of the names of Allah and Muhammad on the walls of every mosque and Muslim houses?
Muhammad had a perfect master-plan to promote him as equal to god, if not greater. So, he created his puppet god Allah to help him in promoting himself to the level of god. Evidence for this argument can be found in many verses of the Quran. He died unexpectedly and prematurely at the early age of 63, when he was still able to lead battles. Had Muhammad lived for some more years, then he would have been succeeded in placing himself above Allah, if completely replace him. It is impossible to discuss Muhammad’s life, his every action filled with ulterior motives, in a few pages. Muhammad’s life is an ‘ocean’, which needs to be exploring by spending lot of time studying Islamic scriptures to understand him fully.
“line up for prayers as soon as Iqama is said” – Muhammad.
My Muslim brethren! Have you ever seen any Imam or a Muslim, who run away or talking to someone for hours after the pronouncement of the Iqaama? Definitely never, because we fear Allah, and our prophet said, Allah and His angels are waiting for us as soon as the Iqaama has been pronounced. This is what is demanded by our Prophet in the following hadith:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “When you hear the Iqama, proceed to offer the prayer with calmness and solemnity and do not make haste. And pray whatever you are able to pray and complete whatever you have missed. (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:11:609)
“Iqama has been said? Allah, the Angels and you must wait for ME!” – Muhammad
What Muhammad said in the above hadith is only for gullible Muslims like us, who truly believe in Allah, but not for Muhammad, who deemed himself higher than his fake Allah and Angels.
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Abi Qatada: My father said. “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘If the Iqama is pronounced then do not stand for the prayer till you see me (in front of you).’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:11:610-611)
“Wait Allah! I just had sex!” – Muhammad
We Muslims do not dare to enter a mosque in the impure state of engaging in sexual acts because of our unshaken faith in Allah. Our prophet not only entered the mosque in sexually impure state, but also probably said Sunna prayer. Then when Iqama was announced Muhammad went out and made our Allah and His angels to wait for him till he had taken his bath to clean up his sexual defilements.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle went out (of the mosque) when the Iqama had been pronounced and the rows straightened. The Prophet stood at his Musalla (praying place) and we waited for the Prophet to begin the prayer with Takbir. He left and asked us to remain in our places. We kept on standing till the Prophet returned and the water was trickling from his head for he had taken a bath (of Janaba). (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:11:612-613)
“Iqama said? Wait Allah – I’M busy!” Muhammad
Narrated Anas: Once the Iqaama was pronounced and the Prophet was talking to a man (in a low voice) in a corner of the mosque and he did not lead the prayer till (some of) the people had slept (dozed in a sitting posture). (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:11:615)
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Once Iqama was pronounced a man came to the Prophet and detained him (from the prayer). (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:11:616)
“A praying Muslim is talking privately to Allah” – Muhammad
Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, “A faithful believer while in prayer is speaking in private to his Lord, so he should spit neither in front of him nor to his right side but he could spit either on his left or under his foot.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:8:405,408,400,720 Don’t look for any hygiene while studying Muhammad’s life.)
“I am your living Lord! Just speak to ME!” – Muhammad
We gullible Muslims consider our prayers as absolutely divine and try to perform it as perfectly as we can. While saying prayers, it is forbidden for us to respond to people, even if our children cry. However, following hadiths will make it clear that Muhammad was an exception to this rule. He tells Muslims that even if they are performing prayer to Allah, they must respond to him (Muhammad) if he calls them. He even invokes the Quranic verse 8:24 to make his case.
Narrated Abu Said Al-Mualla: While I was praying, the Prophet passed by and called me, but I did not go to him till I had finished my prayer. When I went to him, he said, “What prevented you from coming?” I said, “I was praying.” He said, “Didn’t Allah say, “O you who believe! Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Apostle” (Quran 8:24). (Sahih Al-Bukhari 6:60:226)
Narrated Abu Said bin Al-Mu’alla: While I was praying in the Mosque, Allah’s Apostle called me but I did not respond to him. Later I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I was praying.” He said, “Didn’t Allah say: “Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Apostle when he calls you” (Quran 8:24)? (Sahih Al-Bukhari 6:60:1,170)
From articles 4A-4H of this series on Prayer, the Second Pillar of Islam, we have seen:
There are more than 30 types of prayers in Islam and all were designed to benefit Muhammad in one way or another. To keep the articles relatively short, I have only analyzed only the important prayers.
I will continue discussing the other Pillars of Islam in coming articles.