In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

                                    Proclaim, “He is the One and Only GOD.”

                                      “The Absolute GOD.”

                                         “Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten.”

                                             “None equals Him.”

 

   Universal Unity                                                                                          Editor: Keikhosrow Emami

 

October 1997 [No. 40]

 

Tone of the Contact Prayers (Salaat)

“YOU SHALL NOT

Utter your Contact Prayers (Salaat)

Too loudly, nor secretly; use a moderate tone.”

17:110

 

 

[17:22] “YOU SHALL NOT set up any other god beside God, lest you end up despised and disgraced.

 

[17:23] “Your Lord has decreed that YOU SHALL NOT worship except Him, and your parents shall be honored, as long as one or both of them live. YOU SHALL NEVER say to them, ‘Uff’ (the slightest gesture of annoyance), NOR SHALL YOU shout at them: you shall treat them amicably.

 

[17:29] “YOU SHALL NOT keep your hand stingily tied to your neck, NOR SHALL YOU foolishly open it up, lest you end up blamed and sorry.

 

[17:31] “YOU SHALL NOT kill your children due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offence.

 

[17:32] “YOU SHALL NOT commit adultery; it is a gross sin, and an evil behavior.

 

[17:33] “YOU SHALL NOT kill any person for God has made life sacred. ...

 

[17:34] “YOU SHALL NOT touch the orphans' money except for their own good, until they reach maturity. ...

 

[17:36] “YOU SHALL NOT accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.

 

[17:37] “YOU SHALL NOT walk proudly on earth — you cannot bore through the earth, nor can you be as tall as the mountain.

 

[17:110] “... YOU SHALL NOT utter your Contact Prayers (Salat) too loudly, nor secretly; use a moderate tone.”

 

The above commands are some of God's commandments reflected in Sura 17. In them, our Creator with a very clear language, “YOU SHALL NOT,” forbids us from doing the things that are wrong. Only the sincere believers understand these straightforward verses and obey the commands of their Lord.

 

[45:6] “These are God's revelations that we recite to you truthfully. In which Hadith other than God and His revelations do they believe?

 

[45:7] “Woe to every fabricator, guilty.

 

[45:8] “The one who hears God's revelations recited to him, then insists arrogantly on his way, as if he never heard them. Promise him a painful retribution.

 

[45:9] “When he learns anything about our revelation, he mocks them. These have incurred a shameful retribution.

 

[45:10] “Awaiting them is Gehenna. Their earnings will not help them, nor the idols they had set up beside God.

 

[45:11] “This is a beacon, and those who disbelieve in these revelations of their Lord have incurred condemnation and a painful retribution.”

 

The Test is Mandatory

[29:2, 3] “Do the people think that they will be left to say, 'We believe,' without being put to the test? We have tested those before them, for God must distinguish those who are truthful, and must expose the liars.”

The Quran teaches us that believers go through a wide variety of tests in their lives. On one side of the spectrum we see Job (21:83), and on the other, we see Solomon (38:34). The tests are to examine the degree of our consciousness concerning our Lord under different sets of circumstances. Passing the tests, God willing, take us closer to Him. This in the sight of God is the greatest triumph. Failing the tests, on the other hand, takes us farther away from our Lord and this is the real loss!

 

The Test of Sincerity

Do we think that we will be left to say, "God alone, Quran alone," without being put to the test?

[56:75] “I swear by the position of the stars.

[56:76] “This is an oath, if you only knew, that is awesome.

[56:77] “This is an honorable Quran.

[56:78] “In a protected book.

[56:79] “None can grasp it except the sincere.

[56:80] “A revelation from the Lord of the universe.”

 

Do we think that we will be left to say, "We are students of the Quran working our ways to achieve eternal Paradise," without being put the test? How do we expect to graduate without going through the examinations? The Teacher of the Quran (55:1, 2) has instituted a test for those who consider themselves students of the Quran. To pass the test, God willing, it is most crucial that we recognize THE MESSAGE, THE MESSAGE that is the Quran, the whole Quran, and nothing but the Quran (6:19). The Quran that is complete and fully detailed (6:114) and nothing is left out of it. The Quran that is the best Hadith (39:23). The Quran that is the only legitimate source of law (25:1), and that the believers must not accept any other source beside it. Please note that this test is only for those of us who believe that the Quran must be translated (26:198, 199). This test is only for those of us who believe that the translation of the Quran by Rashad Khalifa, God's Messenger of the Covenant, is the best translation and that it carries God's authorization. Certainties concerning the above Quranic facts are prerequisite to this test. Those who have any problem with the above Quranic assertions are not students of the Quran at this time. Either they have not enrolled in the school of the Quran yet or they may have temporarily or permanently dropped out.

 

As students of the Quran, God wiling, how do we react when we read 5:6 which says, “O you who believe, when you observe the Contact Prayers  (Salaat), you shall: (1) wash your faces, (2) wash your arms to the elbows, (3) wipe your heads, and (4) wash your feet to the ankles?” Don't we place our confidence with God, follow His instruction, and forsake all other speculations? Perhaps Prophet Muhammad did the four steps or perhaps he didn't. Perhaps once in a while when he was doing his ablution he washed his nose and ears also. It does not matter how the prophet did it or how the people around perceived it. What matters is that the final prophet delivered God's words and God's words are clear. Those who obey God and obey His messenger follow the Quran, THE MESSAGE, and do not accept any other source beside it. Can Muhammadans overcome their personal prejudices, see the truth, and follow the command of their Lord? Despite God's clear instruction (5:6), the Muhammadans continue to do their ablution in different ways as they get their instructions through different books of Hadith and Sunna, the teachings that are not authorized by God (9:31; 42:21).

As students of the Quran, God willing, how do we react to God's command when we read, “You shall not utter your Contact Prayers (Salaat) too loudly, nor secretly; use a moderate tone?” Don't we place our confidence with God; by uttering our Contact Prayers in a moderate tone obey His command, and forsake all other speculations? It does not matter in what tone Rashad Khalifa uttered his Contact Prayers or how the people around perceived it. What matters is that the Messenger of the Covenant translated the Quran, THE MESSAGE, with God's authorization. Glory is to God, a clear translation without any ambiguity. In accordance with God's will, to draw our attention, in the middle of the verse he placed a subtitle. He wrote, "Tone of the Contact Prayers (Salaat)," and then he continued with the translation, “You shall not utter your Contact Prayers (Salaat) too loudly, nor secretly; use a moderate tone.” This is God's command in the Quran, THE MESSAGE. Do we obey God and His messenger, or do we feel compelled to seek more information through sources other than the Quran?  Do we think that God's command is not detailed enough (6:114)? Do we think that the Almighty ran out of words (31:27)? Or, are we doubting THE MESSAGE, the message that is the Quran, the whole Quran, and nothing but the Quran (6:19)?

 

The majority of us who believe that we are Submitters to God alone and think that we have accepted the Quran as the only source of law do not perform our Contact Prayers as commanded by the Almighty. At this stage, we may not have carefully read and understood God's clear command (17:110), or have already accepted another source beside the Quran. Despite God's clear command that we must not utter our Salaat secretly, most of us utter the Shahaadah and the words of glorification, while in the bowing and the prostration position, secretly. This does not conform to the teachings of the Quran, THE MESSAGE. This is not obeying God and His messenger! The discrepancy between the manner in which we uttered our Salaat when Rashad was in our midst and the command in the Quran is a part of a deliberate plan by the Almighty executed through His messenger to test the sincerity of the believers. “For God must distinguish those who are truthful, and must expose the liars.” For God must distinguish those who love Him most and uphold His message (The Quran Alone), and must expose those who idolize His messenger.

 

Messengers Are Just Human Beings

[13:38] We have sent messengers before you, and we made them husbands with wives and children. ...

 

[14:11] Their messengers said to them, "We are no more than humans like you, but God blesses whomever He chooses from among His servants. ...

 

[16:43] We did not send before you except men whom we inspired. Ask those who know the scripture, if you do not know.

 

[23:51] O you messengers, eat from the good provisions, and work righteousness. I am fully aware of everything you do.

 

[25:20] We did not send any messengers before you who did not eat food and walk in the markets. We thus test you by each other; will you steadfastly persevere? Your Lord is Seer.

 

[41:6] Say, “I am no more than a human being like you, who has been inspired that your god is one god. You shall be devoted to Him, and ask His forgiveness. Woe to the idol worshipers.”

Messengers deliver God's messages. They also say many other things. Everything that messengers say is not a part of God's message. The previous generations may have had difficulties to differentiate between the works of a messenger. Thus, all that a messenger did or said were taken as part of the message, but not so in the case of the Quran. Those who have access into the Quran (56:79) know full well what constitutes God's Final Message to the whole world.

[10:37] “This Quran could not possibly be authored by other than God. It confirms all previous messages, and provides a fully detailed scripture. It is infallible, for it comes from the Lord of the universe.”

[7:35] “O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve.

 

[7:36] “As for those who reject our revelations and are too arrogant to uphold them, they have incurred Hell, wherein they abide forever.

 

[7:37] “Who is more evil than those who invent lies about God, or reject His revelations? ...”

 

The Arabic Quran is God's final message to the whole world. This final message was sent down through Prophet Muhammad. The only duty of the final prophet was to deliver the Quran and preach in accordance with its teachings.

 

[6:19] Say, “Whose testimony is the greatest?” Say, “God's. He is the witness between me and you that this Quran has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches. Indeed, you bear witness that there are other gods beside God.” Say, “I do not testify as you do; there is only one god, and I disown your idolatry.”

 

(Footnote: Authorized English Version, translated from the original by Rashad Khalifa, God's Messenger of the Covenant) "This verse proclaims the Quran as the only source of religious guidance. Those who uphold additional sources, such as Hadith & Sunna (lies attributed to the Prophet), are defined as idolaters."

The Quran is the only source of religious guidance. Those who uphold additional sources beside it are idol worshipers. The command in the Quran is that we must utter our Contact Prayers in a moderate tone. Those who utter part of their Contact Prayers secretly are upholding other sources beside the Quran. Therefore, they are committing an act of idol worship. The Messenger of the Covenant was authorized by God (81:19,20) to translate the Quran (26:198,199). This translation manifests the proof of the Quran's divine authorship. This translation is a reflection of the Quran's clear verses. All the duties of the Messenger of the Covenant were performed within the frame of this Authorized Translation. We are blessed with the proven words and the clear revelations from the Almighty. Are we going to be appreciative, uphold God's message, and worship Him alone? Or, are we going to invent a new god beside God?

 

 

WHY EITHER

DISTORT THE MESSAGE

OR

WORSHIP THE MESSENGER??

A message is a meaningful communication from its source for the benefit of its intended audience. A messenger is the mean through whom this communication is made. The only duty of a messenger is to deliver the message. Obviously, in the hearts of the sincere, no message can possibly be clearer than God's message (39:28). Obviously, in the eyes of the truthful, no messenger can possibly be more honest than God's messenger (81:19).

[3:99] Say, “O followers of the scripture, why do you repel from the path of God those who wish to believe, and seek to distort it, even though you are witnesses? God is never unaware of anything you do.

 

[3:100] “O you who believe, if you obey some of those who received the scripture, they will revert you, after having believed into disbelievers.

 

[3:101] How can you disbelieve, when these revelations of God have been recited to you, and His messenger has come to you? Whoever holds fast to God will be guided in the right path.

 

[3:102] “O you who believe, you shall observe God as He should be observed, and do not die except as Submitters.

 

[3:103] You shall hold fast to the rope of God, all of you, and do not be divided. ...

 

 

God's Message Is The Quran, The Whole Quran And Nothing But The Quran

[12:2] We have revealed it an Arabic Quran, that you may understand.”

 

[13:37] We revealed these laws in Arabic, and if you ever acquiesce to their wishes, after this knowledge has come to you, you will have no ally, nor a protector, against God.

 

[19:97] We thus made this (Quran) elucidated in your tongue, in order to deliver good news to the righteous, and to warn with it the opponents.

 

[25:1] Most blessed is the One who revealed the Statute Book to His servant, so he can serve as a warner to the whole world.

[26:192] This is a revelation from the Lord of the universe.

[26:193) The Honest Spirit (Gabriel) came down with it.

[26:194) To reveal it into your heart, that you may be one of the warners.

[26:195) In a perfect Arabic Tongue.

[26:196) It has been prophesied in the books of previous generations.

[26:197) Is it not sufficient sign for them that it was known to the scholars among the Children of Israel?

The Quran Must Be Translated

[26:198] If we revealed this to people who do not know Arabic.

[26:199] And had him recite it (in Arabic), they could not possibly believe in it.

The Messenger's Language

[14:4] We did not send any messenger except (to preach) in the tongue of his people, in order to clarify things for them. God then sends astray whomever he wills, and guides whomever He wills. He is the Almighty, the Most Wise.

 

Language is Irrelevant

[41:44] If we made it a non-Arabic Quran they would have said,Why did it come down in that language? Whether it is Arabic or Non-Arabic, say, “For those who believe, it is a guide and healing. As for those who disbelieve, they will be deaf and blind to it, as if they are being addressed from faraway.”

Appendix 4

(Authorized Translation)

"We learn from 41:44 that the sincere believers have access to the Quran, regardless of their mother tongue. The disbelievers, on the other hand, are not permitted access to the Quran, even if they are professors of the Arabic language (17:45, 18:57, 41:44, & 56:79).

Arabic is the most efficient language in the world, especially when it comes to the precise statement of laws. Since the Quran is a Statute Book, it was crucial that such laws must be clearly stated. God chose Arabic for His Final Testament because of the obvious reason that it is the most suitable language for that purpose. Arabic is unique in its efficiency and accuracy. .......

Another possible reason for choosing Arabic is the fact that "He" and "She" do not necessarily imply natural gender. Thus, when God is referred to as "He," this does not imply gender at all. God be glorified; He is neither male, nor female. The usage of "He" to refer to God in the English language, for example, has contributed to a false image of God. This was not helped by such distorted expressions as "Father" when referring to God. You never find such a reference to God in the Quran."

WHY DON'T WE, INSTEAD, HOLD FAST TO GOD AND UPHOLD HIS MESSAGE?

CONTINUES …