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Does Alban Contradict Rashad about Prayer Times?

Praise be to God! There is no other god except God. There are three main apparent contradictions between Alban and Rashad which the disbelievers use as excuses to discredit Alban. Alban address each of them in three separate Friday Sermons. This is one of them: In this sermon, we deal with the issue of Prayer Times; what Rashad said and what Alban says. They claim that Alban contradicts Rashad in this issue. Well, let’s see if it’s true:

First, it is true that in his English translation of the Quran, Rashad did say that there are five daily Contact Prayers. However, he also signed that book for a specific time and location. Look at this, it says Tucson, Ramadan 26, 1409, which is the 2nd of May 1989. So, his statement about the five daily prayers is true, if you apply it on the 2nd of May, 1989 in Tucson. Someone might wonder, “Doesn’t his statement extend to all times and all locations?” Well, not necessarily. Let’s take another example to show you what we mean: In footnote 13:15, of that same translation, Rashad said that the peculiar shape of the planet earth causes the FOUR seasons. So, he said that there are FOUR seasons. Well, that’s true in Tucson, but it’s not necessarily true for all locations. Check out this map.

It shows that certain regions on earth have four seasons (summer, autumn, winter spring), but other regions on earth have only two seasons. For example, the arctic has only two seasons (Polar night and polar day), and the tropics also have only two seasons (the wet and the dry season). So, as you can see, when Rashad in Tucson said that there are four seasons, his statement does not necessarily extend to every location on Earth. In some other locations, there are only two seasons. In the same way, when Rashad in Tucson in the month of May said that there are five daily prayers, that does not necessarily extend to all locations on earth, and all times of the year.

Nevertheless, the question is, “Regardless of what Rashad said in May in Tucson, had he traveled to Sweden during winter for example, would he still say that there are five prayers per day? In other words, if we talk about all locations and all times, could we still say that there are five Contact Prayers per day? And the answer is, “It depends what you mean by the word “day”.” And this is where it gets confusing, so let’s explain the issue:

There are many definitions of the word “day”, but we are going to mention only the three relevant ones here.

Definition 1: Quranic Day (There are actually two definitions of the day in the Quran (nahar and yawm), but here we are only using one of them.) When we say “Quranic Day”, we mean “the time period from the beginning of Dawn until the end of Evening”; anything which does not include full darkness.

Definition 2: Skylight Cycle Day. This is Rashad’s definition, which is mix of definition 1 and 3. He sort of understood it like the Quranic Day, but he also included the night in the English definition. So, when he said “day”, he meant from full darkness to full light and back to full darkness, that sky light cycle.

Definition 3: Calendar Day. This definition is a time period of 24-hours, regardless of what happened with the brightness of the sky. So, basically, every time the date in the calendar changes, we count it as one day. January 1 is one day, January 2 is the second day and so on – calendar day.

So, these are the three definitions of the word day, and for each of these definitions the answer is different when we want to describe how many prayers per day should be done.

Let’s start with Definition 1 – The Quranic Day, which is from Dawn to Evening. In the Equator, there are four prayers in a Quranic Day: Dawn, Noon, Afternoon, and Evening. But it does not include the Night Prayer. However, that does not mean that there is only one prayer during the Quranic Night, because the Quranic Night again includes Evening and Dawn. The night and the day merge according to the Quran.  So, Dawn and Evening are both part of the night and part of the day. So, during the Quranic Night, there are three prayers: Evening, Night, and Dawn. So, if we use the Quranic Definitions for Night and Day, the correct way to say it is that there are 3 prayers during the night, and 4 prayers during the day, which is 7, but two of them are duplicates (Dawn and Evening), so 7 – 2 = 5. So, the correct way to express it is to say that there are 5 prayers during a Quranic Night and Day cycle. And this is the correct way of saying it, but this does not mean that there are five prayer times during a calendar day, because the calendar day and the Quranic Night and Day Cycle do not always match exactly in length and depth, which we will explain later.

But now let’s continue with Definition 2. Rashad’s English definition which is a hybrid between the Quranic Day and the Calendar Day. Rashad’s definition of the word “day” is simply the same as a Quranic Day plus Quranic Night. So, the understanding of it comes from the Quran, but the length is more similar to the Calendar Day, in most cases. In most cases, it’s 24 hours, but not always in some regions of the earth. We can call Rashad’s English definition a “Skylight Cycle Day”. Basically, every time the sky goes from full darkness, to full light, and back to full darkness, you count it as one day, regardless of how much clock time has passed. So, if we use this definition of the word day, then there are five Contact Prayers per day, as Rashad said. This is correct. However, most people do not use this definition of the word day. That’s his definition. When people today ask “How many prayers per day there are?” they want to know how many prayers during each calendar day, during each 24-hours, and the answer for a calendar day is different, because it is not true that there are always five prayers during each calendar day. So, there are five prayers during a Quranic Day and Night, and there are five prayers during a Skylight Cycle Day, Rashad’s definition of day, but this does not automatically translate into five prayers during a calendar day, because the calendar day is not always the same length as a Quranic Day and Night and it is not always the same length as the Skylight Cycle Day.

So, now let’s continue with Definition 3: The Calendar Day. The calendar day is a period of 24 hours, regardless if the sky has turned dark or not. So, how many prayers should there be during a calendar day? Well, the answer depends on the location and the time of the year. And all we have to do is to see for that location and that time of the year, how long does the Quranic Day and Night last within those calendar days. So, that period of time of the Quranic Day and Night must include all the five prayers, but if that Quranic Day and Night lasts for several calendar days, that’s fine. God designed it like that for good reasons. We are still including all the five prayers in that Quranic Day and Night, or Rashad’s day, but if that means that there are four or three prayers during 24-hours, it doesn’t matter, because the Quranic Day and Night is not a period of 24 hours, it is a period from full darkness to full light and back to full darkness. Let’s take an example.

Let’ say you live in Frankfurt for example which is 50 degrees north of the Equator. On the 30th of May for example, a full Quranic Day and Night happens within 24 hours, so you have to implement all the five prayers within that 24 hours, within the 30th of May. However, then the 1st of June comes, and it does not get completely dark on that day. So, now even though the first calendar day of June passes, the full Quranic Day and night does not happen. Only portions of it happened, but it does not complete the cycle. This means that you can only implement a portion of that five daily prayer. In that case, the Dawn comes, and the Noon comes, and the Afternoon comes, and the Evening comes, but the full Night does not come. So, you only do the Dawn Prayer, and the Noon Prayer, and the Afternoon Prayer and the Evening Prayer, but it’s not possible for you to do the Night Prayer. So, it’s not Alban who is stopping you from doing the night prayer. It’s simply impossible to do the night prayer. The night did not come. And this does not contradict the Quran, because if you believe that there must be five prayers in a Quranic day and night, or Rashad’s definition of the word day, they just didn’t happen. The full Quranic day and night did not happen, and Rashad’s definition of the word day did not happen, meaning they didn’t complete yet, they take longer, or several calendar days to complete. And remember, his definition was from full darkness to full light and back to full darkness, but full darkness did not happen, so you can not say that we are not doing five prayers in a Quranic day and night, because it is simply taking the Quranic day and night longer to complete, and when the night finally comes on the 12th of July in Frankfurt, only then do we count it as one Quranic day and night, and then we do the fifth prayer. So, this Quranic day and night lasted from the beginning of June until the 12th of July, and during that period, we implemented all the five prayers. So, you can not say that we are not doing five prayers within Rashad’s day which is a Quranic day and night. We do all the five prayers within a Quranic day and night, but it’s not our fault if that Quranic day and night lasts longer than 24 hours. So, there is no contradiction here. We are implementing exactly the five prayers which should happen within Rashad’s definition of the word day, but it’s not Alban’s fault that Rashad’s definition of day length does not always match the calendar day. So, it’s wrong to say that we do not do five prayers per day. We do exactly five prayers every day, if by “day” you mean Rashad’s definition of day. And again, we do exactly five prayers every day and night, if by “day and night” you mean the Quranic day and night. So, we completely agree with Rashad and the Quran. However, if you are going to define the day as a calendar day, which most people do, then we sometimes do four prayers, or even three prayers only in certain norther locations of the world, only during certain times of the year, which we clearly explain when and where they happen. So, all we are doing is telling you how to implement the five prayers per Rashad’s day into calendar days, and to help you with that implementation, Alban published a video clarification titled “Times of Contact Prayer” where he tell us during each calendar day, for every location on earth, how many of the five prayers apply, and that all depends on how much of Rashad’s day applies in that situation, or on how much of the Quranic night and day applies in that situation. So, all Alban is doing in that video is presenting the five prayers in a calendar day situation, which is how people today want to know them, because most people understand the day as a calendar day, a 24-hour period, and not as a Quranic day and night, or as Rashad’s English definition of the word day. So, there is no contradiction here. We are simply speaking about three different types of days. The Quran in Arabic was using the definition of the day to match it to the Arab understanding, Rashad expressed it into semi Quranic and semi English understanding, and Alban expressed it for us in a calendar day understanding which is how the modern world speaks about it. So, there is no contradiction here because we are talking about three different time periods. In some locations on earth near the Equator, they are the same length, but in other location, during deeper winters, they are just not the same length.  In fact, it would be a contradiction, if we all said that we should do five prayers every day, and then our definitions of the word day was different. Then it would be a contradiction. But it’s not. So, if you took Alban to Tucson in the month of May, he would do exactly five prayers, at the exact times when Rashad did them. There is no contradiction there. And, if you took Rashad to Frankfurt in June for example, he would take some time to think about it, but after analyzing it, he would end up doing four prayers in each calendar day, but that would still mean that he did five prayers per Rashad’s day, which in that case simply takes longer than a calendar day. And because Rashad never lived in Frankfurt, or in Sweden, or in any of those northern regions, then he did not have to implement this situation. But, Alban happened to have traveled in these northern regions like Germany, Sweden, UK, Netherlands, and this meant that he had sufficient reason to think about it more carefully, and eventually realized that it’s ok if the calendar day and the Quranic day and night do not always match. We should stick to five prayers per Quranic day and night, and if that does not match with the calendar day, no big deal. We implement the Quran, not people’s calendars. Alban express it in calendar days, so people can understand in English, but ultimately Alban made the decision based on Quranic day and nights, and in each Quranic day and night, every single time, in every location, we are responsible for doing all the five prayers.

By the way, God knew that people will use many different definitions of the word “day” in different languages and in different eras, so he completely circumvented this problem by not mentioning the number of prayers per day at all in the Quran. God solved this confusion by simply telling us the specific prayer times, and when they happen, and he did not mention the total number of prayer per day at all. And if we just implement the prayer times, as specified in the Quran, and as Rashad himself believed, then we will be in total agreement. For example, Rashad said that the Night Prayer should be done when the twilight disappears. If we just implement this, then we will always get it right. Whenever the twilight disappears, we do the Night Prayer, but if it doesn’t disappear, then we don’t do the Night Prayer. And that’s exactly what Alban and the believers with him are doing. They are simply not changing anything which Rashad said, and implementing it in all circumstances without any modification. In fact, people who insist on doing a night prayer even when the twilight does not disappear, they are the ones who are going against Rashad and against the Quran. They think that they are preserving the number of prayers, but they forget that even when you don’t do the night prayer because the twilight did not disappear, you are still preserving the number of prayers per day; It’s just that the Quranic day and night cycle took longer, and you do the fifth prayer when it’s time comes. So, you would still be doing five prayers per day, per Rashad’s day, or per Quranic day and night; five prayers per Quranic day and night, every time. This is the true preservation.

So, if you took Alban and Rashad, and Muhammad, and Abraham and took them everywhere on earth at each time of the year, they would always end up doing the prayers at exactly the same time, without any disagreement. So, there is no contradiction between their prayer times. The illusion of contradiction emerges from the fact that Alban simply clarified for the modern people how the Quranic days and nights fit within the calendar days, which is what the modern people use when they talk about days. So, Alban was simply translating from Quranic to modern English. But there is no difference in what we actually do in practice. Without even talking about it, if Muhammad, Abraham, Rashad, and Alban were sent to Oslo for example, without talking to one another, we would end up doing all the prayers at the same time, simply by looking at the sky, checking if the Quran criteria for that specific prayer time is fulfilled, and then implementing each prayer in its own time period, without talking about five, four, three, two, and things like that.  So, even without understanding how the calendar days and the Quranic days and nights correlate with one another, we would still get the correct answer, all of us, if we simply know the definition of each prayer time, without focusing on their number. And Alban gave the definition of each prayer time in the end of his other video titled “Times of Contact Prayer”, and let’s present that table again here. So, here it is:

So, we have the Dawn prayer, the Noon prayer, the Afternoon prayer, the Evening Prayer, and the Night Prayer, and they each have a specific time when they start and end, and we don’t see any contradiction here between Alban and Rashad, because these are the five prayer times in which Alban and Rashad believed in, and these are the five prayer times in which the Muslims traditionally believed in, and exactly the five prayer times which are described in the Quran, when you take all the verses of the Quran into consideration. There is nothing new here. God has guaranteed to preserve the Contact Prayers, and their times, to keep the religion of Abraham intact and He has done that. If Alban introduced something new about this issue, that would be wrong, because this is a traditionally preserved issue. It’s all old stuff. Alban only told us how that old stuff fits in the new modern calendars which use the calendar day as a definition of the day and not the Quranic day as the definition of the day.