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Salat prayer is the most important practice in Islam, because it is our daily worship. This is a continuation of the on-going research into this most vital issue. Since the Arabic word SALAT is rooted in the word SILAT which means connection or contact, the best translation for SALAT is CONTACT PRAYER. This should differentiate our most important practice from the commoners statement: “I pray all day!” The statement by non-Muslims that they pray all day resulted from the erroneous translation of SALAT into “prayer.” The Muslim who prays should say, “I make contact with my Creator five times each day,”instead of saying, “I pray five times a day.”

The main objective of this article is to present further evidence that AL FATIHAH is all that is required during the standing position of the contact prayers. We must read Qur’an everyday, especially at dawn (17:78), but not during the contact prayers. Not only AL FATIHAH alone is required, but also the addition of anything else during the standing position destroys the contact between you and God.

As stated in Qur’an 2:37, God gave Adam specific wordswhereby Adam was redeemed. Similarly, God has given us specific words, namely, AL FATIHAH to utter during SALAT. You can think of AL FATIHAH as a telephone number. If you wish to call someone, you must dial the specific numbers of that person’s telephone. You cannot establish contact unless you dial those specific numbers. When contacting your Creator, you must utter the specific number of letters and sounds that God Himself has given us.

To illustrate the error in uttering other Quranic verses after AL FATIHAH, imagine yourself doing the contact prayer. You stand up facing the Qiblah, then you open the contact by raising up your hands as you say Allahu Akbar. Then you recite AL FATIHAH saying, “In the name of God, the most gracious, most merciful. Praise be to God, Lord of the universes. The most gracious, most merciful.” They you speak to God, saying, “Only You we worship; only You we ask for help.” And you continue to speak to God, saying, “Guide us in the right path. The path of those whom You blessed; not of those who incur wrath, nor the strayers.”

This should be the end of it in the standing position. But we used to utter additional Qur’an. This additional Qur’an is recognized by all imams of jurisprudence (Sunni and/or Shia) as non-obligatory. Now look carefully at what we used to say to God after AL FATIHA. We used to say things like, “INNAA A’ATAYNAKAL KAWTHAR”, which means “We have given you many bounties.”!!! Here, we tell God, as we speak to Him, “We have given You many bounties!!!” Does this make sense? We never even thought about it. We were so wrapped up in the innovations inherited from our parents, that we didn’t think about the things we were telling our Creator. We used to say things like, “QUL HUWAL LAAHU AHAD” which mean, “Say, ‘God is One.’” Here we are ordering God to state that God is one!!! We used to utter things, after AL FATIHAH like, “QUL A’UZU BI RABBIL FALAQ.” Here we were telling God to seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak!!! Thank God for leading us out of the darkness of innovatior into the light of truth; we now see the mistakes we inherited from our parents.



During the past 14 centuries traditions, customs, superstitions and innovations have crept into Islam. Gradually, these distortions came to be vested with such religious solemnity that anyone who questions them finds himself regarded as the dangerous innovator and heretic. Islam today is like a precious jewel that is buried under piles upon piles of man-made innovations. Our aim is to eliminate all distortions and present the jewel of Islam to the world.


By: Rashad Khalifa as Editor of Muslim Perspective, May, 1986

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