Thanks a lot for your reply! I really appreciate your taking out the time. About the six kalimah, I just wish that instead of making children memorize them, people would concentrate on teaching them what they MEAN.
I have another question regarding the non-mandatory section of salaat:
When I was growing up, I was taught that the salaat consists of certain supplications in a particular order i.e., one had to read the at-tahat, second kalimah, darood after sajdah, and read the “subhana rabbi…” three times in rukoo and sujood. All other Sunni people I know read the salaat the same way. All the prayer books I have read also give exactly the same details (except the last supplication after darood, which is different in some cases). These prayer books even go as far as to say that if you miss one of these parts, for example, if you read the darood in the second rak’at or forget reading it altogether, sajda-e-sahav becomes necessary.
If everyone assumes that this is THE way to pray, when, in fact, it isn’t, is it a bid’at? Or is it just a matter of opinion?
To declare a matter obligatory without the authority of the Holy Qur’an or the Sunnah is to cross ones limits. We cannot hold anything obligatory or prohibited unless it is expressly stated as such in the religious sources. The scholars who have complied the books you have referred to or express such statements do something beyond their limits. These people fall into placing the opinion of scholars of their cherished school of thought parallel to the Islamic Shari`ah.Â The Holy Prophet (pbuh) has allowed and sometimes taught different supplications to be made in some parts of the prayer. This entails that no specific supplication has been prescribed and the matter has been left to our choice. I cannot understand how can one stop us from making various supplications in the Qa`dah while the Holy Prophet (pbuh) did not stop his followers from doing so.
Therefore, to prescribe a certain supplication where such prescription is not authorized by the Prophet (pbuh) is not correct. However, it can only be termed as bid`ah if someone holds this prescription to be an essential part of Sala’h, as you have mentioned in your question1].
Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
May 4, 2003
- Edited by Moiz Amjad. [↩]