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Salah before Islam

Question: When did Salah become obligatory in previous nations, and how was it performed? بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Answer:

We can deduce from the Quran and Sunnah that Salah was also obligatory for all previous prophets (A.S.) and their followers. However, the exact details, e.g., the method of performing it, timings, etc., are unknown to us. (Contemporary Fatawa: p. 312 [Idara-e-Islamiat Lahore, Karachi - Pakistan])

The previous nations’ prayer did resemble ours in certain aspects, e.g., prostration, bowing, and standing.

وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَنْ طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ

Translation: And we commanded Ibrahim and Ismail to purify my house for those that perform tawaf, those that perform itikaf, and those that bow and prostrate (in prayer). (Surah Al-Baqarah: verse 125)

[عن عبدالله بن عباس:] إنّا معشرَ الأنبياءِ أُمِرْنا بتعجيلِ فطرِنا وتأخيرِ سحورِنا وأن نضعَ أيمانَنا على شمائِلِنا في الصَّلاةِ

Translation: Us Prophets were commanded to hasten in breaking the fast, delay the suhoor (pre-dawn meal), and place our right hands over our left in prayer. (Majma Az-Zawaid wa Manba Al-Fawaid: v. 2, p. 105 [Manshuraat Darul Kutub Al-Arabi])

وقال آخرون في ذلك ما حدثني القاسم بن جعفر قال سمعت بحر بن الحكم الكيساني يقول سمعت أبا عبد الرحمن عبيد الله بن محمد ابن عائشة يقول إن آدم عليه السلام لما تيب عليه عند الفجر صلى ركعتين فصارت الصبح

Translation: Verily, when Adam’s (A.S.) tawba was accepted during the time of Fajr, he prayed two rakats, so that became the morning prayer… (Sharh M’aani Al-Aathaar: Hadith 1013)


Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham

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