Worship in one form or another is part of religious ritual and for the traditional Muslim, the five obligatory prayers are key components of their creed. These can be supplemented with many other compulsory or voluntary offerings called sunnat, nafal, tuhajad, taraweeh, kusoof etc. but the five remain the core ritual prayers of the regular cycle of worship. In their eyes, to be a Muslim, you must believe in and perform the ritual prayers that are commonly known as salat.


Of course, millions of Muslims do not perform these daily ritual prayers and may only join a congregation once a week for the Friday ritual, tarweh prayers in Ramadan and on festival days such as Eid. Whether you pray or not, it remains an obligatory tenet of faith. To deny the ritual prayers, as with other pillars of faith, is to render oneself, in the eyes of the self-appointed ‘guardians of faith’ a non-believer.


In the hadith books there are scattered remnants that can be pulled together to form a prayer of sorts. These disjointed  incidents do not form the rituals of prayer that we see today. In fact, in the whole canon of hadith literature, the full liturgy of the ritual prayer, known as salat, cannot be found. This is probably why different sects have formulated their own versions of prayer with varying words and genuflexes following the teachings of their own particular imams.


The individual who understands human nature will realise that prayer at best is a passive act. While it may give some self-satisfaction and a sense of a duty performed, it yields nothing constructive. Ritual prayer is a religious duty and since no real results are produced by prayers, then we must accept ritual prayer as a fruitless activity designed to keep the devout busy and shackled in devotion. This keeps the masses perpetually and uselessly active and unable to widen their scope of thought and activity. All rituals are constructed to have this effect in one way or another.


is that when this word is transposed for all appearances (and its derivatives)  of the word ‘solaa’ in the Quran. The verses then start to make sense. On the other hand if we insist that ‘solaa’ means ‘ritual prayer’ we face significant problems.


Supplications (Arabic: dua) to God can help a person to focus on particular challenges he or she may be facing, supplications, often demonstrated in the Quran by messengers, are an affirmation of your desires and goals and God’s law of attraction fulfils them. Ritual prayers can do nothing for the individual and they certainly do nothing for God. Ritual prayers of any description have no practical purpose in an individual’s life.


To deem that solaa and its derivatives mean ritual prayer (salat) is a weak assertion and as shown here throws up many problems. Should we transpose the words ‘ritual prayer’ throughout the Quran onto the word solaa or any of its derivatives then many verses become confusing. Yet this is exactly what traditionalist translators have done. In order to show that solaa means ritual prayer they struggle and wrongly interpret some verses to make the word fit. For example:


  1. The commandments for ritual prayers (salat) are said to have been given to Muhammad. However, the Jews [Verse 2:43; 5:12], Moses [Verse 20:14] and Jesus, as a child, [Verse 19:31] were among the people engaged in If this solaa means ritual prayer, how could they know about it before it was decreed? Furthermore Abraham was a muslim [verse 22:78] and Muhammad was commanded to follow him [Verse 3:95], and the Deen given to mankind in the Quran is the same as given to all the previous messengers [Verse 42:13]. So how could all the previous messengers and communities be muslim without performing the five ritual prayers and yet people these days cannot?
  2. God’s messenger Shuaib said solaa can change the economic system. Despite an increasing number of people engaged in ritual prayers, we cannot see any improvement in the prosperity of any Muslim nation. [Verse 11:87].
  3. God’s creatures, such as birds are engaged in solaa. How do they perform the liturgy of prayer, if solaa indeed means ritual prayer? [Verse 24:41].
  4. Can Muslims pray with disbelievers? Would disbelievers perform prayers with Muslims, while they remain disbelievers? Yet the Quran says that solaa can be made with disbelievers. How is this possible? [Verses 4:101-102].
  5. Then there is the solaa of God upon his creations. If solaa means ritual prayer then how does God pray? God revealed the Quran as guidance for people to apply it in their lives. This is so that each individual Self can develop through meaningful activity. So how can chanting His guidance back to Him (in prayers) be of benefit to anyone? [Verses 2:157; 33:43; 33:56].

To complicate matters further, the advocates of ‘salat’ have translated the word solaa in many contradictory ways. This is because ritual prayer does not fit all the situations so changes to the meaning are made to try and fit square pegs into round holes. For example the word has been translated as, prayer, blessings, connect, place of worship, people who pray and oratories. Check the various traditional translations to verify this.


It is obvious to anyone with even a basic understanding of the Quranic Arabic that words with the same root and all its derivatives do not change meaning. This Arabic is a language like no other. Because of its consistent rules it makes it an incisive language; the meanings of the words with the same root are therefore also consistent.


When we substitute the correct meaning of commitment or obligation for solaa, we see the meaning becomes clear:


blueprint; actions are the manifestation of the belief and accountability is showing responsibility for our actions. Being virtuous is overcoming our regressive egotistic Self – the Iblees within us. It is virtuous deeds – the action – that overcome the hurdles, the challenges of life, not passive prayer. It is in religion that individuals seek mercy and grace through a saviour. In Deen-Islam it is the good deeds that glorify God [verse 21:20], and  God dignifies mankind by giving the opportunities for Self development and raising their own eminence. See verse and footnote 90:4 and 94:5.


So does this mean that we cannot even make any kind of prayer or praise God?No, this is not the case. In verse 10:10 an example of the ultimate praise to God is given but the true glorificationof God is when we enjoy the good things He has gifted to us and develop our Self to raise our status and become fit for a higher existence. God knows everything – all our secrets and declarations, so we don’t need to establish any rituals like prayer. Our service to God is everything. Hands that serve are better than lips that pray. Action speaks louder than words and this is what the verses 107:1-7 in the Quran tells us. There are many instances shown in the Quran when the messengers make supplications to God. So yes we can make supplications to Him. There are also many examples in the Quran of what to say in our supplications, such as the ‘dua’ in verse 2:286. As mentioned earlier, these help us to focus and affirm our own aspirations, goals and desires and God’s law of attraction fulfils them.


Some verses where the word solaa and its derivatives appear.


Solaa (Root S’L): commitment, obligation, steadfastness, duty.

  1. Solaa (of Shu’aib’s community) can change economic system. Verse 11:87. 2. Solaa of the Jews. Verse 2:43.3. Solaa of the child Jesus. Verse 19.31. 4. Solaa of Isaac and Jocob. Verse 21.23. 5. Solaa of birds. Verses  24.41. 6. Solaa with possible strangers after witnessing a will. Verse 5:106. 7. Solaa with disbelievers and mushriks. Verses 9:4-6. 8. People (hypocritical) of the Deen, who are obliged (to do good deeds) but are heedless of their commitments. Verses 107:1-7.  9. Solaa (commitments) with disbelievers. Verses 4:101,102; 5:58.  10. Solaa of Moses, his brother and their people. Verse 10:87.  11. Solaa of the Children of Israel: God will be with them as long as they keep their commitments and keep them pure. Verses 5:12-13. 12.  Observance of Solaa. Verses 2:238; 24:58.  13. Solaa of God: verses 2.157; 33:43. 14. Solaa of God and the malaika with the messenger: verse 33:56; with individuals: verse 33:43.


Solaa derivatives:


faSolaa 87:15.

faSolee 108:2.

musollan 70:22-34, 74:43, 107:4 and 2:125.

solaa 75:31, 96:10.

solaa ta – 46 times.

solaatahu 24:41.

solaa taka 9:103.

solaate 20 times.

solaatehim 6:92, 23:2, 70:23, 70:34, 107:5.

solaateka 17:110.

solaatu 62:10.

solaa-tuhum 8:35.

solaa-tukka 11:87.

solaa-waatee 9:99, 2:238, 23:9.

solaa-waatun 22:40.

solee 9:103.

solluu 33:56.

tuSolee 9:84, 108:2.

yaslu 38:56

yasluna 14:29, 82:15

yuSilla 4:90, 6:136, 11:70, 11:81, 13:21, 8:35.

yuSolaa 2:27, 13:21, 13:25.

yusolee 3:39, 33:43.

yuSollu 33:56, 4:10



The different ways the word solaa and its derivatives have been translated in traditional translations: ritual prayer, connect, contact, supplicate, blessed, honour, place of worship, churches, oratories. This is one of the most abused and contorted words. The mistranslation of this one word alone is sufficient to show how a word can be manipulated to mean anything to those who don’t know the Quran. However, since we have the original it is easy to check and revert back to the correct meaning.


Is there any need for ritual prayer? God responds, without the need for ritual prayer, to any caller who calls to Him, while following His guidance: Verse 40:60. Seek help through steadfast and observing your commitments. Verses 2:45-46. By doing good works people keep their duty and commitments (solaa) to Him. In fact it is through good works, not ritual prayer, that God can be glorified. See verses 2:3; 2:30; 21:19-20; 57:1; 59:24. The intelligent remember God whether standing, sitting or lying down. Verse 3:190-191. In fulfilling our commitments and obligations we glorify God. Verses 62:1; 24:41; 17:44.


Had God wanted people to worship him through a ritual prayer, He would have made it clear. He has given details of eating, social etiquette, washing etc. so why not give details of something as important as a ritual prayer? The introduction of the ritual prayer was to remove people from the dynamic system of Deen-Islam. Hands that work are better than lips that pray: it’s actions that change people and societies, not rituals. In verse 60:4 Abraham is cited as an example for mankind. However, when supplicating to God neither Abraham nor Zachariah performed any rituals (washing, standing, bowing, prostrating etc.) that are associated with traditional ritual prayer. See verses 3:38 & 14:39. Verse 2:177.


Another word traditionally mistranslated is dua: the correct meaning is: call, invite, supplicate, petition, summon, invoke. (Arabic: Dua. Irregular Root: D’A. Derivatives: du’wani, dawa, duwa, da’wataka, uduw’ila, ud’aw). God responds to supplications: 2:186. Responding to God’s call: 14:44. Invite to your sustainer: 16:125. Those with affected deafness cannot hear the call:  21:45. God says call on me and I will respond to you: 40:60. See verse and footnote 2:3. Invite to God: 12:108; 41:33.