Does salat = prayer?
Translating salat as 'prayer' in the following verses does not fit. Translators such as Yusuf Ali (and others) recognised this and ammended their translation accordingly.
[2:157] , [2:238] , [9:5] , [11:87] , [24:41] , [4:102 and 33:56] , [9:99] , [9:103] , [19:31]
Does the Lord pray for people? (salawat = plural of salat)
Preserve the salawat, and the wusta (commonly translated as 'middle') salat, and stand/persist devoutly to GOD. [2:238]
Why would God
mention to preserve the prayers, and then say "... and the middle prayer"
? Surely, the first comment includes the middle prayer? Is there something
special about the middle prayer? Does this have any support from al quran?
[additional inconsistancies with this verse]
The most accurate translation of 2:238 is as follows, followed by a short explanation:
Preserve/guard on the orations/bonds, and the most balanced oration/bond, and stand/persist to/for The God in obedience. [2:238]
The context prior to 2:238 discusses formal/public orations/vows/bonds. The core meaning of these orations/vows, as implied by the root, are to go/turn towards in a close/positive manner. This view is given further weight by the use of "QaNiTeena/obedience" at the end of the ayat/sign. And the reference of "the most balanced oration/bond" (i.e. al quran) provides a perfect link for 2:239.
So when the sacred months are passed, then you may kill those who have set-up partners wherever you find them, and take them, and surround them, and stand against them at every point. If they repent, and uphold the salat, and contribute to the zakat, then you shall leave them alone. GOD is forgiving, Merciful. [9:5]
Is God saying here that the unbelievers must perform prayers if they are going to be forgiven by the people? The essential point of prayer is that one believes in a higher being! Therefore why force them into praying if they are idolaters? If so, this would contradict 2:256 "no compulsion in the system/religion".
They said: 'oh Shuaib, does your salat instruct you that we leave what our fathers served, or that we do with our money as we please?. You then are the compassionate, the sane!'. [11:87]
Receiving instruction/laws through prayer? How does Shuaib's "prayer" affect the spending of others?
Do you not see that everything in the heavens and the earth glorifies GOD, even the birds assembled (with wings expanded)? Each knows its salat and its glorification. And GOD is fully aware of everything they do. [24:41]
Do birds pray? Do they have a special prayer? If so, does this have any support in al quran?
And from the Nomads are those who believe in God and the last day, and he looks upon what he spends to make him closer to God, and the salawat to the messenger. It indeed makes them closer. God will admit them in His mercy; God is Forgiving, Merciful. [9:99]
How does looking upon what one spends make one closer to the prayers of the messenger?
Take from their money a charity to purify them and better them with it, and salla them. Your salat is a tranquility for them, and God is Hearer, Knowledgeable. [9:103]
How can one's salat be a tranquillity/assurance for someone else?
So she pointed to him (Jesus). They said: "How can we talk to someone who is a child in a cradle?" He (Jesus) said: "I am God's servant, He has given me the scripture and made me a prophet". "And He made me blessed wherever I was, and He enjoined me with the salat and the zakat as long as I am alive" [19:29-31]
Did Jesus perform the prayer as long as he was alive? Does this mean as a baby he did the 'wudu' (the traditional sequence of washing), bowed and prostrated as is traditionally done?
In each of these examples, are you having to force your opinion on the verse?
Well known translators (e.g. Yusuf Ali) have used different words depending on context, see the following for one example:
Yu-sal-lu means prayer in Chapter 4 Verse 102 but not in Chapter 33 Verse 56. Same word, different translation.
Are you sure salat=prayer? Definitely not in all occurrences.