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Copyright © 2009 Joseph A Islam: Article last modified 19th May 2012


This is a question usually posed by some that have abandoned prayer altogether as they claim not to find details of the prayer in the Quran.





The reason to abandon prayer is usually followed to a conclusion by the following questionable assumptions and reasoning.



  1. The Quran claims to be a complete and detailed book.
  2. There is no mention of the details of prayer in the Quran as it is prayed today.
  3. God never forgets to include anything in the Quran and we are instructed only to follow the Quran.
  4. Therefore, there is no such thing as prayer.



Firstly, the second claim with regards a lack of prayer details in the Quran is completely erroneous. The Quran is replete with prayer related details.





The only matter the Quran is silent about is form and specific content.


There is much wisdom whenever one encounters silence on a particular matter in the Quran.  In the case of prayer, ritual form and utterance (in whatever language) do not take precedence over purpose and commitment to establish prayer (hence it's numerous references). All other prayer related aspects as cited above are clearly to be found in the Quran.


Therefore, the Quran still remains complete for religious guidance even though intentionally, it does not deem it necessary to define pedantic form and content.

The above reasoning to abandon prayer is no different from the following hypothetical reasoning to abandon paying Zakat.


1.      The Quran is a complete and detailed book

2.      The Quran does not inform us how much Zakat to pay

3.      God does not forget

4.      Hence, there is no Zakat.


This line of reasoning is not only intellectually dishonest; it is extremely misleading from a Quran's perspective.





The Quran does not require one to read set verses back to God. In fact, the Quran does not even demand that you pray in Arabic [1]. The only 'static' words that are commonly recited in formal prayers are the words from Surah Fateha. If read carefully and understood, they are constructed in style to be recited back to an Almighty Creator. Reciting surahs of the Quran in prayer remains a choice.

001.001 -7

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds; 
Most Gracious, Most Merciful; 
Master of the Day of Judgment. 
Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. 
Show us the straight path, 
The path of those whom You have favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray. 


It is worthy to note that albeit not conclusive from a Quranic perspective as argued in article [2] below, there is popular Muslim belief which posits verse 15:87 as support for the recitation of Surah Fateha during prayer.

However, the main demand with regards utterance in the Quran is of some form of communication (taquluna) and a moderated tone to prayer.


004:043 (part)

"O you who believe! Approach not prayers (Arabic: Salaat) with a mind befogged, until you can understand all that you say (Arabic: taquluna) ..."



Say: "Call upon God, or call upon the Most Gracious: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the most beautiful names. Neither speak thy Prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between."” 


Therefore, one is encouraged to communicate to their Lord with whatever words that one finds spiritual connection and concentration with.






The Quran does not expect a fixed form or recitation


However, a fixed form and recitation also does not contravene the Quranic directives to pray which would be the most likely and logistically feasible way to conduct prayers if one were to assimilate with a prayer congregation [4].


To take the lack of mention of common rituals of practicing worshippers in the Quran as an excuse to completely negate prayer altogether, is an assertion unsupportable from a Quran's perspective.



Related Articles:


(1)    Do We Have to Pray in Arabic?

(2)    The Seven Oft-Repeated

(3)    How Can We Learn to Pray if We Don't Have Hadith to Teach Us?

(4)    The Importance of Congregational Prayer

(5)    The Concept of Zakah from the Quran



Joseph Islam

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