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A Ḥadīth and Its Indication Problem within the Context of Relationship between Faith and Deeds

Hüseyin Kahraman, Hacer Şahin

Abstract


https://doi.org/10.12730/13091719.2018.92.181

The ḥadīth on the importance of ṣalāh, namely, “Whoever performs five daily prayers (ṣalāh) is guaranteed heaven by Allah. Whoever does not fulfil it, however, shall have no guarantee in the presence of Allah; Allah, at His will, may torment him or put him in His Heaven,” has been considered by numerous scholars as evidence that a person who abandons ṣalāh partially or completely with no reasonable excuse may still be forgiven by Allah. The followers of this approach construe the phrase “whoever does not fulfil it” as “whoever does not perform five daily prayers.” Nevertheless, the indication “whoever performs five daily prayers” in the initial section of the ḥadīth is reinforced by expressions such as “without missing any rule,” “without undervaluing it,” and “paying attention to its time, bows (rukūʿ), and prostration (sujūd)” in various narratives of the same ḥadīth. Given this fact, the phrase “whoever does not fulfil it” in the second part of the ḥadīth may be pointing at the essentials of ṣalāh and not at ṣalāh itself. In addition, the latter approach is supported by the general attitude of Islam about forgiving sins, conveniences with regard to the performance of ṣalāh, as well as various Qurʾān verses and ḥadīths that concretely outline the punishment for abandoning ṣalāh. In light of the foregoing, it seems inappropriate to consider the abovementioned ḥadīth as evidence with regard to relationship between faith and deed, and particularly “punishment of abandoning ṣalāh;” rather, the ḥadīth may concern the complete fulfilment of the essentials of ṣalāh.


Key Words: Five times of ṣalāh, abandoning of ṣalāh, faith and deeds.


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