Amber asked me about how I pray if I don’t follow the hadith. Well, let’s see what the Qur’an says about prayer.
1. How are you supposed to pray?
7:29 “Say: “My Lord has enjoined justice and set your faces upright when prostrating. Call upon Him sincerely, turning to Him exclusively in religion, even as He brought you forth in the beginning, so to Him shall you also return.”
23:1-2 “Successful, indeed, are the believers, who are humble while offering their supplications.”
107:4-5 “So woe unto those who pray – while being heedless to (the commandments of) their prayers.”
We are to pray sincerely, humbly, and minding what those prayers command, turning to God exclusively and calling on Him.
2. What form is prayer to take?
9:112 “(These are) they who turn to God (seeking forgiveness), who worship Him, praise Him, fast, bow down, prostrate themselves…”
18:110 “Say: “Call upon God, or call upon Ar-Rahman (the Beneficient); whichever you call upon, to Him belong the best names. And do not say your prayer too loudly, and do not say it too softly either, but seek a middle course between these two (extremes).”
We are to bow and prostrate ourselves, and to say our prayers aloud, but not shouting or whispering them.
3. When are we supposed to pray?
2:238 “Be strict in observance of the prayer and (in particular) the midday prayer, and stand up in devotion to God.”
11:114 “Establish prayer in the two ends of the day, and at the approaches of the night. Indeed the good deeds take away the evil ones; this is a reminder for the (believers who are) mindful (of their Lord).”
17: 78-79 “Establish prayer (regularly) from sunset until the darkness of the night, and the recital at dawn; verily the recital at dawn is witnessed. And (in a part) of the night, awake from sleep for performing the prayer, as a supererogation for your own good, perchance your Lord will bring you to a praised position.”
20:130 “So be patient with what they say, and glorify your Lord by praising Him before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and in some hours of the night glorify Him, and during parts of the day, that you may achieve the Pleasure (of your Lord).”
30:17 “So glory be to God when you approach the eve or the morn.”
62:9 “O you who believe! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten, all of you, to remembering God, and abandon all trading; that is better for you, if you only know.”
We are to pray in the morning at dawn, at midday, and in the evening before the sun sets. Waking up for prayers during the night is encouraged as something extra that is good for us, but not a requirement. We should be especially attentive to prayer on Fridays and the midday prayer.
4. Under what circumstances is prayer to be postponed?
4:43 “O you who believe! Do not approach prayer when intoxicated until you know well what you say, nor if you have had intercourse, unless you are traveling, until you bathe. If you are sick, or on a journey, or if one of you comes from the privy, or you have touched women and you do not find water, then take pure earth and wipe (with it a part of your face and hands); God is Pardoning, Forgiving.”
So, if you’re drunk or high (that you shouldn’t be should go without saying), you shouldn’t pray until you’re sober. If you’ve been intimate with your spouse (unless traveling), if you’re sick, or traveling, if you’ve used the bathroom, or (once again) been intimate with your spouse – NOT just touched a woman – prayer should be postponed until you can do the ritual purification. You are to use dirt if water isn’t available. Nowhere does it say that women can’t pray, touch or read the Qur’an, fast, etc, during their periods. The hadith on this were just men being all grossed out by a process they couldn’t understand. What God makes is not unclean, and He never prohibited women from fulfilling their religious obligations at any time.