Glorify God through commitments

Glorifying God is everything in the heavens and the earth. He is the Supreme Power, the Sacred, the Almighty, and the Judge. (62:1)

In addition, everything that exists in the universe and the earth is observing its Sol-laa. It knows how to uphold its Sol-laa without the aid of prophets or messengers.

Do you not see that God is glorified by everything in the heavens and the earth as well as the birds in their flight? Surely every one of them knows its own commitments (Sol-laa-ta-hu1) and glorification. God knows what they do. (24:41)

Glorifying Him are the seven heavens and the earth and everything in them. There is nothing that does not praise His Glory, but you do not understand their glorification. He is Clement, Forgiver. (17:44)

The verse clearly says that there is nothing that does not praise His glory. This means all the celestial planets in the sky; the wind, the electro-magnetic forces, and everything in existence beyond human’s comprehension are praising the glory of God all the time. For various reasons people were led to believe that they are required to bow and prostrate physically to God.

Here, the religionists have overstretched themselves. They would have us believe that the word sujud in the Reading means prostrate. However, a logical investigation into uses of this word and the cross reference of similar words with the same root in associated verses show that the word sujud does not – and can not – refer to physical prostration. Sujud simply means being in a state of subservience.

The concept of performing ritual prayer is the result of a false teaching introduced by the pagan Arabs to reduce the status of the Supreme God to that of a local deity. Instead of serving Him by deeds they call everyone to worship Him.


1 God says everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him and they are doing their Sol-laa including the birds in their flights. These creatures exist as nations like us- but we don’t see them glorifying and doing their Sol-laa through organised religion. This is how God teaches people about His Book making His message clear.

Muhammad’s commitment

We saw in verse 6:160 above that Muhammad was following the order of Abraham. The Reading is not a new revelation or a new guidance from God. It is the same set of decrees prescribed to Abraham and Moses. The essence of all the Scriptures is the same.

In-naa haza lafi suhufil ulaa, suhufi ibrohim wa-musaa. (87:18-19)

Indeed, this is what is in the Scriptures of old, the Scriptures of Abraham and Moses. (87:18-19)

We have seen that Abraham used the word Sol-laa in his own language, Moses in his and Jesus in his. The word Sol-laa appears for the first time in the Reading at 2:2-3:

That book is infallible, a guide for those who are observant, they believe in the unseen and uphold their commitments (Sol-laa-ta) and from Our provisions to them they give. (2:2-3)

The word Sol-laa at the beginning of surah 2 refers to those who are observant and believe in the unseen God. They are committed to the tenets in the Quran and they are charitable to others. This is part of their commitment. Reading further, one sees verses detailing additional commitments. 2:4 says, ‘They believe in what was revealed to you from your Lord, and what was revealed before you, and they are positively certain about the Hereafter’. We should also note: it also says ‘those who believe in the previous Scripture’ which means, there is a link between the Reading and the previous revealed Books.

Those who believe that the Reading is from God are committed to accepting the whole of it. The word Sol-laa in verse 2:3 cannot mean ritual prayer because we cannot do charity through ritual prayers and we do not believe in God’s books through ritual prayers.

If we believe the Scripture, we will see all the prescribed decrees in the Book. With God’s blessing, He will open up our hearts to peacefulness when our hearts say, ‘We hear and we obey’. That is the moment when we enter into agreement with God:

You shall be appreciative of God’s blessing upon you and uphold the covenant He has made with you when you said, “We hear and we obey.” You shall observe God, and God is fully aware of your innermost thoughts. (5:7)

We do not see our Creator, but the Reading says His power is able to know our innermost thoughts. The moment our heart says we hear and we obey to His prescribed way we have agreed to uphold our Sol-laa.

Recite what is revealed upon you from the Scripture and uphold the commitments (or to what you have committed to i.e the revealed tenets you read from the scripture). Surely your commitments will keep you from evil and it is also for the remembrance of God, which is even greater. (29:45)

The explanation in the bracket is my own. God assures us in 29:45 that if we recite His Scripture and commit ourselves to the values prescribed by Him – it will keep us from doing bad things or getting involved in evil works. It is a method of remembering Him, which is a great achievement. In other words, one way of remembering God is through upholding our commitments of the Quranic teachings and keep the teachings pure at all time – maintain such attitude as an ongoing process as a way of life ‘from sunrise to sunset and during parts of the night’. For as long as we remember Him we are committed to doing good deeds in our lives.

You shall uphold what was prescribed to you, and also those who repented with you, and not transgress. Indeed, He knows whatever your deeds are, watching. Do not incline to those who are wicked. That will make you suffer the Fire. And there is none for you except God as a protector and you will not be helped. And uphold your commitments (aqimi-Sol-laa-ta) through the ends of the day and the parts from the night. Indeed the good deeds nullify the bad. That is the remembrance for those who want to remember. You shall be steadfast. God never fails to reward the righteous. (11:112-115)

The meaning of Sol-laa in the above verses is crystal clear. It has nothing to do with ritual prayers. The Sol-laa is to be observed as a means of remembering our Lord the Creator and to commit ourselves to doing good deeds which will obviously nullify all the negative elements in our life. There is nothing magical about the process.

Jesus’ commitments

The Children of Israel created the Jewish religion after they had distorted the Scripture revealed to Moses. The following verse says God will be with them for as long as they commit themselves (Sol-laa-ta) in believing God’s messenger and to lend God a loan of righteousness by upholding the covenant they made with Him.

God has taken a covenant from the Children of Israel and We appointed for them twelve disciples; and declared, “I will be with you for as long as you ‘observe your commitments and keep them pure’ (aqom-tumuz-Sol-laa-ta-wa-atai-tumuz-Zakaa) and believe My messengers and support them. And lend God a righteous loan of righteousness. I will forgive your wrongdoings, and admit you into gardens with flowing streams. Anyone who disbelieves after this has indeed strayed off the right path. Because they violated their covenant, we put a curse on them, and We hardened their hearts. Consequently they distorted the scripture given to them, and disregard parts thereof. You will always see betrayal from them, except a few. You shall forgive and forget (the few), for God loves the compassionate. (5:12-13)

Jesus the son of Mary was sent to them with the purpose of demolishing this artificial Jewish religion. He was strengthened with the Holy Spirit and demonstrated miracles as signs that he was from God. He told the people he was enjoined to commit himself to undertaking the re-establishment of the laws of the Torah. It is self-evident that he spoke in his own language (which is rendered in Arabic in the Reading). What he said is found in the Reading as Sol-laa-ti-wa-zakaa-ti. The following statement was made while he was in the cradle:

Waja’al-lani mubarokah ainama kontu wa-ausorni bis-Sol-laa-ti wa-zakaa-ti ma-dumtu hiya (19:31)

And He makes me blessed wherever I go and He enjoined the obligations and purity upon me for as long as I live. (19:31)

When Jesus, son of Mary said wa-ausomi bis-Sol-laa-ti he did not mean I was enjoined with the ritual prayer but I was enjoined with the commitments to reform the Children of Israel, calling them to return to the original law given to Moses. He asked them to abolish the Jewish religion. That was his commitments. From the day he was born God gave him the knowledge of the scripture and the wisdom.

Moses’ commitments

Moses was chosen from among the Children of Israel to free them from the oppression of Pharaoh. Before they left Egypt, they were told to keep a low profile and use their homes as their base to uphold their commitments. Again the word Sol-laa-ta is used for commitments.

We inspired Moses and his brother, “Let your people confine themselves to their homes in Egypt, and let them consider their homes their base, and let them uphold their commitments (Sol-laa-ta)1, and give the good news to the believers.” (10:87)

Moses and those who believe with him were committed to spread the good news to the people – which was their Sol-laa. After they were saved from Egypt, Moses and his people were told to continue to fulfil the covenants by upholding their commitments and to keep them pure. We see the same words used in this context: Sol-laa-ta and zakaa:

Wa-iz aqodz-na misha qor bani-Israela la-ta’budu-na ilal-lah wa-bil-walidai-ni ih-sanan wa-zil-qurba, wal yatama, wal-masakini, wa-qulu-lin-nas husnan, wa-aqimus-Sol-laa-ta wa-atu-zakaa’-ta. (2:83)

And We made a covenant with the Children of Israel: you shall not serve any other than God. And be charitable to your parents and your relatives and the orphans and the poor. And speak to people amicably, and uphold the commitments and keep them pure (Sol-laa-ta-wa-atu-zakaa). (2:83)

The Children of Israel were to serve God by honouring their parents and relatives and the orphans and the poor and speaking amicably to people. These were their commitments. God was not telling them to pray ritually and to pay tithes.


1 A good example Sol-laa does not mean ritual prayer. Moses were reminded with the same word Sol-laa a few times – In this verse he and his people were told to keep a low profile in their homes and continue to commit themselves to pass the good news from God.

Abraham’s commitment

There is nothing new about people upholding the commitment to do good deeds as in the way of life prescribed by God in the Reading. It is not an innovation of the Last Prophet. Mankind has been enjoined to observe its commitments from the time of Abraham. God called Abraham the ‘committed man’. He served the one God by upholding his obligations through God’s prescribed Way of life or deen-nil-lah.

Wat-taqizu min-maqam-mi Ibrohim-ma mu-Sol-lan. (2:125)

Take from the status of Abraham the Committed (2:125)

Please note the word ‘Mu-Sol-lan‘ in this verse. It refers to the state of being of an active participle. For instance, Salam is peace, Muslim is the state peace of an active participle, Muslimin for many men and Muslimat for many women. Similarly, Sol-laa is to commit, Mu-Sol-lan is the singular proper noun. Mu-Sol-leen is the plural, Mu-Sol-leemat refers to many women.

Abraham settled his offspring on a barren valley and he wished for them to live according to God’s prescribed sanctions in the system so that they too could uphold their commitments – or Sol-laa-ta.

Rob-bana inni askantu min-zuriati bawadi ghoi-ri zar-ghain I’nda-baiti-kal mu-Harami. Rob-bana li-yu-qimus-Sol-laa-ta. (14:37)

My Lord, indeed I am settling my progeny in this valley without vegetation by Your sanctioned system. My Lord, let them uphold their commitments. (14:37)

Those who wish to be right with God are told to commit in similar fashion:

Say, the truth has come from God, and you shall follow the principle of Abraham, a sincere monotheist, he never associated any idols with God. (3:95)

The religionists and the u’lema would do well to meditate on the following verse which Muhammad was told to say, revealed in plain Arabic:

Indeed, My Lord has guided me in a straight path, the principle of Abraham, the sincere. He never was an idol-worshipper.” (6:161)

There is no doubt that after such a declaration, any form of idol-worship is completely out of the question.

Serve God through commitments

Again, this is a frightening simple concept. We are encouraged to remind ourselves from the teachings of the Reading:

My commitments, my sacrifices, my life and my death are for God, Lord of the Universe. He has no partner. These are the commandments given to me and I am among the first of those at peace. (6:162-163)

We commit ourselves to everything with sincerity in our personal life including to our job, parents, spouse, children, and associates to enjoy the love, peace and harmony within ourselves for our own good and also for God. It needs self-sacrifice. The Reading teaches a way of life that espouses self-sacrifice for the benefit of all those around us. People are repulsive in committing themselves to the fundamental values prescribed by God in His deen. They are not willing to sacrifice ego, greed and arrogance by observing their obligations to do good deeds.

The Reading teaches these good values, but religionists insist the opposite. When we are confronted with those who dispute this simple concept, we are encouraged to tell them:

Shall I seek other than God as a Lord when He is the Lord of everything in existence? Whatever anyone earns is for his own account. No burdened soul will bear the burden of another. To your Lord is your ultimate return and then He will tell you of everything you disputed. (6:164)

The Lord of the Universe did not reveal His Scriptures in vain. The revelations are His signs, His good news, and His guide to mankind. The Scripture is non-negotiable and cannot be manipulated.

These are the signs of the Reading, a profound Scripture, a guide and good news for those who believe. They uphold the commitments and keep them pure. And they are certain about the Hereafter. (27:2-3)

Those who recite God’s Scripture and uphold the commitments and give to charity from our provisions, publicly or secretly, they seek a transaction that never loses. (35:29)

Charity, donations, amicable treatment of people, equitable trade, moral discipline and the fulfilment of promises are just some of the guidelines encompassed in God’s way. It is, ultimately, the perfect recipe for mankind. However, we have not embraced these prescribed values. The history from the Reading tells us that from the beginning of time, upon receiving God’s Scripture people have insisted on following religion rather than a way of uprightness which promotes good deeds and good works among themselves. They do not promote civility, sincerity, honesty, humbleness, compassion, love or the treatment of each other in the most amicable manner as a way of life. They insist on worship at specific times with the hope that they may be pardoned by their Creator of whatever wrongdoings they have committed. The majority of them prefer to idolise their children, property, imams, priests, religious scholars, prophets and tangible idols. They reject a simple concept of a way of uprightness or deen-al-hunafa. All that is enjoined upon them is to uphold God’s commandments, be sincere in committing themselves to the prescribed deen by doing the good deeds and good works. It is a plain and simple way of life. There is no hardship imposed by God. Of the idol-worshippers the Reading says:

Those who disbelieve among the followers of the previous Scriptures and the idol-worshippers will never believe even after proof comes to them. (98:1)1

All that is enjoined upon them is to believe in God by devoting themselves to serve God’s in sincerity in the way of life (deen), and to uphold the commitments and keep them pure. That is the way of uprightness (deen-al-hunafa). (98:5)

The way of uprightness is measured by personal commitment to the deeds as detailed in His Scripture. We know this from 98:5. One recommended way of upholding the commitment is to observe the following:

Your Lord has decreed that you shall not serve other than Him, and honour your parents for as long as they live, one of them or both of them. You shall not speak harshly to them, nor mistreat them; you shall speak to them amicably, and lower for them the wings of humility and kindness and say, “My Lord, have mercy on them, for they have brought me up from infancy.” (17:23-24)

If we serve God and keep this one simple rule, try to imagine the global impact of such a movement. This is the world that Islam envisions. We are required to consent to what He has prescribed: uphold these commitments and keep them pure. This decree is not a new revelation to the Last Prophet. The same decree was given to Moses for the Children of Israel:

We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, “You shall not serve other than God. You shall regard parents, the relatives, the orphans, and the poor. You shall speak to them amicably. You shall uphold your commitments and keep them pure. But you turned away, except a few of you, and you became averse.” (2:83)

2:83 says the majority of the Children of Israel became averse and aborted their covenant with God. They did not fulfil their obligations.

Similarly, we are expected to uphold our commitments by observing the requirements of the following commandment:

O mankind! You shall observe your Lord, who created you from one person, then created from her, her mate, then from the two of them He spread many men and women. You shall observe God whom you swear by, and regard your relatives. God is watching you. You shall give the orphans their due properties and not substitute the bad for the good, nor shall you consume their money by mixing their properties with yours. This would be a gross injustice. (4:1-2)

Whatever decree had been revealed by God to the children of Israel was again revealed to the Last Prophet, and those who consented themselves are reminded to uphold their commitments and to keep them pure. He repeats many times throughout the Reading that those who believe in Him should serve Him and observe His will through fulfilling their commitments, and that they should keep these commitments pure. God’s covenants are those matters He prescribes in the Scripture. He constantly reminds us about His servants’ obligation to fulfill the covenants:

You shall not touch the orphan’s money, except for their own good until they grow up. You shall fulfil your covenants. You are responsible for your covenants. You shall give full measure when you trade, and weigh with an equitable balance. This is better and more righteous. Surely your hearing, eyesight and your heart will be questioned about them. (17:34-36)

In other words, everything that we do in our life like caring the orphans or even our trading activities will be taken into account. In the hereafter we simply cannot deny what we have done to ourselves in this world because our ears, eyes and heart will testify against us. For example, if we accept anything blindly without using common sense our hearings, eyes and hearts will testify against us.

A Muslim’s claim of consenting to God can therefore be put to the litmus test by observing his commitment to his covenants. Islam is, by the Creator’s design, a way of life characterised by deeds and merit. And by a person’s deeds shall you know them.

The religionists (who insist that their followers recite God’s Scripture in Arabic) would have people parrot the verses of the Reading without ever fulfilling their commitments or gaining any merit. Praying ritually is not part of the deen revealed by God. His prescribed way demands service by deeds. Anyone can perform ritual prayers.

The champions of the Arab religion insist a good Muslim must pray ritually2 five times a day facing Mecca. This is the most important commitment and the first pillar of their religion. There is no basis for this assertion since the Reading does not state a need to fulfil commitments by ritual prayer. Indeed this is a fact and there is no getting away from it.

Thus, they have corrupted one of the most important words in the Reading (and subsequently one of the most important concepts in the deen) by twisting the word Sol-laa (which means commitments) to mean ritual prayer. And they prevent people from upholding their commitments according to the covenants prescribed by God in the Scripture.

Before exploring the misrepresentation of the word Sol-laa, we would do well to explore the Reading and its instruction regarding worship. This is important because the word Sol-laa was mischievously distorted to become ritual prayer. Ritual prayer as we know is an act of worship3.


1 The people of the previous scriptures who follow a religion under a brand name and those who receive the Qur’an but follow a religion are termed as idol worshipers. There is only one way in life for mankind to observe i.e. God’s way

2 This is the most important pillar of faith in the Arab religion. A person’s character is judged by his compliance in performing the ritual prayers including the criminals. In some countries, it is a serious crime for not praying.

3 The word ‘abdi in the Qur’an means servant, na’budu we are serving, laa-ta’budu means ‘do not serve’. Ninety percent of the translations use the word worship instead of ‘serve’.