Posts Of Islam Prayer Found In The Bible
Here we look at several verses from the Bible that describe the prayer and note the similarities with the way Muslims pray.
Prayer has a very important place in the religion of Islam. It is the second pillar of faith and the ritual prayer act is performed five times every day. There is a great power inserted in the positions of prayer and one of the most important is that it establishes and reinforces our connection with God. This is a connection that God Himself established when He created human beings. Our ancestor Adam was responsible for teaching his family to worship God in the right way, which included praying.
All the prophets and messengers of God sent to the nations of the earth spread the same message: ‘O man, worship God. You have no other god but Him.’ (Quran 11:50) They all spoke words of wisdom, guiding people and reminding them that God is One, without partners, sons or daughters. Most of the prophets mentioned in the Quran are recognized by people of Christian and Jewish faith and all prayed in a very similar way to what Muslims pray today.
Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, is the final prophet and that his mission and message were slightly different from the messages of all the prophets before him. While every prophet was sent specifically to guide his own nation, Prophet Muhammad was sent to guide all mankind. He said, “All other prophets were sent exclusively to their nations, while I was sent to all mankind.’ When we understand the connection between all God’s prophets it is not surprising to learn that everyone prayed in the same way. What surprises, however, is that although there are descriptions of prayer in the Bible, Christians and Jews no longer pray the way their own prophets prayed.
The remainder of this article will analyse passages from several books of the Bible and compare them with how Muslims pray.
The most recognizable posture in Islamic prayer is touching the forehead on the floor. It is the summit of a person’s prayer and is mentioned in the authentic traditions of the prophet Muhammad as the position in which a believer is as close as possible to Allah (God). ‘As close as you can get to your Lord and when you are in prostration.” Consider the following verses of the Bible.
“And (Jesus) went a little further, and fell on his face, praying …” (Matthew 26:39)
“Then Joshua fell on his face and worshiped him …” (Joshua 5:14)
“And Moses and Aaron went from before the people to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and fell on their faces …’ (Numbers 20 v6)
“And Abram fell upon his face …” (Genesis 17: 3)
“… and fell down before the throne upon their faces, and worshiped God …” (Revelation 7:11)
“… and bowed their heads, and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” (Nehemiah 8: 6)
“… then David and the elders covered with sackcloth fell on their faces.” (1 Chronicles 21:16)
In many other places in the Bible in which we find the method of prayer mentioned, it comes to mind the way Muslims pray. In the book of the Bible titled Daniel, we are able to read a description of Daniel praying to God in a time of great crisis.
“And when Daniel heard that the edict was signed, he entered into his house (now there were open windows in Jerusalem), and three times in the day he knelt down and prayed, and gave thanks in his presence. God, as He used to do before.’ (Daniel 6:10)
It is interesting to note that the prophet Daniel was praying to Jerusalem. At the beginning of the Prophet Muhammad’s mission, believers also prayed for Jerusalem. However, the direction of Islamic prayer has changed. About sixteen months after the Prophet Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to the city of Medina, the qibla was changed to the sacred House of God in Mecca.
Descriptions of the positions that Muslims adopt in the five ritual prayers per day can be found in the Bible. Some are mentioned in the book of Psalms and Nehemiah: 8:4-6
And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; an on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. (Nehemiah 8:4)
And Ezra opened rhe book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up; (Nehemiah 8:5)
And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their face to the ground. (Nehemiah 8:6)
“Oh, come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, who created us.” (Psalms 95: 6)
“… and all who go down to the dust will bow down before him …” (Psalms 22:29)
And in the book of Kings we find the prophet Elijah throwing himself on the ground on his knees before touching his forehead on the ground.
“… and bowed himself to the earth, and set his face between his knees.” (1 Kings 18:42)
This is a very familiar position for Muslims. The same is true of the position that Jesus adopts during prayer in a time of fear and uncertainty.
“And he (Jesus) departed from them about a stone’s throw: and kneeling down, he prayed.” (Luke 22:41)
Although Jews and Christians today do not pray as we read in the Bible, Muslims continue to pray in a similar way to the prophets, as intended by the Creator of the heavens and the earth.