Understanding Prayer According to Language and Terms in Islam



Understanding Prayer According to Language and Terms in Islam

Muslimcreed – Prayer is the need of every Muslim, both individually and in community groups.


Prayers are offered according to the needs of the situation and conditions being faced.

On this occasion we will discuss the meaning of prayer, either according to language or terms, as well as the meaning of prayer contained in the Qur’an.

Definition of prayer according to language and terms

In a linguistic perspective, the word du‟a comes from the Arabic da‟a-yada‟u-da‟ada‟watun, which means to call, invite, ask for help, ask and beg.

In everyday use, the word du‟a has several meanings, including:

– Raghib al-Ishafahani in his book al-Mu’jam li mufradat Alfadzh Al-Qur’an al-karim (vocabulary dictionary of the Qur’an) among other things says that the word prayer has the same meaning as the word nida’, namely a call. The difference is that the word nida’ sometimes uses the word yes’ without mentioning the name of the person he is calling. The words du’a and nida’ are sometimes used to denote either of these two meanings.

– The word du’a is also used to mean giving a name or nickname.

– The word prayer also means worship.

– The word prayer also means a request or request.

In terms, prayer is a request or request from a servant to God by using the desired pronunciation and by fulfilling the stipulated conditions, or asking for something according to his intentions or asking for protection from Allah SWT.

The meaning of prayer according to the Koran

Overall, the word prayer in the Qur’an and its derivation is repeated 213 times in 55 letters. This indicates that the word prayer is a popular word and is often used in social life by Arabs. In the Qur’an, there are at least 6 different meanings of prayer, namely:

First, prayer means worship. When a person prays then he has acknowledged his servanthood before his Lord. As His word Q.S Al-Araf verse 194.

Ibn Manzur as quoted by Baiquni is of the view that the prayer in this verse is worship. Allah is against the polytheists who worship other than Allah, because the idols they worship cannot provide any benefit and cannot accommodate anyone’s request.

Second, prayer means an appeal. When a person prays, he has called on his Lord to make his desires a success. As His word Q.S al-Araf verse 193.

Tahir Ibn Asyur is of the view that the prayer in the verse is a call addressed to the Muslims, if the Muslims invite the idol worshipers to the way of Allah and believe and do good deeds, he is sure that some of the idol worshipers are reluctant to follow the call of the Muslims, apart from inviting them to worship. or not to invite him.

Third, prayer means Da’wah. When a person prays then he has invited to the good that is addressed in prayer. As His word Q.S Noah verses 5-8.

Hamka views in Tafsir Al-Azhar that the prayer in that verse is the preaching of the Prophet Noah As. The da’wah is carried out in the morning, afternoon, evening with difficulty and not the least bit tired of inviting his people to return to the right path. Although the response of his people is not at all pleasant. They even cover their ears to indicate they are reluctant to listen. They also close their eyes as a sign of not wanting to see. However, the da’wah carried out by Noah was carried out in an open way.

Fourth, prayer means Istighasah (Ask for Help). When a person prays, he asks for help from those who are praying. As His word Q.S al-Qasas verse 64.

Ibn Kathir views in Tafsir Al-Qur’an al-‘Adzim that the prayer in that verse is a call for help. In the sense that the allies can complete the affairs at hand, as they wished in the life of the world and then they called for it. However, they are reluctant to allow calls for guidance. Only after they saw the punishment of hell with their own eyes, did they scream and cry for help. If they were among those who received guidance in the life of this world, surely their call for help would be accepted.

Fifth, prayer means Nida (Call). When a person prays, he calls out to the person he is praying to. Most people who pray use adatun-nida (call words) such as Allahumma (O Allah), Ya Allah (O Allah), Ya Rabbi (O my Lord) and so on. As His word Ar-Rum verse 25.

Al-Qurtubi views in the interpretation of Al-Qurtubi, that the prayer in that verse is a call. In the sense of God’s call to raise people from the grave. Just as a superior calls or his subordinates call, then immediately subordinates must answer the call. As the verse “I call the name Kulaib then it is as if I am calling a stone that is falling or faster”.

Sixth, prayer means supplication.

When a person prays, he begs to be addressed in prayer to grant his request. As His word Al-Mu’minun verse 60.

Ibn Kathir views in the interpretation of the Qur’an al-‘Adzim that the prayer in that verse is a request. Allah SWT encourages His servants to always pray to Him. Because Allah swt guarantees that the prayers of His servants will be answered. As Sufyan al-Tsauri said, “O Essence who loves servants who ask Him a lot, O Essence who hates servants who do not want to ask Him, there is no one like that except You, O my Lord”. Imam Ahmad narrated from Abu Hurairah RA, he said “The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever does not pray to Allah SWT, Allah will be angry with him”.

After seeing some of the terms regarding the use of the meaning of prayer in the Qur’an above, it can be said that the term prayer can be used in various ways. As for its use, it can be adapted to the existing context. So that it can be seen the difference between the intent and purpose of the prayer being said. In several meanings, prayer can be used for: worship, appeal, da’wah, asking for help, calling, supplication.

Thus a review of the meaning of prayer according to language and terms, as well as the meaning of prayer contained in the Qur’an.

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