Chanda Salat

The recent blogs on chanda and many facebook discussions have prompted this entry as Ahmadis seem to have problems grasping the understanding of obligatory. Thus, before insha’Allah commencing with my example of “chanda salat” in light of the justification Ahmadis use for “chanda aam”, here is the dictionary definition of “obligatory”:

1. required as a matter of obligation; mandatory: A reply is desirable but not obligatory.
2. incumbent or compulsory (usually fol. by on  or upon ): duties obligatory on all.
3. imposing moral or legal obligation; binding: an obligatory promise.
4. creating or recording an obligation, as a document.

2.  necessary, imperative.

2.  voluntary.

The Arabic transliteration for obligatory is “fardh” or “farz” in Urdu, this is the bare minimum expected from every Muslim.  I am not going to write about all that is obligatory and all that is not obligatory in Islam; this is not the purpose of this entry.

Upon discussing “chanda aam” and its obligatory nature with Ahmadis, I was hit with ayahs from the Holy Qu’ran regarding charity as justification for “chanda aam”, for example:

[31:4] Those who establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity, and have (in their hearts) the assurance of the Hereafter.

There are many other examples of charity in the Holy Qu’ran and we need not list them all. This is basically the Ahmadi argument; it says in the Holy Qu’ran to give charity thus we are not doing anything wrong. Are you suggesting that giving charity is a bad thing? Are you saying giving charity will not benefit me in the after-life? And other similar questions along those lines, whether rhetorical or not. Regardless of the answer to those questions; Ahmadis ignore the fundamental aspect which Muslims are arguing against.

This is where the example of “chanda salat” is being used, for the sake of making an Ahmadi understand. Now let’s all (please remember I am using an example of how Ahmadis use ayahs in the Holy Qu’ran referring to charity in order to justify “chanda aam”) start a prayer which should be prayed regularly at twelve midnight and we will call it “chanda salat”. Will you observe this prayer as an obligation? Why not? It says in the Holy Qu’ran:

[2:45] Nay, seek (Allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit,-

I can give you many more examples from the Holy Qu’ran. Is prayer a bad thing? Are you suggesting I should not pray to Allah (SWT)? Are you saying praying regularly at twelve midnight will not benefit me in the after-life? Maybe you should read the Holy Qu’ran:

[20:130] Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun, and before its setting; yea, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day: that thou mayest have (spiritual) joy.

[4:103] When ye pass (Congregational) prayers, celebrate Allah’s praises, standing, sitting down, or lying down on your sides; but when ye are free from danger, set up Regular Prayers: For such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times.

Clearly the Holy Qu’ran says “celebrate them for part of the hours of the night” and that we should “set up regular prayers”, thus the twelve midnight “chanda salat” prayer is obligatory upon you. This would thus be the sixth prayer which is obligatory right? Now what would be the response of a Muslim regarding “chanda salat”?

This prayer is an innovation; Allah (SWT) and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) only enjoined five obligatory prayers upon us thus the sixth prayer, no matter how beneficial it may be, will be rejected outright without any consideration whatsoever. Would Ahmadis agree with my assessment? 

Sahih Bukhari
Volume 1, Book 2, Number 45:
Narrated Talha bin ‘Ubaidullah:
A man from Najd with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Apostle and we heard his loud voice but could not understand what he was saying, till he came near and then we came to know that he was asking about Islam. Allah’s Apostle said, “You have to offer prayers perfectly five times in a day and night (24 hours).” The man asked, “Is there any more (praying)?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “No, but if you want to offer the Nawafil prayers (you can).” Allah’s Apostle further said to him: “You have to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan.” The man asked, “Is there any more fasting?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “No, but if you want to observe the Nawafil fasts (you can.)” Then Allah’s Apostle further said to him, “You have to pay the Zakat (obligatory charity).” The man asked, “Is there any thing other than the Zakat for me to pay?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “No, unless you want to give alms of your own.” And then that man retreated saying, “By Allah! I will neither do less nor more than this.” Allah’s Apostle said, “If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Paradise).”

  • The hadith in Sahih Bukhari (Volume 1, Book 2, Number 45) states five prayers are obligatory on us, thus why should we adopt a sixth? Of course any prayers performed outside these five are optional; some of course recommended. However they are not obligatory, the five prayers are the bare minimum and they are mandatory, unlike “chanda salat”. Would Ahmadis agree? 
  • The hadith in Sahih Bukhari (Volume 1, Book 2, Number 45) states one charity is obligatory on us, thus why should we adopt a second? Of course any charity set-up outside of this one charity is optional, even recommended. However it would not be obligatory, the one sole charity (zakat) is the bare minimum and it is mandatory, unlike “chanda aam”. Would Ahmadis agree?

Why is the acid test for “chanda salat” under the first bullet point not applied to “chanda aam” in the second bullet point? Seriously think about this Ahmadis, either both the bullet points are answered “yes” or they are answered “no”. It cannot be that one is “yes” and the other is “no”, this would be a logical flaw. The principle in both of them is identical. If one still claims that “chanda aam” is obligatory then s/he has not understood the concept of “chanda salaat” and I would ask you read the example again.

I and the other 1.5 billion Muslims around the world request you leave Ahmadiyya and return to Islam. This is your after-life we are talking about. You have put your faith in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and we Muslims have put our faith in the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his way, his life, his example. We are simply asking you to follow his (SAW) way.