FIVE TIME PRAYERS (NAMAZ) IN THE BIBLE

The second pillar of Islam is Namaz. After the night journey (mi’raj) of Prophet Muhammed PBUH, five-time prayer (Namaz) became the duty of Muslims. Namaz existed during earlier Prophets in a different way. The Holy Quran has clearly mentioned about that. Prophet Ibrahim (A) prays to Allah that:

‘O my Lord, keep me as establisher of prayer and some of my children too, O our Lord, and accept my prayer. (Surah Ibrahim 40)

Allah orders Prophet Moses (A) as this:

Verily I am Allah there is none to be worshiped save He. So worship me and establish prayer for My remembrance. (Surah Ta-ha 14)

We can hear words of Prophet Issa (A):

And he made me blessed wherever I may be and enjoined on me prayer and poor due (Zakat) so long as I live.( Surah Maryam 31)

We can understand from above-mentioned verses that namaz has existed in the period of Prophet Ibrahim, Moosa, and Issa (A).And they performed the Namaz.

From Old Testament
Abraham:

Abraham bowed down with his face touching the ground, and God said,(Genesis 17:3)

This is the model of “Sujood” in the namaz .we can see “Rukoo’”(Bow down) and “sujood”(Prostrate) in the namaz which existed in the period of Prophet Ibrahim (A):

I knelt down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me straight to my master’s relative, where I found his daughter for my master’s son.(Genesis 24:48)

When the servant of Abraham heard this, he bowed down and worshiped the LORD. (Genesis 24:52)

Moses
We can see Moses is praying with his “sujood.”

Moses quickly bowed down to the ground and worshiped.

He said, “Lord if you are pleased with me, I ask you to go with us. These people are stubborn but forgive our evil and our sin, and accept us as your people.”(Exodus 34:8,9)

Aaron
We can see also that Prophet Aaron and Moses doing “Sujood”:

Moses and Aaron moved away from the people and stood at the entrance of the Tent. They bowed down with their faces to the ground, and the dazzling light of the LORD’s presence appeared to them.(Numbers 20:6)

Joshua
Prophet Joshua who came after Moses is also doing the same thing:

“Neither,” the man answered. “I am here as the commander of the LORD’s army.” Joshua threw himself on the ground in worship and said, “I am your servant, sir. What do you want me to do?”(Joshua 5:14)

Ezra
Let us see the model of jamaat namaz (Congregation prayer) in the Bible:

As Ezra stood there on the platform high above the people, they all kept their eyes fixed on him. As soon as he opened the book, they all stood up. Ezra said, “Praise the LORD, the great God!” All the people raised their arms in the air and answered, “Amen! Amen!” They knelt in worship, with their faces to the ground.(Nehemiah 8:5,6)

It is same as performing “khutba”(Muslim Friday sermon ) in the “mimbar”(a stand prepared for performing Juma khutba) and performing “Juma namaz” on Friday

From New Testament
We can see that Jesus himself has done “sujood.”

Jesus
He went a little farther on, threw himself face downward on the ground, and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Not what I want, but what you want.”( Matthew 26:39)

He went a little farther on, threw himself on the ground, and prayed that, if possible, he might not have to go through that time of suffering.( Mark 14:35)

Then he went off from them about the distance of a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed.(Luke 22:41)

Namaz time
Namaz has fixed time; we can see the same in old prophet’s namaz also:

From the east to the west praise the name of the LORD!(Psalms 113:3)

One day Peter and John went to the Temple at three o’clock in the afternoon, the hour of prayer.(The Acts 3:1)

Masjid
The place which Muslims are doing prayer is called as “Masjid” which means “Prayer House.” Jesus also calls the place of prayer as “Prayer House”: and said to them, “It is written in the Scriptures that God said, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it a hideout for thieves!”( Matthew 21:13)

Wuzu (ablution)
Before performing Namaz , any Muslim has to Do Vuzu (Ablution).Same thing was done by Moses and Aaron:

He put the washbasin between the Tent and the altar and filled it with water.

Moses, Aaron, and his sons washed their hands and their feet there whenever they went into the Tent or to the altar, just as the LORD had commanded.( Exodus 20:30-32)

So Paul took the men and the next day performed the ceremony of purification with them. Then he went into the Temple and gave notice of how many days it would be until the end of the period of purification when a sacrifice would be offered for each one of them. (The Acts 21:26)

Azan
At the time of Namaz there is a sermon of calling(AZAN) and inviting people to perform Namaz same sermon we can see in the Book of Psalm:

Come, let us bow down and worship him; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! (Psalms 95:6)

Take off sandals
Muslims take off their sandals when they enter Masjid to perform Namaz and prayer.Bible also mentions about the same culture which existed in the old prophetic era:

God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. (Exodus 3:5)

And the commander of the LORD’s army told him, “Take your sandals off; you are standing on holy ground.” And Joshua did as he was told. (Joshua 5:15

The Lord said to him, ‘Take your sandals off, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. (The Acts 7:33)

Raising hand during prayer
Muslims always raise their hand during prayer. We can see same done by Solomon:

After Solomon had finished praying to the LORD, he stood up in front of the altar, where he had been kneeling with uplifted hands. (1 Kings 8:54)

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