Everything Prays To and Glorifies God

prayer prostration qur'an

[Just to let you know, the text below is a transcription of what I've said in this video. So please excuse any words or phrases that don't quite look right.]


Let us consider what Allah says [Qur’an, 24:41]:


<< أَلَم تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّماواتِ وَالأَرضِ وَالطَّيرُ صافّاتٍ ۖ كُلٌّ قَد عَلِمَ صَلاتَهُ وَتَسبيحَهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَليمٌ بِما يَفعَلونَ


ʾa-lam tara ʾanna llāha yusabbiḥu lahū man fī s-samāwāti wa-l-ʾarḍi wa-ṭ-ṭayru ṣāffātin kullun qad ʿalima ṣalātahū wa-tasbīḥahū wa-llāhu ʿalīmun bi-mā yafʿalūn

Do you not see that all those who are in the heavens and earth praise God, glorify Him.


The word used here is yusabbi, the verb from the word tasbih. Tasbih is for us to say, for example, subhanAllah.


<< وَالطَّيرُ صافّاتٍ >>

wa-ṭ-ṭayru ṣāffātin

As do the birds with wings outstretched.


This is interesting because Allah is referring to everything in the heavens and the Earth, and then specifically mentions the birds. They are not outside of the heavens and the Earth as some special creature. They are obviously part of all of that creation and existence. Perhaps there's a special emphasis here because birds are something that we can relate to more directly.

Allah then mentions s-samāwāti wa-l-ʾarḍi, the Heavens and the Earth, and if we consider that the samāwāt contains most (if not all) of everything existing out there, then we know we're talking about billions of light-years of expanse and things happening.

So all of that is praising Allah and Allah specifically mentioned the birds. Perhaps there's something we can more directly relate to here: the birds with wings outstretched.

Then Allah says: 


<< كُلٌّ قَد عَلِمَ صَلاتَهُ وَتَسبيحَهُ >>

kullun qad ʿalima ṣalātahū wa-tasbīḥahū

Each of them knows its Salat, its own way of prayer, with the tasbīḥa and glorification. God has full knowledge of what they do.

Perhaps, with the birds, their tweeting is that tasbīḥa (is their glorification) and their wings flapping is their Salat. Allah knows best.

What we gather from this verse is this idea that the Salat fully encompasses all things Allah asks of human beings and wants us to demonstrate (to show glorification; purifying themselves; praising Allah). Salat is the most important action in our lives that manifests all of these things. Allah's making that point here. 

What we need to ask is, “Why is Allah telling us this? Why is He saying this to us?”

He's making the point to us that everything else out there is doing this. Everything glorifies God, submits to Him and prostrates to Him. Everything has its own way of Salat and of fitting into this divine plan and order.


<< وَاللَّهُ عَليمٌ بِما يَفعَلونَ >>

wa-llāhu ʿalīmun bi-mā yafʿalūn

And God has full knowledge of what they (i.e. people) do.

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