Prayer in Islam

Muslims at Prayer There can't be many people who haven't seen images of Muslims at prayer even if they haven't seen actual Muslims at prayer. Long lines of Muslim men with heads down on the floor and bums up in the air. To most non-Muslims this is not an attractive picture. Why do we never see long lines of men and women with heads down on the floor and bums up in the air. Probably because Muhammad said "Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people)." Bukhari (1:490) So does this mean that cats, horses and transvestites would be okay?

Muslims are not allowed to pray if there are any traces of blood (especially menstrual blood), pus, urine, feces, semen, vaginal fluids or alcohol on tem. It follows that a menstruating women is impure, too impure to pray, touch the Quran, recite a Quranic verse, enter a mosque or have sex. Muslims should repeat those prayers at least 5 times per day and before prayer there are washing rituals to be performed:

Wash your hands three times and rinse your mouth with a handful of water three times. Suck water from your right hand up your nose and blow it out with the left hand three times because that's where Satan spends the night. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 516) Wash your face, arms, ears, head, feet three times. These are not actually soap and water serious cleanings, they're to wash off ritual impurity. Any traces of blood (especially menstrual blood), pus, urine, feces, semen, vaginal fluids or alcohol on you means you're impure. If there's no water use clean dirt.

During prayer there are more rituals to be performed. It's a lot like the children's game, Simon Says:

Muhammad says: Stand up straight and face Mecca … Muhammad says: Hands up, thumbs on ears … Muhammad says: Hands crossed under belly-button … Muhammad says: Wrap thumb and pinky around wrist … Muhammad says: Bend down, hands on knees, look between your feet … Muhammad says: Stand up straight … Muhammad says: Down on knees, head on floor, arse up … Muhammad says: Kneel up, right foot up, left foot on floor … Muhammad says: Back down on knees, head on floor, arse up … Muhammad says: Stand up, sort of repeat and then finish off with various finger moves … Muhammad says: Look to the right, look to the left, finish up

During this time there's a lot of very nasal sounding Arabic mumbling. The prayers provide a picture of an omniscient and omnipotent Allah who has a perverse need to hear himself praised billions of times a day.

Allah is the greatest! … Glory be to You, O Allah, and all praises are due unto You, and blessed is Your name and high is Your majesty and none is worthy of worship but You. … Praise is only for Allah, Lord of the Universe; The most Compassionate, the Most Merciful; The Master of the Day of Judgement; You alone we worship and to You alone we pray for help; … Glory to my Lord the Exalted. … Oh our Lord, all praise is to You. … Oh Allah, glory be to You, the Most High. … All compliments, all physical prayer and all worship are for Allah.

This is all basically repeated each session but Allah doth protest too much, methinks. All the flattery and grovelling makes one wonder. If Allah really is this most compassionate, merciful and exalted Divinity why the fuck does he demand Muslims keep repeating praises of his Majesty, over and over and over. The prayers also contain a request to be protected from the Devil and prayers end with acknowledgement that Allah's chastisement, torment and eternal punishment is going to overtake the infidels … that's us. Next time you look into the eyes of a nice, friendly Muslim think of that.