“And he (Jesus) went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed” (Matthew, 26:39)
Muslims Pray Like Jesus
As you may know, Muslims perform a ritual prayer at five different times during the day. This prayer is called “Salah”.
There are four positions in Salah:
The way that Muslims pray is actually a lot like the way the Bible describes the praying of Moses, Jesus, and many other Prophets, (peace be upon them).
Call to Prayer (Adhan)
When the time for prayer comes, Muslims are commanded to call the people to assemble for congregational prayer. This is called the “Adhan”. In the Noble Quran, God addresses the believers saying:
“O you who have believed, when [the Adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew” [Noble Quran 62:9]
We find a similar command of a call for congregation in the Bible:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, make thee two trumpets of silver… that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly… and when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” [Numbers 10:1-3]
Before the prayer begins, Muslims make “Wudu”; the ritual ablution or cleaning done to purify oneself before prayer. In the Quran, Allah says:
“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles.” [Noble Quran 5:6]
And what does the Bible say about washing before prayer?
“Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.” [2 Samuel 12:20]
“And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. They washed whenever they went into the tent of the congregation or approached the altar, they washed, as the LORD commanded Moses.” [Exodus 40:31-32]
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it.” [Exodus 30:17-19]
Facing Jerusalem (Qiblah)
When Muslims pray, they face towards the “Ka’bah” in Mecca. This was the first house of worship ever built. Constructed by Abraham and his son Ishmael (peace be upon them), this direction of prayer is called the “Qiblah”.
“Turn then your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.” [Noble Quran 2:144]
Prior to the prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), the correct Qiblah was towards Jerusalem as was observed by previous prophets.
“… he (Daniel) went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” [Daniel 6:10]
When Muslims perform the daily prayer “Salah”, they bow down in prostration to God, displaying their submission to God. They touch the ground with their forehead and the tip of their nose.
Allah says in the Quran,
“O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good – that you may succeed.” [Noble Quran 22:77]
So, what does the Bible have to say?
“They (the angels) fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God” [Revelation 7:11]
“Going a little farther, he (Jesus) fell with his face to the ground and prayed…” [Matt 26:39]
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” [Psalm 95:6]
“Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground.” [Judges 13:20]
“When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD–he is God! The LORD–he is God!'” [I Kings 18:39]
“So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.” [I Kings 18:42]
“Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD.” [2 Chronicles 20:18]
“They knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” [2 Chronicles 7:3]
“Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” [Nehemiah 8:6]
“And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped” [Joshua 5:14]
“And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.” [Exodus 34:8]
“When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground before the LORD.” [Genesis 24:52]
When the prayer is over Muslims, raise their heads in “Du’a” thanking God for all the blessings He has given them and asking for forgiveness.
“Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” [Noble Quran 2:201]
“… when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.” [I Kings 8:54]
“And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.'” [John 11:41-42]
So, you can see that it’s Islam that correctly continues in the tradition of the earlier prophets. That’s because Islam is not a new religion. Islam, which is an Arabic word meaning submission to the will of God, was the religion of all the prophets and messengers from Muhammad ﷺ to Jesus to David to Moses to Jacob to Abraham to Noah and all the way back to Adam (peace be upon them all).
All of God’s prophets brought the message of Islam, submission to God and “Tawheed”; the absolute oneness of God. It’s only people who changed it around.