Islamic Ritual Prayer (Salaah) in the Thought and Practice of Muslim Mystics in the Southern Philippines
Kamaruddin Bin Alawi Mohammad
This paper seeks to advance knowledge about Islamic ritual prayer, the salaah, as understood and practiced by some local Muslim mytics in the southern Philippines.The objectives of this paper include the following:
a. To know how local Muslim mystics in the southern Philippines understand and practice salaah for effective ethical and spiritual transformation;
b. To address the validity of such understanding and practice in relation to existing Islamic concepts in particular as well as Islamic textual sources in general;
c. To highlight the notion of non-violence in Islamic ritual prayer, the Salaah;
d. To advance Islamic Concept and practice that reconcile Islamic mystics and Islamic law; and
e. To promote the culture of seeking nearness to God in the Islamic perspective.
This study revealed that the comprehensive approach of local Muslim mystics to Salaah proved effective as far as ethical and spiritual transformation is concerned. The fact that transformation exists “within and without,” there is a rather radical change on the personality of a Muslim making him worthy of being referred to as the “living embodiment of Islam.”
It is ironic that the southern Philippines is known to be a conflict-stricken zone. The countless wars during colonization era, the recent issues on bombing, kidnapping, massacre, and skirmish between government troops and lawless elements tag the place as unsafe. Graft and corruption, election-related violence, and endless clan feuds “addinsult to injury.” Yes this is the very place where I managed to meet local Muslim mystics, Filipinos like us, whose main concern is to know and love God. It is an opportune time to let fellow Filipinos know that the southern Philippines is not all about violence, but also of moral reformation, spiritual self-discovery, and above all, of the struggle to love God amidst conflict.