Does Allah pray to the Prophet in إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ aya 56 Surah Al-Ahzab?

Can you please explain how in surah Ahzab verse 56 the word yusaluna cannot be translated as prayer. Many Christians claim that the verse says Allah is praying.
Jazakallah khair

The Answer

Wa alikom asslam,

The aya that you are referring to is:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

This is actually one of the oldest suspicions about Islam/ the Quran which is mainly caused by lack of knowledge in Arabic.

The word صلاة in Arabic, doesn’t only mean pray, it also means duaa’ (supplication), istigfaar (asking for forgiveness) and praising.
So what determines which meaning is it then?
Well, the preposition that comes after it, so it is then a phrasal verb.
If you say يصلى لــ it means to worship and pray to ..
But if you say يصلى على it would mean to praise, and this is the meaning used in this aya ..

Think of it as the difference between ‘look at’ and ‘look after’ .. they both use the verb look, but because it is a phrasal verb, it changes its meaning depending on the preposition used along with it.
Hope this answers your question

Allah knows best.
Asslamo alikom

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