Question: Isn’t salat offered five times a day? Why do some people say that we have to perform salat three times or six times a day?
Our Master the Prophet told us that salat was performed five times a day. He himself performed it five times a day for years. At this stage, there is no need to look for any further proof. The Qur’an al-karim says (what means):
(Salat was made obligatory upon Believers at specific times.) [An-Nisa’ 103]Though “Salat was made obligatory upon Believers at specific times” is said in the 103rd verse of Surat an-Nisa’ and all of the five salats are mentioned in the other verses, the reason why the phrase the five daily salats does not appear in the Qur’an al-karim is that not the times of all of them start in polar regions and nearby places. (Nimat-i Islam)
The 78th verse of Surat al-Isra says (what means), “Perform salat from the time when the sun declines to the darkening of the night and at daybreak.” The expressions dulook-ish-shams and ghasaq-il-layl that appear in the Arabic text of it refer to Salat az-Zuhr and Salat al-Asr, and Salat al-Maghrib and Salat al-Isha respectively. The salat performed at daybreak is Salat al-Fajr. (Baydawi)
The 39th and 40th verses of Surat Qaf say (what means), “Glorify your Lord before the rising and setting of the sun and at night.” What is meant by “… before the rising of the sun” is Salat al-Fajr, and what is meant by “… before the setting of the sun” is Salat az-Zuhr and Salat al-Asr. Salat al-Maghrib and Salat al-Isha are meant by “… at night.” (Baydawi)
When Hadrat Ibn Abbas was asked, “Which Qur’anic verse talks about the five daily salats?” he recited the following verse (which means):
(Glorify Allah when you enter the evening, when you reach the morning, at the end of the daytime, and at midday.) [Surat ar-Rum 17, 18]
What is meant by “when you enter the evening” is Salat al-Maghrib and Salat al-Isha. What is meant by “when you reach the morning” is Salat al-Fajr. The phrase “at the end of the daytime” refers to Salat al-Asr. And Salat az-Zuhr is meant by the phrase “at midday.” (Jalalayn)
The phrases Salat al-Fajr and Salat al-Isha can clearly be seen in the 58th verse of Surat an-Nur.
When our Master the Prophet was explaining the 238th verse of Surat al-Baqara, which means, “Performs salats and the middle salat” he said, “The middle salat is Salat al-Asr” (Imam-i Ahmad).
This verse says (what means), “Perform salats [salawat] and the middle salat [Salat al-Asr].” According the Arabic grammar, when the word salawat is used, what is meant is more than two salats. If one means two salats, then the word salatayn is used. As the middle salat refers to Salat al-‘Asr, the number of the other salats, except Salat al-‘Asr, cannot be two. It must be more than two. It cannot be three either because the number of them, excluding Salat al-Asr, must be an even one, so that Salat al-Asr can stand in the middle. In other words, as the middle salat is Salat al-Asr, it means that there are two salats before it and two salats after it. When the times of salats that appear in the other Qur’anic verses are taken into account, it is beyond any doubt that the number of salats is five.
(Perform salat in the two parts of the day, as well as in the early hours of the night, for good wipes out evil [sins].) [Surat Hud 114]
The salats performed in the two parts of the day are Salat al-Fajr, Salat az-Zuhr, and Salat al-Asr. The salats performed in the early hours of the night are Salat al-Maghrib and Salat al-Isha. (Madarik)
What is meant by the word good in this verse is the five daily salats. (Madarik, Baydawi)
The main source after the Qur’an al-karim and hadith-i sharifs is ijma (consensus). Our Master the Prophet, his companions, and all Islamic scholars up to present day performed the five daily salats, and there is a conclusive ijma on this matter.
Islamic scholars wrote in their books how salat would be performed. That is, it is established through qiyas al-fuqaha too that salat is performed five times a day.
Question: I read the following hadith in a book:
“In an incident narrated by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and Abu Dawud, famous Islamic scholars, Fudayl said to Hadrat Muhammad that he did not have time to perform salat five times a day and told him, ‘Order me to do a deed that will be sufficient for me when I do it.’ Hadrat Muhammad told him to keep up Salat al-Fajr and Salat al-Asr and said that these two salats would suffice for him.”
Is the hadith mentioned above authentic?
I have not come across such a hadith. It may be fabricated because Islamic scholars do not address our Master the Prophet as Hadrat Muhammad. This title is generally used by non-Muslims. Besides, it goes against all of the authentic ahadith listed below. Abandoning a single fardsalat is gravely sinful. Even if this hadith were authentic, this incident might have taken place before it was made obligatory upon Muslims to perform salat five times a day. Only Salat al-Fajr and Salat al-Asr used to be performed before the Mi’raj. The hajj was made obligatory 10 years after salat was made obligatory. For example, in the hadith-i sharif written hereunder, there is no mention of hajj:
A man with disheveled hair came [maybe he came to learn Islam] and asked the Messenger of Allah:
“O the Messenger of Allah! What is Islam?”
“Islam is to perform salat five times a day.”
“Is it not more than five times?”
“No, it is not. But if one wants to perform salats voluntarily, he can. Besides, one has to fast in the month of Ramadan every year.”
“Am I not obligated to offer any other fasts?”
“If one wants to offer voluntarily, one can. Besides, a rich person must pay zakat on his wealth.”
“Do I have to pay anything else?”
“One can give alms voluntarily if one wishes.”
“By Allah, I will not do anything extra, nor any less than I have to.”
“Whoever does these things will get salvation” [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasai].Regarding the incident mentioned in the question, it may be related to one particular person only. This might have been said so that that person might grow used to salat. As the Islamic religion was a newly-sent religion then, similar instances took place, one of which was as follows: A young man said, “O the Messenger of Allah! I cannot give up lying, committing fornication, and drinking alcohol. What do you advise me to do?” The Messenger of Allah answered, “Give up lying for my sake.” The young man accepted it and left. When he wanted to commit the other two sins, he thought to himself, “If I met the Messenger of Allah having committed these two sins, it would be a lie if I said that I did not commit them. If I said that I did, then he would punish me.” As a result, he gave up the other two sins as well.
Some hadith-i sharifs stating that salat is performed five times a day are listed hereunder:
(Islam is built on five things:
1. To believe in Allah and that Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam is His Messenger,
2. To perform salat five times a day,
3. To give one-fortieth of one’s wealth to poor Muslims once a year,
4. To fast every day in the month of holy Ramadan,
5. To perform hajj in Mecca once in one’s lifetime.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasai]
(The similitude of a person who performs salat five times a day is like a person who takes a bath five times a day in water running in front of his house. Just as this person is cleansed from dirt, so a person performing salat is cleansed from minor sins.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Imam-i Ahmad, Bayhaqi, Darimi, Tabarani]
(Hadrat Jibril descended and led me in salat. I performed the five daily salats with him, and I was enjoined the five daily salats.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasai]
(Whoever believes that five daily salats are obligatory [fard] and is constant in them by observing bowing, prostrations, wudu’, and their times, Paradise will be wajib and Hell will be haram for him.) [Tabarani]
(Paradise is wajib for him who performs the five daily salats in congregation for 40 days without missing the first takbir.) [Abu Ya’la]
(Fear Allah. Perform the five daily salats. Fast [in the month of Ramadan]. Pay the zakat on your property readily. Obey your leaders, with the result that you will enter the Paradise of your Lord.) [Tirmidhi]
(Offer your act of worship with sincerity for Allah. Perform the five daily salats. Pay the zakat on your property readily. Fast in the month of Ramadan. Go on a pilgrimage [hajj]. As a result, you will enter the Paradise of your Lord.) [Tabarani]
(The first thing Allahu ta’ala made obligatory [fard] is the five daily salats. The first thing to be lifted up will be the five daily salats, too. The first thing one will be questioned about will be the five daily salats, too.) [Hakim]
(One of the three categories of people who will not fear on the Day of Resurrection when everybody will be filled with terror is a mu’adhdhin [caller to salat] who calls people to salat five times a day solely in pursuit of the pleasure of Allah.) [Tabarani]
(Allahu ta’ala ordered the five daily salats. He has promised that He will forgive him who does wudu’ perfectly, performs them in their prescribed times, and does rukus [bowing] and khushu’ [deep and humble reverence] completely. But He has not made a promise to him who does not do these. He will forgive him if He wills. He will not if He does not will.) [Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Nasai, Imam-i Malik, Imam-i Ahmad]
(Whoever performs the five times daily salats, they will be a light, proof, and salvation for him on the Day of Resurrection.) [Ibn Nasr]
(Allahu ta’ala said: “I made the five daily salats obligatory [fard]. I promised that whoever performs them in their prescribed times by observing their requirements I will put him into Paradise. But I did not make a promise to him who does not perform them.”) [Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud]
(The five daily salats and Salat al-Jumu’ah to the next Jumu’ah and the fast of Ramadan to the next Ramadan are an expiation for the sins committed between them. They cause minor sins of those who avoid major sins to be forgiven.) [Muslim, Imam-i Ahmad]
(On the night of Mi’raj, 50 salats a day were made obligatory. Then this number was reduced to 5 times a day.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Imam-i Ahmad]
(Allahu ta’ala said, “My commitment and judgment never changes. The reward of 50 salats a day will be given in return for these 5 salats a day.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasai]
(If a woman performs the five daily salats, fasts, protects herself from non-mahram men, and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise through any of the gates she wishes.) [Ibn Hibban]
(He who abandons the five daily salats will be deprived of Allahu ta’ala’s protection and safety.) [Ibn Majah]
(Whoever performs the five daily salats in congregation when everybody is corrupt, the reward of a hundred martyrs will be written for him every day.) [Imam-i Nasr]
(He who performs the five daily salats in congregation will cross the Sirat Bridge like lightning.) [Tabarani]
(On the Day of Resurrection, the eight gates of Paradise will be opened for all people who perform the five daily salats, fast in the month of Ramadan, pay zakat, and refrain from major sins. They will enter it through whichever gate they wish.) [Hakim]
(A du’a [supplication] made after the five daily salats is accepted.) [Bukhari]
(Keep up the five daily salats because they are an expiation for minor sins.) [Tabarani]
(When you go to a tribe of the People of the Book on a mission, first invite them to bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. If they accept this, tell them that Allah has made five salats a day obligatory. If they accept this too, tell them that Allah has made it obligatory upon them to pay charity [zakat], which will be taken from the rich among them and given to their poor ones.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud]
(All the gates of Paradise will be opened to him who performs the five daily salats, who fasts in Ramadan, who gives the zakat, and who abstains from seven major sins. It will be said to him, “Enter it peacefully and safely.”) [Nasai]
Question: A follower of Muhammad Abduh says, “The phrase five daily salats does not appear in the Qur’an al-karim, but the Prophet performed five salats a day throughout his life. For this reason, offering the five daily salats is not considered a violation of a religious law. But it is also permissible to perform three salats a day.” Does this person mean to say that the Messenger of Allah performed five salats a day in contravention of the rules of the Qur’an?
Did the Messenger of Allah perform five salats a day simply because he wanted to do so, though the Qur’an al-karim did not order him to offer five salats a day? He says the following in a hadith-i sharif:
(On the night when I was ascended up [the Mi’raj], five daily salats were enjoined on me.) [Bukhari, Muslim]
Did the Messenger of Allah tell a lie (never!) by saying, “Five daily salats were enjoined on me”?
An enemy of Islam may say everything he likes because his aim is to distort and wipe out Islam. However, does it befit a Muslim to make friends with such people and give credence to what they say? Is it proper to learn Islam from the books written by the enemies of Islam under various masks?
Question: When 50 salats a day were made obligatory on the night of Mi’raj, Hadrat Musa told our Master the Prophet, “Ask your Lord to reduce this number.” Then it was reduced to 5 salats a day after some haggling. Why was the number of them reduced after the recommendation of Hadrat Musa? Did Allah not know what was beyond the capabilities of humans?
Using the word haggling to describe this event is very ugly. Allahu ta’ala certainly knows everything that happened and will happen. For example, if one makes du’a to recover when afflicted by a disease and if Allahu ta’ala accepts this du’a and cures one of it, it is wrong to say, “Does Allahu ta’ala not know that the patient wanted to recover? What is the use of making du’a?” Du’a is a means to regain one’s health. It is Allahu ta’ala’s divine habit to create everything through a law of causation. In the event mentioned above, He made Hadrat Musa’s recommendation a cause for His rendering the five daily salats obligatory. Thus, His foreordainment in the eternal past materialized, and the five daily salats were made obligatory.