Fatwa: # 19050
Category: Daily
Country: United Arab Emirates
Date: 25th October 2010

Title

Why do we pray five times a day, whereas the Quran says to pray only three times

Question

Why do we pray five times a day, whereas the Quran says to pray only three times. Please clarify

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salaamu 'alaykum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakaatuh.

The Quran does require us to pray five times a day.

 

Nafi' ibn Azraq (rahmatullahi alayhi) came to Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) and said: “Are the five prayers mentioned in the Quran?”

 

So he (radiyallahu anhu) said: “Yes” and recited: “So glorify Allah when you come up to the evening”   Surah Rum, Verse 17. He said: “Maghrib Prayer.” “and when you enter the morning”  “ Fajr Prayer.” “And His is all the praises and thanks in the heavens and the earth in the afternoon” “Asr Prayer” And read  “And when you enter the time of Dhuhr ”  “Dhuhr Prayer”  And read “and after the Isha prayer, three times are of privacy for you.”1

 

The narration above makes it clear that the Companions of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) understood the five prayers to be established from the Quran, since Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) recited   from Surah Rum, Verse 17 and Surah Noor, Verse 58 in answer to the question posed to him.

 

Since the Companions were the best generation, and Allah is pleased with them as stated in the Quran, the safest way to Paradise is to follow in their footsteps.

 

The second thing to keep in mind, my dear brother in Islam, is that the Quran is the first of four sources from which the scholars derive rulings. The Quran provides general rulings and also establishes the authenticity of rulings derived from the other three sources, which are Hadith, Ijma (Consensus of the Companions and the scholars), and Qiyaas (Analogical reasoning by qualified specialist scholars).

 

The authority of the Hadith is derived from the following verses: “And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it.(Quran, 59:07)”2

 

“And We have also sent down unto you the reminder and the advice, that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.”(Quran 16:44)3

 

If every minute detail of every law (worship, transactions, marriage, divorce, etc.) were expounded upon in the Quran, the Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) wouldn't have to explain it since it would all be self-explanatory. But as it is evident from the above Quranic verse, the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) was given the responsibility of explaining the Quran.

So we find in numerous authentic ahadith, mention of the five time daily prayers, such as in the Sahih collections of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim (rahmatullahi alayhimaa). If you would like these ahadith please kindly write to us again, and we will provide them to you.

 

The details of how to pray the Salaah itself are also found in the ahadith. How would a person know otherwise, how many rak'aats to pray for each prayer, and so on, since those specific details are not mentioned in the Quran.

 

The 3rd source, is the Ijma (Consensus of the Companions and the scholars): “And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him and follows other than the believers way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen and burn him in Hell, what an evil destination.” (Quran, 4:115)4

 

The 4th source, is Qiyaas (Analogical reasoning by qualified specialist scholars), “And if they had referred it to the Messenger and to those charged with authority among them, those of them who were to investigate it would have certainly known it.” (Quran, 4:83)5

 

Since the verses of the Quran itself establish the other three sources, then any ruling which is authentically established from any one of the four sources will have credence and validity. It will not need to be proven from multiple sources.

 

And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best

Ml. Sohail Bengali
Chicago, IL (USA)

Concurred by:
Mufti Abrar Mirza
Chicago, IL (USA)

Under the Supervision of:
Muftī Ebrahim Desai
South Africa



1        عن أبي رزين قال سأل نافع بن الأزرق بن عباس فقال الصلوات الخمس في  القرآن؟ قال نعم فقرأ (فسبحان الله حين تمسون) قال صلاة المغرب (وحين تصبحون) صلاة الفجر (و له الحمد في السموات و الارض و عشيا ) صلاة العصر (وحين تظهرون) صلاة الظهر وقرأ (ومن بعد صلاة  العشاء ثلاث عورات لكم) سنن البهيقي ٣٥٩/١ - الفقه الحنفي وأدلته - الجزء الأول  

2    وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا  سورة الحشر: ٧

3    وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ سورة النحل: ٤٤

4   وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا  سورة النساء: ١١٥

5   وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى أُولِي الأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ  سورة النساء: ٨٣

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