Q: I have a friend who was Google-ing facts on Islam. He came across a website which says that Hadith is wrong and the way that Muslims around the world are making salaah is wrong. This website states that the Quran only talks of morning, day and evening salaah and doesn't mention anything of asr and esha. My friend is now following this and I need more information regarding this as this is bothering me.
A: The five daily salawaat (prayers) are proven from Quran and Ahādῑth-e-Mutawātirah. Ahādῑth-e-Mutawātirah are those ahādῑth that have been narrated so widely and profusely that there is no doubt in its authenticity. This category of hadῑth is on the same level as Quran-e-Majeed and enjoys the same degree of acceptance in Shariah. Rejecting or denying a ruling that has been established through Mutawātir ahādῑth is similar to rejecting a verse or ruling of The Holy Quran. And one who rejects a ruling of The Quran-e-Kareem is undoubtedly a kaafir (naoothubillah!). This is the unanimous ruling of all ‘ulema. Since the five salawaat are proven from Quran and Mutawātir ahādῑth, it is incumbent on every Muslim to accept and believe in this ruling. One who rejects it does not remain a Muslim any longer. It is compulsory to believe that five salawaat are faradh, not three. If anyone believes that only three salawaat are faradh and not five, such a person has lost his or her iemaan and is termed a murtadd. That person should renew iemaan by reading the kalimah again and renouncing the belief of three salawaat being faradh. Just renewal of the kalima is not enough in this case. The person has to verbally and publicly renounce and abandon the belief that expelled him or her from Islam. Only then will ieman be restored. Furthermore, the murtadd should also renew his or her nikah that broke due to this kufr belief. May Allah Ta’ala protect all Muslims from such kufr beliefs.
The demand by this person for proof from the Holy Quran for the five daily prayers is spurious and self-contradictory, for there are innumerable acts of Shariah that are not clearly and directly proven from The Holy Quran. For example, the number of rakaats for each salaah: This is not mentioned anywhere in the Quran-e-Kareem. So how do these people who believe in only three faradh offer their salaah? What proof do they have for the rakaats of the three salawaat that they offer? Where is their proof for the takbeer of those prayers, as well surah faatiha, the method of rukoo and sujood, the athkaar to recite therein, the durood and duas, etc.? What about the purification details before commencing the salaah? The same could be asked about the details of zakaat, fasting, and Hajj. Nowhere in the Holy Quran is there any mention of the percentage of zakaat to give, nor the conditions that necessitate zakaat. Similarly, not all the details of fasting and Hajj are mentioned in the Quran Shareef. This proves the falsity and fictitious reasoning of such people. They follow nought but their own whims and fancies. Allah Ta’ala save us from such delusion.
Notwithstanding the above we shall furnish proof from several verses of The Holy Quran wherein the five salaawat are mentioned.
* Verse 114, Surah Hūd: “And establish salaah at the two ends of the day and during the close moments of the night” – The “two ends” of the day, referred to as tarafayin-nahaar mean the start and end of the day. Undoubtedly, this refers to Fajr and Asr salaah, because sunrise and sunset are the two ends of daylight and both these prayers are offered before sunrise and sunset. Further, these two prayers are the closest to the start and end of a day. The “close moments of the night” - zulafan minal-layl – mean the time close to sunset, and this is a reference to the Maghrib and Esha salaah, for both these prayers are read after sunset and not very late into the night. So these are ‘moments that are close to daylight’. From this verse four prayers are established, viz. Fajr, Asr, Maghrib, and Eshaa.
* Verse 78, Surah Israa or Bani Israeel: “Establish salaah when the sun moves from its zenith, until the darkness of the night, and (establish) the recitation of Fajr. Verily the recitation of Fajr is witnessed (by Angels)” In this verse all five prayers are referred to, especially when one reads this in conjunction with verse 114 of Surah Hūd. The prayer offered at the time of zawaal or when the sun moves past its zenith is Thuhr salaah. At this point we have proof of all five salaah: from verse 114 of Surah Hūd we have Fajr, Asr, Maghrib and Eshaa, and Thuhr salaah is proven from the above verse (78/Israa). This verse goes on to command the performance of salaah from midday right until the darkness of the night. This obviously includes Asr, Maghrib, and Eshaa, for the latter prayer is offered when it is already dark. Thereafter the verse speaks of the recitation of Fajr, a clear reference to Fajr salaah. In this one verse all five salawaat are encapsulated.
* Verse 238, Surah Al-Baqarah: “Safeguard all the salaawat, especially the middle salaah.....” The term ‘salawaat’ is plural for salaah, and the alif and taa at the end signify that this plural applies to any number above three. When read in conjunction with the above verses, and one has to do so because of the harmonious relation of the Quranic verses, it emerges that there are five and not three salawaat. The middle salaah which has been singled out for special mention is salaatul-Asr, as mentioned in many Commentaries on The Holy Quran.
* Verse 130, Surah Taha: “... And recite the praises of Your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and also recite during the hours of the night and the ends of the day...” The reference to Fajr and Asr are quite evident in this verse, and the end of the day will refer to Maghrib, whilst Eshaa is included in the ‘hours of the night’. Thuhr salaah may also be included in the time before sunset. Also note that in the terminology of the Quran, reciting praises of Allah mean offering salaah. Even if one excludes Thuhr prayers from this verse, it still emerges that at least four faradh salawaat are mentioned herein.
The above verses quite conclusively and beyond all doubt prove that more than three salaah are faradh upon every member of this Ummat. One who denies this has denied clear proof from Quran and is a kaafir and murtadd.
It must be well understood that there are two fountainheads of Knowledge that make up Islam. These are Quran and Sunnah. The one cannot be divorced from the other. Sunnah is an interpretation of Quran and both constitute Shariah. One who rejects Sunnah is not a Muslim for such a person has rejected hundreds of Quranic verses that promote and advocate Sunnah. Rejection of Sunnah is denunciation of the very Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Anyone who claims otherwise is deluding none but himself. It is the height of ignorance and heresy to claim belief in Quran but reject the teachings of the man who brought that Quran to us, and who taught us its recitation and meanings.
In all probability the people who believe in three salaah instead of five are rejectors of hadith, for were they followers of hadith and sunnah, they would have clearly recognised the proof for five daily prayers. These so-called Ahlul-Quran are in fact enemies of the Quran in spite of what they falsely claim.
To summarise, the five daily salaah are established from Quran and Sunnat-e-Mutawwatira and anyone who denies this has left the fold of Islam and is no longer a Muslim. To come back into Islam such a person must repeat the kalimah and should verbally acknowledge that he or she has rejected the kufr belief of three salawaat and has embraced the correct Quranic belief that faradh salaah are five in one day.
Mufti Siraj Desai
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