Five prayers at five different times...
“…Set up Regular Prayers: For such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times..” (Nisa, 4/101-103).
A question like “How many times a day do Muslim perform prayers?” and debates on this question must be nonsensical in a country where more than ninety percent of the people are Muslims and where prayers have been performed “five times a day” for centuries; however, in this chaotic time, even this question is asked and discussed.
By abandoning the method that was applied by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), his Companions and the following mujtahid imams and that was recorded in books by some of those imams, and by trying to understand and convey the message of Islam anew by using their own minds, desires and wishes as a method, some new “so called theologians and debaters” mention “Quranic Islam” and say, “If a decree, information and explanation does not exist in the Quran, it does not exist in Islam either.”
As a matter of fact, if they take off the blinkers, abandon prejudice and imitating the contemporaries, and look at the Quran properly, they will see that Islam cannot be understood and practiced by leaving the Messenger of Allah out.
There are so many verses about the authority/duty of the Prophet to explain and practice the Quran, and to introduce additional information and decrees through a kind of revelation; one of them is as follows:
“…And We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought..” (an-Nahl, 16/44).
Allah rendered five daily prayers fard for the ummah of the last Prophet (pbuh). In a period of time when there were no clocks and similar instruments, he explained the times for those prayers based on the movements of the sun, which anybody could see and practice. (an-Nisa, 4/101-103; Hud, 11/114; al-Isra, 17/18; Taha, 20/130)
He did not find it enough and sent the archangel Jibril (Gabriel) to the Prophet; he led the ”five daily prayers” in front of the Prophet for two days, showing the beginning and ending times for the prayers.
Allah gave so much importance to time that He ordered Muslims to perform prayers in congregation when the time for a prayer came even if they were in the battlefield fighting the enemy by taking necessary precautions to dissuade the enemy from attacking them while praying and explained them how to do it.
The general principle settled like that; the prayers were performed “five times a day” when the Prophet was alive, in the periods after him when exemplary Muslims lived without any interruption.
Performing prayers by combining two prayers (generally noon-afternoon and evening-night prayers) was permitted only when there were some excuses for the residents and based on some conditions and limitations for travelers.
In that case, it is definite that “five daily prayers at five different times” is fard and exists in the Quran, Sunnah and Ijma (Consensus).
Besides, if it had not existed in the Quran and if the Prophet had performed prayers and had ordered his ummah, believers would have performed prayers without any doubt and hesitation. They would have said, "Yes!" and performed prayers as he would have shown.
Prayer is a great deed of worship that combines all of the worshipping of all beings performed by their own means and tongues for the Creator; it is also a means of peace, happiness and spiritual education (cleanliness).
O Lord! We thank You limitlessly because You gave Your Messenger Miraj (Ascension) and us prayers as a gift.