Question # 326: The five daily Salaah is not mentioned in Holy Quran. Zakah distribution, Mahram for women, distribution of property of a deceased, haram food is less important than Salaah and these all matters are too precisely explained by name and figure BUT NOT THE FIVE OBLIGATORY DAILY PRAYER. Why?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The Qur’an does not contain details of all the shari’ah rulings. In fact, the Qur’an mentions many rules, but it also tells us that the Sunnah is a source of evidence in which many rules are mentioned in detail that are not mentioned in the Qur’an. Hence, whether the rules are narrated in the Qur’an or in the Sunnah, all of it is true and right, and all of it has one source, which is the wahy (revelation) from Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Consequently, we have to submit to the command of Allah, whether it is mentioned in the Qur’an or the authentic Sunnah. We Muslims have to accept the ruling as is, for which Allah has not explained the reason, and say as the believers say: “We hear and we obey.” These rulings are prescribed as a test to demonstrate whether a person is a true believer.

As for the ruling of five daily prayers, it is mentioned in the Qur’an in various ayat in a subtle form but elaborated in the Sunnah, where the precise timing when those salah starts and ends were explained in detail by the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The following ayat from the Qur’an are noteworthy in this regard: Soorah Rum, 30:17; Soorah Hud, 11:14; Soorah al-Isra’, 17:78; Soorah Qaaf, 50:39; and Soorah Ta-Ha, 20:130. 

Long Answer:  Before we go any further, we must understand that the Qur’an does not contain details of all the shari’ah rulings. In fact, the Qur’an mentions many rules, but it also tells us that the Sunnah is a source of evidence in which many rules are mentioned in detail that are not mentioned in the Qur’an. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “… and We have also sent down to you (O Muhammad) the reminder and the advice (the Qur’an), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them and that they may give thought.” (Soorah al-Nahl, 16:44) and “… and whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it…” (Soorah al-Hashr 59:7)

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “I have been given the Qur’an and something like it with it…” (Reported by Imam Ahmad; this is a sahih hadith). Hence, whether the rules are narrated in the Qur’an or in the Sunnah, all of it is true and right, and all of it has one source, which is the wahy or revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.

Consequently, we have to submit to the command of Allah, whether it is mentioned in the Qur’an or the authentic Sunnah. We Muslims have to accept the ruling as is, for which Allah has not explained the reason, and say as the believers say: “We hear and we obey.” We should not be like the Children of Israel who said: “We hear but we disobey.” 

Further, it is said in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah that “…the issues of fiqh [can be divided] into two categories:

  1. Rulings whose wisdom may be understood on a rational basis, either because the reason is stated in the texts, or because it is easy to work out… such as enjoining the mahr (dowry) in marriage, ‘iddah (waiting period) following divorce or widowhood, spending on one’s wife, children and relatives, divorce when married life becomes unbearable, and many other such issues of fiqh.
  1. Ruling which are enjoined on us as a kind of pure worship. These are rulings in which the connection between the ruling and the action is not clear, such as the number of prayers, the number of rak’ahs and most of the actions of Hajj. By the mercy of Allah, such rulings are few in relation to the rulings the wisdom behind which may be rationally understood. These rulings are prescribed as a test to demonstrate whether a person is a true believer. It should also be noted that shari’ah – both general principles and minor details – does not prescribe anything that contradict common sense, but it may prescribe something the reason for which cannot be understood. There is a big difference between the two. If a person is rationally convinced that Allah exists and that He is wise, and that He alone deserves to be acknowledged as Lord, and he is rationally convinced that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is a true Prophet, then he affirms that Allah is the Sovereign and the Lord, and that he is His slave. Then if he is commanded to do something or is forbidden to do something, and he [should say: says, “I hear and I obey”; If he] says, “I will not follow this ruling until I know the reason behind this command or prohibition,” then he has proven himself to be false in his claim to be a believer in Allah and His Messenger. The human mind has a limit beyond which it cannot go.” 

[As for the ruling of five daily prayers, it is mentioned in the Qur’an in various ayat in a subtle form but elaborated in the Sunnah. Furthermore, even though there is reference to prayer in Qur’an, the precise timing when those salah starts and ends were explained in detail by the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The following ayat from the Qur’an are noteworthy in this regard:]

  • Soorah Rum, 30:17: “So glorify Allah, when you come up to the evening, and when you enter the morning” In the tafseer of this ayah, it is reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The five daily prayers are (mentioned) in the Qur’an.” He was asked, “Where?” He said, “Allah says in the Qur’an: ‘So glorify Allah when you come up to the evening’ is maghrib and ‘isha’; ‘and when you enter the morning’ is fajr; ‘in the afternoon’ is ‘asr; and ‘the time when the day begins to decline’ is dhuhr.” Other mufassireen, such as al-Dahhaak and Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said the same thing.
  • Soorah Hud, 11:14: “And perform As-Salat, at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice).” Some of the mufassireen said ayah 17 of Soorah Rum mentions only four of the prayers; ‘isha’ is mentioned in this ayah of Soorah Hud. ‘Amr reported from al-Hasan that ‘the two ends of the day’ means fajr at the first end and dhuhr and ‘asr at the other; ‘some parts of the night’ means maghrib and ‘isha’. So according to this opinion the ayah refers to all five prayers…
  • Soorah al-Isra’, 17:78: “Perform As­Salat from mid-day till the darkness of the night and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night).” Mujaahid reported from Ibn ‘Abbas: “’Mid-day’ means when the sun has passed its zenith for salat al-dhuhr, and ‘the darkness of the night’ means the beginning of the night, for salat al-maghrib.”
  • Soorah Qaaf, 50:39: “So bear with patience (O Muhammad) all that they say, and glorify the Praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting” Abu Razeen reported from Ibn ‘Abbas [that this ayah] refers to the prescribed prayers.
  • Soorah Ta-Ha, 20:130: “So bear patiently (O Muhammad) what they say, and glorify the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun, and before its setting, and during some of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day, that you may become pleased with the reward which Allah shall give you.” Abu Razeen reported from Ibn ‘Abbas that this ayah also includes the times of the prayers.

(Ahkaam al-Qur’an by al-Jassaas, Baab Mawaaqeet al-Salaah)

(The above reply is based on various answers provided by Islamqa.info on the topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam