Prayer 5 times: The story of Isra and Mi’raj tells why Muslims pray five times a day – The Oakland Press

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The story of Isra and Mi’raj tells why Muslims pray five times a day – The Oakland Press

Prayer is central to Islamic belief, which is rooted in discipline and perseverance for spiritual well-being. As part of this discipline, Muslims pray five times a day, a practice known as salat.

The tradition of praying five times a day arose from an incident documented in the Quran, the holy book of Islam.

Verse one, chapter 17 of the Quran, tells of a miraculous journey made by the Prophet Muhammad, who traveled from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven in one night. The journey from Mecca to Jerusalem is called Isra, meaning to travel at night, and the journey from Jerusalem to heaven is called Mi’raj, meaning to ascend.

The Islamic calendar marks the 27th day of the seventh month as Isra and Mi’raj Night, also known as Al Isra’ wal Miraj. This year, Isra and Mi’raj Night falls on March 11.

“This journey is hard to believe for people, but Allah is free of any of these reasonings,” says Hafiz Ahmed Rabbani, director of Quranic Studies at Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in Rochester Hills. “Allah can do anything – he is not limited in any way.”

Guided by the angel Gabriel, Prophet Muhammad is said to have traveled to Jerusalem on the back of the Buraq, a fantastic creature in Islamic tradition known to be a transport for certain prophets.

In Jerusalem, he was met by all of the prophets, including Adam, Moses, Abraham, John the Baptist and Jesus. Here Muhammad led all the prophets in prayer.

Prophet Muhammad then journeyed with the angel Gabriel though the seven levels of heaven, meeting a different prophet at each level – Adam, John the Baptist, Jesus, Joseph, Idris, Aaron, Moses and lastly Abraham.

“Then he went to meet Allah where he received the gift of salat,” says Rabbani. “Allah tells prophet Muhammad to pray 50 times daily. When Prophet Muhammad descends back to Earth he meets Moses and is told to go back to Allah asking for a reduction in the number of daily prayers.”

He then goes back and forth between Moses and Allah nine times, until the required number of daily prayers is reduced to five. It is because of this that those of Islamic faith keep the daily custom of praying five times a day while facing Mecca.

The vague description of the Buraq captured the imagination of artists throughout the centuries. Some say it is a being whose body is composed of various other creatures. Some portray it as winged, but all depict the Buraq as having a beautiful woman’s face.

Customs regarding Isra and Mi’raj Night vary. For some, the journey is retold and there may be special prayers. Some Muslim countries observe the day by illuminating cities all night with electric lights and candles. But as far as the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit is concerned, “people come and pray but we don’t have any special program,” Rabbani says.

“It’s a big day and journey, but we don’t have any celebration,” he says. “Prophet Muhammad was told to pray five times daily. That is still a practice we do.”

Why Muslims Pray 5 Times a Day

© chairoij |

Azhar Goraya, Mexico

If I told you to do anything five times a day, you’d probably start thinking of excuses not to do it or how you couldn’t do it.  

But there are over a billion Muslims in the world who, five times a day, stand, incline and prostrate before Allah in their daily prayers. 

These days, it seems less and less people are willing to live disciplined lifestyles. Islam teaches us that discipline and perseverance are necessary for spiritual advancement, whereas a mindset of instant gratification and laziness keep one far removed from high achievements. 

Prayer is central to Islamic belief. Muslims are required to pray five times a day, known as Salat

There is a process of physical purification before the prayer, where the hands, arms, face and other extremities are washed with water. The prayer itself consists of different physical postures alongside verbal prayers. 

No other religious community shows such devotion to prayer. So, the question is, WHY do Muslims Pray five times a day? 

Today I’ll give you five reasons why Muslims pray five times a day.

Number One: Religious Duty

The Salat is one of the five pillars of Islam, or actions in Islam, and therefore, great emphasis is laid upon performing it. The Holy Qur’an, the religious book of Muslims, instructs Muslims to establish the prayer, and so to purposely abandon it is thus deemed as disobedience to God Almighty:

اَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

‘Observe Prayer at the declining and paling of the sun on to the darkness of the night, and the recitation of the Quran in Prayer at dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Quran at dawn is especially acceptable to God.’ [i]

The Prophet Muhammad (sa), the Founder of Islam, explained that as worshipping God is our primary objective, to abandon Salatknowingly would therefore be equivalent to disbelief. He said:

بَيْنَ الْكُفْرِ وَالإِيمَانِ تَرْكُ الصَّلاَةِ

‘Between disbelief and faith is abandoning the Salat.’ [ii]

Number Two: Love and Thankfulness

The daily prayers are a way for a Muslim to show his thankfulness to Allah, and to get an opportunity to be in communion with Him.  

فَاذْكُرُونٖى اَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لٖى وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ

‘Therefore remember Me, and I will remember you; and be thankful to Me and do not be ungrateful to Me.’ [iii]

Muslims are taught to love Allah. Therefore, the prayers are not a burden, rather something that Muslims look forward to doing. 

Number Three: Purification

The Qur’an tells us that prayer refrains one from indecency and wrongful actions:

إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ

‘…Surely, Prayer restrains one from indecency and manifest evil…’ [iv]

The purpose of our lives as Muslims is to grow closer to Allah, and sins impede that progress. The daily prayers purify Muslims and remove inclination to sin. 

The Prophet Muhammad (sa) once asked his companions, ‘if there was a river flowing before your house and you bathed in it five times a day, would there remain any dirtiness upon you?’ They responded, ‘no’. He said that ‘this is the case of the five daily prayers’. Prayers purify an individual:

Number Four: Spiritual Nourishment

Prayers are like spiritual food. You cannot live without them, as it is through prayers that a person establishes and then re-establishes his connection with God. Just as our physical bodies need nourishment several times a day to stay strong, in the same way our souls need nourishment several times a day to keep strong. This spiritual nourishment is obtained through daily prayers. 

Number Five: It Comes Naturally

The Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) explained that the five daily prayers are a demonstration of the five states that come over a person in life after which he naturally turns to God. They reflect the condition of a person during different stages of each day. 

The first stage is at a time where a person comes to know of a problem that he must face, and his happiness begins to decline. For example, when he receives a summons to appear before a judge. He begins to worry and automatically begins to search for reassurance and a way to be secure from his problem. This is represented by the prayer known as Zuhr, as it is offered after the sun begins to set from its zenith. 

Likewise, the next three prayers (AsrMaghrib and Isha) represent further states of anxiety coinciding with the declining of the sun, that can be compared to the same person being presented in court, declared as guilty and ultimately being thrown in jail. The final stage is like the time when a person is finally released from jail, and his happiness knows no end. This state is represented by the Fajrprayer, which is offered at the coming of the dawn. 

The five daily prayers represent our natural states of fear and necessity in life, and the prayers remind us that in every stage, we must turn to God for solace and salvation from our problems.

[i]The Holy Qur’an 17:79.

[ii]Sahih Muslim.

[iii]The Holy Qur’an 2:153.

[iv]The Holy Qur’an, 29:46.

TagsPrayer — Salat

‘Awrah of men and women |

Author: Shamil Alyautdinov

‘Awrah those parts of the body that must be covered . It is important that this requirement be implemented taking into account the objective factors of modern life, especially in an environment where Muslims coexist with representatives of different cultures and religions.

‘Awrah for men – from the navel to the knees inclusive[1].

‘Awrah of a woman — the whole body, except for the face and hands [2].

In front of each other for women, the same ‘awrah is permissible as for men, from the navel to the knees inclusive[3].

Covering the ‘awrah is obligatory in cases where a man or woman is in the company of people who are not their blood relatives, as well as when performing prayer-prayer. It is also forbidden to look at the ‘awrah of others, both men and women[4]. ‘Awrah may be revealed to the spouse (husband) and some close relatives.

There is no need to observe ‘awrah when performing a small ablution, that is, it can be performed by a person even completely naked.

If the ‘awrah during the prayer-prayer is accidentally and unintentionally exposed (for example, due to the wind), then the worshiper should immediately cover the exposed part of the body. If this happened due to the negligence of the believer, and even more so repeated in one prayer several times, then the prayer is violated, becomes invalid and must be repeated[5].

By the way, in the warm season, some men put on such clothes that, when making bows or bows to the ground, lift up and expose the lower back, which can make the prayer invalid. In order to be sure of the usefulness of the prayer-prayer, it is worth tucking shirts and T-shirts into trousers so that the lower back is not exposed.

From the point of view of Muslim culture and ethics, it is desirable when reading the Qur’an in the original that the ‘awrah be covered.

I am a student living in a hostel. Men’s showers are shared, and as I know, in our religion it is not supposed to go into a place where there are naked people. And what should I do if I want to douse myself or make a full bath (ghusl)?

You have a forced situation. Therefore, act according to the circumstances. Pick a time when you think you have the least number of people in the shower, and avoid looking at others if possible.

But keep in mind that your ‘awrah must be covered.

Is it permissible for women to pray with bare feet?

There are several opinions on this issue. In order to be completely sure of covering your own ‘awra, it is better to wear socks when performing prayer-prayer.

References to theological sources and commentary:

[1] Shafi’i theologians believe that the ‘awrah of a man is that part of the body that is between the navel and the knee. The navel and knees do not belong to the ‘awrah, but it is advisable to cover them in order to avoid accidental exposure of the ‘awrah.

See, for example: Az-Zuhayli V. Al-fiqh al-islami wa adillatuh: In 11 vol. T. 1. S. 738, 743, 748.

[2] aura of the foot.

[3] For more details on the opinions of scientists, see, for example: Az-Zuhayli V. Al-fiqh al-islami wa adillatuh. In 11 vols. T. 1. S. 744, 750, 754, 755.

[4] Certainly, a modern believer, living and interacting among people of different views, is aware that the concept of ‘awrah is irrelevant for someone, therefore, without making a problem, he calmly and respectfully communicates with them. There are also various exceptions to the exposure of ‘awrah, such as a medical examination.

[5] See: Az-Zuhayli V. Al-fiqh al-islami wa adillatuh: In 11 vol. T. 1. S. 742.



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  • Ayat of the day
  • Hadith of the day

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) said: “Leave what you doubt and do what you are sure of”[1].
Links to theological sources and commentary:
[1] Hadith from Anas and others; St. X. Ahmad and others. See, for example: as-Suyuty J. Al-jami‘ as-sagyr [Small collection]. Beirut: al-Kutub al-‘ilmiya, 1990. S. 256, 257, hadith no. 4211, «sahih».

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Believers, do not try to “overtake” (do before) Allah (God, Lord) and His messenger [show respect for the Prophet, calmly follow him; do not interrupt him and do not rush]. Be pious before God [avoiding the obviously forbidden and doing what is obligatory to the best of your ability]! Indeed, Allah (God, Lord) hears everything and knows everything (Holy Quran,

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When did prayer become obligatory? How did Muslims pray before the five times prayer became obligatory?

Praise be to Allah.

In the well-known hadith about the Night Transfer, which is reported by al-Bukhari under No. 349and Muslim under No. 162 from Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: Allah sent down the Revelation to me and obligated me to perform fifty prayers throughout the day and night. And when I went down and passed by Musa, he asked: “What duties did Allah impose on the members of your community?” I answered: “He obliged to perform fifty prayers.” (Musa) said: “Return to your Lord and ask for relief” … And I returned to Allah Almighty and again to Musa, peace be upon him, until the Almighty Lord said: “O Muhammad, there are five (mandatory) prayers daily, and each of them (equal to) ten. (Such are) the fifty prayers.”

Scholars unanimously agree that prayer five times became obligatory only on this night. For additional information, Ibn Rajab Fathu-l-Bari (T. 2. S. 104) ..

Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

It was a duty to pray five times. The conditions for its implementation, its pillars and what is connected with it, were explained gradually (after) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir. T. 7. S. 164).

After Jibril came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) explaining the times of prayers.

Ibn Shihab reported that one day ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul’aziz postponed the prayer. ‘Urwa ibn al-Zubayr came to him and said that al-Mughira ibn Shu’ba, being in Kufa, also once postponed the prayer, and then Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari said to him: What is this, Mugyra ?! Don’t you know that Jibril descended and performed the prayer, and then the Messenger of Allah performed it; Jibril made a prayer, and it was made by the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him; after Jibril performed a prayer, and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, performed it; after Jibril prayed, and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, performed it, and after Jibril prayed, and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, performed it. And then the prophet said: “So I was commanded.” (Hearing this), ‘Umar said to ‘Urwa: Look at your words, ‘Urwa! Or did Jibril, peace be upon him, really set the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, times of prayer? ‘Urwa replied: Yes, it was Bashir ibn Abi Mas’ud who narrated from his father (al-Bukhari no. 522, Muslim no. 611).

Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, said: Jibril, peace be upon him, came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, when the sun crossed the midday line, and said to him: “Muhammad, get up, and perform the midday prayer (Zuhr) when the sun will decline (towards sunset after the midday line).” After that, he waited until the length of the shadow of a person became equal to his height, came to him and said: “Muhammad, get up and perform the sunset prayer (‘Asr).” He waited until the sun went down, and then he said: «Get up and perform the sunset prayer (Maghrib)». He got up and prayed after sunset. Jibril waited until the evening dawn disappeared, and then, having come to the prophet, he said: “Get up and perform the night prayer (‘Isha).” The Messenger of Allah stood up and prayed. <...> Jibril said: “The time of prayer between each two (frontiers)” (an-Nasai No. 526). Al-Albani in Sahih an-Nasai said that the hadith is authentic.

‘Abdurrazza in his work al-Musannaf (No. 1773), Ibn Ishaq in his work al-Sira, and also in Fath al-Bari (T. 2. p. 285) said that this happened in the day after the night when prayer became mandatory.

Al-Qurtubi, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

There is no disagreement about the fact that Jibril, peace be upon him, descended to him in the first half of the day after the Night of the Transfer, closer to noon. He taught the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) the prayer and its timing (abridged).

Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Jibril clarified the times of prayers on the day of the day when the Night of the Transfer occurred T. 4. S. 148).

In the beginning, the daily obligatory prayers were two rak’ats. After the resettlement, prayers in this form began to be performed only on the way, and the rest of the time (not on the way) — two rak’ats were added to each of the prayers. And only the sunset prayer (Maghrib) remained unchanged.

It is reported that ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: Prayer was made obligatory for two rak’ats. And after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) moved, it was obligatory to pray four rak’ats. And the prayer of the traveler remained the same as at the beginning (that is, two rak’ats each) (al-Bukhari No. 3935 and Muslim No. 685).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions prayed before the fivefold prayer became obligatory.

The Encyclopedia of Fiqh says: The basis of obligatory prayer was already in Mecca, during the formation of Islam. Since already at the beginning of the prophetic mission, the Meccan verses were sent down, encouraging prayer. As for the fivefold prayer, similar to the one that is being performed now, it became obligatory on the Night of the Transfer (al-Mausu’atu-l-fiqhiya. T. 27. S. 52-53).

Some scholars claim that at first two rak’ats of prayer in the morning and two rak’ats in the evening became obligatory.

Ibn Hajar in Fatah said:

“A group of scholars believed that before the Night Transfer there was no obligatory prayer, except for the indefinite time and frequency of night prayer. Al-Harbi believed that two rak’ats in the early morning and two rak’ats in the evening were obligatory. Ash-Shafi’i narrated from some scholars the opinion that at first the night prayer was obligatory, but later, this provision was abolished by the verse:

2 “Read from the Qur’an that which is not burdensome for you” (sura “ al-Muzammil», ayat 20), and it became obligatory to stand in prayer part of the night. And then this provision was abolished by five obligatory prayers.”

He, may Allah have mercy on him, also said:

“There is no doubt that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) performed the prayer before the Night Transfer, and it was performed by the Companions.

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