Guest Author - Linda Heywood
In the Quran, Abraham asks God to make him and his offspring establishers and consistent practitioners of prayer and he asks God to accept their prayers (14:40). The five established prayers have been maintained by God since that time.
The five daily prayers have an established time system that is clearly laid out in the Quran:
The Dawn Prayer is observed before sunrise (11:114, 24:58).
The Noon Prayer when the sun begins to moves away from its highest point in the sky (17:78).
The Afternoon Prayer when the shadows are long (2:238).
The Sunset Prayer when the sun is below the horizon (11:114).
The Night Prayer when twilight has faded (24:58, 11:114).
Because each prayer has its own specified time, each prayer must be done at this time. A missed prayer cannot be made up after the specified time has passed, a missed prayer is just that a missed prayer. Some people leave all their prayers until the end of the day, some people put two prayers together, but this is not the instruction given in the Quran. Prayers should be done at the correct time.
Mohamed was not responsible for establishing the prayers because the Quran states that God inspired Mohamed to follow the religion of Abraham (16:123) and as Abraham was given the Islamic rites (22:78) Mohamed followed the same prayer that God gave to Abraham.
Proof that the prayers existed before the Quran can be found in the Quran. Abraham was granted his sons Isaac and Jacob who were made leaders and taught the prayers (21:73) and they worshipped only God. Mohamed too followed the religion of Abraham (16:123) so his prayers were as instructed by God to Abraham.
The prayer is for God and only God. No other names should be mentioned alongside God in the prayers, for this is considered idolatry and is the only unforgivable sin if maintained until death. Abraham and Mohamed most certainly did not put their own name or the names of each other in their prayers as both of these prophets knew the prayer was for God and God alone.
These five daily prayers are food for the soul. These prayers help to nourish and grow our soul ready for the Day of Judgement when we will have to stand before the powerful presence of God. What will you say to God when He asks you why you did not do your prayers?
The five prayers are made up of units, the Dawn Prayer has two units, the Noon, Afternoon and Night Prayer all have four units and the Sunset Prayer has three units. In Arabic these units are called Rak’ahs.
The first chapter of the Quran, The Key (Al-Fateha) is the only verse of the Quran that is said during the prayer. The Quran did not exist at the time of Abraham so he would not have added other Quranic verses to the prayer but The Key has existed since the time of Abraham. Even Adam was given words (2:37) to redeem himself with. The Key is similar to The Lord’s Prayer that Christians recite during prayer.