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Stats: 17,469 members, 69,351 Topics, 15,454 Comments. Date: Jun 18 2019, 6:03 pm

Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
English
100Level, Nigeria.
Question

Is it true that prayer was made
obligatory before the night of the
Isra’? Did the Messenger pray in the
manner that we pray now, with the
same number of rak‘ahs? When was
prayer made obligatory at these
times and in the manner that we
pray now?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.
Al-Bukhaari (349) and Muslim (162)
narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may
Allah be pleased with him) the
famous hadeeth of the
Isra’ (Prophet’s Night Journey) in
which it is reported that the
Messenger of Allah (blessings and
peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“Then Allah revealed what He
revealed to me, and enjoined fifty
prayers on me every day and night.
I came back down to Moosa
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) and he said: What did
your Lord enjoin upon your ummah?
I said: Fifty prayers. He said: Go
back to your Lord and ask Him to
reduce it... I kept going back and
forth between my Lord, may He be
blessed and exalted, and Moosa
(peace be upon him), until He said:
‘O Muhammad, they are five prayers
each day and night, for every prayer
there will be a tenfold (reward), and
that is fifty prayers.”
The scholars are unanimously
agreed that the five daily prayers
were not made obligatory until this
night. See the answer to question
no.
See also Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab
(2/104).
Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer (may Allah
have mercy on him) said:
On the night of the Isra’, one and a
half years before the Hijrah, Allah
enjoined upon His Messenger
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) the five daily prayers,
and explained that there were
conditions and essential parts and
other matters having to do with
them, bit by bit.
Tafseer Ibn Katheer (7/164).
Then Jibreel (peace be upon him)
came down and taught the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) the times of the prayers:
Al-Bukhaari (522) and Muslim (611)
narrated from Ibn Shihaab that
‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez delayed the
prayer one day. ‘Urwah ibn az-
Zubayr entered upon him and told
him that al-Mugheerah ibn Shu‘bah
delayed the prayer one day when he
was in Kufah, and Abu Mas‘ood al-
Ansaari entered upon him and said:
What is this, O Mugheerah? Do you
not know that Jibreel came down
and prayed, and the Messenger of
Allah (blessings and peace of Allah
be upon him) prayed, then he
prayed and the Messenger of Allah
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) prayed, then he prayed
and the Messenger of Allah
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) prayed, then he prayed
and the Messenger of Allah
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) prayed, then he prayed
and the Messenger of Allah
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) prayed. Then he said:
This is what has been enjoined upon
me. ‘Umar said to ‘Urwah: Think
what you are narrating, O ‘Urwah! Is
Jibreel the one who taught the
Messenger of Allah (blessings and
peace of Allah be upon him) the
times of the prayers? ‘Urwah said:
That is what Basheer ibn Abi
Mas‘ood used to narrate from his
father.
An-Nasaa’i (526) narrated that
Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be
pleased with him) said: Jibreel
(peace be upon him) came to the
Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) when the sun
had passed its zenith and said: Get
up, O Muhammad. That was when
the sun had passed the meridian.
Then he waited until the (length of)
a man’s shadow was equal to his
height, then he came to him for ‘Asr
and said: Get up, O Muhammad, and
pray ‘Asr. Then he waited until the
sun set, then he came to him and
said: Get up and pray Maghrib. So he
got up and prayed it when the sun
had set fully. Then he waited until
the twilight had disappeared, then
he came and said: Get up and pray
‘Isha’, so he got up and prayed it…
In this hadeeth it says: He (i.e.,
Jibreel) said: The period between
two of these two times is the time
to pray.
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in
Saheeh an-Nasaa’i.
‘Abd ar-Razzaaq narrated in his
Musannaf (1773) and Ibn Ishaaq
narrated in his Seerah – as it says in
Fath al-Baari (2/286) – that this
happened on the morning after the
night in which prayer was made
obligatory.
Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy
on him) said:
(The scholars) did not differ
concerning the fact that Jibreel
(peace be upon him) came down on
the morning following the night of
the Isra’, when the sun passed its
zenith, and taught the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) the prayer and its
timings. End quote.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may
Allah have mercy on him) said:
Jibreel’s explanation of the timings
of the prayer came on the morning
following the night of the Isra’. End
quote.
Sharh al-‘Umdah (4/148)
When the five daily prayers were
first made obligatory, each prayer
was two rak‘ahs, then after the
Hijrah, that was confirmed in the
case of travel, and two rak‘ahs were
added for those who are not
travelling, except Maghrib, which
remained as it was. Al-Bukhaari
(3935) and Muslim (685) narrated
that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased
with her) said: Prayer was enjoined
with two rak‘ahs, then when the
Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) migrated, it was
enjoined with four rak‘ahs, but
prayer whilst travelling remained as
it had originally been.
The Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) and his
Companions used to pray before the
five daily prayers were made
obligatory.
It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah
(27/52-53):
Prayer was originally enjoined in
Makkah at the beginning of Islam,
because there are Makkan verses
that were revealed at the beginning
of the Prophet’s mission that
encourage praying. As for the five
daily prayers in the form that is
well-known, they were made
obligatory on the night of the Isra’
and Mi‘raaj. End quote.
See also the answer to question no.
Some of the scholars are of the view
that prayer was made obligatory at
the beginning, two rak‘ahs in the
morning and two rak‘ahs in the
afternoon.
Al-Haafiz (may Allah have mercy on
him) said in al-Fath:
A number of scholars are of the
view that before the Isra’ there was
no obligatory prescribed prayer, but
prayers were offered at night,
without any number of rak‘ahs
being specified. Al-Harbi was of the
view that prayer was made
obligatory, two rak‘ahs in the
morning and two rak‘ahs in the
afternoon. Ash-Shaafa‘i narrated
from some of the scholars that
prayer at night was obligatory, then
it was abrogated by the verse
(interpretation of the meaning): “So,
recite you of the Quran as much as
may be easy for you” [al-Muzammil
73:20]. So it became obligatory to
pray for part of the night. Then that
was abrogated by the five daily
prayers. End quote.
He also said:
Before the Isra’, the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) definitely used to pray,
as did his companions, but there is
a scholarly difference of opinion as
to whether any kind of prayer was
made obligatory before the five
daily prayers or not. It was said that
what was obligatory at first was
prayer before sunrise and prayer
before sunset. The evidence for that
is the verse in which Allah, may He
be exalted, says (interpretation of
the meaning): “and glorify the
praises of your Lord before the
rising of the sun, and before its
setting” [Ta-Ha 20:130], and similar
verses. End quote.
See also Tafseer Ibn ‘Atiyyah
(1/204); at-Tahreer wa’t-Tanweer by
Ibn ‘Ashoor (24/75).
And Allah knows best.

islamqa.info/en/answers/145725/when-was-prayer-made-obligatory-how-did-the-muslims-pray-before-prayer-was-made-obligatory

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