Is there any evidence about performing prayers five times a day? Did the Prophet perform prayers three times a day?

The Details of the Question
Is this incident before Miraj? As we know, five daily prayers were enjoined in Miraj. Or, were three daily prayers enjoined in Miraj?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

"Fifty daily prayers were enjoined to the Prophet (pbuh) on the night of Isra. Then, it was reduced to five daily prayers. Then, he was addressed as follows: ‘O Muhammad! These are five prayers and they are all (equal to) fifty (in reward) for My Word does not change.’" (Bukhari, Salat, 76, Anbiya, 5; Muslim, Iman, 263; Ahmed b. Hanbal, V/122,143).

It is definite by the following verse that each good deed will be given ten thawabs:

"He that doeth good shall have ten times as much to his credit." (al-An'am, 6/160; see also, an-Naml, 27/89; al-Qasas, 28/84)

Before five daily prayers were rendered fard, the worshipping of Hz. Prophet (pbuh) was meditating the loftiness of Allah. It is also reported that he performed prayers of two rak’ahs in the morning and in the evening. The previous ummahs also performed prayers. We can give the following examples: Hz. Luqman ordered his son to perform prayers (Luqman, 31/17); Hz. Ibrahim mentioned prayer when he prayed for the safety of Hejaz (Ibrahim, 14/37) Allah wanted Hz. Musa during the first revelation on Mount Tur (Sina) to perform prayers (Taha, 20/14).

The legitimacy of prayer is based on the Quran, Sunnah and consensus in Islam:

The following is stated in many verses of the Quran: "Establish regular Prayer give regular Charity."

"Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers especially the middle prayer..." (al-Baqara, 2/238)

"…For such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times.." (an-Nisa, 4/103)

"And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being True (in faith); to establish regular Prayer; and to practise regular Charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight." (al-Bayyina, 98/5)

"…So establish regular Prayer give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector― the― Best to protect and the Best to help!" (al-Hajj, 22/78)

Evidence from the Sunnah:

There are a lot of hadiths regarding the issue. Some of them are as follows:

"According to what is reported from Ibn Umar, Hz. Prophet (pbuh) said,

‘Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad (pbuh) is Allah's Messenger; to offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly; to pay zakah (i.e. obligatory charity); to perform Hajj (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah); to observe fasting during the month of Ramadan.’" (Bukhari, Iman,1, 2; Muslim, Iman, 19-22).

When Hz. Prophet (pbuh) sent Muadh b. Jabal to Yemen, he said to Muadh,

"You will go to the people of the Book. So, when you reach there, invite them to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger. And if they obey you in that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in each day and night. And if they obey you in that, tell them that Allah has made it obligatory on them to pay the zakah which will be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor among them. If they obey you in that, avoid taking the best of their possessions, and be afraid of the curse of an oppressed person because there is no screen between his invocation and Allah." (Bukhari, Zakah, 41, 63, Maghazi, 60, Tawhid, 1; Nasai, Zakah, 1; Darimi, Zakah I)

On the other hand, the ummah of Islam agree unanimously that five prayers in a day (including the night) are fard.

Prayer is fard for every sane Muslim who has reached the age of puberty. However, the children who reach the age of seven are ordered to perform prayers. If they do not perform prayers when they reach the age of ten, they can be beaten slightly. The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following regarding the issue:

"Command your children to pray when they become seven years old, and beat them for it (prayer) when they become ten years old; and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately." (Abu Dawud Salat, 26; Ahmad b. Hanbal, II/180, 187).

The number of prayers to be performed in a day and night is five. Witr or eid prayers are wajib. The following hadith narrated about a Bedouin is evidence for performing prayers five times a day: The Prophet (pbuh) said,

There are five fard prayers in a day and night.

The Bedouin said,

"Are there any more prayers that I have to perform?" The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"No, but if you want to perform nafilah prayers, you can."

Thereupon, the Bedouin said,

"By Allah, who sent you as the true prophet, I will neither do less nor more than this." Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

"If what he said is true, then he will attain salvation." (Bukhari, Iman, 34, Shahadat, 26; Muslim, Iman, 8,10,15,17,18; Abu Dawud, Salat, 1)

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