Were the other ummahs also ordered to perform prayers, fasting and other kinds of worshipping?

The Details of the Question
Were the other ummahs also ordered to perform prayers, fasting and other kinds of worshipping?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The principles of belief conveyed by all of the prophets from Hz. Adam (pbuh) to Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) are the same. This is a common property of all of the heavenly religions conveyed by the prophets. No prophet changed these principles of belief or added anything to them. 

Hz. Muhammed (pbuh), the last prophet, called his ummah to believe in the same principle of belief as Hz. Adam (pbuh), the first prophet, called his ummah.

There are no differences among heavenly religions in terms of the principles of belief; similarly, there are no differences in terms of worshipping, especially basic types of worshipping. Prayer (salah), which is regarded as the pillar of the religion, is a kind of worshipping that was rendered fard for all prophets and their ummahs. The only difference is related to the times and rak'ahs of the prayers. Five daily prayers, which are equal to fifty daily prayers in terms of reward, were rendered fard for our ummah.

It is stated in the Quran that the previous ummahs were ordered to perform prayers. For instance, it is stated in a verse that Hz. Ibrahim (pbuh) performed prayers and wanted his offspring to continue performing prayers as follows:

"O my Lord! Make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring O our Lord! And accept Thou my Prayer."1

Hz. Musa (pbuh) was also ordered to pray. It is stated in verse 12 of the chapter of al-Maida that God took a covenant from the Children of Israel that they would definitely perform prayers.  

Hz. Shuayb (pbuh) also performed prayers a lot. People even wanted to insult him because of this. It is stated as follows in the Quran:

"They said: 'Oh Shuayb! Does thy (religion of) prayer command thee that we leave off the worship which our fathers practised or that we leave off doing what we like with our property?'"2

It is also stated in the Quran that Hz. Ishaq, Hz. Yaqub, Hz. Zakariyya and Hz. Isa (peace be upon them) performed prayers.

On the other hand, fasting and zakah are not types of worshipping peculiar to the ummah of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) only. As a matter of fact, it is stated in the Quran that these kinds of worshipping are rendered fard for the other ummahs, too. For instance, the following is stated in verse 183 of the chapter of al-Baqara: 

"O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint."

Yes, prayers, fasting, zakah (alms) and many other kinds of worshipping existed in the shari'ahs of the other prophets, too. However, in the course of time, Jews and Christians abandoned or changed these kinds of worshipping.


1. Ibrahim, 14/40.

2. Hud, 11/87.

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