Is it 2 prayers per day or 3 prayers?

Question:

I have a question? Why do other Quran sites say that there are only two prayers per day? This makes me feel confused and I would like to know which one is correct, is it two or three prayers? thanks to you

Reply

I have looked briefly at those two sites, I see they both advocate the Quran alone which is a good thing.

However, I can tell you in accordance to the Quran why there are 3 Salat, and also how the advocates of 2 Salat got it wrong, and which quranic verses they have misinterpreted.

1- God gives names of three Salat in the Quran, they are: Fajr (dawn), Wusta (middle) and Isha (night). The ones who say there are only 2 Salat have corrupted the Arabic words (Al-Salaat al Wusta (2:238), which means the Middle prayer, and they claimed that "Wusta" here is not a name of a Salat but an adjective that means "better" ... i.e the better/best Salat.

Immediately, this claim is incorrect because if we say that one Salat is "better" than the other Salat then we must wonder why is it better? If there is a better Salat , we must wonder which one is the better Salat? Is it the Fajr Salat, the Isha Salat, or what? If there is a better Salat, are the other Salat not good?

The claim that God says in 2:238 "observe the Salat and dont foget the better one of these Salat" is absurd!

In reality, if one follows the rules of Salat as in the Quran: ablution, Qibla, stand in awe and respect for God, commemorating God alone in standing, bowing then prostrating while using only Quran, if we follow these rules there is no better Salat. If we do not follow these rules, then our Salat is void. In other words there cannot be a "better" Salat, there can only be a correct Salat or an incorrect Salat.

2- In the same verse (2:238) God says (maintain the Salawaat) the word "Salawaat" is the plural of Salat, but what is important is that in the Arabic language there is a different word if we are speaking about TWO things than if we are speaking about MORE than two things.

This is different than the English language. So for example, in English, if we say "the boys" .... this could mean we are speaking about 2 boys or more than 2 boys, but in Arabic if we are speaking about 2 things the word is different than if we are speaking about 3 or more things.

When we apply this to the word Salat we get the following:

Salat = one prayer

Salatayn = 2 prayers

Salawaat = any number of prayers that is more than 2

in 2:238 the word used is "Salawaat", if there were only 2 Salat, God would have said "Al-Salatayn".

God does not make grammatical errors.

3- Those who still insist that there are only 2 Salat per day, they say that God used the word Salawaat (more than 2 prayers) because God is speaking about all the prayers we do, not just in one day but all the prayers, thus the use of the word Salawaat.

Once again this can be proved wrong.

When God speaks about ALL the prayers we do, not in one day or one week, but all our prayers God says "Al-Salat". The word "Al-Salat" is the singular form, but it is used to denote the concept of Salat as a whole. Thus it speaks of all the prayers we are meant to observe. The following are examples from the Quran:

"You shall observe the Salat and give the Zakat." 2:110

"Say to My servants who believe to observe the Salat and to spend from what We have provided them." 14:31

It is obvious in the above Quranic verses that God is not commanding us to do just one prayer, but all our prayers, i.e. the concept of the Salat as a whole, and the word used is "Al-Salat" (singular).

As a result, if God was speaking (in 2:238) of the concept of all the prayers as a whole, God would have used the word "Al-Salat" and not "Al-Salawaat". The deliberate use of the word "Al-Salawaat" in 2:238 confirms that God is speaking about the prayers we have to observe in one single day, and the use of the word "Al-Salawaat" confirms they are more than two prayers.
This again proves that the word "Wusta" in 2:238 is a name of a Salat, and not a description of a better Salat.

4- The Quran tells us that the prayers are given exact and precise times in the Quran:

"The Salat is decreed for the believers kitaban mawqutan" 4:103

The key words in 4:103 are: "kitaban mawqutan".

"kitaban" means written in a book (the word kitab in Arabic means book)

"mawqutan" means specifically timed (the word waqt in Arabic means time)

So in accordance with 4:103 we must expect to find the exact times for all the daily prayers in the Quran.

This is in harmony with 6:114 which tells us that the Quran has all the details.

Also note that 4:103 is one of the main tools that is used to expose those who uphold five Salat per day. They can never find Quranic verses that give five different times for Salat (thus they contradict 4:103).

When we study the Quran we find that there are three very clear times when God gives us as to when we should observe the salat.

The times of the Fajr (Dawn) and Esha (Night) Prayers are given in 11:114

The time for the Wusta (Middle) Prayer is given in 17:78

5- Some claim that "Al-Salat Al-Wusta" is not a name of a Salat but merely the description of the timing of one of the known Salat. They explain that the word “Wusta" is an adjective and not a noun and therefore cannot be a name of a Salat.
This claim can be shown to be incorrect in relation to the rules of the Arabic language.
An adjective on its own is not a name. Therefore the word “Wusta” on its own is not a name but an adjective.
However, when an adjective is:
1- Preceded by the word AL (the)
2- Follows a noun
In this case, the two words together can form a name.

A Quranic example is: Al-Masjid Al-Haram.

The word Haram on its own is an adjective and not a name, however, the
word Haram here is preceded by AL (the) and follows the noun Al-Masjid (the masjid).
Thus the two words together, Al-Masjid Al-Haram, becomes a name.
Al-Masjid Al-Haram is the name of the masjid in Mecca.

This is identical in 2:238 with the words Al-Salat Al-Wusta.
1- Haram on its own is an adjective, so is Wusta
2- Haram is preceded with AL, so is Wusta
3- Al-Masjid Al-Haram is the name of the Masjid in Mecca, so is Al-Wusta, it is the name of the middle Salat during the day.

For more details about the three salat please go to: Number of Daily Salat

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In total harmony with the concept of three daily prayers, we find that the three daily prayers are also confirmed in the Torah:

The number of Salat in the Torah:

The Old Testament has at least three verses referring to times of Prayers. Though we may not trust the Biblical translations verbatim, we may not consider them as errors since both internal and external consistency of the Biblical passages regarding the Prayers are striking.

"As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." (Psalms 55:16-17) (PS: crying aloud apparently means praying with passion).

"David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded." (1 Samuel 20:41)

"Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did afortime." (Daniel 6:10)

Note how the first verse (psalms 55:16-17) gives the exact times of the 3 prayers as confirmed in the Quran (morning - noon - night ).