Does 20:130 imply or authorise 5 Salat?

So be patient in the face of what they say and 'sabih bihamd rabika' (glorify your Lord with praise)
before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and during the night you shall glorify,
as well as at the ends of the day so that you may be content.

20:130

The advocates of 5 Salat per day cannot find the names of 5 Salat in the Quran since the Quran contains only 3 names of Salat and they are:

- Salat Al-Fajr (Dawn prayer) 24:58

- Salat Al-Wusta (Middle prayer) 2:238

- Salat Al-Isha (Night prayer) 24:58

There is no mention, nor authorisation in the Quran for such Salat as Salat Al-Asr, Salat Al-Maghrib nor Salat Al-Zhohr.

God tells us that the Quran is fully detailed and that nothing has been left out of the book:

Shall I seek other than God as a law maker when He has brought down to you the Book (Quran) fully detailed? 6:114

This (Quran) is not fabricated hadith, but an authentication of what is with you, a detailed account of all things and guidance and mercy for people who believe. 12:111

We did not leave anything out of the Book (Quran).
6:38

We have brought the Book (Quran) down to you providing explanations for all things plus guidance and mercy, and giving news to the Muslims. 16:89

Despite the above assurances that the Quran is fully detailed and that nothing has been left out of the Book, sadly, the majority of Muslim scholars claim that the Quran contains only the headlines of the religion and that we need the hadith and sunna to derive the details!

Others, who advocate 5 Salat, but are not willing to ignore such verses such as 6:114 and 6:38, have tried to manipulate a number of Quranic verses in order to validate their claim of 5 Salat. Some have referred to 103:1 for example where the word Al-Asr (afternoon) is mentioned to claim that this confirms a Salat called Al-Asr. This claim is obviously totally false since nothing in Sura 103 speaks about Salat. In 103:1 God is simply referring to the time of Asr (afternoon) as a time of day and not as a name of a Salat.

If we were to instate a Salat every time we read a time of day mentioned in the Quran, we should have many more Salat to observe and not just the traditional 5 Salat. We should actually set up a Salat for every one of the following times since they are all mentioned in the Quran:

- Subh 11:81 (morning)
- Asr 103:1 (afternoon)
- Duhha 93:1 (the morning brightness)
- Ghurub 50:39 and Maghrib 18:86 (sunset)
- Ishraq 38:18 (sunrise)
- Zhahira 24:58 (midday)
- Layl 3:190 (night)
- Nahar 3:190 (day)
- Ibkar 40:55 (morning)

Add the above 9 to the 3 authorised Salat in the Quran (Fajr, Wusta, Isha) we would end up with 12 daily Salat to observe!

Needless to say, none of the above are names of Salat, the word Salat is not used in any of the verses quoted. All these names are mentioned merely as times of the day.

Others have tried to manipulate some words in 20:130 to claim that there are 5 Salat per day. Let us read 20:130 once again:

So be patient in the face of what they say and 'sabih bihamd rabika' (glorify your Lord with praise) before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and during the night you shall glorify, as well as at the ends of the day so that you may be content. 20:130

The advocates of the 5 Salat say that this verse gives us five times for Salat during the day!

The obvious manipulation here is that 20:130 speaks about Tasbeeh and not about Salat.

We are invited to do Tasbeeh (glorifying God) and Hamd (praising God) at all times of the day (when we are able).

1- In 50:39 we are invited to praise and glorify God (Tasbeeh/Hamd) before sunrise and before sunset.
2- In 30:18 we are invited to praise God in the evening and at midday.
3- In 40:55 we are invited to praise and glorify God in the evening and early morning.
4- In 20:130 we are invited to praise and glorify God during the night.
5- In 52:48 we are invited to praise and glorify God when we wake up.
6- in 52:49 we are invited to glorify God in the night and after the stars fade away (from view).
7- in 20:130 we are invited to praise and glorify God at the ends of the day.

The above times just about cover all times of the day. What the above verses tell us is that we are invited to glorify and praise God at any time and as often as we can.
In contrast, the Salat is a specifically structured ritual which is to be observed at specific times of the day. Each one of the three Salat has a defined time range and cannot be observed outside these defined times:

The Salat is decreed for the believers for 'kitabban mawqutan' (precise times given in the Book). 4:103

In addition, the ritual of Salat includes the praising and glorifying of God, but also a number of other acts. When we glorify God we do just that, but when we observe salat, we have to do all the following:

Wudu (ablution), face Mecca (Qibla), glorify God through standing, bowing and prostrating.

To praise and glorify God we do not have to do wudu. We can glorify God while standing, sitting or lying down. We do not have to bow nor prostrate to praise or glorify God, nor do we have to face Mecca to do so.

In addition, we must observe the Salat with an audible voice that is neither whispering nor shouting (17:110). In contrast, we can glorify and praise God silently.

The conclusion is that Tasbeeh and Hamd are not the same as Salat. The times referred to in 20:130 are not times for Salat, nor does 20:130 speak of Salat.

As in all cases, the Quran gives us verification and explanations for all things. One glorious verse which sets the record straight by establishing a clear difference between Salat and Tasbeeh is the following:

Do you not see that everything in the heavens and the earth glorifies God, even the birds in their flight formation? Each is familiar with its prayer and its glorification. God is Knowledgeable of what they do. 24:41

This verse is very important because it proves that Tasbeeh and Salat are not the same thing. If they were, God would not have to say "each knows its Salat and its Tasbeeh", as this would be an unnecessary repetition.

The same kind of manipulation, intended to justify the non-Quranic 5 Salat, can be seen with regards to the interpretation of 30:17-18, please see:
Manipulation of 30:17-18