What is wrong with observing 5 Salat?

Question:

What is wrong if we offer Salat 5 times a day? After all we would be worshipping God more. Can worshipping God more be an act of ‘shirk’?

Reply:

In a nutshell, the heart of this matter is related to whether we are following God’s law to worship Him more, or we are following what has never been authorised by God.
To review this subject in relation to the Salat, we need to analyse two situations:
1- Repeating one of the Salat authorised by God in the Quran.
2- Offering a Salat that has never been authorised by God but that comes from non-Quranic sources.

Let us start here with the example of Hajj:
- Is Hajj a ritual authorised by God in the Quran? Yes.
- Is Hajj a worship ritual? Yes.
- Can Hajj be observed any time? No, it is decreed for specific times of the year.
- Can we observe Hajj more than the single required time? Yes.

Now we can apply the same inquiries to the Salat:
- Is the Salat authorised by God? Yes.
- Is the Salat a worship ritual? Yes.
- Is the Salat decreed for specific times of the day? Yes.
- Can we repeat the Salat, just like we can repeat our Hajj? Yes.

Just like observing Hajj more than once, we can also observe a Salat, such as Salat Al-Fajr (for example), more than once. We can observe any of the 3 Salat any number of times. If we do so, it would indeed be a case of worshipping God more, and also by means of a ritual which is authorised by God.

In addition, the Quran speaks in various verses of prostration without it being linked to the Salat. That means we can prostrate to God in worship at any time of the day without it being a ritualised complete Salat.
God encourages us to worship Him and commemorate Him frequently:

The Safa and Marwah are among the rites decreed by God. So whoever observes Hajj at the House or observes Umrah incurs no blame for passing by them, and as for those who volunteer extra good work, God is Appreciative, Knowledgeable. 2:158

We note here that the words
"extra good work" follow the rituals of Hajj and Umrah, which indicates that repeating any of the worship practices (authroised by God) is indeed a righteous act that is encouraged and appreciated by God.

When we apply this principle to the Salat, we can indeed observe any of the 3 Quranic Salat (Fajr, Wusta and Isha) once, or as many times as we wish within the specified times set by God.
Outside the times set by God for the Salat, we can prostrate to God as often as we wish in worship and at any time of the day.

If it is a case of: the more the better, then why does observing the traditional five Salat constitute an unrighteous act? The answer to this question is found in the following Quranic words:

Or do they have 'shurakaa' (partners) who legislate for them of the religion what God did not authorise? If it were not for a decisive Word, judgement would have already been passed over them. Indeed the transgressors shall have a painful punishment. 42:21

The word 'shurakaa' (partners) in this verse should not be overlooked. God could have said: 'do they have others who legislate for them', but God deliberately chose the word 'shurakaa'. The Arabic word 'shurakaa' is an adjective from the noun 'shirk' (setting up partners with God). The words in this verse confirm that following any religious laws that are not authorised by God is an act of shirk.

In accordance with 42:21, by observing a Salat called Asr (afternoon) for example, we would be committing an act of shirk since such a Salat was never authorised by God. It is an act of shirk because we would have made the source of that Salat a partner with God in His exclusive right of lawmaking:

Shall I seek other than God as a lawmaker when it is He who has brought down to you the Book fully detailed? 6:114

In addition, those who claim that such a Salat was authorised for us by God incur extra guilt; the guilt of saying lies and attributing them to God:

Among them are a group who twist the Scripture with their tongues so you would think that it is from the Scripture when it is not from the Scripture. And they say it is from God when it is not from God. And they say lies about God, knowingly. 3:78

It is important to note that the source of this false claim (offering the 5 Salat) can only be the devil whose eternal goal is to misguide people, yet duping them into thinking they are doing good. The Quran warns us against this false sense of security
:

Say, "Shall we inform you of the worst losers with regards to their deeds?
They are those whose works in the worldly life are misguided, yet they think that they are doing good." 18:103-104

Conclusion:

First: Why do people observe 5 Salat when they know that there are only 3 Salat authorised in the Quran?

If they are honest with themselves, they will realise that they do so because they do not believe that the Quran has all the details (6:114) and that nothing has been left out of the Book (6:38). Somehow they will allow the devil to dupe them! On the other hand, the resolute believers who accept that all the details are 100% in the Quran will not entertain any such trickery.

Second
: What is the real danger of observing the 2 extra Salat?

The answer is always given in the Quran, and the answer to this question is given in 42:21 (see above).

Third: Be smarter than the devil!

Whenever the devil tries to trick you by saying "how can it be wrong to worship God more?" Answer him back by saying: "When I wish to worship God more I will either repeat what God authorised, or I will extend the time I give to any of the 3 Salat." Then tell him to go to Hell!

Be clever, follow God alone, follow the Quran alone, follow the only Salat authorised by God, they are three Salat.

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For the Quranic details of the three salat please check the following page:

Three Salat authorised in the Quran