The prayers mentioned BY NAME in the Quran are three:

1- Salat Al-Fajr (Dawn Prayer)24:58

2- Salat Al-Esha (Night Prayer)24:58

3- Al-Salat Al-Wusta (The Middle Prayer) 2:238.

The following points all confirm that there are only three Salat authorised by God in the Quran:


God tells us that the Quran contains all the details (6:114) and that nothing has been left out of the book (6:38).

If this is the case, and more important, IF WE BELIEVE GOD 100%, then we have to ask why are the names of the other two salat not mentioned in the Quran?

The reply to this can be one of the following:

1- God forgot to mention the other two! (this option is obviously false, because God does NOT forget).

2- The Quran does not contain all the details (this is also false because God tells us in 6:114 that it does).

3- God did not mention the names of the other 2 salat because they are not important . This is also a false option, if they were not important then they would not be compulsory, as a result to claim that there are 5 compulsory prayers becomes a false claim.

4- God did not mention the names of the other 2 prayers because God wants us to guess them !!! Once again this is false, the Quran is not a book of puzzles.

5- God does not mention the names of the other 2 salat because God wants us to uphold our inherited rituals as a second source of law besides the Quran! Once again this assumption is incorrect since it is in violation of 6:114, 7:3 and 5:48. For all the details please go to Millat Ibraheem

6- God does not mention the names of the other 2 prayers, because THERE IS NO OTHER 2 PRAYERS according to the law of the Quran.




Let us read 11:114 where the misunderstanding occurred:

“You shall observe the Salat (Contact Prayers) at the ends of the day, and zulufann min al-layl.”11:114

There has been a number of interpretations of the words ‘zulufann min al-layl’ the ones that are most used are (part of the night) or (during the night) or (some part of the night).

However, none of these interpretations is accurate or in line with the Quranic use of the word ‘zulufan’ as will be shown shortly.

Traditionally, this verse has been interpreted to mean (you shall observe the prayers at both ends of the day AND part of the night) ….. as a result, the verse was interpreted to be speaking about two Salat at the end of the day PLUS an additional salat during the night, a total of 3 salat. Those with this interpretation give these 3 Salat the names of Salat Al-Fajr (Dawn Prayer, which is mentioned by name in the Quran), Salat Al-Maghrib (not mentioned by name in the Quran), plus Salat Al-Esha (Night prayer, which is mentioned in the Quran by name but with a different time range).

Others have interpreted this verse to be speaking about Salat Al-Fajr (mentioned in the Quarn) and Salat al-Asr (not mentioned in the Quran) plus salat Al-Maghrib (not mentioned in the Quran by name).

All these interpretations rely on names and times of Salat that not authorised in the Quran. The whole mis-understanding is due to the fact that they have failed to accept that this verse (11:114) in actual fact speaks of TWO Salat and NOT three. This will be apparent once we establish the true meaning of key words in 11:114.

The root of the word ‘zulufann’ is ‘Zulfa’. This word is used in the Quran to mean near or adjacent:

” ….. Those who set up idols beside Him say, “We idolize them only to bring us ‘zulfa’ (near/close) to God ….” 39:3

As a result, the phrase ‘zulufann min al-layl’ means the near/adjacent part of the night. The obvious question is : near to what? Nothing can be described as ‘near’ in absolute terms, the word near can only have a meaning when we have a reference point to which this thing is near to. So now we have to read 11:114 again and see what does God mean by near, near to what? The only other reference points given in 11:114 are the two ends of the day (sunrise and sunset). Also note that the word which is used in 11:114 is ‘zulufann’, this is a plural form of ‘zulfa’, thus the words ‘zulufann min al-layl’ speak of the parts of the night (plural) that are adjacent to the two ends of the day (sunrise and sunset).

The adjacent parts of the night (to sunrise and sunset) are the two ‘parts’ of the night, the part before sunrise, and the part after sunset (note that anytime before sunrise and after sunset is defined as night in Quranic terminology).

As a result it becomes apparent that God is giving us in 11:114 the range of two salat. The range for the two salat are the parts of the night that are just before sunrise and immediately after sunset.

Perhaps the word “wa” (which means AND) and which is placed before the phrase ‘zulufann min al-layl’ in 11:114 contributed largely to the mis-interpretation of this verse. Many have understood the word ‘and’ to mean (and an additional Salat), however, the word ‘and’ simply links the two ends of the day with their adjacent parts of the night to give the time range of the two salat. This is not any different than the following example:

If your doctor tells you : You can only have your medicine at miday AND for the following few hours.

What does this mean? Does this mean that you must take the medicine at miday and then take it AGAIN for a few hours after that? or does it simply mean that the time you can take the medicine is anytime between miday and the few hours after that?

Similarly, if God tells us to observe the Salat at the ends of the day ‘and’ for the adjacent hours of the night, it is the same thing. The word ‘and’ in 11:114 does not indicate an additional third prayer.

With reason, it can be proved that this is the ONLY logical explanation of this verse:

1- A command to observe the salat at the two ends of the day (without the inclusion of the phrase ‘zulufann min al-layl’), does not provide us with any indication as to when exactly these two Salat are to be observed. This is because the ends of the day are mere points in time that are no longer than a minute each. Surely God does not expect all believers to observe the salat only during the few seconds that it takes the sun to rise or set? It is only with the addition of the words “zulufan min al-layl” in the same verse that the command indicates a time range when these two salat should be observed.

2- To get round this tricky situation some have claimed that we can observe the Salat around the two points and not only during the actual sunrise/sunset, but this is equally unacceptable. This interpretation gives rise to a new valid question : Does this mean that we may observe the Salat anytime before or after sunrise/sunset? Is it only before sunrise/sunset? Is it only after sunrise/sunset? It is obvious that we would be left without any clues as to when exactly to observe these two Salat unless we accept the further clarification given by the phrase ‘zulufann min al-layl’. This phrase confirms that it is the night side of the sunrise and sunset that the salat may be observed.

The two Salat at the ends of the day that are spoken of in 11:114 are given specific names in the Quran. They are Salat Al-Fajr (Dawn Prayer) and Salat Al-Esha (Night Prayer).


Now we come to the third Salat mentioned in the Quran, which is Al-Salat Al-Wusta (2:238).

The word Wusta is the adjective of the word Wasat which means middle, therefore the words Al-Salat Al-Wusta mean ‘The Middle Prayer’. Moreover, the notion of a ‘Middle’ prayer indicates that the number of prayers is an odd number. Consequently, the Salat Al-Wusta is a prayer that lies half way between the two prayers at the two ends of the day. In astronomical terms this Salat is due exactly at the middle of the day, i.e. when the sun has travelled half its distance in the sky.

In 2:238 we read the words ‘hafezu ala al-salawaat’, which mean (you shall persevere with your prayers). The word ‘Salawaat’ is plural and speaks of more than two prayers. If they were only two prayers the word used would have been ‘Al-Salatayn’ (the two prayers). Moreover, if God was speaking about the concept of prayer in general, and without referring to the number of individual salat, the words used would have been “hafezu ala al-salat” as we read in many other verse.

The Salat Al-Wusta can be observed from the moment the sun begins its descend from its highest point (duluk al shams) until the darkness of the night (ghasaq al-layl) starts, which is at sunset:

“You shall observe the Salat (Contact Prayer) from when the sun declines from its highest point up till the ‘ghasaq al-layl’ (the darkness of the night).” 17:78

P.S. The darkness of the night starts to set in at sunset. And that is when the Salat Al-Wusta ends.


God tells us that the time of each prayer is precisely appointed “kitaban mawqootan” 4:103. The word “kitaban” which means BOOK refers to the Quran, or to ‘that which is written’. The deliberate use of this word by God confirms to us that the precise appointed time for each of the prayers is given in the Quran. Once again this conforms to the fact that the Quran contains all the details.

Now let us assume that the total number of prayers every day is five, then where in the Quran do we find the appointed time for the claimed ‘Salat Al-Asr’ (afternoon prayer)? When does it start? Similarly, when does the fagr prayer start? When does the claimed ‘Maghrib’ (sunset) prayer end? (remember if we accept that there are 5 prayers in the Quran, then we cannot interpret the phrase ‘zulufann min al-layl’ to indicate a time span, but to indicate an additional salat).

It is a known fact that non of the advocates of the five prayers is able to give any Quranic reference for the time spans of all five prayers.

The five prayer interpretation cannot be substantiated by using Quranic evidence.

But if we accept the Quranic truth about the three salat, and accept that the phrase ‘zulufann min al-layl’ gives the time span for the two prayers at sunrise and sunset, then the times of all three prayers are precisely given in the Quran.

The time for three prayers would thus be as follows:


This prayer starts when the first thin ray of light is observed in the sky. God gives us the explanation to this when “the white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at dawn.” 2:187

The time for the dawn prayer is also given in the Quran with the words:

” …….. and at dawn as the stars fade away.” 52:49

This poetic description of the time for the dawn prayer in 52:49 is very accurate scientifically. The stars start to fade out when the first rays of light appear in the sky, and they are completely gone with sunrise.

The Dawn prayer ends at the first ‘taraf’ (terminal) of the day which is sunrise (11:114).

Consequently, the phrase ‘zulufann min al-layl’ which translates to (the adjacent or near hours of the night) give us a very accurate description of the time for the Fajr (Dawn) payer. The Fagr prayer can be observed during the last hour or so of the night when there is light in the sky. This hour/s are still part of the night, this is because day does not begin until the sun rises.


The night prayer is identical to the dawn prayer but at the other end of the day (Sunset). This prayer starts at the second ‘taraf’ (terminal) of the day which is sunset, and lasts for the adjacent night hour/s when the light has not disappeared completely from the sky. The prayer ends when the light has totally disappeared from the night sky.


The middle or ‘Wusta’ prayer starts when the sun starts to decline from its highest point in the sky (dulook al-shams) and ends when the darkness of the night starts to set in (sunset).


Now let us look at one more verse that also sheds light on the number of prayers in the day:

“O you who believe, when the Salat is announced on Friday, you shall hasten to the commemoration of God, and drop all business. This is better for you, if you only knew.

Once the prayer is completed, you may spread through the land to seek God’s bounties, and continue to remember God frequently, that you may succeed.” 62:9-10

The words ‘drop all business’ and also the words ‘Once the prayer is completed, you may spread through the land to seek God’s bounties’ indicate that this prayer is in the day hours. The reasoning behind this is that since no one is likely to be engaged in their business and have to drop it in the early hours before sunrise, means that this prayer is not the Fajr prayer. Similarly it cannot be the Esha prayer since God says that after the Friday prayer the believers may continue with their business, no one is likely to be continuing working in the late hours of the night.

Consequently, if this Salat is not the Fajr prayer nor the Esha prayer, this leaves the Salat Al-Wusta. Once again this is strong indication that there are only 3 and not 5.

The reason is simple:

Suppose there are 5 Salat, we know that the Friday prayer is during the day (not night), this means that (in a 5 prayer format) it could be the noon (Zuhr) prayer, or it can be the afternoon (Asr) prayer ……

Which one would it be? If we accept that the Quran contains all the details (6:114), and that the Quran provides explanations for everything (16:89), we would ultimately accept that God would not leave us to guess which prayer in the day is the Friday prayer.

However, if we accept that there are only 3 prayers in a day, then the Jumah Salat (Friday Prayer) cannot be other than the Middle Prayer.


As we have seen, apart from the Salat Al-Wusta, the only other prayers mentioned in the Quran by name are the Fajr and Esha prayers. These are the two Salat at the ends of the day (sunrise and sunset). The Middle Prayer (Salat Al-Wusta) must be one that is at the middle between the two ends of the day.

Those who insist that there are 5 prayers in the day, believe that the Salat Al-Wusta is the Asr Prayer. However, the time of Asr is NOT the middle of the day, the middle of the day is exactly at duluk al-shams (when the sun starts to decline from its highest point) that is because the sun would have travelled exactly half the distance in the sky and beginning its descent, it is thus exactly half the day (nahar).

As a result, the Salat Al-Wusta gets its name as a result of it being exactly half way between the two Tarafai Al-Nahar (sunrise and sunset). The Salat Al-Wusta starts at ‘duluk al-shams’ and ends at sunset.


If we look at verse 24:58 one more time, we note that God speaks of 2 Salats (Fajr and Esha ), but only speaks of the TIME of Zahira (zohr). Is it a coincidence that God did not say when you change your clothes after Salat Al-Zahira/Zohr, but only said the TIME of zahira? If there is a Salat called Salat Al-Zohr (as the advocates of the 5 prayers claim), wouldn’t we expect to see the words ‘after Salat Al-Zahira/Zohr’ just like God mentions Salat Al-Fajr and Salat Al-Esha in the same verse?


In the old days, people did not have printed lists of times of prayers and astronomical calculations, etc. They could not do like we do now, turn on the radio or TV or buy a Prayer Timetable. However, God must have given a means to determine the times of prayers even for those early communities (before the Quran) who did not have the facilities we have today. God must have given them a NATURAL means of determining the times of the prayers.

Today for example, there is no way for the followers of the 5 Salat to know when does ‘Salat Al-Asr’ starts except through looking at those astronomical tables and lists.

However, with the correct 3 prayer format, we do not need any of these tables. We do not need Prayer Timetable (Imsakeyah).

As long as there is any light in the sky (before sunrise and after sunset) we know it is the time for Fagr and Esha respectively.

With the Salat Al-Wusta it is also very easy. When we see no shadow below us when we stand, we know that this is when the sun is highest in the sky. When we start to see the smallest shadow, this is the beginning of the salat al-wusta, it ends when the sun sets.

It cannot be easier! alhamd l’Allah, God has made it so easy for us.


Finally we come to the issue of how many Raka to be observed in each Salat.

The cycle of standing, bowing and prostrating while praising and glorifying God is traditionally called a Raka. According to the Quranic law, God did not specify any specific number of Raka to be observed in the Salat, thus it is left to the individual.

The advocates of the 5 prayers claim that the number of Raka to be observed during each of the 5 prayers is 24434 respectively.

To start, and since there are only three Salat decreed by God for the believers, then this 5-prayer format is false. Where it came from? Probably like all the corruption we inherited in our rituals, they all have routes in the books of hadith (Bukhari, Muslim and others).

The advocates of the 5 prayer format have worked out some calculations based on the Quranic code 19 to claim that this 24434 format has been preserved since Abraham.

These calculations have been proved non significant and cannot be considered in any way as divine signs. For more details on this matter, please go to the following file:


The code 19 and the 24434 format


Some other scholars have claimed that the minimum number of Raka during any prayer must be two. They base their claim on the concession to shorten the Salat at times of war (4:101). They state that if we are given indication to shorten the Salat, then it must be at least two Raka, that is because it is not feasible to shorten the Salat if it were made of just one Raka!

The error in this interpretation is that it is based on the number of Raka and not on the time consumed in our Salat. Since the Quran speaks of standing, bowing and prostration without any time or frequency restrictions, then we may spend the time we wish in any of these positions. In other words, one can spend one minute in the standing position or ten minutes. One could read the Al-Fatiha (The Key) once or ten times. Equally one may praise God during prostration three times or 20 times. One could prostrate once or five times …. etc.

If we add the fact that different people excercise different speeds in uttering their prayers, then we are once again compelled to accept that shortening the salat is related to the overall time we give to the Salat and not to the number of Raka. For example, one Raka could be completed in 2 minutes or 20 minutes.

The concession to shorten the Salat given in 4:101 is thus a time related one. God is telling us if you normally spend (as an example) 10 minutes in your Salat, you may spend 2 or 3 minutes when you are at war.

It is more logical to think that at times of war when we are in danger of the enemy, that we minimize the TIME we are at risk rather than minimize the number of Raka. After all, the concept of Raka is a relative one as shown, and one Raka can be conducted by two different people in totally different times, thus person A may do 3 raka’s in the same time that person B has done 5 or 6. But if we accept that the concession in 4:101 to be TIME related then the shortening of the Salat would affect all believers symmetrically.

Moreover, this interpretation, which is TIME related, is more logical since it is not based on assumptions that do not exist in the Quran ….. The assumption of a minimum number of Raka is not in the Quran, plus ofcourse, the whole concept of a Raka (made of one standing, one bowing and the traditional two prostrations) is not in the Quran. The Quran speaks of the 3 positions in a specific order but there are no restrictions on the frequency of each. The majority of Muslims prostrate twice in every Raka. The Quran does not specify once or twice or more, hence who is to say that one who prostrates five or six times is in violation of any Quranic command?



  1. 1 salahudin
    April 24, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    But there’s no rational reason to even worship god:


    We invite you to answer the challenge

  2. 2 samyeladl
    April 25, 2007 at 5:10 am

    why challenge ? there’s no rational reason to even worship god

  3. 3 samyeladl
    April 25, 2007 at 5:11 am

    Takhod drink 7abiby , ana mosh awzak ez3al khales

  4. July 22, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I completely disagree. According to the Quran, the salat number is determining NOT by name but by TIME. Verse 4:103 says – “the Contact Prayers (Salat) are decreed for the believers at specific times” not by name. Just because there are three mentioned by a name, it still doesn’t fit the criteria of verse 4:103. With that being said, verse 11:114 clearly mentions three isolated TIMES (both ends of day – 2 – and during night + 1 = 3) because the word ‘wa’ is used. Your second explanation is insufficient. Verse 11:114 makes the number of salat greater that three since it speak of performing a salat AT BOTH ENDS of the day (2 times specifically mentioned) AND at night (one additional time specifically mentioned) meeting the require of salat being decreed by TIMES (4:103) not names.

    • 5 Kimosabi
      February 3, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Salam aquib, in 11 -114, if you say two ends of the day is 2 salat, meaning you have to pray 2 salat at the ends of DAY. In the 5 salat understanding, which salat are they?. I know asar is at one end of the day, and maybe you mean also salat duha at the other terminal end, since they are from understanding, supposedly to be DAY prayers? I understand that we don’t pray any DAY fard salat in the front end of the day. In conclusion if you interprete that 11 114 has 3 salat and also taking into consideration the norm of 5 salat, then there are now 6 salat times. 6 cannot have middle!

      • November 8, 2017 at 10:24 am

        No Surah Al Hud says 3 times Salat. Why are you changing Allah(SWT) words? The world was made for prayer and that this life is a testing life, so the time the sun rises is the first prayer and the setting of the sun is the second prayer after that its the night prayer and then you’re suppose to go to sleep after that.

      • November 8, 2017 at 10:30 am

        No Surah Hud says 3 times Salat. Why are people changing Allah(SWT) words? The world was made for prayer and that this life is a testing life, so the time the sun rises is the first prayer and the setting of the sun is the second prayer after that its the night prayer and then you’re suppose to go to sleep after that. Also remember if you listen to Hadiths they’re misleading because Jews rewrote the Bible which is why the Quran had to be preserved and Allah(SWT) only promised that the Quran will be safe from corruption but never made that promise for hadiths. So many fabrications are in Hadiths so you shouldn’t trust them 100%. Also Allah(SWT) said that anybody who takes any other Hadiths besides the Quran is being mislead and that includes those Hadiths about Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) too.

  5. 8 Adil
    November 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Mr. stefen needs guidance as he doesnot mention the life of Prophet who was a living Quran and it was this Prophet through whom Quran was completed. Quran was not meant for explanations in the presence of the life of the Prophet and thats why it took 23 years to complete the Quran revelations. Quran doesnot say how to perform prayers and how to call for prayers and whats the beginning and whats the end how to dress and observe prayer….. it was the Prophet through whom Quran was being made practical by following his example.

    • November 8, 2017 at 10:20 am

      You don’t understand though that Hadiths can be rewritten and that its even mentioned in the Quran NOT to take other Hadiths besides the ones in the Quran as real ones.

  6. May 20, 2011 at 12:11 am

    What a load of croc this article is. Behold this verse:

    16:44. (We sent them) with Clear Signs and Books of dark prophecies; and We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought.

  7. 11 Shahid Mahmood
    February 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Muslims believe that five times prayer was decreed during ” Meraj ” a journey by prophet Muhammad saw vide sura 17:1.However no such detail is given in this sura/ayat

  8. 12 adam
    July 17, 2012 at 1:51 am

    After much much confusion in seeking truth. and after asking God for guidance, and also, after drawing down diagrams in accordance to surah 11 verse 114, i have come to conclusion that, the two ends of the day are fajr and isha. and the approaches of the night is when the sun starts to decline from the zenith approaching the night.Therefore, there is only 3 salats; fajr, wusta, isha.

    take note that approaching the night does not mean its night or half night whatsoever. approaching night means moving towards night but still in the day.

    therefore, after fajr, the sun climbs to the highest point. once at the highest point (zenith) it declines to go towards the night; wa zulufan min alayl is salat wusta.

    Allah forgive me if i am wrong. I can only seek guidance from You and only You give guidance to those that seek truth with all their heart.

    peace be upon all you bros and sis’

  9. November 8, 2017 at 10:33 am

    The prayer times are sunrise, sunset and late night. Even the world is made to pray so the timings of the planet are also.

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