What Does the Quran Say About Praying 5 Times a Day?

What Does the Quran Say About Praying 5 Times a Day?

In the heart of Islamic devotion lies a timeless rhythm defined by five sacred moments when you talk to your Creator. Let’s explore how these daily prayers, with their prescribed times and profound benefits, form a cornerstone of Muslim life, guiding hearts and minds toward a deeper connection with Allah.

What Does the Quran Say About Praying 5 Times a Day?

The Quran does not explicitly mention praying five times a day. However, it does emphasize the importance of regular prayers and mentions specific times for prayer. The five daily prayers are derived from the Quran and the Hadith altogether. Key Quranic verses related to prayer include:

1. Surah Al-Baqarah (2:238): 

“Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the Middle Prayer; and stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind).”

2. Surah Hud (11:114): 

“And establish the Prayer at the two ends of the day and in the early part of the night. Indeed, the good deeds remove the evil deeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.”

3. Surah Al-Isra (17:78-79): 

“Establish prayer at the decline of the sun until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an at dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.”

4. Surah Al-Baqarah (2:110): 

“And establish prayer and give zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do is Seeing.”

5. Surah Al-Ankabut (29:45): 

“Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.”

These Ayas point to various times of the day for prayer, which scholars and Islamic traditions have interpreted as the basis for the five daily prayers:

  • Fajr (dawn)
  • Dhuhr (midday)
  • Asr (afternoon)
  • Maghrib (sunset)
  • Isha (night)

The Hadith provides further details and clarifications on the exact timings and number of prayers. For instance, in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, it is recorded that the Prophet Muhammad specified the five daily prayers and demonstrated their importance and timings.

Traits of Hypocritical and Insincere Prayer

The traits of the prayer of hypocrites, as described in our Islamic teachings, often refer to certain behaviors and attitudes that are considered insincere or improper when it comes to performing Salah. Here are some key traits:

1. Laziness and Delaying Prayer

Hypocrites often exhibit laziness when it comes to performing their prayers. They tend to procrastinate and delay their prayers until the last possible moment. For instance, they might wait until just before the time for the next prayer begins, praying in a rushed manner. The Quran mentions this behavior in Surah An-Nisa (4:142):

“Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little.”

2. Lack of Sincerity

Sincerity, or Ikhlas, is a fundamental aspect of Islamic worship. When someone prays without sincerity, their actions become empty rituals devoid of spiritual connection. Hypocrites might perform the physical actions of prayer, but their hearts and minds are elsewhere.

They might not engage in the proper recitations or fail to contemplate the meanings of what they are reciting. This lack of sincerity means that their prayers do not fulfill their true purpose, which is to establish a direct and heartfelt connection with Allah.

3. Seeking Praise

One of the defining characteristics of hypocrisy in prayer is performing it to gain approval or admiration from others rather than for the sake of Allah. This is known as Riya (showing off). 

Hypocrites might be very diligent in their prayers when they know they are being watched but neglect them when they are alone. Their primary motivation is not to please Allah but to enhance their reputation among people. This behavior is condemned in Islam because it corrupts the purity of worship. 

This insincerity undermines the essence of worship, which should be done solely for the pleasure and obedience of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever prays to show off, he has committed shirk (associating others with Allah).”

4. Inconsistent Performance of Prayers

Hypocrites often display inconsistency in their prayer practices. They may perform prayers meticulously in public but neglect them in private. This inconsistency reflects a lack of true commitment to the obligations of Salah and indicates that their motivation is more about maintaining appearances than genuine worship.

5. Quick and Hasty Prayers

When hypocrites do pray, they tend to perform the prayers quickly and hastily. They rush through the motions without giving due attention to the recitations and movements. This hurried approach indicates a lack of respect and reverence for the prayer, treating it more as a chore to be quickly completed rather than an opportunity to connect with Allah.

6. Minimal Engagement in Dhikr

Hypocrites often engage in very little Dhikr outside of their formal prayers. True believers incorporate the remembrance of Allah into their daily lives, constantly seeking to strengthen their relationship with Him. In contrast, hypocrites tend to limit their religious activities to the bare minimum required, showing little interest in nurturing their spirituality beyond the obligatory acts.

These traits further illustrate the differences between the sincere devotion of a true believer and the superficial actions of a hypocrite. The goal of prayer in Islam is to foster a deep, personal connection with the Creator, and any deviation from this intention detracts from its true value and purpose.

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How to Be Sincere in Salah?

Sincerity in Salah (prayer) is crucial for Muslims, reflecting a genuine connection with Allah and inner devotion. Here are practical steps to enhance sincerity in Salah:

  • Set Your Niyyah: Begin each prayer with a clear intention solely for the sake of pleasing Allah and seeking His closeness.
  • Focus on Meaning: Understand the meanings of the Ayas and supplications recited during Salah to engage deeply with their spiritual significance.
  • Avoid Rushing: Take time to perform each movement and recitation calmly and attentively, avoiding haste or distraction.
  • Consistency: Establish a regular prayer routine, fulfilling each Salah at its prescribed time, reinforcing a habit of devotion.
  • Humility and Reverence: Approach Salah with humility, recognizing Allah’s greatness and your dependence on Him, fostering a sense of reverence.
  • Reflection: Reflect on your actions and words during Salah, contemplating their meaning and purpose in your life as a servant of Allah.
  • Supplication (Dua): Use the opportunity after Salah to make heartfelt supplications, express personal concerns, and seek guidance from Allah.
  • Seek Knowledge: Continuously seek knowledge about the significance, rulings, and virtues of Salah, deepening your understanding and commitment.
  • Purify Intentions: Regularly purify your intentions, ensuring that your prayers are solely for the sake of Allah and free from seeking praise from others.
  • Repentance and Forgiveness: Before Salah, sincerely repent for any shortcomings or sins, seeking Allah’s forgiveness and cleansing your heart.
  • Pray in Seclusion: Occasionally pray in solitude, away from distractions, to focus entirely on your connection with Allah and strengthen your sincerity.
  • Variety in Recitation: Vary your recitation of Quranic verses and supplications during Salah to maintain engagement and prevent mechanical repetition.
  • Physical Preparation: Ensure physical cleanliness and wear modest attire, respecting the outward aspects of Salah as a reflection of inner purity.
  • Community Influence: Surround yourself with supportive, spiritually inclined individuals and communities that encourage sincere worship and reflection.

By incorporating these practices into your daily Salah, you can cultivate sincerity, enriching your spiritual connection with Allah and enhancing the transformative power of prayer in your life.

Importance of Fajr Prayer

The Fajr prayer holds significant importance in Islam for several reasons:

1. First Prayer of the Day:

Fajr prayer is the first of the five daily Salahs in Islam, marking the beginning of the day’s spiritual obligations. It serves as a reminder to start the day with a focus on worship and obedience to Allah. By praying Fajr, Muslims establish a routine of devotion and mindfulness from the early hours, setting a positive tone for the rest of the day.

2. Spiritual Fulfillment:

Performing Fajr prayer demonstrates a commitment to one’s faith and obedience to Allah’s commandments. It strengthens the believer’s relationship with Allah and reinforces their submission to His will. Regularly observing Fajr prayer fosters a sense of spiritual fulfillment and inner peace, aligning one’s actions with the teachings of Islam.

3. Blessings and Barakah:

There is a special blessing associated with waking up early to pray Fajr. Muslims believe that Allah’s mercy and blessings descend upon those who rise early to perform this prayer. This blessing extends throughout the day, impacting one’s spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being, and bringing divine guidance and protection.

4. Prophetic Tradition:

The importance of Fajr prayer is underscored by the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. He emphasized its significance and the rewards for those who observe it with sincerity.

The Prophet Muhammad highlighted the spiritual and personal benefits of this act of worship stating,

“Whoever prays the Fajr prayer is under the protection of Allah”.

5. Community Connection:

Praying Fajr in congregation strengthens bonds within the Muslim community. It fosters unity, solidarity, and a shared commitment to worship and spiritual growth. Gathering for Fajr prayer promotes a sense of belonging and mutual support among believers, reinforcing the importance of communal worship in Islam.

6. Reflection and Remembrance:

The early morning hours before dawn are quiet and conducive to reflection, supplication, and recitation of the Quran. Fajr prayer provides an opportunity for Muslims to engage in personal reflection and seek spiritual nourishment.

In summary, Fajr prayer holds profound spiritual, communal, and personal importance in Islam. It serves as a foundational pillar of daily worship, promoting discipline, mindfulness, and a steadfast commitment to Allah’s guidance and mercy.

Promises of Reward for the Devout Worshippers

In Islam, the promises of reward for devout worshippers are deeply ingrained in its teachings. Here are some key aspects:

  • Jannah: The ultimate reward promised to devout Muslims is paradise, where they will find eternal bliss and pleasure, described in vivid detail in the Quran.
  • Forgiveness and Mercy: Allah promises forgiveness and mercy to those who sincerely repent and worship Him with devotion. This includes forgiveness of sins and purification of the soul.
  • Proximity to Allah: The Quran mentions that devout worshippers will be close to Allah in the afterlife, experiencing His presence and blessings.
  • Eternal Happiness: Believers are promised eternal happiness and freedom from suffering in the afterlife, where they will reside in peace and harmony.
  • Increased Rewards: Acts of worship and good deeds are promised increased rewards, often multiplied manifold, especially during specific times such as Ramadan or Hajj.
  • Inner Peace and Contentment: In this life, devout worship brings inner peace, contentment, and a sense of purpose, as it strengthens the bond with Allah and brings blessings to daily life.

These promises serve as motivations for Muslims to uphold their faith, perform acts of worship, and strive for spiritual growth.

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The practice of praying five times a day, while explicitly detailed in the Hadith, is firmly rooted in the teachings of the Quran. The Quran provides a clear emphasis on the importance of regular prayer, outlines general times for praying throughout the day, and describes the profound spiritual and ethical benefits of Salah. Together with the Hadith, these teachings ensure that Muslims can fully grasp the significance and practice of their daily prayers.

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