Three or Five prayers in the Quran?

A good question in QRAC

Three or Five prayers in the Qur’an? Tell me what you all think and why. How many prayers do you observe, what times, and where does the Qur’an support your thought? Please be polite to each other because this is a touchy and personal subject. Thanks!

my reply:

What does Salat mean?

In Traditional Islam “Salat” means the Ritual Prayer which I am guessing most ppl here are familiar with – apologies if that is not the case.

In Quranism, some Quranists agree that “Salat” means ritual prayer. The ritual prayer may look similar but certain speech parts may be omitted from this, such as the “Tashahhud” . Some ppl question the number of Rakats and the strict sequence of standing bowing and prostrations.

Other Quranists believe that Salat means something else – maybe their own personal interpretation based on how the concept of Salat is described in context in the Quran and how the Quranic Arabic uses the verbs and nouns of words coming from the root of “Salat”. There are neverending discussions about this in QD and people are researching and contributing to discussions about it all the time.

The salats mention by name in the Quran are Salat al Fajr, and Salat al Isha, Which are commonly taken to mean Dawn Prayer and Isha Prayer or Dawn Salat and Isha Salat. Some do not even take Fajr to mean Dawn as a time of day – more of a metaphorical interpretation based on what the root word of the FAJR suggests. Each question raises new questions. It can be as in depth or as easy as you want, really! The easy way is to let someone else interpret for you!

There is also a Salat al wusta mentioned – again some people take this to be a time of day (wusta being often translated as the Middle Prayer) and others take it in a more metaphorical sense (“the prayer from the midmost of your soul” for example) or the “salat from within” .

24:58 ṣalati l-fajri,
24:58 ṣalati l-ʿishāi.

2:238 wal-ṣalati l-wus’ṭā,

Times of day in Quran:

Hope that helps, inshaaAllah. Not my intention to confuse or mislead – we all should verify everything ourselves. (see 17:36)

Here is the link to QD for more indepth discussions about Salat

This link is very interesting:

Some Dua’s:

When something gets complicated it’s probably because we are trying too hard! The answer is probably really obvious, it’s just that we can’t see for looking! It does not help that the traditions and hadiths have clouded our judgement and perceptions.

Update: This page is a list of different Quranist’s perspectives / articles about Salat