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Why do Bohras pray 3 times?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Why do we Pray 3 times and other sub castes pray 5 times a Day ?

 

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Answer:

 

Why do Bohras pray 3 times?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

First and foremost, we must understand that in light of the Holy Quran, there is no place for dividing the Ummah of Islam into Regular muslims, Shia muslims, Sunni muslims, Bohra muslims, or any type of sects and creeds. We all belong to the One Ummah of Islam, and all of us are muslims. Allah and His Messenger (saws) cursed the people who break and divide this Ummah into their sects and creeds.

 

Allah says in Chapter 30 Surah Rum aayat 31-32: "This (Islam) is the right and true faith, but most people do not know. (Be steadfast on this) turning wholly and sincerely towards Allah Alone, and fear Him, and establish the Salat, and do not be like the mushriks, who have set up their separate creeds and divided themselves into sects, each sect rejoicing in what it has."

 

Just look at the Anger and Wrath of Allah described on those who break up their religion into sects:

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 23 Surah Muminoon verse 52-55: And you all belong to one and the same ummah, and I (Allah) am your Lord; so fear Me Alone! Yet afterwards the people divided themselves into different sects, and each sect rejoicing in what it has. Well, leave them deeply involved in their heedlessness up to an appointed time. What? Do they think that, by continuing to provide them with wealth and children, We are solicitous for their welfare? Nay, they do not understand the reality of the matter!




 

The Quranic aayats regarding the timing of prayers are as follows:

 

Chapter 11, Surah Hud ayaat 114: Establish the Salat at the two ends of the day and in the early part of the night. (implies fajr, magrib and isha)

 

Chapter 2, Surah Baqarah ayaat 238: Take great care of your Prayers, especially of the middle Prayer and stand before Allah like devoted servants. (implies asr)

 

Chapter 17 Bani Israel ayaat 78: Establish the Salat from the declining of the sun to the darkness of the night and be particular about the recital of the Quran at dawn for the recital of the Quran at dawn is witnessed. (implies asr, magrib and fajr)

 

Chapter 30 Surah Rum ayat 17: So, glorify Allah in the evening and in the morning; praise is due to Him alone in the heavens and the earth: and (glorify Him) in the afternoon and at the declining of the day. (implies fajr, magrib, dhuhr and asr)

 

Chapter 50 Surah Qaf ayat 39: Therefore, O Prophet (saws), bear with patience whatever they say, and keep up glorifying your Lord with his praise, before sunrise and before sunset. And glorify Him again in the night and also when you are free from prostrations. (implies fajr, asr, isha and tahajjud)

 

The prayer timings in the Quran are implied and thus if the above ayaats are read together, they clearly point towards the 5 obligatory fard prayers.

 

A point to note when reading and understanding the Quran is that we must see how the Prophet (saws) understood and implemented the aayaats. There is no doubt and even the Bohra scholars will have to agree that the Prophet (saws) and all his companions prayed 5 times in Medina and not three times as some factions of Islam pray today. There are many evidences in the traditions of the Prophet that he went for asr prayers and Isha prayers separately again to the Mosque everyday to lead the congregation. Prayer was such a thing that it happened 5 times a day in front of thousands of people and thousands of people witnessed the timings and related them in their narrations.

 

The Prophet (saws) did pray 3 times a day, but only when he was traveling and this too is very evident from his various traditions. In times of extreme rain, he did join sometimes the dhuhr/asr and also the magrib/isha prayers according to one tradition. But on a regular basis, he always led the congregation on the allotted 5 different times.

 

Praying 3-times a day regularly is an innovation which was added about 300 years after the Prophets (saws) death to make it easier for the followers of some sects. But the majority of muslims carried on the correct tradition of the Prophet (saws) and continued to pray 5 times a day. The choice is clearly between following the Prophet (saws) or an innovation.

 

It has been reported in an authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: Whoever introduces a bida (innovation) in this deen brought by me (saws), it will be rejected.

 

It has been reported by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (r.a.) that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all the people.

 

The other obvious thing to note here is that everybody agrees that there are five prayers and not three... fajr, dhuhr, asr, magrib and isha. For convenience, some mis-guided people have added dhuhr and asr and again magrib and isha, but the Prophet led prayers 5 times a day everyday in regular times in Medina and all scholars of every school of thought agree to this.

 

Ask a scholar of any sect who propagates three prayers a day to prove that the Prophet (saws) prayed 3 times instead of 5 times on a regular basis, and he will vouch that the Prophet (saws) and his companions prayed 5 different times a day in Medina as long as he was alive. We are not allowed in Islam to change or alter any of the commandments of Allah and His Messenger (saws), and thus it is a duty and an obligation that a true believer must pray the five prayers at their appointed times every day.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 


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