Prayers: Commandment making it obligatory

Q471 :You have mentioned in the past that "we are commanded by Allah to offer five separate prayers everyday". Could you please let me know where can I find this commandment?

A471 : The order to attend to prayers is mentioned frequently in the Qur'an, either directly or in reference to the qualities of believers. There is no question about prayer being an essential obligation of every believer. There is a famous Hadith which tells us that there are five pillars upon which the structure of Islam is built. These are: The declaration of the Oneness of Allah and the fact that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was His messenger, regular attention to prayer, payment of zakah, fasting in Ramadhan, and pilgrimage to the Ka'aba, for those who are able to undertake the journey. These are general commandments that tell us that we must offer prayer. As you know, we learn many of the details of our religion from the Prophet. When he commands us to do something, it is commandment of Allah relayed to us by the Prophet. It is common knowledge that no one may be a Muslim unless he declares that he believes in Oneness of Allah and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is Allah's messenger. The second part of this declaration means that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the person through whom Allah made clear to us His message and what He wants us to do or avoid. Allah tells us in the Qur'an: "Whatever the messenger bids you, fulfill it and whatever he forbids you, refrain from it" (59;7). This is a statement which applies to everything that the Prophet tells us. Therefore, when the Prophet says to us: "Pray as you have seen me pray", then we must follow his example and pray in the same manner as he offered his prayer. If anyone offers prayer in a different fashion, it will not be accepted from him. He will not be a Muslim because he chooses for himself a method of praying other than that taught by the Prophet. He cannot protest that the Qur'an does not tell us how to pray exactly, but simply mentions that we must offer prayers. When the Prophet came back from his night journey from Jerusalem and his Ascension to heaven, he told his companions that Allah has made it obligatory to all Muslims to offer five prayers everyday. There are numerous instances where the Prophet mentions that Muslims have to pray five times daily. A Bedouin came to him and asked: "Messenger of Allah, tell me what Allah has made obligatory to me of prayer?" The Prophet answered: "The five daily prayers, unless you wish to volunteer more." This Hadith is related by Al-Bukhari. This is also the Hadith which tells us that when the Prophet sent his companion Mu'ath ibn Jabal as governor of Yemen, he walked with him and spoke to him about the conduct of his duty. The Prophet told him to explain to the people of Yemen that Allah wants them to believe in Him alone as the only deity in the Universe and to believe in Muhammad (peace be upon him) as Allah's messenger. The Prophet then told him: "When they have accepted this from you, tell them that Allah has made it obligatory to them to offer five prayers everyday." In addition to this, there is the fact that ever since the time of the Prophet, Muslims offer five daily prayers and there is no disagreement among the companions of the Prophet, or their successors, or scholars in any generation since then, that these five are obligatory prayers. This has become so famous and well-known that it is one of the basic elements of Islam "that are essentially known to all people." The general rule is that anyone who denies such a matter which is essentially known to all people is a disbeliever.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )