Is there any evidence that the practices required by Muslim prayer spring from similar practices in Jewish prayer?

E.g. happening 5 times daily, involving bowing

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    Why did you delete the answers? Sep 13, 2010 at 23:11
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    Unfortunately I do not know of a way to delete a question and retain the answers. I apologize for the inconvenience.
    – WAF
    Sep 14, 2010 at 2:38
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    Okay, why'd you delete the question?
    – yydl
    Sep 14, 2010 at 3:42
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    My phrasing of the question was ill-suited to its purpose and I felt it would be disingenuous and confusing to completely rewrite a question to which people had already responded.
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    Sep 15, 2010 at 3:47

2 Answers 2


There is a Hadith that says (I believe) that Muhammad instituted 5 prayers because the Jews daven 5 times on their holiest day (ie, Yom Kippur).

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    I have heard this rumor before but have never seen a primary source.
    – Yosef
    Dec 29, 2010 at 15:54

Here I led the Angels of Paradise in Salat just as in Bait al ­Muqaddas I led the previous Prophets in Salat. When I went into Sajdah, Allah called out, "I had made fifty Salat for each day incumbent upon the Prophets who came before you; and upon you and your Ummah, I make these incumbent too for these fifty Salat I have confirmed."

After the Salat, I continued on my back and while on the path, I met Prophet Ibrahim al‑Khalil. He did not ask me a single question.

Then I met Musa ibn `Imran. He asked me, "O' Muhammad what did you do?" I replied, "My Allah told me that he had made fifty daily Salat obligatory on the Prophets before me, and upon me and my Ummah too, He has made this amount obligatory."

Prophet Musa said to me, "O' Muhammad! Your Nation is the final and the weakest of all the Nations. Allah's commands must be followed, however your Nation does not have the ability to perform fifty daily Salat; thus, return to Allah and request Him to lighten the load on your Ummah."

I returned to Sidratul Muntaha and fell into prostration. I said, "O' Allah! You have made fifty daily Salat obligatory on my Ummah and me. However, my Ummah and I do not have the ability to perform this much. From your Holy Presence, I request a reduction in this."

Allah, Glorious and High ‑ reduced the number of Salat by ten.

I returned back and informed Musa what happened. He replied, "Go back as they do not have the power to perform even this much."

I returned once again, and Allah reduced the number of Salat by ten. I was going back when Musa said, "Still they do not have the ability to perform even this."

I once again returned, fell into sajdah, and asked for a reduction in the Salat. Allah once more reduced the number by ten.

I returned to where Musa was and told him what happened. Again he said to me, "Go back since they will not be able to even handle this."

I once again returned, fell into sajdah and again asked Allah for a reduction in the Salat. I said, "O' Allah, my Nation is weak and they will not have the ability to handle even this." Allah reduced the Salat by ten more. From a total of fifty Salat, only ten were made obligatory.

Again, I passed by Musa and he said, "Your Ummah does not have the ability to even handle ten Salat."

For the last time I returned and fell into sajdah. Allah reduced the Salat by five. I went to where Musa was and he said to me, "Your Ummah does not even have the ability to perform five daily Salat." I said to him, "I am embarrassed to go back to Allah again. I will just be patient in relation to these five Salat."

Then I heard a voice that said, "Since you have had patience, these five Salat will be counted as fifty Salat. Each Salat will be counted as ten Salat, and if one person from your Ummah performs a good act, then ten good acts will be written for him, but if he performs one bad act, then only that one bad act will be written in his record."

Imam Ja'far as‑Sadiq had said, "May Allah give Musa great reward since because of him, the daily (obligatory) Salat were reduced to only five."

From Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 330-331, Bab 3 - Ithbaat al-Miraaj wa maanaahu wa kayfiyyatuhu wa sifatuhu wa ma jaraa feehi wa wasf al-buraaq, Hadith 34.

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    While the number of daily prayers may not have been adopted from Judaism, the grain of truth in these claims might still exist. Wikipedia states: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_in_Medina uhammad also adopted some features of the Jewish worship and customs such as fasting on the Yom Kippur day. According to Alford Welch, the Jewish practice of having three daily prayer rituals appears to have been a factor in the introduction of the Islamic midday prayer (previously Muhammad was keeping the morning and evening prayers).
    – ChaimKut
    Nov 28, 2011 at 0:03
  • Also, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_holidays#Ashura_Day :Ashura is commemorated by Shi'a Muslims on the ninth and tenth days of Muharram on the Islamic Calendar. Ashura is an Arabic word meaning "ten", and according to Sunni schools of thought it is a day of optional fasting. Jews in the city of Madina fasted only one day, on Yom Kippur, the 10th of Tishrei because they believe that Prophet Moses fasted on this day; so the Prophet Muhammad would fast too, to express the continuity of Islam and brotherhood with the earlier Prophet.
    – ChaimKut
    Nov 28, 2011 at 0:05
  • An influential book on the subject, written in the 1950's, is 'Judaism in Islam: Biblical and Talmudic Backgrounds of the Koran and its Commentaries' - amazon.com/Judaism-Islam-Biblical-Backgrounds-Commentaries/dp/…
    – ChaimKut
    Nov 28, 2011 at 0:27

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