Book of Prayer

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 8: Book of Prayer

I: How the prayer was made obligatory during the Night Journey

Ibn 'Abbas said that Abu Sufyan was relating to him the hadith of Heraclius and said, "He, i.e. the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prescribed for us the prayer, sadaqa and chastity."

342. Abu Dharr related that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,  said, "During the time that I was in Makka, the roof of my house was opened up and Jibril descended and opened up my breast, washing it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a gold basin filled with wisdom and belief. He poured it into my breast and then closed it. Then he took my hand and took me up to the lowest heaven. When I reached the lowest heaven, Jibril said to the keeper of the heaven, 'Open!' He said, 'Who is this?' He said, 'This is Jibril.' He asked, 'Is anyone with you?' He said, 'Yes, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is with me.' He said, 'Has he been sent for?' He said, 'Yes.'

"When the way opened we climbed above the lowest heaven and found a man sitting there, with people on his right and people on his left. When he looked to his right, he laughed, and when he looked to his left, he wept. He said, 'Welcome to the virtuous Prophet and virtuous son.' I said to Jibril, 'Who is this?' He said, 'This is Adam and these people on his right and his left are the souls of his descendants. The people on the right are the people of the Garden and the people who are on his left are the people of the Fire. When he looks to his right, he laughs and when he looks to his left, he weeps.' Then he took me up to the second heaven and said to its keeper, 'Open.' Its keeper said to him the same as the first one had said and then made the way open."

Anas said that he (the Prophet) mentioned that in the heavens he found Adam, Idris, Musa, 'Isa, and Ibrahim, blessings be upon them. He did not specify their positions, except for mentioning that he found Adam in the lowest heaven and Ibrahim in the sixth heaven.

Anas said, "When Jibril together with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by Idris, he said, 'Welcome to the virtuous Prophet and virtuous brother!' I said, 'Who is this?' He said, 'This is Idris.' Then I passed by Musa and he said, 'Welcome to the virtuous Prophet and virtuous brother!' I said, 'Who is this?' He said, 'This is Musa.' Then I passed by 'Isa and he said, 'Welcome to the virtuous brother and virtuous Prophet!' I said, 'Who is this?' He said, 'This is 'Isa.' Then I passed by Ibrahim and he said, 'Welcome to the virtuous Prophet and virtuous son!' I said, 'Who is this?' He said, 'This is Ibrahim, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'"

Ibn 'Abbas and Abu Habba al-Ansari used to say that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Then I was taken up until I appeared on a high plateau where I heard the scratching of pens."

343. Ibn Hazm and Anas ibn Malik said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah prescribed fifty prayers for my community and I returned with that until I passed by Musa. He said, 'What has Allah prescribed to you for your community?' I said, 'He has prescribed fifty prayers.`" He said, 'Go back to your Lord. Your community will not be able to manage that.' He made me go back and He reduced it to half. Then I returned to Musa and I said, 'He reduced them to half.' He said, 'Go back to your Lord. Your community will not be able to manage that.' I returned and He halved them again and I returned to him. He said, 'Go back to your Lord. Your community will not be able to manage that.' I returned to Him and He said, "'They are five and they are fifty. My word does not change.' I went back to Musa and he said, 'Return to your Lord. I said, 'I am too embarassed before my Lord.' Then he took me on until he brought me to the Lote-tree of the Boundary which was covered in colours which I did not recognise. Then I was brought into the Garden and in it were strings of pearls and its earth was made of musk." (Muwatta, Book 9, 9)

It is related that 'A'isha, Umm al-Mu'minin, said, "When Allah made the prayer obligatory, it was only two rak'ats whether resident or travelling. Then the travelling prayer was kept the same but the residential prayer was increased."