Originally Posted by greenhill
The Isra wal Mir'aj
journey has been narrated through multiple narrations in various collections of hadeeth, including the most authentic - al-Bukhari and Muslim. It is also referred to in the Qur'an, with one surah even named Al-Isra (The Night Journey). In the tafseer of Ibn Kathir, at the beginning of this same surah, you can find many of the narrations concerning this event. With this in mind, we have no doubt concerning this incident. The article you read claiming it is a fabrication was probably written by hadith rejectors and clearly from sheer ignorance.
Moreover, we can learn a lesson behind the prayers first being mentioned as fifty then reduced to five:
Imaam Al-Bukhaari and Imaam Muslim
both, reported the story of the night journey of Al-Mi’raaj (the Ascension) of the Prophet
, to the heavens. At first Allaah The Almighty enjoined fifty prayers on the Muslims in a day and a night (i.e. in the twenty four hours).
However, when the Prophet
, descended and met Prophet Moosa
stopped him and asked, "O Muhammad, what did your Lord enjoin upon you?" The Prophet
, replied: "He enjoined upon me to perform fifty prayers in a day and a night.
said, "Your followers cannot do that; go back so that your Lord may reduce it for you and for them." So, the Prophet
, turned to Jibreel (Gabriel)
as if he wanted to consult him about that issue. Jibreel
told him of his opinion, saying, "Yes, if you wish." So Jibreel
ascended with the Prophet
, to Allaah The Almighty and he
, said while he was in his place: “O Lord, please lighten our burden as my followers cannot do that.
” So Allaah The Almighty deducted ten prayers for him, whereupon he
, returned to Moosa
who stopped him again and kept on sending him back to his Lord, until the enjoined prayers were reduced to only five prayers, for which the reward is of fifty prayers.
Allaah is All-Knower, All-Wise, He knows what to enjoin on His slaves and what not to enjoin. Perhaps the wisdom due in that Allaah The Almighty first enjoined on us fifty prayers and then reduced them to five is for us to realize how merciful is He towards us, so that the people would know that Allaah The Almighty reduced the prayers enjoined on them to five with the reward of fifty prayers. If Allaah The Almighty had first enjoined on us to perform five prayers only in a day and night, we would not realize how Merciful and Gracious Allaah The Almighty is to us. Finally, Allaah The Almighty Said (what means): “The Word that comes from Me does not change, so it will be as I enjoined the obligatory prayers and reduced its number as a sign of Mercy from Me.”
Therefore, it is obvious from this reduction of prayers from fifty to five that it is from the mercy of Allaah The Almighty on His slaves.
Allaah Knows best.
Another lesson we can take away is the importance of prayer and the greatness of its reward.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said:
What is meant is that they are five with regard to what is to be done, but they are fifty with regard to the reward.
Yes, the account where Angel Gabriel :as: taught the Prophet :saws: the timings of the prayer is from hadith:
There are also other hadith about the prayer timings, such as:
'Abdullah b. 'Amr reported:
The Messenger of Allah (:saws:) said: The time of the noon prayer is when the sun passes the meridian and a man's shadow is the same (length) as his height, (and it lasts) as long as the time for the afternoon prayer has not come; the time for the afternoon prayer is as long as the sun has not become pale; the time of the evening prayer is as long as the twilight has not ended; the time of the night prayer is up to the middle of the average night and the time of the morning prayer is from the appearance of dawn, as long as the sun has not risen; but when the sun rises, refrain from prayer for it rises between the horns of the devil.