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IslamQA: Can you perform the prayer (salah) according to the Quran alone?

Assalamualaikum,I want to start namaz,but I want to make my namaz according to the Qur'an,I am not one that fits the sects,only the Qur'an, Allah and the Prophet.I see as my guide,the Quran is not mentioned very clearly from namaz, the number of rakats and prayers to be read is not said.So that's mean that I can do it on my own? Can I read which prayer I want and how many rakats I want to do? According to the sects the namaz confuses my mind and makes me forget that I worship Allah

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There is no way to perform the prayer (namāz / ṣalāh) according to the Quran alone because God intentionally left out its details in order for us to learn it from the Prophet . The Quran says:

So obey God, and obey the Messenger. But if you turn away—it is only incumbent on Our Messenger to deliver the clear message. (The Quran, verse 64:12)

Think about why the details of the prayer are not in the Quran. God could have placed them in the Quran but He did not. The lesson from this is that we should rely on the non-Quranic evidence for finding out the details of the prayer. Of course the non-Quranic evidence is not perfect, but it is extremely unwise to just throw it all out because it is not perfect. It is imperfect, but there is sufficient guidance in it to teach you how to pray properly.

God does not ask you to do the impossible. Learn the prayer from a respected source and follow it and that is sufficient. But if you simply abandon the proper way to perform the prayer because the sources are not perfect then God will not accept this excuse of you. On the Day of Judgment He can always point to the hundreds of millions of Muslims who prayed properly because they humbly chose to follow the Prophet’s teachings rather than rejecting it just because there are differences about it.

You can check out the way the Maliki school performs the prayer (maybe get Asad Tarsin’s Being Muslim which follows the Maliki school). While the other schools are based on the Quran and hadith, the Maliki school follows something additional called ʿamal, which refers to the way the people of Medina practiced Islam during the time of Imam Malik (who lived one generation away from the Companions of Prophet Muhammad ). This ʿamal is information (recorded in Maliki sources like al-Muwaṭṭaʾ) about practicing Islam is taken from thousands of the descendants of the Companions who lived in Medina at that time and continued to practice Islam as it was taught to them by their parents and grandparents. Since this record is based on the actual practice of thousands of early Muslims rather than on transmitted hadiths, it does not suffer from any doubt on its authenticity simply because it is incredibly unlikely that thousands of people all continuously practicing Islam would somehow forget the proper way to do things like performing the prayer.

I do not consider myself a Maliki person exactly but I consider ʿamal a valid and important form of evidence on the proper way to practice Islam.

And God knows best.
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