The book Durr-ul-mukhtar, at the beginning of its discourse on the subject about namaz, and Ibni Abidin, while explaining it on the two hundred and thirty-fourth page of the book Radd-ul-mukhtar, state.
Since Adam (alaihissalam), there was namaz once a day in every Shariat. All that had been performed were brought together and were made fard for us. Although performing namaz is not a pillar of iman, it is a pillar of iman to believe that namaz is fard. ‘Namaz’ means ‘dua’. The ibadat that is commanded by the Shariat and which we all know was named ‘namaz’ (salat). Performing the five daily prayers of namaz is fard-i ‘ayn for every Muslim who has reached the age of puberty. That it is fard is openly stated in the Qur’an and hadiths. Five daily prayers of namaz became a commandment on the Miraj night. The Miraj happened on the twenty-seventh night of the month of Rajab a year before the Hegira. Before the Miraj, only the morning and afternoon prayers were performed.
A child must be ordered to perform namaz at the age of seven, and should be beaten if it does not perform it at the age of ten. The teacher at the school, too, may beat the student three times with his hands with the view of making the student study. He cannot beat him more than that. Nor can he beat him with a stick. [There cannot be bastinados in Islamic schools. Cudgeling may have taken place in a police station or in a jail. It will be a slander against Islam for the enemies of Islam, for the purpose of estranging the younger generations from Islam, to represent Muslim teachers (hodjas) as inflicting bastinado on students in theaters and movies and to say that the youth were saved from bastinado and cudgelling by the abolition of Islamic lessons and schools. It is openly written in Islamic books that Islam forbids beating the student with a stick. Our Prophet strictly prohibited even beating more than three times with the hand.] It is also necessary to teach other ibadats to children at this age, to make them get used to doing them, and to prevent them from sins.
With the view of showing the importance of fard namaz, Muhammad Rabhami (rahmatullahi alaih) wrote the Persian book Riyad-un-nasihin, a collection from four hundred and forty-four books, in India in 853 A.H., in the twelfth chapter of the first section of the second part of which he said:
” In the two fundamental books of Islam called Sahihayn [Bukhari and Muslim], Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) asked in a hadith ash-Sharif reported by Jabir bin Abdullah (radiallahu ‘anh): “If there were a river in front of one’s house and if he washed himself in this river five times every day, would there be any dirt left on him?” We [Jabir ibn Abdullah and other Sahabis present there] said, “No, o Rasulallah.” The Prophet said, “Likewise, minor sins of those who perform the five daily prayers are forgiven.” [Some ignorant people, upon hearing this hadith, say, “Then, I will both perform namaz and amuse myself as I wish. My sins will be forgiven anyhow.” This thought is not correct, because a namaz that is performed observing its conditions and adab and is accepted will cancel sins. In fact, even if minor sins are forgiven, continuing to commit or insisting on minor sins will become grave sins. And insisting on committing grave sins will cause kufr (disbelief.)] Ibn Jawzi wrote in his tafsir Almugni: Abu Bakr-i Siddiq (radiallahu ‘anh) said that, when the time of a daily prayer of namaz comes, the angels say, ‘O the sons of Adam, stand up! Extinguish the fire prepared to burn human beings by performing namaz.’ ” In a hadith ash- Sharif, it was said, “The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is namaz,” that is, the believer performs namaz, and the unbeliever does not. Munafiqs, however, sometimes perform it and sometimes do not. Munafiqs will undergo very bitter torment in Hell. Abdullah ibn Abbas (radiallahu ‘anh), the leader of mufassirs, said that he heard Rasulullah say, “Those who do not perform namaz will find Allahu ta’ala angry on the Day of Resurrection.”