Kindly read carefully my humble understanding. Remember that the same terms as SALAAT, SAJDAH, TAHBEEH, RUKOO' etc carry different meanings according to the context. One out of numerous examples: Think of SALAAT of the birds.
For more details, please review QXP.
Please remember that I am only a fallible but sincere student. Here is the result of my hard and sincere research with due references given. A student like me should never claim to be right. Surely, you can teach us your understanding.
WHO CONTRIVED NAMAAZ (THE RITUAL PRAYER)?
There was not one single man who introduced the Namaaz deception into Islam. Obviously, no one man could. Such conspiracies have to be state-sponsored in order to get hold of the masses. Think of the history of Christianity for a moment. The Pauline doctrine was not canonized until Emperor Constantine supported it at the Conference of Nicea in 325 CE.
WHAT ACTUALLY IS SALAAT:
2:43 And establish the Divine System, and set up the Just Economic Order in the society. And bow with others who bow to these Commands.
[9:119, 89:27-30 'Salaat' = To follow closely like a runners-up (Musalli) follows the winning horse (Saabiq). 'Aqimussallat' = Establish the System that facilitates the following of Divine Commands]
The Qur’an commands us to remember Allah lying, sitting and standing any time. This is also a form of Salaat. The Qur’an repeatedly describes the functions of various creatures as their Salaat and Tasbeeh.
24:41 Do you not realize that God, He is the One Whom all beings in the heavens and earth glorify, and the birds, with their wings outspread, as they fly in columns. All of them know their Salaat and Tasbeeh (mission and strife). God is Aware of what they do to fulfill His Plan.
[All creatures know their Salaat, their inborn Divinely programmed instincts. So, they can automatically strive (do their Tasbeeh) in the best way. But humans are not programmed with such inborn instincts. Given free will, they must do their Salaat by following the revealed guidance and thus strive (do Tasbeeh) in the best way]
62:1 All that is in the heavens and all that is on earth strive to manifest the glory of God, the King Supreme, the Impeccable, the Almighty, the Wise.
THE IMAMIST CONSPIRACY OF NAMAAZ: Remind yourself of the famous weird tale of the Prophet (S) ascending to heavens to meet with Allah, the so-called Me'raaj (the word is non-existent in the Qur’an). Is not Allah Omnipresent? The "Imams" of Hadith want us to believe that Allah ordained 50 ritual prayers daily for Muslims on that occasion. As the exalted Prophet was descending, Prophet Moses told him of the impossibility of the situation and sent Muhammad (S) back again and again. Imagine the Prophet (S) bargaining with God! Repeated visits to and fro then bring the number down to 40, 30, 20, 10, and finally 5! Moses a. s. wanted him to make one more trip but Muhammad (S) felt shy to bargain any further. Was this Hadith, in addition to promoting ritualism, fabricated to prove Moses' farsightedness over Muhammad (S)? Only an extremely gullible mind would accept this nonsense.
The later Persian Imams built upon this tale and formulated the current Namaaz. They received strong support from the Persian Zoroastrian mother of Khalifa Haroon Rasheed, Khaizran (d. 789 CE). Haroon's Zoroastrian viziers, the Baramika, were only too happy to join hands with the royal mother, Khaizran.
So, it was she in concert with others who "canonized" Namaaz according to the desires of the Criminal Imams in (787 CE). Her main philosopher was Imam Al-Khalil bin Ahmad Shikoh, the first ever compiler of Arabic to Persian dictionary, Al-'Ain.
WHY WAS IMAM HANBAL FLOGGED? Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal is reported to have been flogged by Khalifa Mamun son of Haroon because Hanbal supposedly insisted that the Qur’an being the Word of God was Ghair Makhlooq (non-creation). No! That wasn't it. It was too trivial a debate. Hanbal got flogged because he saw and opposed the Persian Namaaz (Bandagi or Gah) being incorporated into Islam.
ANOTHER POINT OF INTEREST: Khaizran spent a fortune on her project and distributed one million gold coins and 65 million silver coins among her subjects to propagate the 'canonized' Namaaz. References are given in the next heading.
Is Physical Prostration Immodest? The Mode of Salaat Prayer:
Hasan Basari said that physical prostration was forbidden for reasons of modesty since the Salaat prayer used to be only congregational and in the Masjid with men standing on the left side and women on the right. The Salaat prayer used to begin with people standing behind the local Emir (governor) and it was completed in that posture. The Emir recited only Surah Al-Fatihah OR a few other verses relevant to the situation. Then he went ahead with the issues about community welfare and public affairs. When the assembly was adjourned, people dispersed and worked on the agreed upon decisions while engaging in their jobs or businesses. Incidentally, that also indicates that Friday was never a holiday during the early noble era of Islam.
[About physical prostration, also think how birds and other creatures would conduct their Namaz if their Salaat is to be understood literally.]
For the sake of clarity, we can say that, according to the most ancient sources, Namaz or ritual Salaat was observed more like the funeral prayer is conducted today – one raka’at (unit) standing.
Frequency: The central government (Khalifah with his consultative body) used to decide the frequency of Salaat Congregations. During emergent circumstances, it used to take place even five times a day. For example, when Madinah was hit by famine during Hazrat Umar’s times, he sent express camel couriers to the nearby provinces. Meanwhile, he ordered the inhabitants of Madinah to bring their food to the Masjid and vicinity and eat together rather than eating at their homes. He said that the food of two persons could easily suffice three if eaten together. This arrangement proved to be so effective that not an infant died of under nutrition during the seventeen days it took for supplies to reach Madinah from Syria, Iraq and Egypt. On the contrary, under normal circumstances, Muslims used to congregate at the Masjid just once a week i.e. Fridays alone.
(Ref: 1. 'Azwaaj-in-Nabi wal-Ashaab', by Hammad bin Hakam in 94 AH, 210 years before Tareekh Tabari. 2. 'Kitab-e-Dalail-e-Nabawwut Syedna Muhammad' by Abdul Jabbar Fatimi, written in 130 AH, 150 years before Tabari, the first ever 'canonized' historian. More references follow after a few paragraphs.)
Less than 5% Muslims "perform" the five times a day Namaaz and they keep announcing it. No one can say or says, "I have established Salaat." Yet, most Muslims keep arguing about Namaaz.
Violation of human Rights by the Namaazis: Then, hardly any of them would display exceptional character. And most certainly, they won’t even think of violating human rights during the process. The so-called Namaazi would leave a hungry, crying child, or a sick elderly to fulfill the so-called “Huqooqullah” (the rights of Allah), a term which nowhere appears in the Qur’an except implicitly at one place where it means helping the needy with one’s wealth. Empty rituals are certainly by no means ordained in the Qur’an.
6:141 He is the One Who creates bounties for you, such as gardens that are cultivated, greens that are wild, palm trees of various kinds, crops in diversity, olives and pomegranates, fruits that are similar and diverse. Enjoy them, but give Him His Right on the Day of the Harvest. And waste not the bounty of God. He does not love the wasteful. [‘give Him His Right’ = Give God His Right = Render to the poor what is their Divinely ordained right.]
Experiment: Call a random gathering of Muslims anywhere for Namaaz under completely unexpected circumstances. You will notice almost all of them joining the lines, most of them without Wudhu (Ablution)!
What Exactly Was NAMAAZ (Ritual Salaat): As far as I have been able to analytically search our history and Hadith, following was the probable situation in the lifetime of the exalted Prophet and Sahaba Kiraam.
• Ritual prayer or Namaaz was a small part of Aqamatis-Salaat, i.e. establishing the System that facilitates the following of Divine Commands.
• The ritual prayer was always congregational.
• Women and men both formed this congregation, women on the right side of men.
• The frequency and timing of the congregations were determined by the State as needed. It was never fixed as five times a day ritual.
• Namaaz was performed with the Emir (governor) reciting some verses from the Qur’an relevant to the situation at hand as the congregation listened to him. The Emir would recite a few verses in the standing position as did the congregation behind him.
• Masjid was not a temple of worship. It was the Assembly, the School, the Municipality, the Parliament and the Government House. So, after that recitation, the leader and people would discuss real issues about the community, entertain questions, present bills, announce decisions of the Shura (Counsel) and the Assembly would legislate. People came up with their ideas addressing the problems facing the community and for betterment of the society. Masjid was also the place where the leaders were elected.
[Some references on WHO CONTRIVED NAMAZ? - Azwaaj-in-Nabi wal-Ashaab, written by Hammad bin Hakam in 94 AH, 210 years before Tareekh Tabari. - Kitab-e-Dalail-e-Nabawwut Syedna Muhammad (S) by Abdul Jabbar Fatimi, written in 130 AH, 150 years before Tabari, the first ever 'canonized' historian. - Haroon Wa Baramikatil Faras by Sheikhul Ifta Salman bin Abu Qasim Baghdadi. Vol 1 pg 31-55. - Meezan-il-Faris by Hujjatullah Abdul Qadir Ali Al-Moosvi pg 249-261. - Takmilatil Lughatal 'Ain 'Urfa by Al-Ustaz Jalaluddin Al-Ash'ari on Imam Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad Shikoh Tabrezi Vol 2 pg 3-5. - Mujahid-al-Munafiq Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal by Abdul Muhsin bin Mullah Ali Al-Qari, pg 67-135]
HOW QUICKLY WAS THE RITUAL SALAAT CHANGING!
Bukhari Vol.1, Book 10, Number 507: Narrated Ghailan: Anas bin Malik (A Sahabi) said, "I do not find (now-a-days) things as they were (practised) at the time of the Prophet." Somebody said "The prayer (is as it was)". Anas said, "Have you not done in the prayer what you have done?"
Bukhari Vol.1, Book 10, Number 508: Narrated Az-Zuhri that he visited Anas bin Malik at Damascus and found him weeping and asked him why he was weeping. He replied, "I do not know anything which I used to know during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle except this prayer which is being lost (not being offered as it should be)."
The comments, "Have you not done in the prayer what you have done?", and the "Lost Prayer" indicate that something went wrong with the Ritual Prayer (Namaaz) soon after Sahaba Kiraam.
DOES HADITH EXPLAIN THE METHOD OF NAMAAZ?
The Book of Allah claims to be, and certainly is, complete, detailed and describes all things divinely ordained. Say this to an N2I. The knee-jerk response will be, "No, it does not give you the method of Namaaz." Well, did Allah forget? Contrary to the common claims, all the books of Hadith combined together will fail to give you a complete, consistent method of Namaaz.
RITUALISTIC SALAAT BY ITSELF IS NOTHING:
11:87 They said, "O Shoaib! (We had thought that your religion was only a matter between you and your Lord). Does your Salaat command that we should forsake the worship that our fathers practised? Or, that we leave off doing what we like to do with our economy? Behold, you want us to think that you are the only clement, and the rightly guided man among us."
DOES NAMAAZ DO ALL THIS? AQAAMATUSSALAAT SURE DOES:
29:45 (O Prophet) convey to people all that is revealed to you of the Book, and establish the Divine System. For, verily, establishment of the Divine System will shut off lewdness, stinginess and behavior contrary to the Divine Values. This is so, because Allah’s Law is the Greatest Law that can give you eminence. And (O People) Allah knows whatever you contrive on your own. [21:10, 21:24, 23:70, 43:43-44, 70:21-27 - ‘Fahasha’ includes lewdness and miserliness and ‘Munkar’ is all behavior that goes against Divine Values given in the Qur’an]
CENTRAL PRAYER: What is Salaatil Wusta? Central Prayer? Middle Namaaz? Namaaz 'Asr? No, it is the Central Duty.
2:238 Remember to fulfill all your commitments and especially the Central Duty of guarding the Divine System. And remain diligent in devotion to God.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH NAMAAZ?
In my humble opinion, we should continue the ritual Namaz as it is until a true Qur’anic rule is established somewhere. The government will then decide how to bring the true spirit of Salaat into today’s empty ritual.
THE RITUAL PRAYER (NAMAAZ) AND MORE
I am a Zoroastrian. Dr. Shabbir's research is quite right. Your NAMAAZ was stolen from Zoroastrianism by your Parsi Imams from Persia.
It would be appropriate if we can discuss the startling similarities between some practices of Islam and Zoroastrianism. These parallels go beyond coincident. I will endeavor to enumerate a few here:
01. Requirements of prayers: Islam enjoins its followers to pray 5 times a day and is called by the Muezzin to his prayers.These prayers are at i) Dawn ii) Noon iii) Afternoon iv) Sunset v) Night.
Zoroastrianism also enjoins prayers 5 times a day called "Geh". The devotee is summoned by the ringing of a bell in the AtashBehram / Agiary. These prayers are also at the same time as in Islam and their respective names are:
Time: Islamic/ Zorastrianism
Dawn: Fajar/ Havaan
Noon: Zohar/ Rapithwan
Afternoon: Asr/ Uziren
Evening: Mazreem or Maghrib/ Aiwisuthrem
Night time: Isha or Ishan/ Ushaen.
02. Pre-requisites of Prayer: On entering the mosque and prior to commencing prayers a Muslim has to cover his head and wash his face and limbs. Similarly, a Zoroastrian on entering the Agiary will cover his head, wash his face and limbs and perform the Padyaab Kusti before commencing his prayers.
03. The Prayers: Prayers in Islam are in Arabic only, though translations/transliterations are available. The liturgy has to be conducted in Arabic only. In Zoroastrianism too, prayers have to be recited in Avesta or in Pazend only. In fact in Aveatan prayers Pazend portions have to be recited in an undertone so as not to break the seamless flow of Avestan Manthravani.
04. Sanctum Sanctorum and its veneration: The holiest spot in a Mosque is the wall facing Mecca and is called the Qiblah. In the Atashbehram/Agiary the room where the Atash Padshah is enthroned is also called the Keblaah. A Muslim will perform the Sajdah in front of the Qiblah and so also will the Zoroastrian perform the Sezdah before his Keblaah. Both involve kneeling down and touching the forehead to the ground.
05. A Holy Month: In Islam Ramzan is the holy month in which all Muslims are required to fast in the day and only break their fast after sunset. In Zoroastrianism the month of Bahman has similiar connotations wherein all are requested to particularly abstain from flesh. Perhaps in the age of the Sassanian dynasty the month of Bahman was observed as Ramzan is now.
06. Ascent into Heaven: The hagiography of Islam assures us that Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven from Jerusalem on the mythical beast Burrrak. He crossed the 7 spheres, exchanged greetings with the patriarchs and beheld the glory of God.
The Dinkard tells us that at the entreaties of Asho Zarthustra Bahman Ameshaspand transcendentally elevated his consciousness to the realm of heaven wherein Asho Zarthustra looked at the reflugent majesty of God. A similiar journey was attributed to the virtuous Ardaviraf who visited hell, purgatory and heaven during his spiritual journey.
The above similarities are obvious. A more careful research would reveal more parallels. However even these points are too close to be dismissed as mere coincidences. This means Zoroastrianism has had an enormous impact on Islam which is not acknowledged. Everyone agrees Islam owes a lot to Judaism and Christianity but I feel that the scholars of Islam borrowed very heavily from Iran and this can be perhaps attributed to that shadowy figure of Dastur Dinyar (Salman Farsi). This debt is so impressive that it had to be consistently downgraded and later denied. After all if Islam is supposedly directly inspired by God it cannot be seen to be acknowledging any debt to an older faith, specially the faith of a nation which Islam has defeated. This may perhaps explain the devotion of your Persian Imams to my Faith.
07. Chinvat Bridge (The SIRAAT BRIDGE): According to ancient Persian myth, when a person dies, the soul remains by the body for three days. On the fourth, it travels to Chinvat Bridge (the Bridge of the Separator, also call Al-Sirat), accompanied by gods of protection. The bridge is "finer than a hair and sharper than a sword" and spans a deep chasm teeming with monsters. On the other side of the bridge is the gateway to paradise.
08. Hell: Demons guard the foot of the bridge and argue with the gods over the soul's fate. The actions of the dead person, both good and bad, are weighed, and the soul is either allowed to cross or denied access to the bridge. Spirits whose evil outweighs their good fall into the demon-infested pit to face eternal torment. In this abyss of the damned, each soul is tortured by a GHOUL that represents its sins in life. Once fallen into the gulf, no soul can escape the horrors of hell through its own power.
Zoroaster, a sixth century BC religious leader, had warned his followers of this obstacle to heaven but he promised to lead his flock safely across. The ancient manuscript Gathas (Songs of Zoroaster) explains that the Bridge of the Separator "becomes narrow for the wicked," whereas the holy can easily pass unharmed. (In Gathas, the fair god Rashnu is named as the judge who helps determine who is worthy of salvation and who must be damned.) All infidels (non-believers) fall into hell, which the prophet says has been created especially for the "followers of the lie."
The legends are sketchy but assert that Chinvat Bridge is located somewhere in the far north. It is a place of filth where the damned endure physical tortures and spiritual agony. Souls who are unsuccessful in crossing the Chinvat Bridge suffer these torments until AHRAMAN, the evil god of ZOROASTRIANISM, is destroyed by the good god Orzmahd during the LAST JUDGMENT. As this time, lost spirits are restored to the truth since "the lie" has been eradicated, or they face final ANNIHILATION.
Notice the similarity? So you guys are actually pagan stone and sun worshippers, correct? But your Koran is pure and free from plagiarism.
THE FIVE RITUAL ZOROASTRIAN PRAYERS
The five prayers were developed AFTER the Prophet Zoroaster.
See below some quotes on the ritual prayer ceremony:
From the book J.J. Modi: The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees. (Bombay, 1922.) Part 3.
1. There are three grades of the Sacred Fire-(A) The Sacred Fire of the Atash Behram, (B) that of the Atash, Adaran and (C) that of the Atash Dadgah. These three have their different rituals of consecration and also different rituals for the daily prayers at the five times (gahs) of the day, when they are fed with fresh fuel. We will, at first, speak of the process of consecrating these three grades of the sacred fire. For example, he falls on his knees in his prayers; he lowers his head and bows; he raises his hands towards Heaven. All these ways or rites, which symbolize service or obedience or homage to God, are done occasionally.
The candidate is to say his prayers five times during the day. He is expected to pass his time in a religious or pious mood. The candidate  has, during these six days, to pass his time in prayers during the five Gahs and to observe all the observances of saying the grace at meals, etc. He is not to come in contact with any non-Zoroastrian.
The five periods for the performance of the ceremony:
The Bui ceremony is performed five times every day. It is performed at the commencement of each of the five Gahs or periods of the day which correspond to a certain extent, with the canonical hours of the Christians.
18 These periods are the following:
(1) Hawan. It begins from early morning when the stars begin to cease to appear, and lasts up to 12 O'Clock when the sun comes overhead. Literally, it means the time when the ceremony of pounding the Haoma is performed.
(2) Rapithwin. It runs from 12 o'clock noon to 3 p. m. Literally, it means the pith (pithwa) or the middle part of the day (ayarê).
(3) Uzerin. It runs from 3 p.m. to the time when the stars begin to appear. Literally, it means the time of the advancement of the sun.
(4) Aiwisruthrem. It runs from nightfall to midnight.
(5) Ushahin. It runs from midnight to dawn when the stars begin to cease to appear.
The priest performs the Kusti-padyab (i.e., performs ablutions and unties and puts on the Kusti again with the recital of a prayer).
The Bui ceremony in an Atash Behram: A priest who has performed the Khub ceremony, performs the Kusti-padyab at the commencement of each new Gah, i.e., the period of the day, as described above, and then recites his Farziyat, i.e., the necessary prayers, which are the Srosh-baj, the Gah according to the time of the day, and the Khwarshed and Mihr Niyayeshes during the day periods, i.e., the above named first three gahs.
During the night-periods which form the last two gahs, the Khwarshed and Mihr Niyayeshes are replaced by Srosh Yasht (Yasna 57) and Srosh Hadokht. He then goes into the sacred chamber, puts on white gloves, places some frankincense over the Sacred Fire, and then the Mâchi, i.e., the six pieces of sandalwood as said above. If  sandalwood is not obtainable, six pieces of any other kind of clean good wood will do. The six pieces are placed over the fire from three different positions, thus:
http://tenets.zoroastrianism.com/geh33.html [This page details the iranian namaz and even their concept about it]
Interesting to read some of these tenets listed here http://tenets.zoroastrianism.com/