I have a question about the five daily prayers. I know the story of the implementation of five daily prayers. Did the pagans pray five times a day to their gods (i.e. statues)? If I am reading the story right it would mean that the five daily prayers were first introduced to the Prophet Muhammad (sws), what about the prophets before him (sws)? Did they have a set number of prayers?
Of course the prayer has been a necessary religious practice in all the divine religion. The following verses of the Qur'an testify the fact: 14:37 and 40, 19:55, 11:87, 21:73, 20:14, 3:39, 19:31, 31:17, 5:12, 3:113.
The Hadith literature and the bible are also replete with the proofs of the said fact.
It is also known that the number of prayers has also been the same in the teachings of the previous prophets and messengers.
The form of the prayer may be sometimes different but the basic components like standing and bowing and prostration has been common. There is also a remarkable similarity between the main recitations of the prayer.
The number of daily prayers has always been five in the divine religions. Though today Jews pray only three times a day but in fact they have started praying two joint prayers as the Shia Muslims do. Qur'an and Hadith testify the fact that the pre Islamic Arabs would pray. They had with them the Abrahamic traditions which contained the worship of the prayer. Since Mecca was religious center of the Arabs it is not surprising that they faced Ka`bah while offering prayer. I do not have in my access the book you have referred to so that I can see how the author substantiates the claim but on the basis of other sources I am certain that this report carries weight.