where does our knowledge of rulings concerning salat comes from. What are the relevant hadiths and Quran verse that tells us how to perform salat And How do we know which part of salat is fard and which is sunnah

These are two questions which need a certain elaboration to be well answered therefore I'll try to give a short answer with some hints.

Basically -you could take it as a rule of thumb- anything which is ordered in the Qur'an is fard (unless we find some exceptions or excuses). And anything which is ordered in the sunnah is at least sunnah and in worst case recommended.

For example if you want to check the ahadith on what is part of the prayer you may open in any hadith compilation the chapter or book of prayer and you will find therein a lot of hadith narrations or narrations that tells us everything about prayer, some of these might not address the HowTo, some would address specific cases etc.. As usually the Qur'an is explained by the doing of the prophet () which is the sunnah we refer to in the Islamic shari'a!

Prayer content of the Qur'an

In the Qur'an the prayer timings are more or less quoted and the Qur'an actually (Does the idea of praying 5 times a day come from the Qur'an?) the Qur'an also emphasizes on the order of praying at specific timings (4:103). The qur'an covers the prayer of fear in the verses (4:102-103) and the prayer of night in some verses and especially in surat al-Muzzammil (73).And the Qur'an also quotes that we can pray in certain positions often these are quoted in verses that are more or less related to dhikhr Allah, but they are also quoted in the context of prayers as in (4:102):

... And when they have prostrated, let them be [in position] behind you and have the other group come forward which has not [yet] prayed and let them pray with you, taking precaution and carrying their arms. ...

where sujud or prostration is clearly mentioned and one could easily conclude that other prayer positions must be held.

In the following I'll just quote a few verses of the Qur'an that are related on how to pray:
(4:103) is an example where the positions of prayer also mentioned:

And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. ...

When Allah mentions worship he often mention both sujud/prostration and ruku'/bowing like in (2:125), (3:43), (22:26) and in (2:43) even in the context of the prayer.

Therefore scholars consider standing, bowing and prostrating (at least one time) as fard in the prayer (for a person who is able to do so).

Prayer content of the Sunnah

I won't quote the details, but I think among the best ahadith that shows how to pray you may find:

  • I was sitting with some of the companions of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and we were discussing about the way of praying of the Prophet. Abu Humaid As-Sa'idi said, "I remember the prayer of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) better than any one of you. I saw him raising both his hands up to the level of the shoulders on saying the Takbir; and on bowing he placed his hands on both knees and bent his back straight, then he stood up straight from bowing till all the vertebrate took their normal positions. In prostrations, he placed both his hands on the ground with the forearms away from the ground and away from his body, and his toes were facing the Qibla. On sitting In the second rak`a he sat on his left foot and propped up the right one; and in the last rak'a he pushed his left foot forward and kept the other foot propped up and sat over the buttocks." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

    or in another version:

  • Abu Humaid al-Sa’idi once told a company of ten of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) ; Abu Qatadah was one of them:
    I am one among you who is more informed of the way the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) prayed. They said: Why, By Allah, you did not follow him more than us, nor did you remain in his company longer than us? He said: Yes. They said: Then describe (how the Prophet prayed). He said: When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) stood up to pray, he raised his hands so as to bring them opposite his shoulders, and uttered the takbir (Allah is the most great), until every bone rested in its place properly: then re recited (some verses from the Quran); then he uttered the takbir (Allah is most great), raising his hands so as to bring them opposite his shoulders; then he bowed; placing the palms of his hands on his knees and keeping himself straight, neither raising nor lowering his head; then raised his head saying: “Allah listens to him who praise Him”; then raised his hands so as to bring them exactly opposite to his shoulders; then uttered: “Allah is most great”; then lowered himself to the ground (in prostration), keeping his arms away from his sides; then raised his head, bent his left foot and sat on it, and opened the toes when he prostrated: then he uttered: “Allah is most great”; then raised his head, bent his left foot and sat on it so that every bone returned to its place properly; then he did the same in the second (rak’ah). At the end of the two Rak’ahs he stood up and uttered the takbir (Allah is most great), raising his hands so as to bring them opposite to his shoulders; then he bowed, placing the palms of his hands on his knees and keeping himself straight, neither raising or lowering his head: then raised his head saying: “Allah listens to him who praises Him”; then raised his hands so as to bring them exactly opposite his shoulders; then uttered: “Allah is most great”; then lowered himself to the ground (in prostration), keeping his arms away from his sides; then raised his head, bent his left foot and sat on it, and opened the toes when he prostrated himself; then he prostrated; then uttered: “Allah is most great”; then raised his head, bent his left foot and sat on it so that every bone returned to its place properly; then he did the same in the second (rak’ah). At the end of two rak’ahs he stood up and uttered the takbir (Allah is most great), raising his hands so as to bring them opposite to his shoulders in the way he had uttered the Takbir (Allah is most great) at the beginning of the prayer; then he did that in the remainder of his prayer; and after prostration which if followed by the taslim (salutation) he out his left foot and sat on his left hip. They said: You have spoken the truth. This is how he(peace be upon him) used to pray. (Sunan abi Daowd)

  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The key of prayer is purification; takbir (saying "Allah is most great") makes (all acts which break prayer) unlawful and taslim (uttering the salutation) makes (all such acts) lawful. (Sunan abi Dawod)

    Some scholars therefore considered the tasleem and the first takbir fard.

    And we are also informed how not to pray in the sunnah for example in:

  • A man entered the mosque and started praying while Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was sitting somewhere in the mosque. Then (after finishing the prayer) the man came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and greeted him. The Prophet (ﷺ) said to him, "Go back and pray, for you have not prayed. The man went back, and having prayed, he came and greeted the Prophet. The Prophet (ﷺ) after returning his greetings said, "Go back and pray, for you did not pray." On the third time the man said, "(O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)!) teach me (how to pray)." The Prophet said, "When you get up for the prayer, perform the ablution properly and then face the Qibla and say Takbir (Allahu Akbar), and then recite of what you know of the Qur'an, and then bow, and remain in this state till you feel at rest in bowing, and then raise your head and stand straight; and then prostrate till you feel at rest in prostration, and then sit up till you feel at rest while sitting; and then prostrate again till you feel at rest in prostration; and then get up and stand straight, and do all this in all your prayers." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

    which lead some scholars to consider toma'ninah calmness (الطُّمأْنينة) as essential and therefore fard part of the prayer. As the prophet () said: "Go back and pray as you didn't pray".

Beside this there's a general ruling which is taken as fard by all scholars from:

  • The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Finally books of fiqh are also full of the rulings of the prayers and their evidences.

And some scholars even arranged books telling us how the prophet () used to pray based on ahadith.

Also relevant:

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