The Prescribed Prayer: Chapter Two

[Previous] | [Next] | [Top]


The Times of Salaah

As-Salaah is an imperative duty that has to be observed at appointed times. Al-Quran declares:

For such prayers are enjoined on Believers at stated times." (Al -Quran, 4:103)

Allahu Ta' aala has pointed to these times all over Al-Quran. He says:

"And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of night: For those things that are good remove those that are evil: Be that the words of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord)." (Al-Quran, 11:114)

"Establish regular prayers at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night and the morning prayer and reading: For the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony." (Al-Quran, 17:78)

"Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun, and before its setting; Yea celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of day: that thou mayest have (spiritual) joy." (Al-Quran, 20:130)

In these verses, there are clear indications of the command and the times of five daily prayers.

The first verse mentioned "two ends of the day," that is, the Subh and 'Asr prayers, whereas "at the approaches of night" indicates Maghrib and 'Ishaa prayers.

The second verse mentioned "at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night," indicating four prayers, from the zenith of the day to the fullest darkness of the night: Zuhr 'Asr, Maghrib, and 'Ishaa . Whereas "and the morning prayer reading" indicates Subh prayer.

The third verse mentioned "and celebrate the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun," indicating Subh prayer, whereas "and before its setting" indicates 'Asr prayer.

The Sunnah also explained and established the time limit of the five daily prayers. Abdullah bin 'Amruu reported that the Prophet said:

"The time of the noon prayer (Zuhr) is when the sun passes the meridian and a man's shadow is the same (length) as his height (and it lasts) as long as the time for the afternoon prayer has not come; the time for afternoon prayer ('Asr) is as long as the sun has not become pale; the time of the evening prayer (Maghrib) is as long as the twilight has not ended; the time of the night prayer ('Ishaa) is up to the middle of the average night, and the time of the morning prayer (Subh) is from the appearance of dawn, as long as the sun has not risen; but when the sun rises, refrain from prayer, for it rises between the horns of the devil." (Muslim)


It is forbidden to offer Salaah (Sunnah) at the following times:

When the sun is rising.

When the sun is at the highest point, zenith.

When the sun is setting.

This is in accordance to the Hadeeth related by 'Amr bin 'Absah. I asked the Apostle of Allah about Salaah and the Apostle said:

"Pray morning prayer, then stop praying until the sun has risen, for it rises between two horns of Shaitaan (the devil); at that time, the disbelievers prostrate to it. Then pray, for the prayer at this time is witnessed and attended to by (the angels) until the shadow is on the side of a spear (that is when the shadow of things is equal with it), then stop praying for at that time, the hell-fire is fuelled. When afternoon comes, pray, for prayer at that time is witnessed and attended to by (the angels), until you pray 'Asr, then stop praying until the sun sets, for it sets between the two horns of Shaitaan, at that time the disbelievers prostrate to it." (Ahmad/Muslim)

However, the majority of the scholars agreed that it is permissible to make up the missed Fard prayers at any time, be it after the Subh or after the 'Asr prayers, because the Prophet said:

"Whoever forgets about a prayer, should offer it whenever he remembers it." (Al-Bukhaaree/Muslim)

[Previous] | [Next] | [Top]