Fatwa ID: 05174
Answered by: Alimah Fatima Begum
I recently read a hadith, the gist of which says to perform salah in its earliest time, a la madhabi is using it to prove that their practice of reading salah is better than other madhahib delaying salah, I’m sure there is more to it. Can you please explain?
In the name of Allah the most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
In order for salah to be accepted, they must be prayed within the respective times.
Timings for the 5 Daily Prayers:
The Morning Prayer (SALAT-UL-FAJR): It can be performed at any time between the breaking of the dawn till just before sunrise.
The Noon Prayer (SALAT-UL-ZUHR) its time begins after the sun declines from its zenith until the length of the shadow becomes twice your height. (Mithlayn)
The Afternoon Prayer (SALAT-UL-ASR) its time begins soon after the time for Zuhr prayer ends and extends to just before sunset.
The Evening Prayer (SALAT-UL-MAGHRIB): its time begins just after sunset and extends to shafq abyadh when the whiteness in the horizon disappears.
The Night Prayer (SALAT-UL-ISHA) its time begins from the ending of the Maghrib Salah until dawn.
Below are the mustahab (preferred) times for salah:
It is desirable to pray Fajr Salah when the light becomes clear. Saaiduna Rafi Bin Khadeej RadiallahuAnhu reports that the Prophet of Allah SallallahuAlahiWasalam said: Make the Fajr Salah at the shining of the dawn, as your reward will be greater. (Sunan Tirmizi p.40 v.1)
During very hot weather, Zuhr Salah should be slightly delayed until it is relatively cooler and not prayed immediately or as soon as the time has started. Saaiduna Abu Hurairah R.A narrates that the Prophet of Allah S.A.W said, “In very hot weather delay the Zuhr prayer till it becomes (a bit) cooler because the severity of heat is from the raging Hell-fire…” (Sahih Bukhari p.76 v.1)
Asar Salah shouldn’t be delayed to such an extent that the times get very close to sunset. If a person due to some pressing need hadn’t read his Asr that day, one will be allowed to read it until sunset. However, before sunset when the sun turns red and one can directly look at it, which is approximately 20 minutes before sunset, then it is Makruh to read in that time. As mentioned above if one hadn’t performed his Asr that day leeway exists, if not to delay it until the last 20 minutes will be Makruh Tahrimi. (Raddul Muhtar p.26 v.2)
Maghrib Salah should be prayed as soon as the time starts. Salamah Ibn Akwah said, “The Prophet of Allah S.A.W used to do the Maghrib Salah immediately after the sun had set when its upper side would disappear. (Sunan Abi Dawud p.66 v.1)
The preferred time for Isha Salah is up to one-third of the night. Saaiduna Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet of Allah S.A.W said, “If it were not to be a hardship on the Ummah, I would have ordered them to delay the Esha Salaah until a third or half of the night had passed. (Sunan Tirmizi p.42 v.1)
To conclude, generally in the Hanafi Fiqh, to delay the prayers near ending time is more virtuous with the exception of Maghrib which should be prayed early.
Only Allah knows best.
Answered by Alimah Fatima Begum
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham