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Islam Question and Answer

General Supervisor: Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid (http://islamqa.info)


Sun3Shw143619July2015

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39818:Delayingprayer

Myquestionisaboutthetimeforprayerthetimebeginswhentheadhaanisgiven,butwhendoes
thetimeend?Isthereadifferencebetweendelayingprayerandmissingthetimeforprayer?And
whatisthepunishmentforboth?.
PraisebetoAllaah.
To find out about the times of prayer and when they begin and end, see question no. 9940
(/en/9940).
Withregardtoyourquestionaboutthedifferencebetweendelayingprayerandmissingthetimefor
prayer,theanswerisasfollows:
Missingthetimeforprayermeansleavingtheprayeruntilthetimeisoverandonehasnotprayed.
Thisisamajorsin,unlessthatisforalegitimateexcusesuchassleepingorforgetting.
It says in alMawsooah alFiqhiyyah, 10/8: The fuqaha are agreed that it is forbidden to delay
prayeruntilthetimeforprayerisover,withoutalegitimateexcuse.
ShaykhAbdalAzeezibnBaaz (may Allaah have mercyon him) said:With regardto the person
whodeliberatelydelaystheprayeruntilafterthetimeforitisover,orwhosetshisalarmclocklate
sothathewillnotgetupontime,heisdeliberatelynotpraying,andhehascommittedagreatevil
accordingtoallthescholars,butisthiskufr[disbelief]ornot?
Herethereisadifferenceofopinionamongthescholars:
If he does not deny that prayer is obligatory, then the majority of scholars say that he is not
committingmajorkufrinthiscase.
Some of the scholars were of the view that this is major kufr which puts him beyondthepaleof
Islam,becausetheProphet(peaceandblessingsofAllaahbeuponhim)said:Betweenamanand
shirk [associating others with Allaah] and kufr there stands his giving up prayer. Narrated by
ImamMusliminhisSaheeh,82.

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The covenant that stands
between us and them is prayer whoever gives up prayer is a kaafir [disbeliever]. Narrated by
Imam Ahmad and the four authors of alSunan with a saheeh isnaad [sound chain of narrators].
Andthereisotherevidencetosupportthis.
ItwasalsonarratedfromtheSahaabah[companionsoftheProphetmayAllaahbepleasedwith
themall].
The great Taabii AbdAllaah ibn Shaqeeq alAqeeli said: The Companions of the Messengerof
Allaah(peaceandblessingsofAllaahbeuponhim)didnotthinkthatomittinganythingconstituted
kufrapartfromprayer.
Withregardtodelayingprayer,thismayrefertotwothings:
1 Delaying prayer until the time for that prayer is over. We have explained the ruling on this
above.
2Delayingtheprayeruntiltheendofthetimeforthatprayer.
SeealMawsooahalFiqhiyyah,10/6
Itispermissibletoofferaprayerattheendofitstime,becauseofthehadeethnarratedbyMuslim
(614) from Abu Moosa alAshari, that someone came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) and asked him about the times of prayer and the Prophet
(peaceandblessingsofAllaahbeuponhim)explainedtohimthebeginningandendofthetimefor
eachprayer,andsaid,Thetimeisbetweenthesetwo.
Butifdelayingtheprayermeansthatonewillmissoutonprayingincongregationandwillprayit
alone at the end of its time, then it is haraam because it means not praying in congregation, so
longasonedoesnothaveanexcusefornotprayingincongregation.
It is better to do the prayer at the beginning of its time, except for Isha prayer and Zuhr prayer
whenitisveryhotinthesecasesitisbettertodothemattheendoftheirallottedtimes.
ShaykhIbnUthaymeen(mayAllaahhavemercyonhim)said:
It is better to do the prayer at the time required in shareeah. Hence the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, answering the one who asked him which deed is most
belovedtoAllaah,Prayerdoneontime.NarratedbyalBukhaari,527Muslim,85.Hedidnotsay,
prayeratthebeginningofitstime.ThatisbecausetheprayersincludesomewhichitisSunnahto
praysoonerandsomewhichitisSunnahtopraylater.ItisSunnahtoprayIshalater,afterone
thirdofthenighthaspassed.Henceifawomanisathomeandaskswhichisbetterforme,topray
Isha when I hear the adhaan or to delay it until onethird of the night has passed? We say, it is
bettertodelayituntilonethirdofthenighthaspassed,becausetheProphet(peaceandblessings

ofAllaahbeuponhim)delayedonenightuntiltheysaid,OMessengerofAllaah,thewomenand
childrenhavefallenasleep,sohewentoutandledtheminprayer,andsaid,Thiswouldbeits
time,werethatnottoodifficultformyummah.Soifawomanisinherhouse,itisbetterforherto
delayit.
Similarly, if it so happens that some men are travelling, and they ask whether they should pray
Ishasoonerorlater,wewouldtellthemthatitisbetterforthemtodelayit.
Similarly if a group goes out for a trip and the time for Isha comes, is it better for them to pray
Isha sooner or later? We say that it is better for them to delay it if that will not cause them any
hardship.
Inthecaseoftheotherprayersitisbettertopraythemsoonerunlessthereisareasonfordoing
otherwise.SoFajrshouldbeprayedsooner,Zuhrshouldbeprayedsooner,Asrshouldbeprayed
soonerandMaghribshouldbeprayedsooner,unlessthereisareasonfordoingotherwise.
Suchreasonsincludethefollowing:
Ifitisintenselyhot,thenitisbettertodelayZuhrprayeruntilitcoolsdownalittle,i.e.,untilitis
nearly time for Asr, because it cools down a little when it is nearly time for Asr. When it is
intensely hot, it is better to pray when it is cooler, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaahbeuponhim)said:Whenitisintenselyhot,thenwaituntilitcoolsdownbeforeyoupray,
forintenseheatisfromthebreezeofHell.NarratedbyalBukhaari,537Muslim,615.
TheProphet(peaceandblessingsofAllaahbeuponhim)wasonajourneyandBilaalstoodupto
givethecalltoprayer,andhesaid,Waituntilitgetscooler.Then[Bilaal]stooduptogivethecall
toprayer,and[theProphet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] said, Wait until it gets
cooler.Then[Bilaal]stooduptogivethecalltoprayer,and[theProphet(peaceandblessingsof
Allaahbeuponhim)]gavehimpermissiontodoso.NarratedbyalBukhaari,629Muslim,616.
Anotherreasonisifitwillbepossibletoprayincongregationattheendofthetimebutnotatthe
beginning, in which case delay is preferable. For example, if a man is outside the city when the
timeforprayercomes,andheknowsthathewillreachthecityandcatchupwiththecongregation
attheendofthetimeforprayer,isitbetterforhimtopraywhenthetimeforprayercomes,orto
delaytheprayeruntilhereachesthecongregation?
Wesaythatitisbetterforhimtodelaytheprayeruntilhecatchesupwiththecongregationwe
say that it is even obligatory for him to delay in this case, so that he can catch up with the
congregation.
FataawaArkaanalIslam,p.287.
IslamQ&A

Relatedfatwa
Timesofthefivedailyprayers(/en/9940)

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