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Permissible Prayers At Times When Otherwise Forbidden

Sun, November 23, 2008 by Md Radzi Ahmad


Permissible  Naafil Prayers  At Times When Prayer Otherwise Forbidden


Shaikh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen


Is the prohibition on praying after Fajar and ‘Asar general, including all prayers, or are there prayers which it is permissible to do at these times?



All the Praise be to Allah, the Lord of al-‘alameen. 


It is narrated from Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: “There is no prayer after ‘Asar prayer until the sun has set and there is no prayer after Fajar prayer until the sun has risen.” [Al-Bukhari (1197) and Muslim (827]


The words “There is no prayer” include all prayers, but some of the prayers are excluded on the basis of texts and others are excluded according to scholarly consensus.


That includes:


Firstly: repeating the prayer in congregation, such as if a man prays Fajar in his mosque, then goes to another mosque and finds them praying Fajar, then he may pray with them, and there is no sin or prohibition on him. The evidence for that is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed Fajar in Mina one day, and when he finished he saw two men who had not prayed with him, and asked them, “Why didn’t you pray?” They said: We have prayed in our camp. He said: “If you have prayed in your camp [but] when you come to the mosque of the congregation, then pray with them.” This was after Fajar prayer.


Secondly: When a person has done tawaf around the Ka’bah, it is Sunnah to pray two raka’ahs after tawaf behind Maqam Ibrahim. If he does tawaf after Fajar prayer, he may pray the two raka’ahs for tawaf. The evidence of that are the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “O Banu ‘Abd Manaf, do not prevent anyone from circumambulating this House or praying here at any time they want, night or day.”


Some of the scholars quoted this verse as evidence that when a person has done tawaf he may offer the two raka’ahs even at times when prayer is prohibited.


Thirdly: If a person enters the mosque on a Friday when the khatib is delivering the khutbah, if that is when the sun is at its zenith, it is permissible for him to pray Tahiyyat Al-Masjid (two raka’ahs to greet the mosque), because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was delivering the khutbah to the people when a man came in and sat down, and he said to him: “Did you pray?” He said: No. He said: “Get up and pray two raka’ahs, but make them brief.” 


Fourthly: When entering the mosque. If a person enters the mosque after Fajar prayer or after ‘Asar prayer, he should not sit down until he has prayed two raka’ahs, because there is a reason for this prayer.


Fifthly: Solar eclipse. If the sun is eclipsed after ‘Asar prayer, we say: The eclipse prayer is Sunnah, so he should offer the eclipse prayer. But if we say that the eclipse prayer is obligatory, then the matter is clear, because there is no time at all when an obligatory prayer is forbidden.


Sixthly: After doing wudu’. If a person does wudu’, it is permissible for him to pray two rak’ahs at a time when prayer is otherwise forbidden, because there is a reason for this prayer.


Seventhly: Istikharah prayer. If a person wants to pray istikharah and ask Allah for guidance concerning a decision, he should pray two rak’ahs, and then recite the du’a of istikharah. If he is faced with a matter that he cannot delay, he may pray istikharah concerning it at a time when prayer is otherwise forbidden. That is permissible.


To sum up, the hadith:“There is no prayer after Fajar prayer and there is no prayer after ‘Asar prayer” is specific; but  if a person offers a prayer for which there is a reason as stipulated above, then it is  permissible – the  prohibition were exempted.


What I have mentioned is the view of Al-Shafi’e (may Allah have mercy on him) and one of the two views narrated from Imam Ahmad, as well as being the view favoured by Ibn Taimiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) and it is the correct view, because there is no prohibition on the prayers for which there is a reason. 




Majmu’ Fatawa al-Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (14/344].





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