Pray before time.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalamo aleikom wr wb. Can you pray earlier than the salat time? For example fajr. Lets say you have to pray er 5 am but you choose to pray at 00:15, because I have some problems which makes it very very hard but it is going to be solved inshaAllah! 

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Pray before time

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 103:

Indeed the Salaat is a prescribed duty that should be performed by the believers at (their) appointed times.

 

Jarir ibn Abdullah narrated that the Angel Jibrael (a.s.) came to the Messenger of Allah (saws) and said to him, "Stand and pray," and they prayed the noon (dhuhr) prayer when the sun had just passed its meridian. He then came to him (saws) for the afternoon (asr) prayer and said, "Stand and pray," and they prayed the afternoon (asr) prayer while the length of a shadow of something was similar to the length of the object. Then he came at sunset and said, "Stand and pray," and they prayed the sunset (magrib) prayer when the sun had just disappeared. Then he came at night and said, "Stand and pray" and they prayed the night (isha) prayer when the twilight had disappeared. He came again when dawn broke (and they prayed the morning (fajr) prayer). Then Jibrael (a.s.) came on the next day at noon and said (to the Messenger of Allah (saws)), "Stand and pray," and they prayed the noon (dhuhr) prayer when the length of the shadow of something was close to the length of the object. Then he came for the afternoon prayer and said, "Stand and pray," and they prayed the afternoon (asr) prayer when the shadow of something was twice as long as the length of the object. Then he came at the same time (as the previous day) for the sunset (magrib) prayer, without any change. Then he came for the night (isha) prayer after half (or a third) of the night had passed. Then he came when the sky was very yellow and said, "Stand and pray," and they prayed the morning (fajr) prayer. Then Jibrael (a.s.) said, "Between these times are the times for the prayers.

Related by Bukhari, Ahmad, an-Nasa'i and at-Tirmidhi.

 

In light of the above guidance, if one prays the prescribed prayer between the two specified periods, their prayer will be considered on-time; and it was the preferred Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) to offer the prescribed obligatory prayers at its earliest times.

 

Al-Muwatta Hadith 1.9

Yahya related to me from Malik from Yazid ibn Ziyad that Abdullah ibn Rafi, the mawla of Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet (saws) asked Abu Hurayra about the time of the prayer.  Abu Hurayra said, "Let me tell you.  Pray ‘dhuhr’ when the length of your shadow matches your height, ‘asr’ when your shadow is twice your height,  ‘maghrib’ when the sun has set, ‘isha’ in the first third of the night, and ‘fajr’ in the very first light of dawn," i.e. when the dawn has definitely come.

 

Thus in light of the above quoted guidance the valid prayer ‘time-bands’ are as follows:

Fajr: Starts at the very first break of dawn, and ends when the sun starts rising from the horizon.

 

Dhuhr: Starts when the sun moves a little west from its absolute zenith, and ends when the shadow of an object is equal to the height of the object.

 

Asr: Starts when the shadow of an object is exceeds the height of the object and ends when the sun starts to set on the western horizon.

 

Magrib: Starts when the sun has completely set until the twilight disappears.

 

Isha:  Starts when the twilight completely disappears and is dark, and ends when half the night has passed.

 

Your Question: Can you pray earlier than the salat time?

Under normal circumstances, a prayer offered before its time is due is null and void; and if one offers it, one would have to redo the prayer again at its appointed time.

 

The only allowance in Shariah for one to offer their prayers before its due time is either during heavy rain or when one is travelling and intends to combine their ‘dhuhr + asr’ or ‘magrib + isha’ prayers; under such special and specific circumstances there is allowance in Shariah for the believers to offer their ‘asr’ and their ‘isha’ prayers before its time.  

 

Your Question: ….For example fajr. Lets say you have to pray er 5 am but you choose to pray at 00:15,

If one offers one’s ‘fajr’ prayers which are due at 5.00am at 00:15am, it would not be accepted as their ‘fajr’ prayers!  Under normal circumstances, one is obliged to offer their obligatory prayers at their due appointed times only.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 

 

 

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