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One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
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I have a few questions regarding the prayer timings and their durations. I ill be grateful if you can clrify them.
What are the differences in the Fard prayer timings (Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib & Isha) under the various schools of thoughts in Islam like (Hanafi, Shafi etc)
Since I am from the Hanafi school of thought, can I pray according to the timings of the other school of thought.
In all the prayers, I would like to know what is the last time till which I can offer my Fard prayers if I miss the Jamaat. I would like to get this answer in terms of time. That is for example for Fajr, till what time can I pray the fard, if the Azan is pronounced at say 5:42 AM and the Israaq time starts at 7:00 AM. I am really confused about the timings. Some people say that we can pray till the azan for the following prayers has been pronounced especially for the Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha.
What is the best time of praying Tahajjud prayers. I have a practice of waking up about 30 mins. before the Fajr prayer and offering the Tahajjud. Is it ok?
I would appreciate if you can clarify the above doubts which would go a long way in all of us following Islam in a more proper manner.
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Your Question: What are the differences in the Fard prayer timings (Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib & Isha) under the various schools of thoughts in Islam like (Hanafi, Shafi etc)
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.
Thus in light of the above 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 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: In all the prayers, I would like to know what is the last time till which I can offer my Fard prayers if I miss the Jamaat. I would like to get this answer in terms of time.
Because the time of the prayers in Islam are determined by the movement of the sun, and because the exact time of the movements of the sun depends on the region one resides it, and also the season (winter, summer, etc.), and because the exact time of prayers change on a day to day basis .it would be almost impossible for us to specify a general time for all the prayers in all the regions for every day of the year!
Your Question: .That is for example for Fajr, till what time can I pray the fard, if the Azan is pronounced at say 5:42 AM and the Israaq time starts at 7:00 AM. I am really confused about the timings.
If on a particular day in the region you reside the Adhaan for the fajr prayer is declared at the first break of dawn which happens to be at 05.42 am..and the sun on that day is slated to start its rising from the eastern horizon at exactly 07:00am..then a prayer offered between 05.42am and 06.59am on that day would be within its valid time period.
Your Question: What is the best time of praying Tahajjud prayers.
It is best to delay the tahajjud or late night prayer to the last third portion of the night. Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Our Lord Descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: 'Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?"'
Related by Bukhari and Muslim.
Amr ibn Abasah reports that he heard the Prophet (saws) say: "The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the latter portion of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah, the Exalted One, at that time, then do so."
Related by al-Hakim, at-Tirmidhi,Nasa'i and Ibn Khuzaimah.
Abu Muslim asked Hadrat Abu Dharr Ghaffari (r.a.): "Which late-night prayer is the best?" He said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah (saws) the same that you asked me and he (saws) said, 'The (one done during) middle of the latter half of the night, and very few do it.'"
Related by Ahmad.
Abdullah ibn 'Amr reports that the Prophet (saws) said: "The most beloved fast to Allah is the fast of (Prophet) Dawood (a.s.). And the most beloved prayer to Allah is the prayer of (Prophet) Dawood (a.s.). He (Prophet Dawood (a.s.)) would sleep half of the night and then pray during the next third of the night and then sleep during the last sixth of the night. And he would fast one day and not fast the next."
Related by Bukhari and Muslim.
If one could divide ones night hours in the region one lives in into six equal parts, then the absolute best time to offer ones voluntary tahajjud prayer would be the time of the fifth of the six portions. If one is unable to offer their tahajjud prayers at this best and most opportune time for any reason, the absolute majority of the scholars and jurists in Islam are of the opinion that if one strives to offer their tahajjud prayers at any time between the end of the isha prayers and before the call of the fajr prayers, they would receive their appropriate and due reward from their Lord for their striving.
Your Statement: I have a practice of waking up about 30 mins. before the Fajr prayer and offering the Tahajjud. Is it ok?
If one is fortunate enough to offer ones voluntary tahajjud prayers about a half hour or an hour before the fajr adhaan is declared, it would indeed be close to the best and most opportune time for tahajjud as recommended and guided by the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs 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,