Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Permissible Solāh at times when it is otherwise forbidden

Permissible Solāh at times when it is otherwise forbidden

By Shaikh Muhammad Ibn `Uthaymīn

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālamīn. There is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

Does the prohibition of Solah after Fajar and `Asar includes all the Solāh, or there Solāh which it is permissible to do at these times?

There are times during which the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would forbid us from performing our Solāh.

1. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “There is no Solāh after Solāh ‘Asar until the sun has set and there is no Solāh after Solāh Fajar until the sun has risen.” [Al-Bukhari (1197) and Muslim (827]

2. `Uqbah Ibn `Amr al-Juhany (radiyallāhu`anhu) said:  "There are three times during which the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would forbid us from performing our Solāh or burying our deceased, when the sun starts to rise until it has fully risen, when it is at its meridian, and when the sun starts setting until it has completely set" . [Muslim, al-Nasā’ie, Abu Dawud and others]
3. Ibn `Abbās (radiyallāhu`anhu) said:  Some trustworthy men bore witness in my presence, the most trustworthy of whom in my view was `Umar, that the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) forbade to observe Solah after Fajar until the sun had risen and after ‘Asar until the sun had set.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri (547) and Muslim (1367)]
4.Ibn `Umar (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “When the top edge of the sun has risen, then delay praying until it has risen above the horizon, and when the lower part of the sun has set, delay praying until it is fully set.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri (548) and Muslim (1371)]

The Exemption of the Provision for prayers offered with reasons.

The words “There is no Solāh include all Solāh, but some of the Solāh are excluded on the basis of texts while others are excluded according to scholarly consensus and that includes:

1 - Repeating the Solāh in congregation, such as when a person observed Solāh Fajar in his masjid, then goes to another masjid and finds them observing Solāh Fajar, then he may offer the Solāh with them, and there is no sin or prohibition on him.

The evidence for that is that the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) performed Solāh Fajar in Mina one day, and when Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) completed he saw two men who had not observed Solāh with him, and he asked them: “Why did you not perform Solāh?” They said: We performed Solāh in our camp. He (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “If you have performed Solāh in your camp then you come to the masjid of the congregation then observe Solāh with them.” This was after Solāh Fajar.

2 - When a person has done tawaf around the Ka`abah.

It is Sunnah to perform Solāh a two raka`at after tawaf behind Maqam Ibrāhim. If he does tawaf after Solāh Fajar, he may perform Solāh a two raka`at for tawaf. The evidence of that are the words of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam):

“O Banu ‘Abd Manaf, do not prevent anyone from circumambulating this House or performing Solāh 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 a two rak’ahs even at times when prayer is prohibited.

Thus if a person enters the masjid at any forbidden time to observe solāh like at time of zenith just before sunset, or just  after Solāh Fajar or after Solāh ‘Asar, he should not sit down until he has performed Solāh two raka`at, because there is a reason for this Solāh. The evidence is sahih hadith narrated from Jabir Ibn `Abdullah (radiyallāhu`anhu) and Abu Qatadah (radhiyallāhu`anhu)

3.1 - If a person enters the masjid on a Friday when the khātib is delivering the khutbah and if that is when the sun is at its zenith. It is permissible to perform Solāh Tahiyyat al-Masjid (Salutation of the Masjid).

The evidence is sahih hadith narrated from Jabir Ibn `Abdullah (radiyallāhu`anhu) who said: "Sulayk Al-Ghatafani entered the masjid on Friday while the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was delivering Khutbah then he sat down.

The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Did you perform Solāh?” He said: No. He (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said "O! Sulayk stand up and pray two raka’at and do not recite much in them (make them brief) ". Then he (the Prophet Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: "If any of you comes to the masjid on Friday while the Imām is delivering the Khutbah, he performs Solāh two raka’at without lengthening them".


4 - When someone enters the Masjid.

One should perform two Raka’at (Solāh Tahiyyatul-Masjid) when enters the Masjid before sitting.

Abu Qatadah (radhiyallāhu`anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: 

"Whoever enters a mosque should perform two raka’at (Tahiyyatul-Masjid) before sitting"

 [Al-Bukhari, Muslim]

Jabir ibn ‘Abdullāh (radhiyallāhu`anhu) said: "Sulayk Al-Ghatafani came on Friday when the Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was delivering the Khutbah. When he (Sulayk) sat down, the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said to him:

"O! Sulayk stand up and perform Solāh two raka’at and do not read much in them". Then he (the Prophet Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: "If any of you comes to the mosque on Friday while the Imām is delivering the Khutbah, he perform Solāh two raka’at without lengthening them".

[Recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This is one of the prayers that are done for a specific reason, like solah such as Solāh al-Tawāf (prayer done after circumambulating the Ka’abah) and Solāh al-Kusūf (prayer at the time of an eclipse). It is permissible to be performed at times when Solāt is generally disallowed, like making up missed Solāt

5 - Solātul Kusuf .

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

6 - After taking wudhu’

If a person does wudhu’, it is permissible for him to perform Solāh two raka’at at a time when prayer is otherwise forbidden, because there is a reason for this Solāh.

7 - Solāh Istikhārah.

If a person wants to perform Solāh Istikharah and ask Allāh for guidance concerning a decision, he should pray two raka’at, then recite the Duā’ Of Istikharah. If he is faced with a matter that he cannot delay, he may perform Solāh Istikharah concerning it at a time when Solāh is otherwise forbidden. That is permissible.

8 - Solāt al-Tawbah.

The two raka’at of repentance constitute a Solāh for which there is a reason, so it is permissible to do it at a time when Solāh is otherwise not allowed. It is mustahab to offer this Solāh when the Muslim has decided to repent from the sin that he has committed, whether this repentance comes immediately after committing the sin or later on. This Solāh is prescribed at all times including times when Solāh is disallowed (such as after Solāh `Asar ), because it is one of the prayers that are done for a reason, so it is prescribed when the reason for it is present.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (rahimallāh) said: Solāh which are done for a reason, such as the prostration of recitation (Sujud Sahwi), greeting the mosque (Tahiayatul Masjid), the Eclipse Solāh (Solātul Kusuf and Khusuf), performs  immediately after purifying oneself (Solāh Wudu’) , as mentioned in the hadith of Bilal bin Rabab (radiyallāhu`anhu), and  Solāh Istikharah  should not be delayed if the reason comes up at a time when prayer is disallowed, because delaying them may cause one to miss them, such as if the one who is performing Solāh Istikharah  may miss the thing concerning which he is seeking guidance if he delays the Solāh. The same applies to the Solāh of Repentance (Solāh al-Tawbah). If a person commits a sin, then it is obligatory to repent straight away, and it is recommended for him to pray two raka`at, and then repent, as it says in the hadith of Abu Bakar al-Siddiq (radiyallāhu`anhu).

[Majmu’ al-Fatawa (23/215)]

Abu Bakar al-Siddiq (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) say:

‘There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well and stands and asks Allāh for forgiveness, but Allāh will forgive him. Then he recited this verse (Al-`Imran, 3:135): ‘And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allāh and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allāh — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know’.

[Narrated by al-Tirmidzi, 408; Abu Dawud, 1521; Ibn Mājah, 1395; classified as sahih by al-Albāni in Sahih Abu Dawud, 1346]

In other sahih reports there are other descriptions of the two raka`ahs Solāh which expiate for sin. This may be summed up as follows:

There is no one who does wudhū’ and does it well (because sins come out from the washed limbs with the water or with the last drop of water). Part of doing wudhu’ well is to say Bismillāh (In the name of Allāh) before starting it, and reciting dzikir after it, as follows:

“Ashhadu an lā ilāha ill-Allāh wahdahu lā sharīka lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasūluh. Allāhumma aj`alni min al-tawwābīna waj`alni min al-mutatahharin. Subhānaka Allāhumma wa bi hamdika, ashhadu an lā ilāha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk (I bear witness that there is no god but Allāh alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. O Allāh, make me one of those who repent and make me one of the purified. Glory and praise be to You, O Allāh, I bear witness that there is no god but You, I seek Your forgiveness and I repent to You). 

This dzikir recited after wudhū’ brings a great reward.

Then he gets up and performs Solāh two raka`at; without making make any mistake; without allowing his mind to wander; And he remembers Allāh and focuses with proper humility; and then he seeks Allāh to forgiven him

The outcome will be: that he is forgiven for his previous sins and will deserve Paradise.

[Sahih al-Targhīb, 1/210-211]


The above hadith which indicates, “There is no prayer after Solāh Fajar and there is no Solāh after Solāh ‘Asar” is a specific prohibition; but it is exempted, or permissible for prayers offered with reasons as stipulated above.

What I have mentioned is the views of Al-Shāfi`ie (rahimahullāh) and one of the two views narrated from Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh), as well as being the view favored by Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullāh) 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 `Uthaymīn (14/344]

Cases of Solemnization of marriage after `Asar in the Masjid

The provision of “There is no prohibition on the prayers for which there is a reason” refers to the eight reasons stated above. The Sunnah of Marriage (Sunnat al-Zawāj) does not fall into that category though it might be qiyas it as an nāfil prayer for which there is a reason.

The offering of the Sunnah al-Zawāj after the `Akad Nikah’, is normally done as a righteous deed by a grateful and an obedience of slave of Allāh of His Blessing and the bestowed upon him.

The Nikah is permitted to be solemnized after `Asar. But not the solāh Sunnah of Marriage; it is not permissible as evidence of the above Hadith that prohibited to offer any solāh after `Asar and Solāh Fajar. Thus, it is suffice to offer du`ā and better to bring forward the solāh Sunnah of Marriage after Maghrib if one still wish to do it since the period between after `Asar and before maghrib is forbidden to perform Solāh. But, one should perform the Solāh Tahiyatul Masjid upon entering the Masjid, as it is incumbent to do so before sitting down regardless of the time forbidden.

Some scholars regarded it as mustahabb to offer Solāh of two raka‘at before consummating the marriage with the wife, but it is not narrated in the Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam). Rather, it is narrated that some of the Sahābah (radiyallāhu`anhum) did it. It is known as Sunnat al-Zawāj (the Sunnah of Marriage), and it is offered after solemnization (Akad Nikah) before consummation.

Abu Sa`īd, the freed slave of Abu Usayd, reported: “I got married when I was a slave, and I invited some of the Sahabah of Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), among whom were `Abdullah Ibn Mas`ūd, Abu Dharr and Hudhayfah (radiyallāhu`anhum). And they taught me and said: ‘When your wife enters upon you, perform solāh two raka`at, then ask Allāh Almighty, for the good of what has been entered upon you and seek refuge with Him from its evil, then go ahead and approach your wife’.” [Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf (3/401) and `Abdul-Razzāq in al-Musannaf (6/191). Shaykh al-Albāni (rahimallāh) said: Its isnād to Abu Sa`īd is sahīh.]

[See Adāb al-Zafāf, p. 22]

[Excerpted with modification from Islam Q&A]

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