Imam Al-Nawawi's Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 188
Excellence of the Morning (Fajr) and 'Asr Prayers

1047. Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who The observes Al-Bardan (i.e., Fajr and `Asr prayers) will enter Jannah.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  It is a must for every Muslim to offer every Salat regularly but there are some prayers (Salat) which cannot be performed punctually unless one takes special care of them. This is the reason some additional merits have been mentioned in this Hadith so that people exercise extra effort for performing them. Of these two is the Fajr prayer, the performance of which is more difficult than the other prayers because it occurs at a time of rest and deep sleep. Similar is the case of `Asr prayer, the performance of which is difficult. Due to these reasons, special merits of these two prayers have been mentioned in this Hadith.

1048. Abu Zuhair `Umarah Ruwaibah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying: "He who performs Salat (prayers) before the rising of the sun and before its setting, will not enter the Hell.''
[Muslim].

Commentary:  It will be wrong to infer that one who performs these two Salat punctually will be safe from Hell merely because of his strictness in their observance. A Muslim who will perform all the five Salat punctually, will be safe from Hell. In this Hadith, Fajr and `Asr prayers have been particularly mentioned because of their special importance. It is implied that one who takes special care of these two Salat will not show any laxity in the other ones. He will also be particular in observing the other obligations and Sunnah because it is a must for the salvation that one should do his best to fulfill all the religious obligations.

1049. Jundub bin Sufyan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who offers the dawn (Fajr) prayers will come under the Protection of Allah. O son of Adam! Beware, lest Allah should call you to account in any respect from (for withdrawing) His Protection.''
[Muslim].

Commentary:  One meaning of this Hadith is that one should show energy for the performance of Fajr prayer.

1050.  Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "There are angels who take turns in visiting you by night and by day, and they all assemble at the dawn (Fajr) and the afternoon (`Asr) prayers. Those who have spent the night with you, ascend to the heaven and their Rubb, Who knows better about them, asks: `In what condition did you leave My slaves?' They reply: `We left them while they were performing Salat and we went to them while they were performing Salat.'''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  The angels for the night come at the time of `Asr when the angels for the morning are present. This is how the angels of the two shifts assemble at this time. The angels of the shift of `Asr leave their duty in the morning, and the angels of the morning shift resume their duty when the pious persons are engaged in Fajr prayer. This is how the two groups assemble again at that time. Thus, when the angels come or go, the people who are punctual in their prayer are engaged in Fajr and `Asr. Almighty Allah knows everything but even then He asks the angels about his pious slaves so that the piousness of the believers and their merit and distinction become evident to them.

1051. Jarir bin `Abdullah Al-Bajali (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) when he looked at the full moon and observed, "You will see your Rubb in the Hereafter as you see this moon having no difficulty in seeing it. So try your best to perform the prayers before the rising of the sun and that before its setting.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith tells us that no one can see Allah in this world but in the Hereafter, the believers will have the honour of seeing Allah. It also highlights the importance and merits of performing the Fajr and `Asr prayers punctually and in congregation.

1052. Buraidahu (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who misses the `Asr Salat (deliberately), his deeds will be rendered nul and void.''
[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary: It is a serious sin to miss any of the prescribed Salat deliberately. Some people regard it even an act of Kufr. But the willful omission of `Asr prayer is one of the most serious sins. Its omission nullifies one's good deeds. Observing this Salat is, therefore, highly essential.