When is it Forbidden to Pray ? – Dr. Saleh as Saleh
Based upon benefits from the duroos of our Sh. Muhammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) And those our Sh. Saami As-Sghair (hafidhahullah)- Summer 1427 AH.
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All Praise is due to Allah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, the noble companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.
Times When it is Forbidden to Pray
There are five times when it is forbidden to pray; three of them are severe, and two are less severe. The five times are as follows:
1) From after the fajr prayer until the sun has risen
2) From sunrise until the sun has risen to the height of a spear (approximately one meter) above the horizon
3) From when the sun is at midday, until it passes the meridian
4) From after salaat al-asr until the sun reaches the height of a spear above the horizon
5) From the time the sun has reached the height of a spear from its setting till sunset.
The severe times when it is forbidden to pray are those which are short (namely the second, third, and fifth cases mentioned above). Also, it is forbidden to bury the dead during these times as in the hadith of Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (radhi Allaahu anhu) in Saheeh Muslim where the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) mentioned it was not permissible to bury the dead during these three times. If we take our deceased to the cemetery and the sun has just risen, then it is not allowed to bury that person until the sun has risen the height of a spear. After that, we can bury the dead, and similarly with respect to the other times.
Exception to the Prohibition for a Fard Salaah
In general, the salaah is forbidden during these times; however, there are exceptions. The first exception is the missed prayers. For instance, if a man has missed a fard prayer, he can pray it during a forbidden time, even if that time is severe in terms of forbiddance. This is in accordance with the hadith of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
“Whoever forgets a prayer or sleeps and misses it, let him pray it when he remembers it, for there is no other expiation for it than that.”
[Reported by al-Bukhari (hadith no. 572) and Muslim (hadith no. 1564)]
The statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) “let him pray it when he remembers it” is general and has no exception. Since this is an asserted fareedah(obligation), the prayer in this case should not be delayed after the person remembers it or awakes.
Exception to the Prohibition for a Salaah with a Cause
The second type of salaah that is excluded from this prohibition, according to the preponderating opinion, is those that have a cause for it; these can be prayed in the forbidden times. This is a narration from Imam Ahmad (rahimahullaah) and the choice of Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah). An example of this is repeating the jama’ah; for instance, if a person prays fajr in congregation and goes to another mosque finding the people in prayer there, then in this case, it is permissible for him to pray with them, without sin. The evidence for this is that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when he was in Mina prayed fajr; after salaah, he saw two men who did not pray with him so he inquired as to why they did that. The men responded that they had already prayed in their residence. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said,
“If you do so and you come to a mosque where there is congregation prayer, then pray with them, and it will be naafil for you.”
Another example is when a person makes tawaaf, it is Sunnah to pray two rakat behind the station of Ibrahim (‘alayhis sallam). As such, if a person makes tawaaf after fajr, it is permissible for him to make these two rakat. The evidence is in the saying of the Prophet to Bani ‘Abd Manaf,
“O Bani ‘Abd Manaf, do not prevent anyone who makes tawaaf around this house or prays therein (i.e. in the masjid) any hour he wishes from the day or the night.”
Some of the ‘ulama considered this hadith as evidence to perform the two rakat following the tawaaf, even if it was during one of the forbidden times.
Also, from this exception is on the day of juma’ah, if the imam is giving the khutbah (sermon), then the person may offer the tahiyyat al-masjid even at the time when the sun is at its meridian. This is because once when the Prophet was delivering the khutbah, a man came into the masjid and sat down. The Prophet asked him if he had prayed, and the man replied in the negative. To this, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Stand up and offer two rakat and make them light.”
The fourth instance from the second type of exception is the entrance to the masjid. For example, if a person enters the masjid after the fajr prayer or salaat al-asr, then he should not sit until he offers two rakat. This is because this salaat has a cause, namely the entrance to the masjid.
Fifth, upon the eclipse of the sun, it is permissible to pray the associated prayer.
The sixth type of salaah that is permitted during a forbidden time is the two rakat after the wudhu. This is because this salaat has a legal cause, namely the wudhu.
Seventh, it is permissible to make salaat al-istikharaah during the forbidden times. Salaat al-istikharaah is when a person makes two rakat and then asks Allah to guide him when he is uncertain about a certain matter. Suppose there arises a situation where someone needs to make this salaat, but this occurred during a time when it is forbidden to pray. In this case, it is permissible for him to pray these two rakat because of the associated cause.
Therefore, the hadith that there is no salaat after fajr or asr is general, particularized in cases where the person offers a salaat that has a cause; in such a situation, it is not forbidden. This is one narration from Imam Ahmad and the choice of Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah. It is also the madhab of Imam ash-Shafa’i (rahimahullaah), and it is the correct opinion.
And Allaah, the Most High, Knows Best.
All Praise is due to Allah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, and the noble companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.
22nd Rajab, 1427 AH
August 16, 2006