Praying after ‘Asr
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

I have heard that one should not pray after the ‘Asr prayer until Maghrib. Is this true?


According to the established Sunnah of the Prophet (sws), the only forbidden times for prayer are sunrise and sunset. This precautionary measure is meant to curb polytheism, since many nations of antiquity worshiped the sun at these times. At all other times, prayers can be offered. Consequently, one can pray between ‘Asr and Maghrib.

It seems that the following Hadīth has led to the belief that no prayer can be offered between ‘Asr and Maghrib:

The Prophet is reported to have said there is no prayer after dawn until the sun rises and there is no prayer after ‘Asr until the sun sets. (Bukhārī: Kitābu’l-Salāh)

If all the texts of this Hadīth are collected, it comes to light that a part of it has been left out in most of its texts. This can be observed from the underlined portion of the following two Ahādīth:

The Prophet forbade praying after ‘Asr except if the sun is high [in the sky]. (Abū Dā’ūd, Kitābu’l-Salāh)

The Prophet forbade praying after ‘Asr except if the sun is shinning brightly high [in the sky]. (Nasā‘ī, Kitābu’l-Mawāqīt)

In other words, what the Prophet (sws) actually forbade was praying very near the time of sunset since this might accidentally lead a person to pray in the forbidden period of sunset. Consequently, it is clear from these Ahādīth if one intends to pray after ‘Asr, one should make sure that he does so much before sunset. One has not been stopped from praying after ‘Asr, as has been inferred by some.

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