Timing of ‘Isha’ prayer in regions where the red afterglow (or twilight) does not disappear until very late

We are Saudi students who have been sent to study in the UK, specifically in the city of Birmingham. Nowadays, with the beginning of summer, we are faced with the problem of a long time between the beginning of the time for Maghrib and the beginning of the time for ‘Isha’. Every year there are arguments among the Muslims about what to do. Some mosques to pray ‘Isha’ 90 minutes after the time for Maghrib begins, whilst others wait until the red afterglow disappears, for a period of up to 3 hours on occasion! Which causes hardship for people, especially as the night is so short. On days like this, the Muslims in the student halls of residence pray ‘Isha’ in two congregations: the first group prays after 90 minutes, based on the following: (a) Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said in one of his khutbahs that the longest time between the beginning of Maghrib and ‘Isha’ is one hour and thirty-two minutes; (b) based on a fatwa from one of the famous shaykhs in Saudi Arabia; (c) the red afterglow does not disappear all night in some regions and during some seasons of the year; (d) some mosques and Islamic centres rely on the 90-minute idea; (e) the Two Holy Sanctuaries (al-Haramain) follow this system. As for the other group, they pray later, based on the following: (a) the fatwa of the Standing Committee which says that each prayer should be offered at the time prescribed in sharee‘ah, in accordance with the signs described in sharee‘ah (if night is distinct from day); (b) a fatwa from another famous shaykh in Saudi Arabia, in which he affirmed that the 90-minute idea is based on mistaken ijtihaad; (c) some mosques and Islamic centres do that; (d) the timetable that is approved by the Muslim World League. But in fact the timetable of the MWL causes us hardship and difficulty during some seasons of the year. We follow the prayer timetable to be found on the following link:
http://www.islamicfinder.org
which gives all timetables according to the well-known calculation methods; it is also possible to customise it. As we have not found, on the Internet or elsewhere, any research on this issue that is based on clear evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, we are waiting for you to give us an adequate discussion and clear answer, by means of which we ask Allah to unite people and bring us together on the basis of truth concerning this issue. May Allah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

One of the conditions of prayer being valid, on which there is consensus among the scholars, is that the time for the prayer should have begun. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Surely the Prayer is prescribed to the Believers at specified timings” [an-Nisa’ 4:103].

Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan as-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

That is, it is obligatory and it has a specific time and is not valid if offered at any other time. These are the times that are established and well known to Muslims, young and old, knowledgeable and ignorant.  Continue reading

He wants to put the prayers together on a permanent basis because he works at night

I have got a job that requires me to work the night shift, and this means that I have to sleep during the day. Is it permissible for me to put Zuhr prayer together with ‘Asr, and Maghrib with ‘Isha’, on a permanent basis, so long as I have the night shift at work? I want to put them together so that I do not interrupt my sleep a great deal.

Praise be to Allaah.

What is required is to regularly offer the prayers at the proper times, in obedience to the command of Allah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Guard strictly (five obligatory) AsSalawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e. the best prayer Asr). And stand before Allah with obedience (and do not speak to others during the Salat (prayers)).”

[al-Baqarah 2:238]

“Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours”

[an-Nisa’ 4:103]

and so as to avoid being included in the words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salat (the prayers) (i.e. made their Salat (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times, etc.) and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell”

[Maryam 19:59]. Continue reading

Using a timetable to know the times of prayer

I read on this site about the times of prayer but because I only know the time by using a clock, it is very difficult for me to know the times from the sky. Are there any ways on which I can know the time when the sun passes the zenith, etc, or how long there is for each prayer after the adhaan in the summer and the winter?.

Praise be to Allaah.

We have mentioned the times for prayer in detail, and practical ways of knowing when the sun passes its zenith, by looking at the shadows, and by working out the hours of the day, and knowing when the middle of the night is and how to work it out, in the answer to question no. 9940.

These are simple methods which anyone can make use of, when they need to. Allaah has made it easy for the Muslims by causing timetables to be available which show the times of the prayer in detail, day by day, summer and winter, for different cities in one country. And there are mosques everywhere that give the call to prayer, which is an announcement of the time. To Allaah be praise. If each person had to look each day to the horizon in order to work out the time for Fajr, and think about the shadows and how long or short they were, to work out the time for Zuhr and ‘Asr, that would involve a great deal of hardship, which is not a part of this great religion.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allaah preserve him) said: The time between dawn and sunrise is approximately one and a half hours, as is shown in the timetables. Timetables have become a means for people to know the times of prayer by hours and minutes, and attention should be paid to that because the five daily prayers are the basis of Islam, so the Muslim must observe them at the proper times, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Those who remain constant in their Salaah (prayers)”

[al-Ma’aarij 70:23]

“Guard strictly (five obligatory) As‑Salawaat (the prayers) especially the middle Salaah (i.e. the best prayer ‑ ‘Asr).   And stand before Allaah with obedience”

[al-Baraqah 2:238]

end quote.

See also the answer to question no. 8048.

Although timetables are important and useful, they are a human effort which is subject to the same mistakes and errors as any other human effort. But usually they are correct in stating the times, except for the mistake in the time for Fajr which occurs in some of them, as is explained in the answer to question no. 26763.

We ask Allaah to guide us and you.

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

What is the right answer concerning the start of Fajr in Northern England?

I wish to ask you about the problem of praying ‘Isha and Fajr in the region of Newcastle in Britain. The Muslims here in Newcastle have a big problem with defining the right time for Fajr and ‘Isha’ prayers, and the time for starting the fast, because the light reaches the surface of the earth before the sun rises, and stays there after it has set, for a long time, and sometimes this light remains there for the entire night. The astronomers here have divided this period when the light appears until the sun rises, and when remains after sunset until it disappears, into three:

1. when the intensity of the light is such that a person is able to do some work
2. when the light is such that a person cannot do any work that needs light
3. total darkness.
4. The question here is: how do we define the beginning of the time for Fajr and ‘Isha’ and for starting to fast in the light of the times given by these astronomers’ calculations?

Praise be to Allaah.

In defining the times of prayer, the astronomers’ calculations do not matter. For determining the time of Fajr, what counts is the appearance of a horizontal line of light on the eastern horizon. The time for Fajr starts when this line becomes clear and distinct, and it ends when the sun rises. The time for Maghrib starts when the disk of the sun has set, and it doesn’t matter if there is still light after the disk of the sun has disappeared. The time for ‘Isha’ begins when the red afterglow of sunset disappears.

The time for fasting begins when the time for Fajr begins, as we have explained above, and the fast ends when the disk of the sun itself has set, even if some of its light remains afterwards. Continue reading

Delaying Fajr prayer until the sun has almost risen

What is the ruling on delaying Fajr prayer until the sun has almost risen and not offering it at the proper time?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

The five daily prayers have set times, the beginning and end of which are well defined, and the prayer must be offered on time. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours”

[al-Nisa’ 4:103]

This indicates that the prayers are obligatory and have set times, and are not valid at other times. These times are well established among the Muslims, young and old, knowledgeable and ignorant, and they learned that from their Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who said: “Pray as you have seen me praying.”

From Tafseer al-Sa’di, p. 204

Delaying the prayer beyond its proper time with no excuse is a major sin, and Allaah has warned us against it as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So woe unto those performers of Salaah (prayers) (hypocrites),

5. Those who delay their Salaah (prayer from their stated fixed times)”

[al-Ma’oon 107:4-5]

‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: (This means) those who delay their prayers from the proper time.

See Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 20/211 Continue reading

The extent to which delaying prayer may be forgiven in the case of women

Is a Muslim woman who prays at home considered to be sinning if she delays praying Zuhr until half an hour or a quarter of an hour before the adhaan of ‘Asr, or she prays ‘Asr half an hour or a quarter of an hour before the adhaan of Maghrib, or if she prays ‘Isha’ half an hour befog the adhaan of Fajr? If the answer is that this is not permissible, what is the extent to which delaying the prayer may be allowed without incurring any sin?.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permissible to delay prayers beyond the time when they are due, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours”

[al-Nisa’ 4:103]

“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As‑Salaah (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salaah (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell”

[Maryam 19:59]

Islam has told us the times of the prayers, as described in the hadeeth which was narrated by Muslim (217) from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) from the Prophet who said: “The time of Zuhr is so long as the time for ‘Asr has not begun, and the time for ‘Asr is so long as the sun has not begun to turn yellow, and the time for Maghrib is so long as the afterglow has not faded, and the time for ‘Isha’ is until midnight, and the time for Fajr is so long as the sun has not yet risen.”

In the answer to question no. 9940 we have explained the times of the five daily prayers in detail.

It is sufficient here to mention the end of the time for each prayer. Continue reading

Should he break his fast at school or delay iftar and praying?

I am currently studying and have from time to time quite long days at the school, so I was wondering whether I should break my fast and especially perform my magreb in the school or after returning home. I will finish the school just few minutes before maghreb and will come home half an hour after this. If I will perform my salaat at school, I will loose the transportation to home and be late from there. So what would be better for me to do?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Hastening to offer the prayer when the time for it begins is one of the best of deeds before Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted.

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Which deed is dearest to Allaah? He said: “Prayer offered on time.” He said: Then what? He said: “Honouring one’s parents.” He said: Then what? He said: “Jihad for the sake of Allaah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (527) and Muslim (85).

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

This hadeeth encourages us to offer prayers regularly on time. It may be understood from it that it is mustahabb to offer them at the beginning of their time, because it is more on the safe side, and we should hasten to do them on time. End quote.

Sharh Muslim, 2/265

It was narrated that Umm Farwah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked: Which deed is best? He said: “Prayer offered at the beginning of its time.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (426); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.

Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

The beginning of its time is dearer to me except in the case of two prayers: ‘Isha’ and Zuhr, where one should wait until it has gotten cooler if it is hot.” End quote.

Al-Mughni, 1/398

It is also mustahabb to hasten to break the fast. A number of ahaadeeth have been narrated concerning that, such as that which was narrated by al-Bukhaari (1957) and Muslim (1098) from Sahl ibn Sa’d (may Allaah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The people will still be fine so long as they hasten to break the fast.”

See the answer to question no. 50019 and 13999.

Thus it is clear to you that it is mustahabb in your case to hasten to break the fast and pray Maghrib at school.

But that is only what is recommended. If it is too difficult for you, and you fear that you will miss your ride or you will be late getting home, there is no sin on you if you delay the prayer and do it when you get home, so long as you think it most likely that you will get home before the adhaan of ‘Isha’. You could break your fast with a few dates that you carry with you on your way home.

But if your question is about not fasting in Ramadaan because of hardship caused by work, we have discussed that in the answer to question no. 43772

May Allaah help you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. May Allaah reward you for your keenness to obey Him.

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

She can not wake up for Fajr prayer

I would like to ask about the ruling on delaying Fajr prayer until sunrise. I mostly miss it although I keep asking my sister to wake me up. And I set the alarm but nothing really works.
Most of the time I wake up to turn the alarm off then I return to sleep unintentionally. Then I wake up after sunset. Am I considered sinful?
Please guide me to a way that I can follow to solve this problem. I feel so ashamed of Allah because of my continuous repentance, and of saying I will not return to doing the same sin again, to find myself doing the same sin again and again.

Praise be to Allaah.

Sleeping and missing Fajr prayer may be due to negligence and shortcomings, or it may be due to sleeping deeply, which is natural for some people. But in most cases it is due to the former reason. Many people are careless about staying up late at night, or they do not take care to set the alarm clock, and if they do set it they do not pay attention to it, because they need to sleep after staying up late for a long time.

We have discussed this issue in detail previously, and distinguished between the sleeper who has an excuse and the sleeper who has no excuse, in the answer to question no. 65605. What we advise you to do is sleep early. This is the best way to wake up. Otherwise the matter will remain difficult in most cases. Also use the alarm clock and cooperate with your family on this matter. Above all, ask Allaah to help you and guide you, and always do wudoo’ and recite dhikr before you go to sleep, and cleanse the house of images and other things that prevent the angels from entering.

May Allaah help us and you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

He cannot perform the prayer on time because of his work. What should he do?

I’m living in Australia and I’m working at a fast food restaurant which mainly sell chicken. I work there 3 times a week. Each day I work for 3-4 hours non-stop (without break – anyone who works there for less than 5 hours doesn’t get a break). Because of the Daylight savings and the changing prayer time, at one point in time I would have to miss one prayer – Ashar when I work. When that time comes, is it alright if I combine the prayer e.g Ashar and Maghrib together? Right now, I don’t miss any prayer because my work doesn’t interfere with my praying time. I have been thinking and feeling rather stress out about this. Please help me clear this. Thank you so much.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

We have already stated in the answer to question no. 21958 that it is not permissible to delay the prayer beyond its time because of work. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Men whom neither trade nor sale (business) diverts from the remembrance of Allaah (with heart and tongue) nor from performing As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑Salaah) nor from giving the Zakaah. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (out of the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection).

That Allaah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allaah provides without measure to whom He wills”

[al-Noor 24:37-38]

So you must organize your time at work in a way that will not interfere with your performing the prayers on time and work out an agreement on a suitable solution with the administration, even if that causes you some difficulty, such as working extra hours, for example. Note that the benefits of increased faith in your heart that you will get as a result of praying on time will compensate for any difficulties you encounter, and that hardship will turn to joy – in sha Allaah – because you will be putting up with it for the sake of Allaah and seeking His pleasure. Continue reading

Prayer and fasting of a prisoner who does not know anything about time

How can a person who is jailed in an underground room pray, while he is chained, heedless about prayer times, and does not know that Ramadan started?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

We ask Allaah to grant all Muslim prisoners a rapid release, and to grant them patience and consolation by His bounty, and to fill their hearts with peace and certainty of faith, and to make easy for the Muslims a way of guidance whereby His close friends will be honoured and His enemies will be humiliated.

Secondly:

The scholars have determined that prayer and fasting are not waived for prisoners and detainees, and that what they must do is to try their best to work out the right times. If the prisoner thinks it most likely that the time for prayer has come, then he should pray, and if he thinks it most likely that Ramadaan has come, then he should fast. He can work out the times by noting the times when he is fed, or by asking the guards and so on.

If he tries to work out the right time for praying and fasting, then his worship will be valid and acceptable, whether he finds out later on that he did it at the right time, or after it, or he does not find out anything, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope”

[al-Baqarah 2:286]

“Allaah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him”

[al-Talaaq 65:7]

But if he finds out that he fasted on the days of Eid, he should make them up, because fasting on the days of Eid is not valid.

But if he finds out later on that that he prayed or fasted before the proper time, then he has to repeat the fast or prayer.

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (28/84-85):

The majority of fuqaha’ are of the view that if the months all seem to be the same to a person, the fast of Ramadaan is not waived in his case, rather it is still obligatory because he remains accountable and the ruling still applies to him.

If he tries to work it out and he fasts, then one of the following five scenarios must apply to him:

1 – The problem continues and he cannot find out, so he does not know whether he managed to fast at the time of Ramadaan or before it or after it. In this case his fast is valid and he does not have to repeat it, because he did his best, and he is not required to do any more than that.

2 – The fast of the prisoner coincided with Ramadaan, so that is acceptable.

3 – If his fast happened to be after Ramadaan, that is also acceptable according to the majority of fuqaha’.

4 – There are two possibilities with the fourth scenario:

(i)                If he started fasting before Ramadaan, and he finds out about that before Ramadaan comes, then he must fast when Ramadaan comes, and there is no difference of opinion among the scholars concerning that.

(ii)              If he started fasting before Ramadaan and he did not find out about that until after it had finished. There are two opinions as to whether this is acceptable:

(a)   It is not acceptable for Ramadaan, rather he has to make it up. This is the view of the Maalikis and Hanbalis.

(b)  It is acceptable as Ramadaan, just as if the pilgrims are uncertain of the day of ‘Arafah and they observe the standing before the day. This is the view of some of the Shaafa’is.

5 – If the fast of the prisoner coincides with one part of Ramadaan and not the other; that which coincides with Ramadaan or comes after it is acceptable, and that which comes before it is not acceptable. End quote.

See: al-Majmoo’ (3/72-73) and al-Mughni (3/96)

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading