The Deadline for Fajr and ‘Asr Prayers

The Deadline for Fajr and ‘Asr Prayers


Hadīth

(This write-up has been prepared by the Hadīth Cell of Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidīwhich includes Moiz Amjad, Izhār Ahmad, Muhammad Aslam Najmi and Kaukab Shehzad)

روي أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: من أدرك من الصبح ركعة قبل أن تطلع الشمس ثم طلعت الشمس فقد أدرك الصبح فليتم صلاته ومن أدرك ركعة من العصر قبل أن تغرب الشمس فقد أدرك العصر فليتم صلاته. والسجدة إنما هي الركعة.

It is narrated that the Prophet (sws) said: "Whoever [is late for fajr prayer, but] completes one rak'ah of his morning prayer before sunrise[1] and then the sun rises, [while he is still praying, but after he has completed the first rak'ah,] he would have offered his morning prayer [within the prescribed time][2] so, he should then continue to complete his prayer, [even if the sun has risen]. Similarly, whoever [is late for 'asr prayer, but] completes one rak'ah of his 'asr prayer before sunset[3], he would then have offered his 'asr prayer [within the time prescribed for it]. He should, therefore, continue to complete his prayer [even if the sun has set, while he is still praying]. And [remember that] it is the sajdah that completes the rak'ah[4] during prayer.[5]"

Notes on the Text of the Narrative

This narrative or a part of it, with minor variations, has been reported in Bukhārī (nos. 531 and 554), Muslim (no. 608), Tirmidhī (no. 186), Nasā'ī(Nos. 514, 515, 516, 517, 550 and 551), Abū Dā'ūd (no. 412), Ibn Mājah (nos. 699 and 700), Mālik's Mu'watta (no. 5), Al-Dārimī(no. 1222), Ahmad ibn Hanbal (nos. 7215, 7453, 7529, 7785, 8042, 8551, 8569, 9172, 9920, 9955, 10133, 10344, 10364, 10761 and 24533), Ibn Hibbān (nos. 1484, 1557, 1582, 1583, 1584, 1585 and 1586), Ibn Khuzaymah (nos. 984, 985 and 986), Nasā'ī'sSunan Al-Kubrā (nos. 463, 464, 1501, 1502, 1503, 1504, 1533, 1534 and 1535), Bayhaqī(nos. 1595, 1596, 1648, 1649, 1650, 1651, 1652, 1653 and 1683), and Musnad of Abū Ya'lā (nos. 6284, 6302 and 6332). The preferred text is the one reported in Bukhārī (no. 554), except where otherwise specified.

In some narratives, as, for instance, in Muslim (no. 608), the word الصبح (morning [prayer]) have been reported as الفجر (ie. fajr [prayer]).

In some narratives, the sentence من أدرك من الصبح ركعة قبل أن تطلع الشمس (Whoever completes one rak'ahof his morning prayer before sunrise) has been reported as إذا أدرك سجدة من صلاة الصبح قبل أن تطلع الشمس (when one completes one sajdah of the morning prayer before sunrise), as, for instance, in Bukhārī (no. 531). A further addition in this variant text is made in Al- Nasā'ī (no. 516), which has further qualified the statementإذا أدرك سجدة من... (when one completes a sajdah of…) by rendering it as إذا أدرك أول سجدة من... (when one completes the first sajdah of…). Another variation of this part of the narrative is reported in Ahmad ibn Hanbal (no. 8042). According to this reporting, the Prophet (sws) said:

من صلى ركعة من الصبح ثم طلعت الشمس فليتم صلاته.

Whoever has offered a rak'ah of the morning prayer and then the sun rises [before he completes his prayer, he would be considered to have offered his prayer within the prescribed time.] He should, therefore, continue to complete his prayer.

As cited above, the phrase ثم طلعت الشمس (then the sun rises) have been reported in Ahmad ibn Hanbal (no. 8042), the same implication has been reported in Bayhaqī (no. 1652) with the words فطلعت (then it [the sun] rises).

A similar variation, as cited from Ahmad ibn Hanbal (no. 8042), is also found in Muslim (no. 608), with a further addition of a couple of words. Muslim (no. 608) is given below:

روي أنه قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من أدرك من العصر سجدة قبل أن تغرب الشمس أو من الصبح قبل أن تطلع فقد أدركها، والسجدة إنما هي الركعة.

It is narrated that the Prophet (sws) said: Whoever completes a sajdah of his 'asrprayer before the sun sets or [in the case] of the morning prayer, before the sun rises, he shall then have offered his prayer [within their prescribed time]. And it is the sajdah that completes the rak'ahduring prayer.

A more significant variation in the text of the narrative is reported in Al-Nasā'ī(no. 514), according to which, the Prophet (sws) said:

من أدرك ركعتين من صلاة العصر قبل أن تغرب الشمس أو ركعة من صلاة الصبح قبل أن تطلع الشمس فقد أدرك.

Whoever completes two rak'ahs of the 'asr prayers before the sun sets or a rak'ah [in the case] of the morning prayer before the sun rises, he shall then have offered his prayers [within their prescribed time].

The same variation is also reported in Ahmad ibn Hanbal (nos. 8569, 9920), Ibn Khuzaymah (no. 984), Al-Nasā'ī'sSunan al-Kubrā, (No. 1534), Musnad of Abū Ya'lā, (no. 6302). The stated variation in the text of the narrative, however, seems to be a mistake on the part of one or more of the narrators of this reporting.

The phrase قبل أن تطلع الشمس (before the sun rises) have alternatively been reported as قبل أن يطلع قرن الشمس الأول (before the first rays of the sun appear) in Al-Nasā'ī's Sunan Al-Kubrā.

The phrase فليتم صلاته (so, he should complete his prayer) has been reported Bukhārī (no. 531). The words فليتم صلاته (so, he should complete his prayer) have been replaced by the words فليصل إليها أخرى (so he should continue to complete the remaining part of his prayer) in Ahmad ibn Hanbal (no. 8551). While in Ahmad ibn Hanbal (no. 7215), the same meaning is implied by the phrase فصل عليها أخرى (then you should continue to complete the remaining part of the prayer).

The two phrases فقد أدرك الصبح (he would have offered his morning prayers [within the prescribed time]) and فقد أدرك العصر (he would have offered his 'Asr prayer [within the prescribed time]) have been replaced by لم تفته الصلاة(he would not have missed his prayer) in Ibn Hibbān (no. 1484).

The words قبل أن تغرب الشمس (before the sun sets) have alternatively been reported as قبل أن تغيب الشمس (before the sun disappears) in Al-Nasā'ī (no. 515).

The words والسجدة إنما هي الركعة (and it is the sajdah that completes the rak'ahduring prayer) have been reported in Muslim (no. 608).




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