Permissible Solāt When Otherwise Forbidden
Nāfil prayers that it is permissible to do at times when prayer is otherwise forbidden
By Shaikh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymīn
Does the prohibition of praying after Fajar and ‘Asar includes all the prayers, or there prayers which it is permissible to do at these times?
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. There is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.
There is three times during which the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would forbid us from performing our prayers.
1. Abu Sa‘id Al-Khudri (radiallāhu‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“There is no prayer after ‘Asar prayer until the sun has set and there is no prayer after Fajar prayer until the sun has risen.”
[Al-Bukhari (1197) and Muslim (827]
2. On another occasion, on the authority of ‘Uqbah Ibn ‘Amr al-Juhany (radiallāhu`anhu) who said:
"There are three times during which the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would forbid us from performing our prayers or burying our deceased, when the sun starts to rise until it has fully risen, when it is at its meridian, and when the sun starts setting until it has completely set" .
[Muslim, al-Nasā’ie, Abu Dawud and others]
The words “There is no prayer” include all prayers, but some of the solāh are excluded on the basis of texts while others are excluded according to scholarly consensus and that includes:
1. Repeating the prayer in congregation, such as when a person prays Fajar in his masjid, then goes to another masjid and finds them praying Fajar, then he may offer the prayer with them, and there is no sin or prohibition on him.
The evidence for that is that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prayed Fajar in Mina one day, and when he completed he saw two men who had not prayed with him, and asked them, “Why did you not pray?” They said: We prayed in our camp. He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “If you have prayed in your camp then you come to the masjid of the congregation then pray with them.” This was after Solat Fajar.
2. When a person has done tawaf around the Ka’abah.
It is Sunnah to pray a two raka’ahs after tawaf behind Maqam Ibrāhim. If he does tawaf after Fajar prayer, he may pray a two raka’ahs for tawaf. The evidence of that are the words of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
“O Banu ‘Abd Manaf, do not prevent anyone from circumambulating this House or praying here at any time they want, night or day.”
Some of the scholars quoted this verse as evidence that when a person has done tawaf he may offer a two rak’ahs even at times when prayer is prohibited.
3. If a person enters the masjid on a Friday when the khātib is delivering the khutbah and if that is when the sun is at its zenith. It is permissible to pray Tahiyyat al-Masjid (salutation of the masjid).
The evidence is sahih hadith narrated from Jabir Ibn Abdullah (radiallāhu`anhu) who said: "Sulayk Al-Ghatafani entered the masjid on Friday while the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was delivering Khutbah then he sat down.
The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Did you pray?” He said: No. He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said "O! Sulayk stand up and pray two Raka’ahs and do not recite much in them (make them brief) ". Then he (the Prophet Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "If any of you comes to the masjid on Friday while the Imām is delivering the Khutbah, he prays two Raka’ahs without lengthening them".
4. When entering the masjid.
If a person enters the masjid after Fajar prayer or after ‘Asar prayer, he should not sit down until he has prayed two raka’ahs, because there is a reason for this prayer.
5. Solar eclipse.
If the sun is eclipsed after ‘Asar prayer, we say: The eclipse prayer is Sunnah, so he should offer the eclipse prayer. But if we say that the eclipse prayer is obligatory, then the matter is clear, because there is no time at all when an obligatory prayer is forbidden.
6. After taking wudhu’
If a person does wudhu’, it is permissible for him to pray two raka’ahs at a time when prayer is otherwise forbidden, because there is a reason for this prayer.
7. Solāt Istikhārah.
If a person wants to pray istikharah and ask Allāh for guidance concerning a decision, he should pray two raka’ahs, then recite the duā’ of istikharah. If he is faced with a matter that he cannot delay, he may pray Istikharah concerning it at a time when prayer is otherwise forbidden. That is permissible.
8. Solāt al-Tawbah.
The two raka’ahs of repentance constitute a prayer for which there is a reason, so it is permissible to do it at a time when prayer is otherwise not allowed. It is mustahab to offer this prayer when the Muslim has decided to repent from the sin that he has committed, whether this repentance comes immediately after committing the sin or later on. This prayer is prescribed at all times including times when prayer is disallowed (such as after ‘Asar prayer), because it is one of the prayers that are done for a reason, so it is prescribed when the reason for it is present.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: Prayers which are done for a reason, such as the prostration of recitation, greeting the masjid, the eclipse prayer, prayer immediately after purifying oneself, as mentioned in the hadith of Bilal bin Rabab, and Solah Istikharah should not be delayed if the reason comes up at a time when prayer is disallowed, because delaying them may cause one to miss them, such as if the one who is praying istikharah may miss the thing concerning which he is seeking guidance if he delays the prayer. The same applies to the prayer of repentance. If a person commits a sin, then it is obligatory to repent straight away, and it is recommended for him to pray a two raka’ahs, and then repent, as it says in the hadith of Abu Bakar al-Siddiq(radiallāhu`anhu).
Abu Bakar al-Siddiq (radiallāhu`anhu) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say:
‘There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well and stands and asks Allāh for forgiveness, but Allāh will forgive him. Then he recited this verse (Al-‘Imran, 3:135): ‘And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allāh and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allāh — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know’.
[Narrated by al-Tirmidzi, 408; Abu Dawud, 1521; Ibn Mājah, 1395; classified as sahih by al-Albāni in Sahih Abu Dawud, 1346]
In other sahih reports there are other descriptions of the two raka’ahs solāh which expiate for sin. This may be summed up as follows:
There is no one who does wudhū’ and does it well (because sins come out from the washed limbs with the water or with the last drop of water). Part of doing wudhu’ well is to say Bismillāh (In the name of Allāh) before starting it, and reciting dzikir after it, as follows:
“Ashhadu an lā ilāha ill-Allāh wahdahu lā sharīka lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasūluh. Allāhumma aj’alni min al-tawwābīna waj’alni min al-mutatahharin. Subhānaka Allāhumma wa bi hamdika, ashhadu an lā ilāha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk”
(I bear witness that there is no god but Allāh alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. O Allāh, make me one of those who repent and make me one of the purified. Glory and praise be to You, O Allāh, I bear witness that there is no god but You, I seek Your forgiveness and I repent to You).
This dzikir recited after wudhū’ brings a great reward.
Then he gets up and prays two raka’ahs; without making make any mistake; without allowing his mind to wander; And he remembers Allāh and focuses with proper humility; and then he seeks Allāh to forgiven him
The outcome will be: that he is forgiven for his previous sins and will deserve Paradise.
[Sahih al-Targhīb, 1/210-211]
The above hadith which indicates, “There is no prayer after Solah Fajar and there is no prayer after Solah ‘Asar” is a specific prohibition; but it is exempted, or permissible for prayers offered with reasons as stipulated above.
What I have mentioned is the views of Al-Shafi’e (rahimahullāh) and one of the two views narrated from Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh), as well as being the view favored by Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullāh) and it is the correct view, because there is no prohibition on the prayers for which there is a reason.”
[Majmu’ Fatawa al-Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymīn (14/344]
Akad Nikah after ‘Asar in the Masjid
The provision of “There is no prohibition on the prayers for which there is a reason” refers to the eight reasons stated above. The Sunnah of Marriage (Sunnat al-Zawāj) does not fall into that category though it might be qiyas it as an nāfil prayer for which there is a reason.
The offering of the Sunnat al-Zawāj after ‘Akad Nikah’, is normally done as a righteous deed by a grateful and an obedience slave of Allāh of His Blessing and the good has been bestowed him.
The Nikah is permitted to be solemnized after ‘Asar. But not the solāt Sunnah of Marriage; it is not permissible as evidence of the above Hadith that prohibited to offer any solāt after ‘Asar and Solat Fajar. Thus, it is suffice to offer du’a and better to bring forward the solāt Sunnah of Marriage after Maghrib if one still wish to do it since the period between after ‘Asar and before maghrib is forbidden to pray. But, one should perform the Tahiyatul Masjid upon entering the Masjid, as it is incumbent to do so before sitting down regardless of the time forbidden.
Some scholars regarded it as mustahabb to offer prayer of two raka‘ahs before consummating the marriage with the wife, but it is not narrated in the Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam). Rather, it is narrated that some of the Sahābah (radiallāhu`anhum) did it. It is known as Sunnat al-Zawāj (the Sunnah of Marriage), and it is offered after solemnization (Akad Nikah) before consummation.
Abu Sa‘īd, the freed slave of Abu Usayd, reported: “I got married when I was a slave, and I invited some of the Companions of the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam), among whom were Abdullah Ibn Mas‘ūd, Abu Dharr and Hudhayfah (radiallāhu`anhum). And they taught me and said: ‘When your wife enters upon you, pray two raka‘ahs, then ask Allāh, Almighty, for the good of what has been entered upon you and seek refuge with Him from its evil, then go ahead and approach your wife’.” [Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf (3/401) and ‘Abdul-Razzāq in al-Musannaf (6/191). Shaykh al-Albāni (Rahimallāh) said: Its isnaad to Abu Sa‘īd is sahīh.]
[See Adāb al-Zafāf, p. 22]
[Excerpted with modification from Islam Q&A]