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Rules of Namaz » Prayers that must be performed in order → ← Rules of Namaz » The time for the morning (ṣubḥ) prayer

Rules of Namaz » Laws relating to the time of prayers

Ruling 729. One can start performing prayers when he attains certainty (yaqīn) that the time has set in or when two just men inform him that the time has set in. In fact, one can conclude that the time for the morning prayer has set in if he hears the adhān said by someone whom he knows is extremely careful in observing the time of prayers, or if he is informed by such a person, provided that he derives confidence (iṭmiʾnān) from it.

Ruling 730. If due to a personal impediment, such as blindness or being imprisoned, a person cannot perform prayers at the start of their prescribed time on account of being unable to attain certainty in the time having set in, he must delay his prayers until he is certain or confident that the time has set in. The same applies, based on obligatory precaution, if the impediment to one attaining certainty in the time having set in is due to non-personal hindrances, such as clouds, dust, or similar things.

Ruling 731. If through one of the ways that were mentioned previously it becomes established for someone that the time for prayers has set in and he starts to perform his prayer, and during the prayer he realises that the time has not set in yet, his prayer is invalid. The same applies if he realises after the prayer that he performed the entire prayer before the time had set in. However, if during the prayer he realises that the time has set in, or, if he realises after the prayer that during the prayer the time had set in, his prayer is valid.

Ruling 732. If a person is unaware of the fact that he must be certain that the time for prayers has set in and he starts performing the prayer, in the event that after the prayer he realises that he had performed the entire prayer within its time, his prayer is valid. However, if he realises that he performed the prayer before the time had set in, or, if he does not know whether he had performed the prayer within its time or before it, his prayer is invalid. In fact, if he realises after the prayer that the time had set in during the prayer, he must perform that prayer again.

Ruling 733. If a person is certain that the time has set in and starts his prayer, and during the prayer he doubts whether the time has set in or not, his prayer is invalid. However, if during the prayer he was certain that the time had set in and doubts after completing the prayer whether the prayer he performed was within the time or not, his prayer is valid.

Ruling 734. If the time remaining for prayers is so little that by performing some of the recommended (mustaḥabb) acts of the prayer a part of the prayer would have to be performed after its prescribed time, one must not perform those recommended acts. For example, if by performing qunūt(1) a part of the prayer would have to be performed after its prescribed time, he must not perform qunūt. Furthermore, if he does perform that recommended act, his prayer is valid only if at least one rakʿah of it was performed within the prescribed time.

Ruling 735. Someone who has time to perform one rakʿah of the prayer must perform the prayer with the intention of adāʾ; however, he must not intentionally delay the prayer until this time.

Ruling 736. If someone who is not a traveller has time until sunset to perform five rakʿahs, he must perform the ẓuhr and ʿaṣr prayers in sequence; and if he has less time than this, he must first perform the ʿaṣr prayer and thereafter the ẓuhr prayer with the intention of qaḍāʾ. Similarly, if one has time until midnight to perform five rakʿahs, he must perform the maghrib and ʿishāʾ prayers in sequence; and if he has less time than this, he must first perform the ʿishāʾ prayer and thereafter the maghrib prayer without making the intention of adāʾ or qaḍāʾ.

Ruling 737. If someone who is a traveller has time until sunset to perform three rakʿahs, he must perform the ẓuhr and ʿaṣr prayers in sequence; and if he has less time than this, he must first perform the ʿaṣr prayer and thereafter the ẓuhr prayer with the intention of qaḍāʾ. If a person has time until midnight to perform four rakʿahs, he must perform the maghrib and ʿishāʾ prayers in sequence; and if he has time to perform only three rakʿahs, he must first perform the ʿishāʾ prayer and then the maghrib prayer so that he has performed one rakʿah of the maghrib prayer within its time. If he has time for less than three rakʿahs, he must first perform the ʿishāʾ prayer and thereafter the maghrib prayer without making the intention of adāʾ or qaḍāʾ; and in the event that after performing the ʿishāʾ prayer he realises that there is still time until midnight for one or more rakʿahs, he must immediately perform the maghrib prayer with the intention of adāʾ.

Ruling 738. It is recommended that one performs prayers at the start of their prescribed time; this is something that has been highly advised. The nearer to the start of the prescribed time, the better, unless delaying the prayer is better for some reason; for example, someone waits a little while in order to perform the prayer in congregation, on condition that it does not pass the prime time (waqt al-faḍīlah).(2)

Ruling 739. Whenever someone has a legitimate excuse (ʿudhr) that obliges him to perform his prayer with dry ablution (tayammum), if he wants to perform his prayer at the start of its prescribed time, then, in the event that he is not hopeful of his excuse expiring, or he deems it probable that even if he delays performing tayammum he will still be unable [to perform his prayer with ablution (wuḍūʾ)], in such a case, he can perform tayammum at the start of its prescribed time and perform his prayer. However, if he is hopeful, he must wait until his excuse expires or until he loses hope; and in the event that his excuse does not expire, he must perform his prayer at the end of its prescribed time. Furthermore, it is not necessary that he wait until he has time to perform only the obligatory acts of the prayer; rather, if he has time, he can perform tayammum and perform his prayer with the recommended acts, such as adhān, the call to stand for prayer (iqāmah), and qunūt. In the case of excuses other than those for which one can perform tayammum, even if one is hopeful that the excuse will expire, it is permitted to perform prayers at the start of their prescribed time; however, in the event that the excuse expires within the prescribed time, it is necessary to repeat the prayer in some cases.

Ruling 740. If someone does not know the rulings (masāʾil) of prayers and cannot perform prayers correctly without learning the rulings, or, if he does not know what to do about doubts that arise in prayers (shakkiyāt) and about acts that are inadvertently left out (sahwiyāt), and if he deems it probable that one of these issues will arise in his prayer and on account of not learning the rulings he will not perform an obligatory act or he will commit an unlawful act, then in these cases, he must delay his prayer from the start of its prescribed time in order to learn the rulings. However, if he begins to perform his prayer at the start of its prescribed time with the hope that he will perform it correctly, and if during the prayer a problem for which he does not know the rule does not arise, his prayer is valid. However, if a problem for which he does not know the rule arises, it is permitted for him to act according to the more probable of two possibilities [concerning what he thinks the correct ruling is] in the hope that his responsibility is fulfilled, and to complete the prayer. And after the prayer, he must find out about the ruling; if his prayer was invalid he must perform it again, and if it was valid it is not necessary for him to repeat it.

Ruling 741. If there is ample time for prayers and a creditor asks to be paid what he is owed, one must first pay his debt and then perform his prayer, if this is possible. Similarly, if some other obligation arises that must be performed immediately ‒ for example, one sees that the mosque has become impure (najis) ‒ he must first purify the mosque and then perform his prayer. In both cases, in the event that he first performs his prayer, he commits a sin but his prayer is valid.

(1) This is the act of reciting one or more supplications with the hands placed in front of the face.
(2) This refers to the early period of the prescribed time for a prayer during which there is more reward for performing it.
Rules of Namaz » Prayers that must be performed in order → ← Rules of Namaz » The time for the morning (ṣubḥ) prayer
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