Can the noon prayer be performed five minutes before the time period for the afternoon prayer starts?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

One of the fards of the prayer is its time. For instance, we cannot perform the noon prayer (zuhr) before the time for the noon prayer starts. The time for a prayer starts when its time period starts and ends when the time period for the next prayer starts. We can perform prayers between these two time periods. I will give you an original example. It may help you understand the issue better:

Suppose that you have delayed the noon prayer. The afternoon time is close. You have started to perform the noon prayer. The time for the afternoon prayer (asr) has started after you have prostrated for the first rak’ah. There are three more rak’ahs of the afternoon prayer. What should you do?  You should continue the prayer and perform the remaining three rak’ahs. For, the following is stated in a hadith: 

“Whoever could get one rak`ah of a prayer, (in its proper time) he has got the prayer."

Similarly, the time period for the evening prayer (maghrib) continues until the time for the night prayer (isha) starts. The evening prayer that is performed before the time period for the night prayer starts is valid. Even if a person has performed only one rak'ah of the evening prayer before the time period for the night prayer starts, he will complete the remaining two rak’ahs in time.  

However, the explanation above does not mean you can always perform prayers like that. If you have delayed prayer for any reason, you can perform it in the last minute so as not to miss it and perform it as qada later. A Muslim should try to perform prayers when the time periods for them start and not to delay them. 

It is necessary to perform prayers especially the morning (fajr) and afternoon prayers more carefully. It is makruh to perform prayers when the sun rises in the morning and when the sun sets in the evening so as not to resemble those who worship the sun. Therefore, it is necessary to complete the morning prayer one or two minutes before the sun rises and the afternoon prayer before the sun sets.

Questions on Islam

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