What does the prayer time observed by the prophets before you mean?

The Details of the Question

- Will you explain the following statement included in the hadith:
“This is the prayer time observed by the prophets before you; the prayer times are between the two times.”

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The full hadith narration in question is as follows:

Gabriel (Jibril) led me in prayer at the House (the Kaaba) two days.

On the first day, he led the noon prayer (zuhr) when the sun passed the meridian to the extent of the thong of a sandal, the afternoon prayer (asr) when the shadow of everything was as long as itself, the evening prayer (maghrib) when one who fasts breaks the fast, the night prayer (isha) when the twilight ended and the morning prayer (fajr) when food and drink become forbidden for one who fasts.

On the following day he prayed the noon prayer when the shadow of everything was as long as itself, the afternoon prayer when the shadow of everything was twice as long as itself, the evening prayer at the time when one who fasts breaks the fast, the night prayer (isha) when about the third of the night passed and the morning prayer when there was a fair amount of light. Then, he turned to me and said:

“O Muhammad! This is the prayer time observed by the prophets before you; the prayer times are between the two times. (Abu Dawud, Salah 393, Tirmidhi, Salah, 1)

Jibril led the evening prayer at the same time on both days, that is, immediately after the sunset because the time period for the evening prayer is short; it passes quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to perform it immediately before the stars appear.

Ibnul-Arabi makes the following comment about this hadith in his book “Aridatul-Ahwazi”:

It is understood from the apparent expression of the hadith that there were prayer times in the previous ummahs just like in the Islamic ummah but it is not like that. On the contrary, the meaning is as follows:

“My Messenger! The limits of the prayer times prescribed for you are wide / flexible, both at the beginning and at the end. The prayer times of the prophets before you were also wide and flexible on both sides. (The resemblance here is that the prayer times have broad limits). Although some ummahs shared some times, performing the prayer at these times is peculiar to this ummah. (see Tuhfatul-Ahwazi, 1/397)

According to some scholars, the resemblance here relates only to the time when the night prayer - the last one mentioned in the hadith - is performed after being delayed. The common aspect is this: It is permissible for the Islamic ummah to delay the night prayer until two-thirds of the night pass; similarly, the same thing holds true for the previous ummahs. (see Munawi, Faydul-Qadir, 1/554)

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