Prayer Times | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei
Q 344: What is the proof on which the Shiah rely concerning the times of daily obligatory prayers? As you know, at the beginning time of the isha Sunnis say that the maghrib prayer has lapsed and has become qada; and so is the case with the noon and the afternoon prayer. Accordingly, they believe that when the time of the isha prayers begins and the imam stands up to perform it, the person who prays behind him cannot perform the maghrib prayer with him in order to perform both prayers side by side.
A: The proof is represented by the generality of Quranic verses and the noble Sunnah in addition to the traditions that specifically indicate the permissibility of performing such prayers together. Moreover, Sunnis also have some traditions that prove the permissibility of performing the two prayers during the time of one of them.
Q 345: Keeping in mind that the time of the afternoon prayer ends at sunset and the time of the noon prayer ends a little before sunset when there is just enough time to perform the afternoon prayer, I would like to ask what is meant by “sunset”? Is it the setting of the sun or when the adhan of maghrib prayer is said (according to the local horizon)?
A: The time for the afternoon prayer ends upon the disappearance of the sun.
Q 346: How many minutes is the time gap between sunset and the time for adhan of maghrib?
A: Apparently, it varies with the change of the seasons of the year.
Q 347: Since I work until late at night I cannot return home before 11 p.m. and it is not possible for me to perform the maghrib and isha prayers while working due to the large number of clients. Is it correct to perform the maghrib prayer and the isha after 11 p.m.?
A: There is no problem in it insofar as it does not entail their postponement beyond midnight. But try to perform them no later than 11p.m., rather offer prayer as soon as its time begins if possible.
Q 348: For our prayer to be considered as ada and make it possible for us to perform it with ada intention, at least how much of the prayer should be done at its proper time? And what is the rule in the case of doubt as to whether that portion has been performed within the time or not?
A: Performing a single rakah of the prayer at the end of its time is sufficient for considering that it is ada, and if you doubt whether the time is enough for performing at least one rakah or not, you will perform the prayer with the intention of your real duty.
Q 349: The embassies and consulates of the Islamic Republic of Iran based in other countries have prepared a timetable for the designation of shari times in major areas and cities. My question is that, to what extent are these timetables reliable?
A: The criterion is the certainty of the mukallaf and if he is not convinced about the correspondence of these timetables with reality, it will be obligatory for him to observe caution and wait till he is sure that the shari time has set in.
Q 350: What is your opinion on the issue of the true fajr and the false fajr? What is the duty of the praying person in this regard?
A: The shari criterion with respect to the time of praying and fasting is true fajr, and its determination is the task of the mukallaf.
Q 351: In a full-time secondary school, the authorities conduct noon and aṣr prayers in congregation at 2 p.m., shortly before the start of the afternoon classes. The reason for the delay is that the morning session ends 45 minutes before the shari noon and keeping students till the shari timing of noon is difficult. Having this in mind, what is your esteemed opinion, given the importance of performing prayer at the beginning of its time?
A: There is no problem in delaying congregational prayer so that those who want to perform prayer can gather assuming they are at school when prayer time begins.
Q 352: Is it obligatory to perform noon prayers after the adhan of noon and aṣr prayers when its time has arrived, and to do the same with respect to maghrib and isha prayers?
A: After the time arrives, the mukallaf has the choice either to perform the two prayers together successively or to perform, each at its prescribed most excellent time of virtue.
Q 353: Is it obligatory to wait for 15 to 20 minutes for performing morning prayer during moonlit nights? Given that the time of prayer could be determined by clocks and it is possible, then, to obtain certainty concerning the occurrence of the fajr?
A: There is no difference between nights, moonlit or otherwise, as regards fajr arrival, the time of morning obligatory prayer, and the obligatory time of abstinence for fasting, though it would be good to observe caution in this regard.
Q 354: Is the amount of difference of the shari times among various provinces, which is caused by the difference of their horizons, the same with respect to the time of all three daily obligatory prayers? For example, suppose that the difference between the noon prayer timings of two provinces is 25 minutes. Does this difference remain with respect to other timings and is it the same amount? Or does it vary for the timings of morning, maghrib and isha prayers?
A: The sole similarity of the amount of difference between them with respect to the occurrence of fajr, noon, or sunset does not necessarily imply similarity with regard to all the other timings. Rather, the amount of difference between various cities often differs in relation to the three praying times.
Q 355: Given that Sunnis perform maghrib prayer before shari maghrib, is it permissible for us to perform prayers behind them during hajj season and at other times? Do these prayers suffice?
A: It is not certain that their performance of prayer is before the arrival of its time. Joining them in their congregational prayer and praying behind them do not involve any problem and it is sufficient. However, it is necessary to wait for the specified time of prayer to arrive unless the time issue is also a matter of dissimulation.
Q 356: The sun rises in Denmark and Norway at 4 a.m. and sets at 23 p.m. Then by adding the time for morning payer and the gap between sunset and maghrib, the time for fast comes to about 22 hours. What is my duty with respect to performing prayers and fasting?
A: It is obligatory to observe the particular horizon of that area as far as the timing of daily prayers and fasting are concerned. If fasting is impossible or causes unbearable hardship due to the length of the day, it will cease to be obligatory in its time, and instead, it should be performed later as qada.
Q 357: The sunlight reaches the earth in about 7 minutes. Which one is the criterion for determining the end of the time of morning prayer: sunrise or when the sunlight reaches the earth?
A: The criterion of sunrise is its visibility on the local horizon of the praying person.
Q 358: Shari timings are announced by mass media a day before. Is it permissible to rely on these announcements and consider the broadcast or the telecast of adhan as the basis for the arrival of prayer time?
A: If the mukallaf becomes confident about the beginning of the time by this means, he can rely on it.
Q 359: Does the time of prayer start as soon as adhan begins to be recited, or is it obligatory to wait till adhan is over? And is it permissible for a fasting person to end his fast as soon as adhan begins or is it obligatory for him to wait until it ends?
A: If one is certain that adhan started when the time arrived, it is not necessary to wait until its end.
Q 360: Is the prayer of someone who has performed the second of two prayers before the first — such as the isha before the maghrib — correct?
A: In case that he performed the second prayer first by mistake or unintentionally and he remembered only when he had completed the prayer, then it is correct. But if he did so intentionally, it is invalid.
Q 361: Does the time of the afternoon prayer extend until the adhan of maghrib or does it end just at sunset? Also what is the exact time of shari midnight regarding isha prayer and passing the night at Mina in hajj?
A: The end limit of the time of the afternoon prayer is sunset. For calculating shari midnight, one should consider the length of the night from sunset till fajr.
Q 362: What is the duty of the person who becomes aware during the afternoon prayer that he had not performed noon prayer?
A: If he starts saying the afternoon prayer thinking that he had prayed the noon prayer and during the prayer he notices his mistake, then if that happened at the time which is common between noon and afternoon prayers, he should, immediately, change his intention to the noon prayer and finish it and, then, perform the afternoon prayer. If that happens at the specific time of the noon prayer [which starts at noon time and last until it is enough for offering noon prayer, i.e. enough for four rakahs for the resident person and two rakahs for.