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Opinions of the Jurists  Concerning Prayer After the Morning and Night Prayers 

Feb 4, 2022, 1:09 PM

Most scholars agree that one can make up missed prayers after the morning or afternoon prayers. This is based on the Prophet’s words, “If someone forgets the prayer, he should pray it when he remembers it.” (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) 

Concerning voluntary prayers, the following companions disliked such prayers during those times: ‘Ali, Ibn Mas’ud, Abu Hurairah and Ibn ‘Umar. ‘Umar used to beat those who offered two rak’ah after the afternoon prayers (in the presence of other companions), and was not rebuked. Khalid ibn al-Waleed also used to do this. Those tabi’een who disliked such prayers were al-Hassan and Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyab. Abu Hanifah and Malik also hated such prayers. Ash-Sahfi reasoned that prayers at such times are allowable if the person has a reason for that prayer (the prayer of salutation to the mosque, or the prayers after one performs the ablution, and so on). He uses as a proof the fact that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, prayed the two noon sunnah rak’ah after the afternoon prayers. The Hanbaliyyah say that it is forbidden to pray during such times even if one has a reason to do so, except in the case of the two rak’ah for the circumambulation of the Ka’bah. This is based on the hadith from Jabir ibn Mut’am that the Prophet said, “O tribe of ‘Abd Manat, do not prevent anyone from circumambulating this house (the Ka’bah) or from praying therein at any time they wish.” 

As to the authenticity of the report, it is related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, at-Tirmizhi and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmizhi and Ibn Khuzaimah called it sahih. 

About Praying at Sunrise, Sunset and While the Sun is at its Meridian 

The Hanifiyyah are of the opinion that prayer during such times is not valid, regardless of whether the prayer was obligatory or voluntary, or if one was making up a prayer or fulfilling a requirement. But, they make an exception for the afternoon prayer of that particular day and the funeral prayer (if the funeral is at any of these times, the funeral prayer is still to be made). They also permit the prostration in response to Qur’anic recitation if the respective verses were recited at such times. Abu Yusuf also makes an exception for voluntary prayers on Friday while the sun is at its meridian. The Shariyyah say that voluntary prayers which are not offered for a particular reason are disliked at such times. Obligatory prayers, voluntary prayers because of some occasion, voluntary prayers on Friday when the sun is at its meridian and the prayer of the circumambulation of the Ka’bah are all permissible at such times without any disliked aspects. The Malikiyyah say that voluntary prayers during sunrise and sunset are forbidden, even if there is some occasion for them. The same applies to a prayer that was vowed, prostration owing to Qur’anic recitation, and the funeral prayer (unless they fear some decay or alteration in the deceased). But they always allow prayer, voluntary or obligatory, at the time when the sun is at its meridian. Al-Baji wrote in his commentary to al-Muwatta, “In al-Mubsut it is related from Ibn Wahb that Malik was asked about praying at mid-day and he said, ‘I found the people praying at mid-day of Friday. Some hadith do not consider it desirable (to pray at such times), but I do not stop the people from praying. I do not like to pray at that time because it is not desirable to do so.” The Hanbaliyyah say that no voluntary prayers should be made during such times, regardless of whether or not there is a reason for such prayers, and regardless of whether it is Friday or not, save for the prayer of salutations to the mosque on Friday (they allow this without any dislike for it while the sun is at its meridian or while the imam is making his address). They also say that the funeral prayer is forbidden at that time, unless there is a fear of alteration or decay in the corpse. They allow the making up of missed prayers, the vowed prayers and the prayer of the circumambulation of the Ka’bah (even if it is voluntary) at any of these three times. 

Voluntary Prayer at Dawn Before the Morning Prayer 

Yasar, the client of Ibn ‘Umar, said, “Ibn ‘Umar saw me while I was praying after the dawn had begun, and he said, ‘The Messenger of Allah came to us while we were praying at this time and he said, ‘Let your witness reach those who are absent that there is no prayer after (the beginning of) the dawn except two rak’ah.” 

As to its place in the corpus of hadith, it is recorded by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. Although the hadith is weak, its numerous chains strengthen each other. 

We can conclude from this that it is disliked to make voluntary prayers beyond the two sunnah rak’ah after the dawn has begun. This was stated by ash-Shaukani. Al-Hassan, ash-Shaifi, and Ibn Hazm say voluntary prayers are permissible at that time without any aspect of dislike. Malik openly allowed prayers during that time for those who missed the voluntary prayers during the night due to some excuse. It is mentioned that it reached him that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad, and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Aamar ibn Rabi’ah would pray the witr prayer after the dawn had begun. Said ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, “It does not bother me if they make the iqamah (the second call) to prayer while I am praying witr.” Yahya ibn Sa’eed reported, “ ‘Ibadah ibn as-Samit was the imam for the people. One day he went to the morning prayer and the caller to prayer made the iqamah for the prayer. ‘Ibadah kept quiet until he prayed the witr prayer and then he led them in the morning prayer.” Sa’eed ibn Jubair reported that Ibn ‘Abbas slept (one night), woke up and told his servant, “Look to see what the people are doing.” (By that time he had lost his eyesight). The servant returned and told him that they were dispersing from the morning prayer. Ibn ‘Abbas then stood, prayed witr and prayed the morning prayer. 

Voluntary Prayers while the Iqamah Is Being Made 

If the prayer has already started, it is disliked to preoccupy one’s self with voluntary prayers. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “If the prayer is beginning, there is no prayer save the obligatory one.” In another narration it states, “Save for the one for which iqamah has been made.” (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmizhi, an-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.) 

Reported ‘Abdullah ibn Sarjis, “A man entered the mosque while the Prophet was leading the morning prayer. The man prayed two rak’ah at the side of the mosque and then entered (the congregation) behind the Messenger of Allah. When the Prophet had finished the prayer he said, ‘O so and so, which of the two prayers do you count --the one you prayed by yourself or the one you prayed with us?” (Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa’i.) The Messenger objected to this act, but he did not order him to repeat his prayer. This shows that such a prayer is valid but disliked. Reported Ibn ‘Abbas, “I was praying while the caller to prayer was making the iqamah. The Messenger of Allah pulled me and said, ‘Do you pray four rak’ah for the morning (obligatory) prayer?” The hadith is related by al-Baihaqi, at-Tabarani, Abu Dawud, at-Tayalisi and al-Hakim, who said it is sahih according to the criterion of al-Bukhari and Muslim. Abu Musa al-Ash’ari related that the Prophet saw a man praying two rak’ah of the morning prayer while the caller to prayer was making the (second) call. The Prophet touched his elbow and said, “Shouldn’t this be before that?” (Related by at-Tabarani. Al-’Iraqi says it is good.) 

To be continued