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Performing A Salaah Before The Time Sets In

Question

I noticed that in our prayer room in hospital some brothers offer Asr salah (around 13:45) immediately after Dhur salah although the timing of Asr salah has not set in according to Hanafi school. 

Their explanation is: 

1. Islam is not making life difficult, 

2. If they get stuck seeing patients then they may miss the Asr salah. 

It is worthy to mention that according to Hanafi school of thought the earliest Asr time today was 14:06 in Nottingham, UK and everyday the beginning of Asr time is getting earlier 2-3 minutes. 

I would like to have comprehensive reference based fatwa if possible. 

Answer

Allah Ta’aala mentions in the Quraan:

ان الصلوة كانت على المومنين كتابا موقوتا

Verily Salaah has been fixed upon the believers at its appointed time.

We have quoted a lengthy Hadith of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam below wherein Jibraeel  had personally led
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam in Salaah indicating the times of Salaah.

Ibn Abbas Radiallahu Anhu narrates that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is reported to have said, “Jibraeel Alayhi Assalaam had led me in Salaah twice by the house (Kaa’bah), he lead me in Zuhr Salaah when the sun moved away from the Zenith equivalent to the (amount) of a shoelace, then he lead me in Asr Salaah when the shadow of every (object) was once its length, then he led me in Maghrib Salaah when the fasting people made Iftaar (broke their fast), then he led me in Esha Salaah when the evening glow/twilight had disappeared, then he lead me in Fajr (at such a time) when food and drink had become unlawful for the fasting person, then the next day he led me in Zuhr when the shadow of every object was (equal) to the object in length, he then led me in Asr when the shadow of every object was double its length, then he led me in Maghrib when the fasting person made Iftaar then he led me in Esha when one third of the night had elapsed, then he led me in Fajr when it was bright, he then turned to me and said, “O Muhammad, Verily the time between these two times was the time of the Ambiya Alayhi Assalaam before you.”

Now coming to the claim of your colleagues that Islam is not difficult therefore they may perform Salaah at any time, this claim is totally baseless. If one was free to perform Salaah at any time then why did Allah  mention that the times of Salaah are fixed? What was the need for Jibraeel Alayhi Assalaam to descend and practically demonstrate Salaah to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and then inform him of the appropriate times which was adopted by the previous Ambiya Alayhi Assalaam?

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is reported to have said that AllahTa’aala says, “I have made five Salaah obligatory upon your Ummat, and I take a pledge that verily whosoever protects his five daily Salaah by discharging them on their appointed time, then I will enter him into Jannah…
(Ibn Majah)

This Hadith of Ibn Majah also makes mention of discharging one’s Salaah on its appointed time. It is therefore totally incorrect to perform Salaah prior to its appointed time or delay it till after its time using the excuse of attending to patients. Yes, if there is a situation where the patient is so ill that if he is not attended then there is a possibility of losing one’s life (and there are no other doctors available to attend to the patient) then the doctor may delay his Salaah, but under normal circumstances Salaah should be performed during its appointed times. Also, one should bear in mind that Asr Salaah performed in Zuhr time is invalid as the time of Asr Salaah hasn’t entered as yet thus the Salaah has to be repeated when Asr time sets in.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

ان الصلوة كانت على المومنين كتابا موقوتا

: – أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال ( قال الله عز و جل افترضت على أمتك خمس صلوات . وعهدت عندي عهدا أنه من حافظ عليهن لوقتهن أدخلته الجنة . ومن لم يحافظ عليهن فلا عهد له عندي )
(ابن ماجه) 

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