Prayer and its rules Part 2

- The obligatory precaution is that as long as the redness in the eastern sky appearing after sunset has not passed overhead, Maghrib Prayer should not be performed. 

Prayer and its rules Part 2

Time for Maghrib and Isha prayers

- The obligatory precaution is that as long as the redness in the eastern sky appearing after sunset has not passed overhead, Maghrib Prayer should not be performed. 

- In normal circumstances, the prescribed time for Maghrib and Isha prayers is till midnight. But if forgetfulness, oversleeping or being in Hayz and similar unusual situations prevent one from performing the prayers till midnight, then for them the time will continue till Fajr sets in. 
In all the cases, Maghrib must be prayed before Isha, and if one contradicts their sequence purposely or knowingly, the Prayer will be void. However, if the time left over is just enough for Isha prayers to be offered within time, then Isha will precede Maghrib prayers. 

- If a person offers Isha prayers before Maghrib prayers by mistake and takes notice of this after completing the prayers, his prayers will be valid, and then he should offer Maghrib prayers after it. 

- If a person begins Isha prayers by mistake before Maghrib prayers and realizes during the prayers that he has made an error, and if he has not yet gone into Ruku of the 4th Rak'at he should turn his Niyyat to Maghrib prayers and complete the prayers. Thereafter he will offer Isha prayers. However, if he has entered Ruku of the 4th Rak'at he can continue to complete the Isha prayers and thereafter pray Maghrib. 

- In normal circumstances, the end of the time for Isha prayers is midnight; and the night will be calculated from dawn (Subh-e-Sadiq). 

- If a person in normal circumstances does not offer Maghrib or Isha prayers till after midnight, he should, as an obligatory precaution, offer the prayers in question before the dawn prayers, without making a Niyyat of Ada (i.e. in time) or Qadha (i.e. after the lapse of time). 

Time for Fajr prayer

- Just before dawn a column of whiteness rises upwards from the east. It is called the first dawn. When this whiteness spreads, it is called the second dawn, and the Prime time for Subh prayers. The time for Subh prayers is until sunrise. 

Rules regarding Prayer times

- A person can start offering prayers only when he becomes certain that the time has set in or when two just (Adil) persons inform that the time has set in. In fact, one can rely upon the Adhan, or on advice of a person who knows the timings and is reliable. 

- If a person cannot be certain about the Prime time for prayers due to a personal handicap like blindness or being in the prison cell, he should delay the prayer till such time when he feels sure that the time has set in. And as an obligatory precaution, he should act the same way when there are general hindrances like dust or clouds. 

- If a person is satisfied on the basis of any one of the above methods that the time for prayers has set in and he begins offering prayers, but then realizes during the prayers that the time has not yet set in, his prayer is void. And the position is the same if he realizes after the prayers that he has offered the entire prayers before time. However, if one learns as he prays that the time has just entered or if he learns after the prayers that the time entered while he was in the process of praying, his Prayer will be valid. 

- If a person is heedless of the fact that he should pray after ensuring that the time has set in, and if he realizes after the prayers that he had offered the entire prayers in time, his prayer is in order. And if he realizes that he had offered his prayers before time or does not realize whether he had offered the prayers within time or not, his prayers will be void. In fact, if he realizes after offering prayers that the time for prayers had set in while he was praying, he should offer that prayers again. 

- If a person was certain that the time for prayers had set in, and began offering prayers but while praying, he doubted whether or not the time for it had actually set in, his prayers would be void. However, if he is certain while offering prayers that the time for it has set in, but doubts whether what he has already performed in the prayer, has been in time or not, his prayer is valid. 

- If the time left for Prayer is so little that if we perform some Mustahab acts of the prayers, an obligatory part of the prayers will fall beyond the prescribed time, one should not perform those Mustahab acts. For example, if on account of reciting qunut a part of the prayers will lapse beyond time, one should do without qunut.

- If the time at the disposal of a person is sufficient for performing one Rak'at only he should offer the prayers with the Niyyat of Ada, i.e. offering the same in time. However, one should not delay offering prayers intentionally. 

- If a person who is not a traveler has at his disposal time for offering five Rak'ats till sunset he should offer both Zuhr and Asr prayers. And if he has less time than that he should offer only Asr prayers, and thereafter he should give Qadha of Zuhr prayers. Similarly if he has sufficient time up to midnight for offering five Rak'ats, he should offer Maghrib and Isha prayers and if he has less time than that he should offer only Isha prayers and then offer Maghrib prayers, without making a Niyyat of Ada (i.e. being in time) or Qadha. 

- If a person who is a traveler has sufficient time at his disposal till sunset for offering three Rak'ats he should offer Zuhr and Asr prayers and if he has lesser time than that, he should offer only Asr prayers and then offer Qadha of Zuhr prayers. And if he has time enough for offering 4 Rak'ats till midnight he should offer Maghrib and Isha prayers, and if he has just enough time for three Rak'ats he should offer Isha first and then Maghrib so that at least one Rak'at falls within time. 

And if the time is for lesser than three Rak'ats, then he should first offer Isha prayers, followed by Maghrib without the Niyyat of Ada or Qadha. However, if he learns after completing Isha prayers that there is still time for at least one Rak'at, or more, he should hasten to offer Maghrib with the Niyyat of Ada. 

- It is Mustahab that a person should offer prayers at the Prime time prescribed for it, and great emphasis has been laid on it; alternatively, the nearer the prayers are to its Prime time, the better, except where there is good reason for delay, like, waiting to join the prayers in congregation. (Jamaat Prayer). 

- If a person has a justifiable excuse for offering prayers with tayammum and he wishes to offer it at the Prime time knowing that his excuse will continue till the end of the prescribed time, or having no hope for redress, he can offer prayers in the early part of the time. But if he has a hope that the excuse will cease to exist, he should wait till his excuse is removed. In case his excuse is not removed, he would offer prayers in the last part of the time.

But by so doing, it is not necessary that he should wait so much that he may be able to perform only the obligatory acts of the prayers. In fact, if he has time for the Mustahab acts like Adhan, Iqamah and qunut as well, he can perform tayammum and offer prayers along with these Mustahab acts.

As for other excuses which do not justify tayammum, it is permissible for him to offer prayers at its Prime time, even if he has not lost hope about redress. However, if the excuse actually ceases to exist while he is praying, he must repeat the prayers. 

- If a person does not know the rules about prayers, doubts occurring in it, or about the forgotten parts, and if he feels that such problems would probably arise in his Prayer, he should defer from its Prime time so as to learn the relevant rules. However, if he is hopeful that he can offer prayers correctly he may pray at its Prime time. And if no problem arose during the prayers, his prayers would be correct and valid. 
But if a problem arose and the rules relating to it were not known to him, he would be allowed to act on one of the two probabilities and complete the prayers. And, after the prayers, he should enquire about the rule so that if his prayers had been void he would offer it again, and if it had been valid, he need not to repeat it. 

- If there is ample time for prayers, and at the same time his creditor demands repayment of his loan from him, he should repay the loan first, if possible, and then offer prayers. Similarly, if there emerges another obligatory matter which demands immediate attention, like if a man sees that the Masjid has become Najis, he should make it clean first and then offer prayers. And in both the cases if he offers his prayers first he commits a sin but his prayer is in order. 

The prayers which should be performed in sequence

- One should always offer Asr prayers after the Zuhr prayers, and the Isha prayers after the Maghrib prayers. If one intentionally offers Asr prayers before Zuhr prayers, or Isha prayers before Maghrib prayers, one's prayers would be void. 

- If a person starts Prayer with the niyyat of Zuhr prayers, and during the prayers he recollects that he has already offered Zuhr prayers, he is not allowed to change the niyyat to Asr prayers. He should abandon that Prayer, and start Asr Prayer. And the same rule applies to the Maghrib and Isha Prayer. 

- If a person somehow becomes sure while offering the Asr prayers that he has not offered the Zuhr prayers, and changes niyyat to the Zuhr prayers, but later he recollects that he has infact already offered the Zuhr prayers, he can again revert to Asr, and complete the prayers, provided that he has not performed important parts like Ruku', Sajdah or any other part with the niyyat of Zuhr, otherwise his prayers will be void, and he has to offer all over again. 

- If, while offering the Asr prayers, a man doubts whether he has offered the Zuhr prayers, he should complete his Prayer with the same niyyat of Asr, and then pray Zuhr. However, if the time is so short, that that the sun would set by the time he finishes the prayers, and there would be no time left even for one Rak'at, then it is not necessary to pray Zuhr Prayer as Qadha. 

- If, while offering the Isha prayers, a man doubts whether he has offered Maghrib prayers, he should complete the Prayer with the same niyyat of Isha. But if the time is short, and he will not be able to perform even one Rak'at after completion of Isha, it is not necessary to pray Maghrib as Qadha. 

- If while offering Isha prayers, a person doubts after reaching the Ruku of the 4th Rak'at, whether he has offered Maghrib prayers, he should complete the Isha Prayers. Thereafter, he should pray Maghrib, if the time for it is still available (i.e. if it is not Qadha). 

- If a person is praying a particular Prayer again as a precaution, and during the prayers he recollects that he has not offered the preceding Prayer, he cannot change niyyat to that prayers. For example, when offering the Asr prayers again as a measure of precaution, he recollects that he has not offered the Zuhr prayers, he cannot change niyyat to Zuhr prayers. 

- It is not permissible to change niyyat from Qadha to Ada (i.e. prayers which is offered within the prescribed time), nor from Mustahab to obligatory prayers. 

- If a person has sufficient time at his disposal to offer prayers within the time, he can, while offering the prayers, change niyyat to Qadha prayers, provided that it is possible to do so. For example, if he is offering Zuhr prayers, he can change to Qadha of dawn prayers, only when he has not entered the Ruku of the third Rak'at.