Can I Pray Asr and Isha at the Earlier Time in a Country Where Both Times Are Followed?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

The time for Asr and Isha according to the two main students of Imam Abu Hanifa is earlier than the time chosen by Abu Hanifa.

Is there a problem if someone takes this opinion if one is in a country in which both prayer times are accepted amongst its citizens?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatuLlah,

Generally, the rulings applicable to follow another school would apply, and consequently, you may do so when there is a need or benefit to be attained, yet not haphazardly, because that can lead to unclarity and a loss of the sanctity of the prayer times.

As for your regular practice, you should follow whatever the norm is in your locality or local mosque. Having said that, Ibn ‘Abidin did encourage that Zuhr should be prayed before the earlier ‘Asr time, and ‘Asr according to the later time, insofar as it is reasonably possible, to fulfill both duties in times which are unquestionably Zuhr and ‘Asr respectively.

[Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.240)]

Please also see: How to Choose to Follow an Opinion within a School of Law?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.