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Praying On Time

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

If I was out in a public place and it was prayer time but chose not to pray saying I would make it up when I go home, would that be haram or makhruh?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Praying On Time

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said,

‘The most beloved of works to Allah is prayer in its time.’ [Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Nasa’i]

In the name of Allah, the inspirer of truth. All praise is to Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate, and all blessings and peace to our Master Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow them.

Imam al-Haskafi said in Durr al-Mukhtar (with comments from Ibn `Abidin’sRadd al-Muhtar):

“Delaying a prayer without excuse is a major sin which is not wiped out by merely making up the prayer [A: which only wipes away the sin of leaving the prayer… but the sin of delaying the prayer remains] but rather requires a repentance [A: after making the prayer up otherwise the delay is still present so one’s repentance is not valid] or a hajj [A: as a hajj wipes out major sins].” (Radd al-muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 1.485, Bulaq ed.)

Being out in a public place certainly does not constitute an excuse for delaying a prayer.  Allah has given us our intellects so that we may apply the sacred law in our lives.  All Muslims should know how to determine the direction of prayer wherever they happen to be.  They should know the prayer times, how to quickly and efficiently perform ablution in a public toilet if necessary and likewise how to quickly and validly perform a prayer in public.   None of these measures are unreasonably difficult provided that one has determination to carry them out.

‘The most beloved of works to Allah is prayer in its time.’

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, the imam of the late Shafi`i school, said in his masterpiece on the major sins, al-Zawajir `an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir:

“ (The seventy seventh major sin: To intentionally delay prayer…)

Allah Most High said, ‘Now there has succeeded them a later generation who have left worship and have followed lusts. But they will meet [the punishment of] deception.’ (Qur’an, 19: 59) Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘This does not mean that they left worship completely. Rather, that they delayed it beyond its time.’

Allah Most High said, ‘O you who believe! Let not your wealth nor your children distract you from remembrance of Allah. Those who do so, they are the losers.’ (Qur’an, 63: 9) A number of Qur’anic exegetes stated that the meaning of ‘remembrance of Allah’ in this verse is the five prayers, so whoever is busied from performing the obligatory prayer past its time by his wealth, such as by one’s trade or profession, or by one’s children is of the losers [in the next life]. This is why the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, ‘The first thing the servant is reckoned about on the Day of Resurrection of his works is his prayer. If it was sound, he attains ultimate success (falah) and salvation. If it was deficient, he lost and failed.’

And Allah Most High said, ‘Ah, woe unto worshippers who are heedless of their prayers.’ (Qur’an, 107: 4-5) The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, ‘They are those who delay the prayer beyond its time.’

Allah Most High said, ‘Worship at fixed hours has been enjoined on the believers.’ (Qur’an, 4: 103) Imam Ahmad has reported with a good chain of narrators, as well as Tabarani and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) mentioned the prayer one day and said, ‘Whoever upholds them, they shall be a light, clear proof, and [a means of] salvation on the Day of Resurrection. And whoever does not uphold them, they shall not be a light, nor a clear proof, nor [a means of] salvation on the Day of Resurrection, and they shall be with Qarun, Pharaoh, Haman, and Ubayy ibn Khalaf.’ …

Imam Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Nasa’i reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, ‘The most beloved of works to Allah is prayer in its time. Then, being good to one’s parents. Then, jihad in the way of Allah.’ Because of this, when `Umar (Allah be pleased with him) was stabbed and was told, ‘The prayer, of Commander of the Believers!’ He said, ‘It is a blessing. Truly, one who is remiss in their prayers has nothing of Islam,’ and he prayed (Allah be pleased with him) with blood gushing from his wound. [Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, al-Zawajir, 1.222-228, abbreviated]

And Allah knows best, and He alone gives success.

Sohail Hanif & Faraz Rabbani.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.