The time for Asr prayer

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I would like to know why do hanafis pray Asr salat later than other Muslims? On what is based the method of calculation and what are the proofs that it is the right one? Are there hadith about this? and how is the time calculated in practice?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Wa Alaykum Assalam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

It is the understanding of Sunni Islam that all four Sunni schools are valid to follow, and that their positions are based on solid, sound legal reasoning. This is why—in matters of practice (rather than belief)—we hold that “Our madhhab is right with the possibility of being wrong; others’ positions are wrong, with the possibility of being right.” [Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar]

Thus, when we disagree with others, we respect their right to differ and we do not condemn: we accept that our disagreements are based on differences in interpretative methodology. At the same time, we have parameters to determine what is an acceptable position: sound positions within the four Sunni schools of law are sound to follow; others, generally not.

Imam Abu Hanifa’s position on Asr is a case in point: his position was opposed by his two main students, whose position is the same as that of the other three schools of Sunni law and is considered a ‘followable position’ within the Hanafi school. However, the majority of Hanafi mujtahid imams, upon review of the relative strength of evidence, deemed Imam Abu Hanifa’s position to be stronger than that of his students Imams Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan. [Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Humam; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar. Details of the positions are given below.]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani


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