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Can I Skip the Non-obligatory Elements of the Prayer When I Run Out of Time?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick 


If the prescribed time of prayer is running out, should I skip the non-obligatory elements of the prayer, such as the first tashahhud, or should I pray normally and slowly even if it could mean the prayer is completed when the time is over?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

We should strive to pray our prescribed prayers at the beginning of the prescribed times with all of the sunna acts included, and it is unlawful to intentionally delay one’s prayer till some of it falls outside of the prescribed time.

If the delay happens unintentionally, you should (only to the extent required) omit the supererogatory acts to ensure that at least one cycle (rak‘a) falls within the prescribed time. Otherwise, the entire prayer will be a make-up prayer (qada), and Allah knows best.

Praying at the End of the Prescribed Times

Suppose less than one cycle (rak‘a) of one’s prayer occurs within the proper time (meaning that one does not lift one’s head from the second prostration of the rak’a before the time ends), and the remainder takes place after the proper time. In that case, the whole prayer is considered a make-up (qada). [Nawawi, Minhaj Al-Talibin]

If one rak‘a or more takes place within the prayer’s time and the remainder is after it, then the prayer is considered a current performance (ada’).

However, it is unlawful to intentionally delay the prayer until part of it occurs after the time is finished. [ibid.]

I pray this is of benefit, that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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