In this world, prayer times are standard for Muslims, especially the timings of Fard prayers. The term Salah times are used primarily for the Fard prayers that Muslims pray five times a day. The 5 fard prayers are known as Fajar, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha. The timings of fard prayers depend on the geography and the condition of the Sun. However, there are varying opinions regarding praying before the timings of salat and are differing in minor details.
Timings of the 5 prayers
The timings for the 5 fard prayers are fixed intervals. The muezzin in a mosque broadcasts the adhan (call to prayer) at the beginning of each interval. Electronic clocks have been created that are capable of calculating local prayer times. For example, the timetable for Salah times in Oldham is available on the internet and you can check the timings for the next 30 days in advance. In Muslim countries, various religious agencies produce annual timetables for prayers. The timings of prayers vary throughout the year because the end and start timings for the prayers are related to the diurnal motion.
Before this modern time, muwaqqits (astronomers) were appointed in the mosques who were responsible for the regulation of prayer times.
Is It Haram To Pray Before The Timings That Are Fixed For Prayers?
Timings for fard prayers are already set and explained. One of the conditions of prayer is that each prayer has to be done at its specified right time. According to Muslims’ consensus, prayers offered before their time is invalid. If the person offers the prayer before time deliberately, then the prayer is not valid and the person who did that is not free of sin. But if it is not done on purpose, and the person did that because he/she thought that the prayer time had begun, then the prayer of that person will be considered nawaafil and not as sin. But the person has to offer his/her prayer again.
Why Following Proper Timings Is Necessary?
Salat is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam. Whether sick or healthy, one should always perform it under all circumstances. However, the schedule of the timings of 5 prayers is already explained by an authentic Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas. Every Muslim has to understand that there are fixed hours for prayers and these fixed hours are the appointment Allah has set for the communication with the person. Missing this appointment is like missing the joy that comes with the showering of blessings from Allah.
In the light of Hadith
Abu Huraira said “let me tell you, pray Zuhr when the length of your shadow matches your height, pray Asr when your shadow is twice your height. Pray Maghrib, when the Sun has set. Pray Isha in the first third of the night and pray Fajar in the very first light of dawn”. In the light of this Hadith, the valid timings are identified.
Under normal circumstances, prayer that is offered before time is invalid and one has to perform it again at its appointed time. The exception is either during heavy rain or when someone is traveling and intends to combine 2 or 3 prayers.