Two Rak’ah After Asr

Two rak’ah after Asr: Narrated on the Prophet (saw).

Ibn Hajar [may Allaah have Mercy on him] said it was specific for the Prophet [Peace and Blessings of Allaah be upon him] as the majority have stated.

He also suggested that it was for a specific cause (ذوات الاسباب) and also suggested that it could be out of Qadaa at times for a missed Raatib.

See Fath al-Baaree (2/64)

If this is true, how do you explain the following Hadeeth:

There is no prayer after ‘Asr until the sun has set and there is no prayer after Fajr until the sun has risen.

al-Bukhari 586 & Muslim 827

There is a detailed discussion on the matter with evidences from both sides on the Arabic Multaqa here under the thread titled [ما حكم صلاة ركعتين بعد العصر هل هي مكروهة ام محرمة ام مستحبة ] What is the ruling regarding the two Rak’ah prayer after ‘Asr? Is it Makrooh, Haraam, or Recommended?

For the minority who support the view that one can pray after the ‘Asr prayer their explanation is simple. It is as follows

فهذا الحديث مطلق يقيده حديث علي رضي الله عنه الآتي

The Hadith which is agreed upon by Imaam Al-Bukhaari and Imaam Muslim is unrestricted [Mutlaq] and the Hadith which allows praying after ‘Asr restricts this otherwise unrestricted prohibition.

Shiekh Al-‘albaani, who upheld the minority view, had the following remarks:

وفي هذين الحديثين – أي حديث علي وحديث أنس المتقدمين – دليل على أن ما اشتهر في كتب الفقه من المنع عن الصلاة بعد العصر مطلقاً – ولو كانت الشمس مرتفعة نقية – مخالف لصريح هذين الحديثين ، وحجتهم في ذلك الأحاديث المعروفة في النهي عن الصلاة بعد العصر مطلقاً ؛ غير أن الحديثين المذكورين يقيدان تلك الأحاديث ؛ فاعلمه

And in these two Hadith – namely the Hadith of Ali’ and the Hadith of ‘Anas which have preceded – is evidence that that which has been popularized in the books of Fiqh, namely that one cannot pray after the ‘Asr prayer at all – even if the sun is murtafi’ah [high] – is in opposition to these two explicit Hadith. And their [the authors of the books of Fiqh which forbid all prayer] evidence is those well-known Hadith which are unrestricted and say that one cannot pray after the ‘Asr prayer but these two mentioned Hadith restrict these otherwise unrestricted Hadith [meaning that one can pray after ‘Asr so long as the Sun is murtafi’ah].

[As-Saheehah 1/625]

Ibn Rajab made the following remarks in Fath Al-Baari 3/278:

وممن رخص في الصلاة بعد العصر والشمس مرتفعة: علي بن أبي طالب، والزبير، وتميم الداري، وأبو أيوب، وأبو موسى، وزيد بن خالد الجهني، وابن الزبير، والنعمان بن بشير، وأم سلمة -رضي الله عنهم-.

ومن التابعين: الأسود، ومسروق، وشريح، وعمرو بن ميمون، وعبد الرحمن بن الأسود، وعبيدة، والأحنف بن قيس، وطاوس.

From those who permitted one to pray after the ‘Asr prayer while the sun was murtafi’ah included:

  • Ali bin Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • Al-Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • Tamiim Al-Daari (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • Abu ‘ayyoob (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • Abu Musaa (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • Zaid bin Khaalid (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • Ibn Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • Al-Nu’maan bin Bashiir (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • ‘Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her)

Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib:

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) prohibited to offer prayer after the afternoon prayer except at the time when the sun is high up in the sky.

[Sunan Abi Dawud Hadith No. 1274]

It should be noted here that Ibn Rajab did not uphold the opinion of the permissibility of praying after ‘Asr, and simply because he mentioned a group of Companions that did does not mean he too supported their view.

Imaam Al-Shawikaani had the following to say:

وقد اختلف أهل العلم في الصلاة بعد العصر وبعد الفجر ، فذهب الجمهور إلى أنها مكروهة وادعى النووي الاتفاق على ذلك ، وتعقبه الحافظ بأنه قد حُكي عن طائفة من السلف الإباحة مطلقا ، وأن أحاديث النهي منسوخة . قال : وبه قال داود وغيره من أهل الظاهر ، وبذلك جزم ابن حزم ([2])

The people of knowledge have differed regarding prayer after ‘Asr and after Fajr. And the majority have inclined toward the opinion that it is Makrooh and Al-Nawawi has claimed an Ijmaa on the matter. But Daawud and Ibn Hazm were of the opinion of permissibility. And permissibility has also been transmitted from a group of the Salaf.

[Nayl al-Awtar 100/3]

So why did Al-Nawawi claim an Ijmaa when the matter is such?

The answer can be found in Al-Majmoo’ 230/9 when Al-Nawawi is discussing another matter when he has the following remarks to make:

فكأنهم لم يعتدوا بخلاف داود ، وقد سبق أن الأصح أنه لا يُعتد بخلافه ، ولا خلاف غيره من أهل الظاهر لأنهم نفوا القياس ، وشرط المجتهد أن يكون عارفا بالقياس

The most correct opinion is that the opposition presented by the Ahl Al-Zaahir is not to be considered because they denied Qiyaas and it is a condition for being Al-Mujtahid that one be knowledgeable of Qiyaas.

Those who oppose praying after ‘Asr even if the sun is murtafi’ah have two explanations for the Hadith which permit it.

القاعدة أنه إذا تعارض حاظر ومُبيح قُـدِّم الحاظر

First, based on the principle that when there is a contradiction between permissibility and being forbidden, then being forbidden is given precedence.

The second explanation which Ibn Hajar supports is that the Messenger of Allaah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) praying was a matter which was specific to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). He says:

قال الحافظ ابن حجر : تمسك بهذه الروايات من أجاز التنفل بعد العصر مطلقا ما لم يقصد الصلاة عند غروب الشمس ، وقد تقدم نقل المذاهب في ذلك ، وأجاب عنه من أطلق الكراهة بأن فعله هذا يدل على جواز استدراك ما فات من الرواتب من غير كراهة ، وأما مواظبته صلى الله عليه وسلم على ذلك فهو من خصائصه ، والدليل عليه رواية ذكوان مولى عائشة أنها حدثته أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يصلي بعد العصر وينهى عنها ، ويواصل وينهى عن الوصال . رواه أبو داود ([33]) .

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: Those who have supported all kinds of Nawaafil after ‘Asr have used these Hadith as long as one does not intend praying when the Sun is setting.

Those who oppose this view and consider any prayer after ‘Asr to be Makrooh have answered by saying that his doing is evidence for the permissibility for praying that which one misses from the Rawaatib prayers without it being disliked to do so, but as for his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) persistence on doing that, then it is from those things which are special to him. And the evidence for this is the Hadith of ذكوان that ‘Aishah used to narrated that he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to pray after ‘Asr while forbidding her and he would do Wisaal [in fasting] but forbid from it.

[Fath Al-Baari 64/2]

فتبين بهذا أنها أرادت يومها المختص بها الذي كان يكون مكثه عندها في بيتها، فكان يتوضأ عندها للعصر ويصلي ركعتين، ثم يخرج للصلاة، وربما كان يدخل بيتها في وقت العصر كذلك.

And from this it becomes clear that she [‘Aishah] intended her specified day when he would stay with her in her house and would perform Wudoo’ for ‘Asr and pray two Rak’ah then go out for prayer and many times he would enter into her house during the time of ‘Asr like that.

فدل هذا: على أن مرادها: انه كان يصلي ركعتين بعد دخول وقت العصر، ولكن كان ذلك قبل صلاة العصر، وكانت تظن أن هذا يرد قول عمر ومن وافقه بالنهي عن الصلاة بعد العصر، وإنما كان مراد عمر وغيره من الصحابة: النهي عن الصلاة بعد صلاة العصر.

And this is evidence to the fact that what she meant was that he would pray two Rak’ah after the time of ‘Asr had come to be but that was before the [obligatory] prayer of ‘Asr and she thought that this refuted the saying of ‘Umar and those who agreed with him about the prohibition of praying after ‘Asr and the meaning of what ‘Umar and others from the Companions was only to mention the prohibition from prayer after the [obligatory] prayer of ‘Asr.

ولاشتباه الأمر في هذا على كثير من الناس كان كثير من الرواة يروي حديث عائشة بالمعنى الذي يفهمه منه، ولا يفرق بين وقت العصر وفعل العصر، فوقع في ذلك اضطراب في الفاظ الروايات

And this matter becomes dubious to many people who narrate the Hadith of ‘Aishah based on the meaning they understand from it and do not differentiate.

Between the time of ‘Asr and the act of praying ‘Asr and because of that confusion occurs in the wording of the narrations.

وقد ظهر بهذا أنه لم يصح عن النبي – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – أنه صلى ركعتين بعد صلاة العصر، إلا يوم صلاهما في بيت أم سلمة، وكانت عائشة ترويه عنها – أحياناً -، كما في حديث ذكوان عنها، وأحياناً ترسله، كما في حديث أم سلمة عنها.

And from this it becomes apparent that it is not authentically narrated from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) that he prayed two Rak’ah after the [obligatory] prayer of ‘asr except for one day when he prayed the two Rak’ah in the house of Umm Salamah.

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