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When to Pray Fajr Sunnah

Apr 16, 2024

Understanding and performing the Fajr prayer correctly is essential for Muslims, marking the beginning of their daily worship routine.

Key Takeaways:

  • Significance: Fajr is the first of the five daily Islamic prayers, performed at dawn.
  • Correct Timing: Starts at true dawn and ends before sunrise.
  • Procedure: Involves specific recitations and movements.
  • Delays: Missing Fajr without valid reason is a major sin.

A Fajr Prayer Guide: What is Fajr & What is the Correct Time to Pray Fajr

A sequence of five daily prayers, or salahs, is integral to the Islamic faith. The time of Fajr matters because it is the first of these five important prayers. Knowing when to Pray Fajr, also called the dawn prayer, and how to do it correctly is key to practising Islam. Like the holy pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah, Fajr prayer involves a series of recitations and movements that Muslims must perform without erring. It's understandable if you have doubts or questions about this pivotal prayer. The following guide will help you understand it better and perform Fajr prayer correctly.

What Is Fajr?

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What is Fajr and why is it important? Before delving into the proper time for Fajr namaz, it is essential to learn the answers to these.

Fajr is one of the five daily salahs or prayers that Muslims must make, as instructed in the Holy Quran. The Fajr prayer consists of two Rak'ahs (or two units of prayer). It is an obligatory ritual through which Muslims praise Allah Almighty, confessing His greatness while reaffirming their faith and beliefs. The other Islamic prayers are Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha, all done at specific times every day. Performing these correctly is believed to be one of the five sacred pillars of Islam.

What does Fajr salah do? The Fajr prayer protects Muslims from the devil. The blessed Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said that everyone who offers the morning prayer is under the Almighty Allah's protection. It defines the absolute faith one has in Allah's protection and power, reinforcing their beliefs.

When Did the Prophet Offer Fajr Prayer?

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What is the time for Fajr prayer? Well, the proper way to know when to Pray Fajr is by examining when the Prophet himself (PBUH) made the prayer. There are a number of hadiths that show the Prophet's (PBUH) way was to pray Fajr namaz before the daylight appeared. Here are a few:

  • "Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray Fajr when it was still dark (ghalas) and the believing women would depart and no one would recognize them because it was so dark, or they would not recognize one another." - Al-Bukhari (872) and Muslim (645)
  • "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray Fajr when it was still dark (ghalas)." - Al-Bukhari (560) and Muslim (646)

What Is the Correct Time to Pray Fajr?

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The correct time for Fajr namaz starts with the first appearance of true dawn, but while it is still dark - as the Prophet (PBUH) practised. This is the appropriate time as indicated by a majority of scholars and imams by inferring authentic Islamic traditions.

When to pray Fajr can vary based on the season and latitude, as it must be done right before the appearance of sunrise. It is advisable to check the local sunrise times and perform the prayer accordingly. You may also use calendars, apps, or websites that can help you keep track of the sunrise and sunset times in your location, ensuring you do not miss any of the five prayers.

If you are unable to wake up on time on a given day, then you should pray before sunrise, whether or not it is clear outside. According to Muslim, the blessed Prophet (PBUH) said that "If anyone oversleeps and misses a prayer, he should do it as soon as he wakes up or remembers it."

However, if anyone wakes up at the exact time of sunrise, it is recommended to wait for 30 minutes until the sun has risen well. This instruction comes because of the prohibition in the hadith about making prayers at the time of sunrise.

How to Pray Fajr Namaz

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Learning how to do Fajr namaz correctly is as crucial as knowing the right time of Fajr. Follow the steps listed below to perform Fajr prayer in the right way daily.

  • Niyyah (Intention): Begin the prayer by setting a sincere, clear intention in your heart.
  • Takbeer: Start by proclaiming "Allahu Akbar" while simultaneously raising both your hands all the way up to your ears.
  • Al-Fatiha Recitation: This is an essential chapter in all prayers.
  • Surah Recitation: Preferably, verses or a chapter after Al-Fatihah.
  • Bowing (Rukoo): The posture demands you to maintain a straight back with your hands placed on the knees.
  • Stand Straight: As you stand up, recite "Sami Allahu Liman Hamidah."
  • Prostrate (Sujood): It is an act of deep submission, wherein you are touching the ground with your body.
  • Sitting Up and Prostrating: Repeating two prostrations is key in each Rak'ah.
  • Repeat the Process/Steps: You must do the steps all over again as Fajr prayer consists of two Rak'ahs.
  • Tashahud and Salaam: This concludes your prayer, sealing it with a testimony of your faith and salutations.

Ruling On Delaying Prayer Beyond its Correct Time

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Knowing the right time of Fajr and not maintaining it without a valid cause is unacceptable. In fact, delaying the Fajr prayer beyond its correct time without any excuse is a major sin, as Allah Almighty has warned. He says: “So woe unto those performers of salah (prayers) (hypocrites), those who delay their salah (prayer from their stated fixed times)” -al-Ma'un 107:4-5

Besides carrying a discretionary legal penalty (or ta'zir), deliberately missing Fajr prayer may also carry a divine punishment in the Hereafter. Therefore, it is vital to learn the correct Fajr beginning time and make the prayer at the specified time daily.

Even children must adhere to the proper timings of Fajr, or the prayer is considered invalid. If you miss making the prayer owing to some unforeseen circumstances, you must repent for your mistake sincerely and acknowledge your sin to the Almighty Allah, seeking His forgiveness.

FAQs

  •  What is the earliest time to pray Fajr?

The term “true dawn” is often used to describe when Fajr time starts, and refers to twilight. It is the break of dawn called "Subah Sadiq" at the horizon, ending at sunrise. Note when Fajr time starts daily, and that it must be offered before sunrise at dawn, while it's still dark.

  • Can I pray Fajr 5 minutes before sunrise?

Yes, you are allowed to pray Fajr five minutes before sunrise. However, ensure you start the Fajr prayer as per the proper timing - the beginning of true dawn, and complete it before sunrise. Once you learn when to pray Fajr sunnah, it's important to adhere to the proper prayer timings.

  • When can I pray Fajr after sunrise?

If you miss the true dawn time for Fajr namaz, you should wait until Isharq time, as it is not permitted to pray while the sun is rising. Typically, this is approximately 20 minutes post sunrise. At this time, you can read the two Fajr Rak'ahs.

  • Can I pray Fajr at 5 AM?

The proper Fajr beginning time is from “true dawn” (twilight) to sunrise. You cannot make Fajr prayer while the sun is rising, and if that happens to be at 5:00 AM, it is not a valid time to make the prayer.

  • Can I pray Fajr at 7 AM?

As specified, Fajr timing is from dawn to sunrise. However, you can pray the Fajr namaz at 7 AM, once the sun is fully risen. But it is not allowed to make the morning prayer while the sun is rising.

  • Can I pray Fajr at 9 AM?

Muslims are required by Islam to wake up early for Fajr prayer, adhering to its correct time - from the break of true dawn to sunrise. Delaying the prayer without an excuse after knowing when to pray Fajr is a major sin.

  •  When is the last time to pray Fajr today?

What is the last time to pray Fajr today? The answer to this will depend on the daily forecast containing the sunrise and sunset timings. It is best to complete the Fajr prayer at least 5 minutes before sunrise. For example, if the Fajr timing is 4:48 AM in Hyderabad today, it is best to begin the prayer as soon as it's time.

  • Do men and women both perform the Fajr prayer?

Yes, they do, although there are a few differences in the way women make the prayer - as per tradition, women cannot lead men in prayer. So, when Fajr time starts, both men and women must make the prayer.

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