Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 2-Salat and its virtues / Sunday, August 31st, 2008

1. Fajr (morning) Salaat

In the last part of the night, at the approach of dawn, some
whiteness can be noticed on the length of the horizon towards the east, i.e.
from the direction in which the sun rises. After a little while, whiteness can
be noticed on the breadth of the horizon. This whiteness begins to spread very
rapidly. After a little while, it becomes completely bright. From the time that
this broad whiteness becomes visible, the time of fajr salaat commences
and remains until the rising of the sun. The moment a small portion of the sun
appears, the time of fajr salaat ends. However, it is preferable to read
it in its early time when it is still dark.

2. Zuhr (Mid-day) Salaat

On the declining or descending of the zenith, the time of
zuhr salaat
commences. An indication that the zenith is declining is that
the shadow of long objects begins to decrease from the west towards the north.
When it comes exactly to the north and begins to turn towards the east, then one
should know that noon has declined. By standing towards the east, the direction
on ones left hand is the north. Another easier method of deduction is that as
the sun rises, the shadow of everything begins to decrease. Once this decreasing
stops, exactly at this time is mid-day or noon. Thereafter, once the shadow
begins to increase, it should be understood that noon has declined and from this
time, the time of zuhr salaat has commenced. Excluding the extent to
which the shadow was at exactly mid-day, till the shadow of everything remains
twice its size, the time of zuhr will remain. For example, the shadow of
a stick which is one arm in length, was equal to four fingers at mid-day. So as
long as its shadow does not spread to two arm-lengths and four fingers, zuhr
time will remain. Once it reaches two arm-lengths and four fingers, asr
time will commence.

3. Asr (afternoon) Salaat

Based on the previous example, once the shadow reaches two
arm-lengths and four fingers, asr time will commence. Asr time
will remain until sunset. However, it is makruh to offer asr salaat
when the colour of the sun changes and the sun’s rays change to yellow. If due
to some reason one gets delayed, salaat in this makruh time should
be offered and not allowed to be missed out. In future it should not be delayed.
Apart from this asr salaat, it is not permissible to offer any other
in this time. No missed salaats nor any nafl salaat can
be offered.

4. Maghrib (evening) Salaat

Once the sun sets, maghrib time commences. Maghrib
time remains as long as the redness on the western horizon remains. However,
maghrib salaat
should not be delayed to the extent that many stars begin to
appear in the sky. To delay it till such a time is makruh.

5. Esha (night) Salaat

Once the redness on the western horizon disappears, esha
time commences and remains until dawn. However, after mid-night, esha salaat
becomes makruh and the reward is reduced. Therefore, esha salaat
should not be delayed till such a time. It is preferable that esha salaat
be offered before one third of the night passes.

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