Allah has commanded the believers to offer prayers. This act of worship is the basic requirement of Islam since it is one of the five pillars in Islam. The object is to root in the deepest human heart the seed of the realisation of Allah as well as awaken his consciousness. Prayer is an important act to nourish the soul as nutrients are essential for the maintenance of the body. It is spiritual food for all of the believers.
Each prayer, whether it is obligatory (wajib) or voluntary (sunnah), has its own time. However there are times when prayers are not allowed or prohibited. At these times it is unlawful to offer prayers:
- When the sun is in the process of rising
- When the sun just hits the zenithal point in the sky (It approximately takes about three minutes for the solar disc to completely leave the zenith)
- When the sun is in the process of setting
These prohibited times are reported on the authority of ‘Uqba bin ‘Amir (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: There are three times at which you should neither pray nor bury your deceased – when the sun begins to rise until it is fully up over the horizon; when the sun is at its full height at midday till it passes the zenith; and when the sun draws near to setting until it fully downs under the skyline. The prohibition seems chiefly due to the fact that a Muslim’s action must not be in conformity with the idolators. The object is to root out idolatry in any shape or form. The rising or the setting sun is worshipped by many tribes or people in various nations around the globe. That is why Islam has declared these occasions as prohibited times for offering prayers. Prayers on Friday however are not unlawful when the sun hits the zenith but prostration (sujud) at that time is highly abominable. It should be avoided as far as possible. Abu Qatada (Allah be pleased with him) disfavours prayer at noon until the sun is sloping except on Friday because hell is heated up except on Friday.