Some Virtues of the Asr Prayer and a Warning against Performing It When Its Time Period Elapses Without a Valid Sharia Excuse

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’Whoever misses the Asr prayer [i.e. intentionally] until its time elapses, it is as if he has lost his family and his wealth’’. [Ref 1]

Shaikh Muhammad Baazmool [may Allaah preserve him] said: Why is the Asr prayer specifically mentioned and not the other prayers? The scholars say that perhaps the wisdom behind this is because the time of Asr is when the people are very busy in trade and roaming about in the markets. At present -سبحان الله – the time of Asr prayer is the hardest time for those engaged in professional occupations and the workers, for they return and relax in their houses and do not wake up until the time of Asr prayer elapses, so they are lackadaisical in this affair..

The Asr Prayer is great in the Sight of Allaah.  Allaah (The Blessed and Exalted) said:

[حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ – Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the Salaatul Wustaa (middle Salaah – the best prayer). And stand before Allah with obedience] [Ref 2]

The scholars say that the meaning of Salaatul Wustaa is the Asr prayer. It has been reported from the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] that on the day of Al Ahzaab – the day of the battle of Al Khandaq when the Arab tribes gathered to fight the Muslims – he said: ”O Allaah! Fill their [i.e. the infidels] houses and graves with fire, as they busied us so much that we did not perform the middle Salat [(prayer)- i.e. Asr prayer] till the sun had set.’’ [Ref 3]

The Asr prayer also has other specific virtues. The scholars say that it is the time in which the angels of the night and the angels of the day get together- the angels who accompany or guard the children of Aadam. There are two time periods in which the angels gather – the angels of the day time get together at the time of Fajr and accompany the children of Aadam from Fajr to Asr. And at Asr time, the angels of the night take over and accompany the children of Aadam from Maghrib to Ishaa, and at Fajr they change shifts. The proof of this is the hadeeth reported by Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allaah [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ‘’Angels come to you in succession by night and day, and all of them get together at the time of Fajr and Asr prayers. Those who have passed the night with you [or stayed with you] ascend [to the heaven] and Allaah asks them, though He knows everything about you, ‘’In what state did you leave my slaves?’’ The angels reply: ‘’When we left them, they were offering Salat (prayer) and when we reached them, they were offering Salat.’’ [Ref 4]

Allaah [Glorified Be He and Free is He from all imperfections] said about the Fajr prayer:

[وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا   – And recite the Qur’an in the early dawn (i.e. the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night). [Ref 5]

The scholars say that the reason behind this is because it (i.e. Fajr time) is the time in which the angels of the night and the angels of the daytime get together and likewise at the time of Asr Salaah, for they are two time periods in which the angels change shifts in order to accompany the children of Aadam. Therefore, a Muslim should be eager to perform the Asr prayer at its correct time and if he is preoccupied (i.e. without a valid shariah excuse) until its time elapses, then it is as if he has lost all his family and wealth. [The End]

[Abridged and Paraphrased. Source: Sharh Kitaab Wuqootis Salaah Min Muwatta Al-Imaam Maalik Bin Anas’ by Shaikh Muhammad Baazmool -pages 93 -95…Publisher: Daarul Istiqaamah 1st Edition 1429AH (Year 2008)]

Ref 1: Saheeh Al-Bukhaari, Hadeeth Number552. Vol 1 Darussalam Print 1997]

Ref 2: Soorah Al-Baqarah Ayah 238

Ref 3: Saheeh Al-Bukhaari, Hadeeth Number 2931. Vol 4, Darussalam Print 1997]

Ref 4: Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Hadeeth Number 555. Vol 1. Darussalam Print 1997Ref 5: Soorah Al-Israa, Ayah 78]


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