Skip to main content

Is It Ever Permissible to Delay Performing Ṣalāh Until After Its Appointed Time?

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn

An explanation on the impermissibility of delaying one’s salaḥ until after its prescribed time, save for a time of extenuating circumstance.

It is impermissible for one to delay the performance of a ṣalāh later than its appointed time period. By ‘time period’ we are referring to both the time that ṣalāh is performed in extenuating circumstances [waqt al-ḍarūrah] and the time wherein it is permissible for that ṣalāh to be performed [waqt al-jawāz]. For example, Ṣalāh al-ʿAṣr has two time periods: a time wherein it is only performed in extenuating circumstances, and another time period wherein its performance is permissible. The extenuating time period is from the yellowing of the sun until sunset. Its permissible time is from the beginning of its time [when the shadow of an object is equal to its height] until the time of the yellowing of the sun. It is ḥarām to delay the performance of Ṣalāh al-ʿAṣr until after its permissible time except if one has a valid excuse.

Situations Wherein Delaying the Salāh is Permissible According to the Ḥanbalī Madh`hab

There are two exceptions to the impermissibility of delaying ṣalāh [according to the Ḥanbalī madh`hab]:

  1. The one who intends to combine the performance of two prayers together provided that it is permissible for him to do so. This exception, in actuality, closely resembles a technicality because if it is permissible for one to perform two prayers together, then their time becomes one. As such, it would be inaccurate to say that one has delayed performing a ṣalāh until after its time in this circumstance.
  2. The one who occupies himself with the fulfilment of one of the prerequisites of ṣalāh who believes its attainment will occur soon. For example, a man rips his garment and begins to busy himself with sewing it back together until the time for the ṣalāh is about to expire. If, instead, he was to pray without sewing the garment he would have prayed with his ʿawrah uncovered. If he prays after having sewn his garment back together, he would have prayed completely clothed after the time for ṣalāh had expired. Such a person will attain the prerequisite imminently and as such it is permissible for him to delay performing the ṣalāh until after its time [according to the Ḥanbalī madh`hab].If, however, the attainment of the prerequisite will be delayed, then it is impermissible to delay the ṣalāh from its appointed time. For example, if someone arrives at a well around sunset, then begins to busy himself with the extraction of water from it until the sun has completely set, then he may delay performing ṣalāh [here, maghrib]. This is because he has busied himself with the attainment of a prerequisite [i.e water for wudhūʿ] which will occur soon. If the situation was such that it required him to dig a well, then he should not delay the ṣalāh as the attainment of such a prerequisite will be delayed. This is the opinion of the Ḥanbalī madh`hab.

The Opinion of Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله)

The correct opinion in this matter is that it is impermissible to delay the ṣalāh from its appointed time in any situation. Anyone who fears the time for a particular ṣalāh will expire should perform it in his current state, whatever that may be. Even if he believes in the imminent attainment of a prerequisite required for that ṣalāh. The evidence of this is the āyah:

إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا

“Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.”
(Al-Nisāʾ, 4:103)

Also, because if delaying the ṣalāh for the purpose of the imminent attainment of a prerequisite was permissible, the legislation of tayammum would have to be considered invalid. This is because every person could simply delay their ṣalāh until they come upon water.

As for their [the Ḥanbalī] caveat to this ruling which is that the attainment of the prerequisite must be imminent, this is also ineffectual. This is because there is no difference between the one who delays his ṣalāh and performs it a short time after the expiry of its time period or a long time afterwards. They have both delayed performing the ṣalāh until after its appointed time either way. This is the stance taken by Shaykh al-Islām (Ibn Taymiyyah).

Based on this, one should perform his ṣalāh within its appointed time even if he does so by performing tayammum [instead of wuḍūʾ] or if his ʿawrah is exposed. Considering this, the only true exception to this is the one who intends to combine the praying of two prayers together. We have also already alluded to the fact that even this is only a [valid] technical delay.

Source: Al-Sharḥ al-Mumtiʿ 2:22-23
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: September 12, 2023
Edited: March 2, 2024

Events & Activities

Most Popular: Last 30 Days