Skip to main content

The Duration of Time Between the Adhān and Iqāmah 

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn

Evidence for having a short interval between the adhān and the iqāmah.

It is considered sunnah for one to sit a short time after the adhān of maghrib. There are two matters here: ‘sitting’ and ‘’a short time’, and thus two sunnah acts:

  1. To sit, separating the adhān from the iqāmah.
  2. To make this sitting short. This is explicitly stated because there are some scholars who adopt the opinion that the sunnah for the adhān of Maghrib is that it should immediately be followed by the iqāmah. This is meant to clarify that it is better to sit a short time between the two calls.

The evidence for this is that the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Pray before Maghrib” thrice, and on the third time he said: “For whoever wills. Hating that people should make it a habit.”1 This proves that there is an interval between the adhān and the iqāmah of Maghrib. It has also been confirmed in al-Ṣāḥīḥayn [al-Bukhārī and Muslim] that the ṣaḥābah (رضي الله عنهم) used to stand and pray after the adhān of Maghrib was called. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw them doing so but did not forbid them.2 This is interpreted as his silent approval of this prayer being performed. Thus, this interval between the adhān and the iqāmah has been confirmed in the sunnah—both in speech and silent approval. Considering this, the command to perform this sunnah and silently approving it stipulates the presence of an interval between the adhān and the iqāmah of Maghrib.

In our saying: “a short time’ is that which denotes that it should not be lengthy. This is because it is a sunnah to perform Ṣalāh al-Maghrib quickly. As such, it is best not to lengthen the interval between the adhān and the iqāmah of Maghrib. However, we must also take into account the ḥadīth: “There is ṣalāh between any two calls [i.e., adhān and iqāmah].”3 In consideration of this, the scholars have said: It is most befitting to interpret the quickness [with which Ṣalāh al-Maghrib] should be performed by the time needed for the fulfilment of one’s needs. These needs include the time required to perform wuḍūʾ, to pray a short nāfilah or prescribed sunnah.

Also, it is considered sunnah to pray all of the prayers as quickly as possible except for Ṣalāh al-ʿIshāʾ, and Ṣalāh al-Ẓuhr in extreme heat. As for the prayers that have prescribed sunnah before them like Ẓuhr and Fajr, it is most befitting that people give due consideration to the situations of the people in order to facilitate their performance of it. Giving them enough time to allow them to perform wuḍūʾ after the adhān is called to pray these prescribed sunnah.


[1] Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 1183.
[2] Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 503.
[3] Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 627 and Muslim: 838.

Source: Al-Sharḥ al-Mumtiʿ 2: 77-78
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: September 12, 2023
Edited: September 12, 2023

Events & Activities