Home | Commentary | Explanation of when the missed ‘Asr Salah was performed

Explanation of when the missed ‘Asr Salah was performed

Question

In the two narrations below, one Hadith seems to indicate that the missed ‘Asr Salah was read after the Maghrib Salah whilst the other indicates that the missed ‘Asr Salah was read before the Maghrib Salah. What is the explanation and/or tatbiq for this?

عن على رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يوم الأحزاب: شغلونا عن الصلاة الوسطى صلاة العصر ملأ الله بيوتهم وقبورهم نارا، ثم صلاها بين العشاءين، بين المغرب والعشاء.

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 627)

 

عن جابر بن عبد الله رضي الله عنه: أن عمر بن الخطاب يوم الخندق جعل يسب كفار قريش وقال: يا رسول الله، والله ما كدت أن أصلي العصر حتى كادت أن تغرب الشمس، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: فوالله إن صليتها، فنزلنا إلى بطحان فتوضأ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وتوضأنا، فصلى رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم العصر بعد ما غربت الشمس ثم صلى بعدها المغرب

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 631)

 

Answer

Imam Qurtubi (rahimahullah) explains that there is no contradiction between these two Hadiths. He mentions the following:

‘Outwardly, it seems from the first Hadith that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) had performed the missed ‘Asr Salah after having performed the Maghrib. This [notion] is incorrect due to the Hadith of Sayyiduna Jabir (radiyallahu ‘anhu) [the second Hadith] where there is explicit textual evidence stating that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) performed the ‘Asr Salah [first], after the sun had set, and then performed the Maghrib.

The only thing that he [Sayyiduna ‘Ali -radiyallahu ‘anhu-] meant from his statement بين العشائين [between the two ‘Ishas] was بين وقتي العشائين [between the two times of ‘Isha, i.e between the two times of Salatul Maghrib and ‘Isha]. For indeed, the delay from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was just until the sun set. He then made wudu and prayed the ‘Asr Salah after sunset, before praying praying the Maghrib.’

(Al-Mufhim, Hadith: 512)

 

In other words, that which is ambiguous will be interpreted and understood by that which is explicit. Since the Hadith of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) [the first Hadith] is slightly ambiguous due to the words بين العشائين having different possible meanings:

  • either referring to the ‘Asr Salah being performed after the Maghrib Salah

or

  • referring to the ‘Asr Salah being performed after sunset, the time Maghrib Salah set in, not specifically after the Maghrib Salah itself.
[then] it will be understood in light of other clearer narrations, like the narration of Sayyiduna Jabir (radiyallahu ‘anhu). Subsequently, complete harmony will be achieved, and it will be understood from both narrations that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) performed the missed ‘Asr Salah after sunset, before praying the Maghrib Salah.

 

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar