What is the source of this Hadith, the grading, and it’s actual meaning?
Abul Malih said, “We were on an expedition with Buraydah [Al Aslami – radiyallahu ‘anhu] on a cloudy day and he said, ‘Perform the ‘Asr prayer well inside the time, for Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “If someone fails to pray ‘Asr, his actions will be nullified”
Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith in his Sahih. The Hadith is therefore authentic.
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 553 and 594)
Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) explains that majority of the Scholars have not taken the literal meaning of the Hadith.
After citing various interpretations, Hafiz Ibn Hajar and ‘Allamah ‘Ayni (rahimahumallah) state that the best interpretation of this Hadith is that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said this as a severe warning for those who leave out Salatul ‘Asr and the literal meaning is not intended here.
(Fathul Bari and ‘Umdatul Qari, under Hadith: 553)
Since people are usually busy with trade and eager to round up their tasks at the time of ‘Asr, they become unmindful of ‘Asr Salah. This is one of the reasons Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) singled out ‘Asr Salah.
(Refer: Sahih Muslim with Al Minhaj, Hadith: 1416 and ‘Umdatul Qari)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar