Understanding Forbidden Prayer Times in Islam: A Comprehensive Guide

Islam places significant importance on prayer, or Salah, as it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. However, there are specific times during which Muslims are discouraged or even forbidden from performing their prayers. Understanding these forbidden prayer times is crucial for practicing Muslims to ensure their acts of worship are conducted correctly. This blog post delves into these forbidden times, providing insights from the Quran, Hadiths, and various scholarly sources.

What Are the Forbidden Prayer Times?

In Islam, there are three primary times during the day when it is forbidden to offer prayers. These times are derived from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and are designed to prevent prayers from coinciding with the times of worship for non-Muslims or when the sun is in specific positions. The forbidden times are:

  • When the sun is rising until it is fully up
  • When the sun is at its zenith (midday) until it passes the meridian
  • When the sun is setting until it is completely set


The time from the beginning of dawn (Fajr) until the sun rises is one of the forbidden times for prayer. Specifically, the prohibition starts when the sun begins to rise and continues until it is fully up. This period typically lasts about 20 minutes. The reasoning behind this prohibition is to avoid any resemblance to the practices of sun worshipers who typically perform their rituals during sunrise.

Relevant Hadith:

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “There is no prayer after the Fajr prayer until the sun rises”.

(Sahih Muslim)

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Zenith (Midday)

The time when the sun is at its zenith or its highest point in the sky is also forbidden for prayer. This period lasts only a short time, around 10-15 minutes. The prohibition aims to avoid the practice of worshiping during the time when the sun is directly overhead, a common practice in some non-Islamic traditions.

Relevant Hadith:

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The sun rises and with it the horn of Satan. When it is high up in the sky, he leaves it. When it is at its meridian, he accompanies it. When it passes the meridian, he leaves it. And when it is about to set, he accompanies it. So do not pray at these three times”.

(Sahih Muslim)


The time from when the sun begins to set until it is fully set is also forbidden for prayer. Similar to sunrise, this prohibition is to prevent any resemblance to the practices of sun worshipers who typically perform rituals during sunset.

Relevant Hadith:

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “No prayer is to be offered after the ‘Asr prayer until the sun sets”.

(Sahih Bukhari)

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Exceptions and Specific Prayers

While these times are generally forbidden for voluntary (nafl) prayers, there are exceptions. For example, if a person has missed an obligatory prayer (fard) due to a valid reason, they are allowed to make up for it (qadha) during these forbidden times. Additionally, the two units of prayer (rak’ahs) performed upon entering a mosque (Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid) can also be offered even during these times.

Practical Guidance for Muslims

Understanding these forbidden times helps Muslims plan their prayers appropriately and ensures they adhere to the guidelines set by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Here are some practical tips:

  • Use Islamic prayer apps or calendars: These tools often indicate the forbidden prayer times, making it easier to avoid them.
  • Stay informed and educated: Regularly review the teachings of the Quran and Hadiths to stay aware of any details related to prayer times.
  • Consult local scholars: If in doubt, consult knowledgeable local scholars or imams who can provide guidance specific to your region.

Additional Resources

For further reading and to deepen your understanding, consider exploring the following resources:

Also Read: What Are The Times Of The Five Daily Prayers?

Final Thoughts

Observing the correct times for prayer is a fundamental aspect of Islamic worship. By understanding and adhering to the forbidden prayer times, Muslims can ensure their prayers are performed in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is essential to stay informed and seek knowledge continuously to practice Islam accurately and respectfully.

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