She Prays Fajr 15 Minutes before Sunrise
Fatwa No: 385633

Question

Assslam Alikum Shaikh, hope this reaches you in the best of health and emaan. I am writing this question on behalf of my wife on the importance of praying fajr at an early time. Alhumdullilah she is a practicing Muslim and she is knowledgeable about the deen. Since we had a baby, she doesn’t get a proper sleep since the baby wakes up many times throughout the night. When the time for fajr comes, I start waking her up early but she always gets up and prays in the last 15 minutes when the time is about to expire. This is been happening for almost year and a half now. Her reasoning is that she doesn’t realize when I wake her up and this is something out of her control so it wouldn’t be considered a sin. If this is a sin, please give some advice so I can show your answer to her. JazakAllah khairan

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The time of Fajr begins from the beginning of the true dawn and extends until sunrise. If your wife prays before the sun rises, even if it is only few minutes before sunrise, then she has prayed on time, and she is not sinful. She only misses the reward of praying at the beginning time.

Delaying the prayer close to its ending time constantly is believed to lead to negligence and, eventually, delaying it until its time expires.

Some jurists are of the view that it is disliked to delay the Fajr until the morning light starts to spread (this happens shortly before sunrise). Rather, some jurists are even of the view that it is forbidden to do so.

However, if she prays after the time of the prayer expires [i.e. after sunrise], then she is not praying on time; rather, she is praying outside its fixed time and she is sinful for the delay if she is negligent. An example for this is, if she wakes up when you wake her up but she does not stand to pray and delays it until its time expires. Another example is if she delays the prayer (after waking up) too close to sunrise in a way that she prays part of the prayer after its fixed time; in which case, she is sinful and the threat of neglecting the prayer applies to her, such as the Saying of Allah (which means):

·    {So woe to those who pray. [But] who are heedless of their prayer -} [Quran 107: 4-5]

·    {But there came after them successors who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil.} [Quran 19: 59]

It is obligatory on her to fear Allah Almighty and pray the prayer on its prescribed fixed time. She should be keen on performing the prayer at the beginning of the fixed time, because this is greater in reward for her and protects her from laziness and from delaying the prayer until its time ends.

There is a Hadeeth warning those who come late and do not pray in the first row, although this is only desirable. The Hadeeth reads: "Some people will continue to be late (i.e., miss praying in the first row) until Allah will put them at the back (rows).” [Muslim]

How would the case be for the one who delays performing the prayer that Allah has imposed upon him/her until its time expires? One must be careful about this.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 88333 and 82253.

Allah knows best.

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