The Forbidden Prayer Times

There are 3 times when Salat or Prayers are Forbidden or Haram. The times when the prayers are prohibited, are at the time of Sunrise, Sunset, and Zawaal. Now let’s try to discuss these in more detail.

The Time of Sunrise

It Starts from: the time when the first portion of the sun can be seen on the eastern horizon;

It Ends when: the entire Sun has become visible. It is safe to start the Salat after the sun has risen to the height of a spear.

Nowadays, this is regarded as about 12(twelve) minutes after the sun starts to rise, but to be on the safe side we may consider it to be around 15(fifteen) to 20(twenty) minutes. Please try not to hit this time.

The Time of Sunset

It Starts from: the time when the Sun just touches the western horizon; It is also said that it starts when the sunlight becomes pale.

It Ends when: the entire Sun disappears.

This may be considered about 12(twelve) minutes before sunset, but to be on the safe side we should consider it to be around 15(fifteen) to 20(twenty) minutes. If necessary, try to set a reminder to get your Salat done before you hit this time.

However, if any person somehow couldn’t pray his/her Asr Salat, he/she can pray that particular Asr waqt of that day, even if it reaches the forbidden time of Sunset. But this particular rule applies only to the Asr Prayer of that particular day and we are not allowed to pray other salat in that time.

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever could get one rak`a (of the Fajr prayer) before sunrise, he has got the (morning) prayer and whoever could get one rak`a of the `Asr prayer before sunset, he has got the (`Asr) prayer.”  {Sahih al-Bukhari 579}

The Time of Zawaal

Zawaal is the point of time when the sun is at its highest point, i.e. when the shadow of an object reaches its shortest length. When the sun is right at top in its peak position, this is the time when the length of our shadow is almost zero. We should not start our prayer in a time, when there is a possibility that the time within our Salat coincides with this point of time.

References of Authentic Hadiths:

There are 3(three) times at which the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) forbade us to pray:

  1. When the sun has clearly started to rise until it is fully risen;
  2. When it is directly overhead at midday until it has passed its zenith/highest point; and
  3. When the sun becomes pale and starts to set until it has fully set.”

In this Hadith it has also been mentioned that the last time for our Isha prayer is the midnight. {Sahih Muslim Book 5, Hadith 223}

Our Prophet(pbuh) said: “No prayer after two prayers, i.e. after the Fajr prayer till the sun rises and after the `Asr prayer till the sun sets.” {Sahih al-Bukhari; Hadith 1197}

Similarly, Sahih Al-Bukhari; Hadith 1191 indicates that it is Makrooh(not recommended) to perform Voluntary or Nafl Prayer after Fajr and Asr Salat – as it may hit the forbidden times.


    1. You may user this app for tracking the fajr starting time. The time of fajr ends exactly when sunrise starts:
      The forbidden time starts, right at the time when the app mentions as “sunrise”. No Fard, Sunnah or even Nafl prayer is allowed from the starting of “sunrise” till 18-20 minutes after this. You may recite/study/memorize Quran during this time.

  1. What is the meaning of sun at the highest point is this wrong if I am praying zohr just before it ends

    1. Today i prayed fajr namaz at around 5.45 something, I didn’t know abt sunrise which was at 5.48.A man called me and said that my namaz is invalid coz i shuld have to wait till 20 mins which is 6.08 AM and he said to pray fajr again after that time.what shuld i do now? Can u explain me it pls?

      1. If you carefully study the article, your answer is already included here. Since your Sunrise time is 5:48AM and you have already started or prayed within 5:45AM. Sunrise time is defined as the moment the Sun’s upper edge appears above the horizon – so your Prayer should be valid even if your started to pray from 5:45 and finished it up within 5:48 AM. If you have extended your Prayer after 5:48AM, then it is a grey area where you can pray to Allah Subhanuatala to forgive you.

    1. Sure! There is no restriction on any other form of worship rituals like Zikr & Quran recitation.

  2. As u explained the sun rise and sun set phenomenon that its because of shaitan we are not supposed to salat.. But what’s the reason for zawal time.. Why we couldn’t salat.. What’s its main reason and why its called zawal.

    1. The reason of those time is mentioned/hinted in that hadith. But for the Zawaal time we are yet unaware of the reason why our creator forbidden us, but we should follow it as our creator commanded it through his messenger.

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    1. The definition of killing time is different from person to person. However, the good news is that, if we can invest our time to anything that will please our maker, we are confident that – we are not killing that time – and we don’t need anyone’s validation that. Investing time to make our family happy is also a part of it, which we also need to balance as well.

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  5. But doesn’t the maghrib prayer falls directly in the forbidden time?? Because you mentioned that it is forbidden to pray after the asr prayer?

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