May the Fajr Prayer Performed after Sunrise?

Answered by Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahmad


May the Fajr prayer performed after sunrise?


In the name of Allah, and all praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, and after that:

The Timing of Fajr

“The time for Fajr prayer begins with the true dawn and extends until sunrise” [Khinn and Sharbaji, al-Fiqh al-Manhaji]. As stated in the authentic hadith, from Abdullah ibn Amr (Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The time for Dhuhr is when the sun passes the meridian and a man’s shadow is equal to his height, until the time of Asr comes. The time for Asr lasts until the sun turns yellow. The time for Maghrib lasts until the twilight has disappeared. The time for Isha is until midnight. The time for Fajr prayer is from the break of dawn until sunrise. When the sun rises, refrain from prayer, for it rises between the two horns of Satan.” [Muslim]

Forgetting or Oversleeping

In the Shafi’i school, it is permissible to pray the Fajr prayer after sunrise for someone who forgot it or overslept and did not wake up before sunrise. Still, it is considered to be making up a missed prayer (qada’), not performing the prayer at its prescribed time (ada’).

If the Sun Rises during Prayer

If one makes the intention to pray Fajr before sunrise, and it rises during their prayer, they should complete it. Al-Mawardi said in al-Hawi al-Kabir: “If someone prays one Raka of Fajr before sunrise and the second Raka after sunrise, the prayer is valid… and the sunrise does not invalidate it during it.”

Completing One Rak’ah before Sunrise

If a Raka is completed before sunrise, it is considered Ada’, not Qada.’ However, if the sun rises before completing a full Raka, it is considered Qada’. It is mentioned in Asna al-Matalib: “If one catches a Raka in its time, the entire prayer is Ada’ (performed on time)” as per the authentic hadith reported by Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him): “Whoever catches a Raka of the prayer has caught the prayer,” [Bukhari, Muslim] meaning as Ada.’ The difference between a Raka and less is that the Raka includes most of the actions of the prayer, as most of what remains is repetition; hence, what follows the time is considered an extension of it, in contrast to what is less than a Raka. “And by exiting some of it (the prayer) from its time, one is sinful due to its sanctity, even if it is Ada’ according to what was mentioned.” [Zakariyya al-Ansari, Asna al-Matalib]

However, according to the Shafii school, the prayer is not invalidated but should be completed, based on the hadith from Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever catches a Rak’a of Fajr before sunrise has caught the Fajr, and whoever catches a Raka of Asr before sunset has caught the Asr” [Bukhari, Muslim].

The Meaning of Establishing the Prayer

In conclusion, I advise the brother who asked the question to maintain the prayer at its prescribed time, for Allah did not say, “Pray,” but rather said. “Establish the prayer.” Performing it at the beginning of its time is part of establishing the prayer.

[Shaykh] Ahmad al-Ahmad

Shaykh Ahmad Hammadin al-Ahmad, born in Idlib, Syria, in 1954, is a distinguished scholar. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Language from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, a Diploma in Educational Qualification, and a Diploma in Arabic Language from Damascus University. He also earned a Master’s in Islamic Studies, specializing in Aqida, from the Islamic University of Beirut.

Shaykh Ahmed graduated from the Al-Fath Islamic Institute in Damascus and served as a teacher there for 25 years. He has been a lecturer at the Al-Sham Higher Institute, a branch of the Majma‘ al-Fath al-Islami in Damascus, for 16 years, teaching Nahw, Balagha, and Aqida. He worked as a khatib in mosques in Damascus for thirty years and taught in Istanbul for eleven years. In Istanbul, he teaches various Islamic sciences, including the Quran, Hadith, Tafsir, Aqida, Fiqh, Nahw, and Balagha, at numerous Islamic institutes.

He received Ijazas in Islamic and Arabic sciences from his teachers: Shaykh Abdul Razzaq al-Halabi, Shaykh Muhammad Adib al-Kallas, the Gnostic Shaykh Mahmud al-Shaqfa, and Shaykh Ahmad al-Husari, along with many Ijazas in Hadith. Among his works is a book titled “al-Ba‘th wal-Nushur fi al-Quran al-Karim” 

Shaykh Ahmad has served as the director of the Saad ibn Ubada al-Khazraji Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in the Rural Damascus Governorate. He has been a Guidance and Counseling Committee member in the Directorate of Awqaf of Rural Damascus.   

Currently, he is a member of the Fatwa Council in Istanbul. He has also participated in numerous academic conferences and TV and radio panels, including live Q&A sessions.