What Should I Do If I Almost Don’t Have Time to Pray Fajr Before Sunrise?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

A person wakes up for Fajr and there is very little time left. He performs the four obligatory acts of wudu, and he only performs the obligatory actions of prayers, since it is almost sunrise. This person also had a wet dream. Is his prayer valid since he left the wajib Ghusl out because he would miss the Fajr prayer if he had done it?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah,

No, it is not valid to pray without being in a state of ritual purification.

However, if there is not enough time to perform a bare-minimum ritual bath (ghusl) and prayer, then some scholars held that you could perform the dry ablution (tayammum) and pray.

This is actually the position of Imam Zufar who considered the dry ablution to be legislated for the prayer to be prayed within the time.

As such, Ibrahim al-Halabi and Ibn Amir Hajj both mention in their respective commentaries on Munyat al-Musalli that it would be from caution to follow this position, and then to repeat the prayer with a renewed purification [= ghusl, in this case] after the time.

If it is was an actual wet dream, and not mere misgivings, and there was not enough time to perform a ritual bath (ghusl), the correct thing to do would have been to perform the dry ablution (tayammum) and then pray.

Note that it is possible to perform a complete ritual bath and pray two cycles (rak‘as) within a few minutes. It is also good to practice this so that you are easily able to do it if the need arises.

In any case, it would not be proper to leave the necessary (wajib) actions if it will simply result in movements without any notion of prayer. This is particularly the case given that you can perform these two cycles with all the necessary actions within some forty five seconds.

[Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.164)]

Please also see: The Ritual Bath (ghusl): Obligatory, Recommended, and Disliked Acts and Can I Pray in a State of Ritual Impurity if There Is not enough Time To Perform a Ritual Bath? and Is My Prayer Valid if I Finish Praying Outside its Respective Prayer Time?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.


[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.