Question: Is it permissible to perform Salah al-Ishraq prior to ‘Eid prayer?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
The Duha Prayer
It is true that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) was consistent in praying the early morning prayer.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever prays the Fajr prayer in congregation, then sits remembering Allah till the sun rises, then prays two units of prayer, for them is the reward of Hajj and ‘Umra.”
In another narration, He adds, “Complete, complete, complete” [Tirmidhi].
al-Tibi (may Allah have mercy on him) comments on this narration saying, “(This means) he prays after the sun has risen one spear’s length when the disliked time exits. This prayer is called the Ishraq (sunrise) prayer – it occurs at the beginning of the early morning (Dhuha).
[Mubarakpuri, Mir’a al-Mafatih sharh Mishka al-Masabih]
This Sunna Prayer is fulfilled by:
(a) remaining in remembrance (dhikr)–whether Qur’an, remembrance (dhikr) itself, supplication (dua), seeking beneficial knowledge or reflection–until sunrise; and
(b) performing the Duha prayer that day–even later in the morning. [Shaykh Faraz Rabbani]
The Timing for the Duha prayer
The jurists (fuqaha) have deemed the prayer encouraged in this and similar Hadiths to refer to the Duha (midday) prayer. They don’t consider the Sunrise (Ishraq) prayer to be distinct [Shah Abd al-Haqq al-Dahlawi, Lama’at al-Tanqih].
However, many of the righteous–choosing the way of caution and greater devotion–distinguished between the Sunrise (Ishraq) prayer and the Duha prayer. They considered the former to be performed 15 minutes or so after Sunrise–and considered the Duha prayer to be optimally performed later in the morning. [Shaykh Faraz Rabbani]
The Duha prayer can be also be performed after Sunrise–until just before Zuhr time enters. Its optimal time is after one-fourth of the day has passed [al-Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar].
Its minimum rakats are two and its maximum is twelve [al-Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar].
Voluntary Prayers Prior to ‘Eid Prayer
There is an agreement that performing any voluntary prayers at the place where the ‘Eid prayer is held prior to the ‘Eid prayer is disliked.
As for performing voluntary prayers at home before leaving for the ‘Eid prayer is also disliked according to the most authentic opinion, however, some opined that it is permissible [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar].
Time for Salat al-Duha
The time of the sunrise prayer (salat al-Duha) extends from sunrise up till just before the dhuhr prayer. Therefore one can pray the sunrise prayer upon returning home from the ‘Eid prayer.
“And its time is from the rising of the sun the length of a spear – It is not valid before that rather it would be a prohibited voluntary prayer – up until the Zawal time (i.e. just before Dhuhr)…”
[al-Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar]
Voluntary Prayers after ‘Eid prayer
Note, however, that praying any voluntary prayers, at the ‘Eid prayer location, after ‘Eid is disliked according to most [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar].
It is from being cautious that one should wait till they return home.
Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) leads the ‘Eid prayer and did not pray prior to it nor after it” [Bukhari].
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) would not pray anything before the ‘Eid prayer. When he would later return home He would pray two units of prayer” [Ibn Majah].
Hope this helps
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.