Asr prayer

The Asr prayer is one of the five obligatory prayers in Islam, performed in the afternoon. The word "Asr" means "afternoon" in Arabic. This prayer consists of four units (Rak'ahs) and is observed by Muslims as an act of worship and submission to Allah.

The proof for Asr

The proof from the Quran in Surah al-Israa verse 78: "Observe the prayer from the decline of the sun until the darkness of the night and the dawn prayer, for certainly the dawn prayer is witnessed by angels."

On which ibn Kahir commented: "(from midday till the darkness of the night,) meaning darkness, or it was said, sunset. This was understood to mean Dhuhr `Asr, Maghrib and `Isha'.""

How to observe Asr

It is a common misconception that the Asr prayer time is when the shadow of an object becomes equal to its height. However, this holds true only at the equator on certain days of the year. In the far north and south regions, where the sun remains low in the sky during winter, the shadow of the sun can be even longer before the Dhuhr time.

Understanding this, we realize that the length of the shadow at Dhuhr must be added to the actual length of an object's shadow to determine the start of Asr prayer. Therefore, Asr begins when the shadow of an object is equal to its actual length plus the length of the shadow at the time of Dhuhr.

When Asr ends?

The end time of Asr prayer is determined when the sunlight becomes weaker and turns red. At this time it's possible to look into the sun directly. It is considered sinful to delay the prayer beyond this point. However, if one happens to be late, it remains obligatory to perform the Asr prayer until the time of Maghrib prayer.

Learn about the calculation of Asr