Thursday , 2 February 2023

3.2.2 Times of the Five Prayers

In this Unit:

  • There are 5 Prayers that are obligatory for Muslims to pray.
  • The times of these prayers are determined based on the position of the sun in the sky and shadows on the ground.


  • Fajr
  • Sunrise
  • Zuhur
  • Zawal
  • Asar
  • Maghrib
  • Sunset
  • Isha

3.2.2 image

Muslims are obligated to pray 5 times per day. Though most of us rely on calendars and watches to tell us the prayer time, in reality, the prayer times are determined by the position of the sun and the length of shadows.

How to determine the times of the 5 prayers:

1. Fajr (Dawn prayer)

1. Fajr (Dawn prayer)

Start time: At true dawn which is when you see a white light stretched across the horizon.

End time: When the sphere of the sun starts to appear over the horizon

2. Zuhur (Noon prayer)

2. Zuhur (Noon prayer)

Start time: Zawal – which is when the sun passes its highest point in the sky. You know this has happened when the shadow of an object, say a meter stick, goes from decreasing to increasing.

End time: When the shadow of an object is equal to the length of the object

Or more accurately:

Length of meter stick: 100 cm
Length of shadow at zawal: 5 cm
Length of shadow at end of zuhur = x

x = 100 cm+ 5 cm = 105 cm

When x is 105 cm, zuhur is finished, asr has started.

3. Asar (Evening prayer)

3. Asar (Evening prayer)

Start time: End of zuhur

End time: When the entire sphere of the sun sets.

4. Maghrib (Sunset prayer)

4. Maghrib (Sunset prayer)

Start time: When the sun sets

End time: When the redness of sunset leaves the sky.

5. Isha (Night prayer)

5. Isha (Night prayer)

Start time: When the redness of the sunset leaves the sky.

End time: Dawn

Now watch this video to see how to determine the beginning and end of zuhur and asr.


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