The On-Time Prayers of Those Present in Arafat

By Sayyid Amin Mortzevi | Short posts published by Imam Muhammad Baqir Fiqh Institute

It is best to perform each prayer at its appointed time. The reason for this ruling is the numerous traditions that instruct us to do so1. In some of these narrations, the merit of praying at the beginning of the time is compared to the merit of the Hereafter over this world2.

The author of al-Hadāʾiq lists 24 exceptions to this ruling3, but two exceptions are related to the prayers of pilgrims.

First Exception

Regarding the Maghrib and Isha prayers for someone who has left Arafat, it is recommended to delay these prayers until reaching Muzdalifah, even if it is one-third of the night. This is explicitly stated in the Sahih narration of Muhammad ibn Muslim:

“Do not perform the Maghrib prayer until you reach jam’; even if one-third of the night has passed.”

Allameh Majlisi explains that jam’ refers to Mash’ar al-Haram, called so because people gather there or because Maghrib and Isha prayers are combined there with one adhan and two iqamas, or due to the recommendation to delay the prayer until jam’; this ruling is consensual among jurists4.

Although the narration forbids performing the Maghrib prayer at its early time, this prohibition does not imply that it is haram to pray on time in Arafat. This is because the prohibition in the context of an assumed command does not indicate prohibition. Moreover, the actions of the Prophet (p) support this interpretation, as he performed the Maghrib prayer in the valley5. Additionally, Imam Baqir (a) performed the Maghrib prayer between Arafat and Muzdalifah6.

Second Exception

Also, the Isha prayer is generally an exception to this rule; it is preferable to delay it until the red twilight disappears. The reason for this ruling is the numerous texts7 that have been narrated regarding this matter8.


  1. Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 4, pg. 118, chapter 5
  2. Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 4, pg. 123
  3. Al-Hada’iq al-Nāḍira, vol. 6, pp. 326-332
  4. Mir’āt al-‘Uqūl, vol. 18, pg. 127
  5. Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 14, pg. 13
  6. Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 14, pg. 12
  7. Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 4, pg. 199
  8. See: Mustanbatāt al-’Alām, vol. 1, pp. 296-297