Answered and approved by Madina Faculty members
Asalamalaikum. Can a Hanafi pray Asr in congregation, but before the Asr time for Hanafis (because Hanafis have a later Asr time)?
بِسْم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله الَّذِي خلق السمواتِ و الارضٓ و جعل الظلماتِ و النورٓ
أحمدُهُ حمداً كما ينبغي لِكَرَمِ وجهه وعِزِّ جلالِهِ
و الصلاة و السلام على سيّدنا محمد النور وعلى أهل بيته الطاهرين
Thank you for your question.
As you may or may not know, within the Hanafi madhhab itself, there is a disagreement on the time of Asr.
The great Imam, Abu Hanifa (radi Allahu anh), believed the time of asr enters [generally] when the shadow of an object is twice its length [in addition to its shadow at the time of zenith]. Two of his top students, namely Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad al-Shaybani, disagreed and held that the time of asr enters when the shadow of an object is the length of the object itself, in addition to the regular shadow that is apparent at the time of zenith. The latter position is also the position of the Shaffi’is and other schools of thought.
The reason this is important to mention is that there are cases within the Hanafi madhhab where the disagreement is so big and strong, that both positions are seen as valid to follow. So, either position you can choose to follow.
- We recommend consistency. Whatever of the two positions you pick, we encourage you to stick to it.
- We recommend that you pick based on the community that you are closest to and most frequently pray with. This way, you can pray jama’ah with them on a consistent basis.
Allah knows best!