The best prayer is that which is performed at the time required by the Islamic Law. This is why when the Prophet was asked of the best deed most loved by Allah, the Almighty, he replied:
الصَّلَاةُ عَلَى وَقْتِهَا
Prayer at it stated timeReported by Al-Bukhari in the Book of the Times of the Prayers
He did not say prayer at the beginning of it stated time. This is because it is prescribed to advance some of them and to delay some of them.
For example, it is prescribed to delay ‘Isha prayer when the Adhan for ‘Isha is called, or to delay it until a third of the night has passed. Because Prophet Muhammad (SAW) delayed it one night until the people said: “Oh, Messenger of Allah! The women and children have slept.” He then came out and perform the prayer and said:
إِنَّ هَذَا لَوَقْتُهَا، لَو لَا أَنْ أَشُقَّ عَلَى أُمَّتِي
His is the proper time for it; were it not that I would impose a burden on my people (I would normally pray at this time)Reported by Muslim in the Book of Masjid.
Let also say a group of people went on an outing and the time came for the ‘Isha prayer, it is better to delay the salah unless it may cause some difficulties to them.
Except for this ‘Isha prayer, all others are to be observed at the beginning of the time unless there is/are some valid reason(s) such as:
If the heat becomes intense, then it is better to delay the Zuhr prayer until the temperature is lower. This is in accordance with the word of the Prophet (SAW):
إِذَا اشْتَدَّ الْحَرُّ فَأَبْرِدُوا بِالصَّلَاةِ فَإِنَّ شِدَّةَ الْحَرِّ مَن فَيْحِ جَهَنَّمَ
If the heat becomes intense, then perform the Zuhr prayer when it becomes a little cooler, because the intensity of the heat is from the raging of the Hell-fireReported by Al-Bukhari in the Book of the Timings of the Prayers.
The Prophet went on a journey and Bilal stood up to call the Afihan for the Zuhr prayer, but he(the Prophet) said to him:
Delay it until it is cooler
This action was reported repeated twice by Bilal and the Prophet said the same thing before he was permitted the third time.Reported by Al-Bukhari in the Book of Timing of Prayers
Another reason for delaying the salah is if there is a congregation at the end of the time which cannot be found at the beginning of the time. In this case, delaying the prayer is better , such as when a man is in the desert(or a far place) when the time for prayer comes and he knows that he can reach the town in time to pray with the congregation at the end of the time. It is better to delay the prayer so that the man can catch the congregation prayer.
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