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How to pray Asr Prayer

Asr Prayer:


Asr prayer is the afternoon prayer and the third of the five daily prayers (Salah) prescribed in Islam. The term Asr means "afternoon" in Arabic.

This prayer consists of four Sunnah (recommended but not compulsory) rakats and four Fard (obligatory) rakats. The Sunnah rakats are highly recommended and usually performed before the Fard rakats.

The timing of the Asr prayer starts in the afternoon when the shadow of an object is the same length as the object itself, plus the shadow length at the sun's zenith. This is called the time of "Asr al-Kadim" or the early Asr. However, the preferred time to perform Asr prayer extends until the length of the shadow of an object is twice the length of the object itself, a time referred to as "Asr al-Akhir" or late Asr. Asr time ends just before sunset.

Like all Salah, the Asr prayer reminds Muslims of their devotion to Allah and the spiritual aspects of life amid daily activities.


How to pray Asr Prayer


Praying Asr (the afternoon prayer) consists of four units (rakats) of Sunnah prayers, followed by four units of Fard prayers. Here is a simplified step-by-step guide on how to perform the Asr prayer:

1.    Intention (Niyyah): Begin by making your intention clear in your heart. For the Asr prayer, your intention should be to perform four Sunnah rakats first, followed by four Fard rakats of Asr for the sake of Allah.


2.    Takbeer: Stand facing the Qibla (the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca), raise both your hands up to your ears and say "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest). After saying the Takbeer, fold your hands over your chest, right hand over the left.


3.    Recite Surah Al-Fatiha: Recite Surah Al-Fatiha, the opening chapter of the Quran.


4.    Perform Ruku (Bowing Down): Say "Allahu Akbar" and bow down. Your hands should be on your knees, and your back should be flat. In this position, say "Subhana Rabbiyal Adheem" three times.


5.    Stand Up from Ruku: Stand up straight and say "Sami' Allahu liman hamidah", followed by "Rabbana wa lakal hamd".

6.    Perform Sujood (Prostration): Say "Allahu Akbar" and prostrate on the ground. In this position, say "Subhana Rabbiyal A'la" three times.


7.    Sit and Perform Second Sujood: Rise into a sitting position and say "Allahu Akbar." Then, perform the second Sujood just like the first one.


8.    Stand for the Second Rakat: After the second Sujood, stand up again, saying "Allahu Akbar" for the second Rakat, and repeat steps 3 to 7.


9.    Tashahhud after Second Rakat: After the second Sujood of the second Rakat, sit down for the Tashahhud.


10. Stand for the Remaining Rakats: Stand for the remaining two Sunnah or Fard rakats, repeating steps 3 to 7.


11. Final Tashahhud after Last Rakat: After the last Rakat's second Sujood, sit for the final Tashahhud.


12. End the Prayer (Salaam): After reciting the Tashahhud, end the prayer by turning your face to the right and saying "As-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmat-Allah," and then to the left and repeat the same.

Unlike the Fajr, Maghrib, and Isha prayers, in the Asr prayer (and the Dhuhr prayer), there is usually no audible recitation of the Quran in the Fard rakats when praying in congregation. The Imam will recite silently, so you should do your recitations silently as well during the Fard rakats of Asr.

As always, remember to maintain focus and tranquillity throughout the prayer. The Sunnah rakats are considered highly recommended but not obligatory, while the Fard rakats are mandatory. Performing the Sunnah prayers earns an extra reward from Allah.


Benefits of Asr Prayer:-


Like all forms of Salah (Islamic prayer), the Asr prayer carries many benefits that encompass spiritual, physical, and psychological aspects. Here are some of the benefits of performing the Asr prayer:

1.    Spiritual Growth: Asr prayer is an act of worship and obedience to Allah. It serves as a tool for spiritual growth, providing a means to earn Allah's pleasure and rewards.


2.    The angels of the night and the angels of the afternoon go to you. And they gather at dawn prayer and Asr prayer. Then the angel who guards you up to Allah Almighty asks them -and Allah knows their circumstances (His servants) - “In what state did you leave my servants?” The angels replied, “We leave them in a state of being set up the prayer. So, when we go to them, they are in prayer. “(Sahih al-Bukhari 7429)


3.    Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who observes Al-Bardan (i.e., Fajr and ‘Asr prayers) will enter Jannah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. (Riyad as-Salihin 1047)


4.    Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “He who performs Salat (prayers) before the rising of the sun and before its setting, will not enter the Hell. ”[Muslim]. (Riyad as-Salihin 1048)


5.    Opportunity for Forgiveness: According to a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), whoever performs the Asr prayer will have their sins forgiven.


6.    Physical Health: The physical act of prayer is a form of exercise. It involves standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting, which can help improve flexibility and circulation.


7.    Mental Well-being: Taking a break from daily prayer activities can help reduce stress and anxiety. It provides a time of peace and reflection, contributing to better mental health.


8.    Improved Discipline and Time Management: Observing the Asr prayer, like all prayers, at its designated time each day can help foster a sense of discipline and improve time management skills.


9.    A Reminder of the Hereafter: Praying helps remind Muslims about the reality of life after death and the importance of living a righteous life, guiding their actions and decisions in this world.


10. Communal Solidarity: For those who pray in the congregation, the Asr prayer provides an opportunity for social interaction and community building, fostering a sense of unity and brotherhood.


11. Mindfulness: Through prayer, individuals can cultivate a sense of mindfulness, becoming more aware of their thoughts and actions and focusing on their relationship with Allah.


12. Reduces Sin: Praying five times daily, including Asr, prevents sin and wrongdoing. It's a form of purification for the soul, a time to seek Allah's forgiveness and intend to refrain from sin.

Remember, the key purpose of performing the Asr prayer, like all Salah, is to fulfill an act of worship as Allah commanded and maintain a continual remembrance of Allah throughout the day. 


When to perform Asr Prayer?


The timing for Asr prayer, the afternoon prayer, starts when the shadow of an object is the same length as the object itself, plus the shadow length at the sun's zenith. This time is known as "Asr al-Kadim" or early Asr.

However, the preferred time to perform Asr prayer extends until the length of the shadow of an object is twice the length of the object itself. This period is referred to as "Asr al-Akhir" or late Asr.

Asr prayer time ends just before the sun begins to set, marking the beginning of the Maghrib prayer time.

It's important to note that these times are approximate and can change based on your location and the time of year. A prayer timetable provided by a local Islamic authority or an Islamic app is recommended to determine the exact times for prayer in your area.

It's encouraged to perform the Asr prayer as early as possible within its time window to ensure it is not missed, especially as the day can become busy and one might forget.

However, it is permissible to pray any time during the Asr time window up until just before sunset. As with all prayers, one should strive to perform the Asr prayer attentively and with mindfulness.


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