Some Hadiths about Asr
It’s perhaps the most tiring time of the day. We’ve worked or attended classes since morning, then we have had our lunch, worked some more, and by now we’re feeling lazy, tired and sleepy.
Allah (SWT) knows our weaknesses. No wonder He emphasized so much to take special care to pray the Asr prayer.
Asr is also a blessed time because of the change of shifts of the angels of the day and the angels of the night during this time. It is also a special time for long dhikr, and the Prophet (SAW) taught us many special dhikrs for this purpose. The last hour of Asr on every Friday is a special time for duas to be accepted.
Allah (SWT) said, “Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah , devoutly obedient.” (2:238) The Prophet (SAW) later explained that the ‘middle prayer’ means salat al-asr. (Tirmidhi Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 2983)
Let us look at some of the hadiths which emphasize the status of Asr and the consequences of being lax in establishing the Asr prayer.
Special Time for Dhikr
Asr is one of the special times for dhikr, as Allah (SWT) said:
“And mention the name of your Lord [in prayer] morning and evening.” (Quran, 76:25)
“And exalt Him morning and afternoon.” (33:42)
“So be patient, [O Muhammad], over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting,” (50:39)
There are many special duas and dhikrs mentioned in the Sunnah which can be said during this blessed time. Here is just one of them:
“We have reached the evening, and the Dominion has reached the evening, while belonging to Allah. And all praise belongs to Allah. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, alone, without partner.
“To Him belongs the Dominion, and to Him is the praise, and He is capable of all things. I ask You for the good that is in this night, and the good of what is after it, and I seek refuge in You from the evil of this night, and the evil of what is after it, and I seek refuge in You from laziness and helpless old age. And I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the Fire and the punishment of the grave.” (Tirmidhi 3390)
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The Night-Shift Angels Take Over
The angels come down to the earth in two shifts – one for the night and one for the day.
Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “(A group of) angels stay with you at night and (another group of) angels by daytime, and both groups gather at the time of the ‘Asr and Fajr prayers. Then those angels who have stayed with you overnight, ascend (to Heaven) and Allah asks them (about you) —- and He knows everything about you. ‘In what state did you leave My slaves?’ The angels reply, ‘When we left them, they were praying, and when we reached them, they were praying.’ ” (Bukhari 7429)
Imagine what happens when we miss the Asr prayer. On such a day, what do the angels say to Allah about us? In what state did they leave us?
Missing Asr Intentionally
Imagine what happens to a person who has just gone bankrupt. Not only that, he has lost his house too, and on top of that, his family has abandoned him. What would be the state of his heart?
Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Whoever misses the `Asr prayer (intentionally) then it is as if he lost his family and property.” (Bukhari 552)
The Virtue of the Asr Time of Fridays
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Seek out the hour that is hoped for on Friday after Asr until the sun has set.” -Tirmidhi 489
There are indeed many blessings for praying the Asr prayer. May Allah SWT help us become more steadfast in our prayers, Ameen!