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There appears to be two different hadiths on praying after 'Asr.

Some hadiths say it is haram.

Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "There is no prayer after the morning prayer till the sun rises, and there is no prayer after the Asr prayer till the sun sets." (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 10, Number 560)

Allah's Apostle forbade the offering of two prayers: 1. after the morning prayer till the sunrises. 2. after the 'Asr prayer till the sun sets. (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 10, Number 562)

Some hadiths say it is highly encouraged.

'Aisha (addressing me) said, "O son of my sister! The Prophet never missed two prostrations (i.e. Rakat) after the 'Asr prayer in my house." (Volume 1, Book 10, Number 565)

Allah's Apostle never missed two Rakat before the Fajr prayer and after the Asr prayer openly and secretly. (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 10, Number 566)

Whenever the Prophet come to me after the 'Asr prayer, he always prayed two Rakat. (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 10, Number 567)

Am I misunderstanding this? Is it allowed/encouraged to pray after 'Asr?

  • I unfortunately have no time to answer but a part of the answer is that scholars of the shafi'i madhab indeed use these ahadith as a proof for praying sunnah after 'asr, while others say the Prophet pbuh has prayed qaza' of nafl prayers. – Medi1Saif May 10 '17 at 15:31
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Scholars , like Imam Nawawi , said in Sharh Sahih Muslim, Volume:6 Pages:110,121 , that it's Makruh , not haram. Makruh means: undesirable/disapproved .

he said it is the ijma' (consensus) of the Umma (Muslim community) that it's Makruh to pray for no reason during those mentioned times , but it is acceptable to pray 'missed Nafila' (additional prayer missed) at those times .

he also mentioned that there are scholars that say it is a 'unique characteristic' (plural: Khasa'is) for the prophet only. I found that Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani mentioned it in Fath al-Bari as it is said by scholars who say it's always Makruh:

and who said it's Makruh whatsoever, answered that his action [the prophet's] implies that it is acceptable to pray the missed Rawateb (extra prayers) without it being Makruh.

and he also referred to Al-baihaki:

Al-baihaki said: "what is a unique characteristic for the prophet peace be upon him, is the continuity, not the making up itself [for missed prayers] "

and he mentioned this narration:

as Narrated by Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Dhakwan, the client of Aisha, reported on the authority of Aisha: "The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) used to pray after the afternoon prayer but prohibited others from it... " [Sunan Abu dawud, Book 4, Number 1275]

Wa Allah-u A'alm (and God is the most knowing).

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