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I want to ask, what are the two prayers (or the times at the two ends of the day) that are referred to in the verse 11:114 Hud of the Quran:

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ ۚ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ

"And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember."

AND ALSO, please state how did you arrived at that interpretation / conclusion?

  • This is covered here islam.stackexchange.com/questions/928/… – Medi1Saif Oct 18 '17 at 10:12
  • For the main question? yes, it did covered. Detail explanation about how he/she arrived at that conclusion? I guess it's just not there. Am I wrong? – Rextia Oct 18 '17 at 11:21
  • The link he/she referred to was in full Arabic, which I couldn't understand and I'm not sure that google translate could translate it very correctly without any mistranslation. Sory – Rextia Oct 18 '17 at 11:24
  • All I know is that he/she concluded that it was Duhr and Ashr that was referred to. But it's really not very clear, how did he arrived at that interpretation. He just appear to have suddenly interpret it that way, at least from my perspective and from what I read there in that thread. – Rextia Oct 18 '17 at 11:34
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The Quran talks of "two ends of the day"

طرف means boundaries, ends, extremities or sides.

نهار means day as opposed to night.

A day is traditionally divided into two parts: sunrise to sun's zenith and sun's zenith to sunset. Because of the two parts, it has three ends: sunrise, zenith and sunset.

Fajr is near sunrise (its time is from dawn to just before sunrise). Zuhr is at the sun's zenith, Asr's time is till just before sunset and Maghrib is right after sunset.

So, all obligatory, day-time prayers are at an "end" of the day and the verse can mean any or perhaps all of them.

The following diagram should help to explain this:

enter image description here

The following opinions are documented in Tafsirs about طرفي ٱلنهار [ the ends of the day]:

[Arabic to english translations are my own, please treat with caution.]
.
[All views are documented in almost all the classic Tafsirs, though I cite only one or two per opinion for brevity]

  1. They are Fajr and Maghrib.

    وقال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما: طرفا النهار الغداة والعشي، يعني صلاة الصبح والمغرب

    Ibn Abbas said: The ends of the day are morning and evening, i.e Fajr and Maghrib.

    Tafsir al-Baghawi

    Tabari narrated the above from Ibn Abbas, Hassan and Ibn Zaid and preferred this opinion stating that the majority agrees that Fajr is the first "end" and its conjugate is logically Maghrib. It should also be noted that in 20:130 it is interpreted by some that Maghrib is referred to as an end of a day (see Tafsir Qurtubi)

  2. They are Fajr and Asr.

    عن محمد بن كعب ( أقم الصلاة طرفي النهار ) ، الفجر و العصر

    Narrated from Muhammad bin Kaab 'the ends of the day' [means] Fajr and Asr

    Tafsir Tabari

    The argument for this is that Asr is the prayer closer to the end and Maghrib is not meant because:

    قال ٱبن عطية: ورد عليه بأن المغرب لا تدخل فيه لأنها من صلاة الليل

    Ibn Atiya said: The refutation to this is that Maghrib is not included in it as it is a prayer of the night.

    Tafsir Qurtubi

  3. They are Fajr, Zuhr and Asr, counting all three ends that fall in the day-time.

    قال مجاهد : الطرف الأول ، صلاة الصبح ، والطرف الثاني صلاة الظهر والعصر ; واختاره ابن عطية

    Mujahid said: The first side is the morning prayer (fajr) and the second side is Zuhr and Asr, and Ibn Atiya adopted this.

    Tafsir Qurtubi

    وقال تعالى : وأقم الصلاة طرفي النهار وزلفا من الليل روى عمرو عن الحسن في قوله تعالى : طرفي النهار قال : " صلاة الفجر ، والأخرى الظهر والعصر " وزلفا من الليل قال : " المغرب والعشاء " . فعلى هذا القول قد انتظمت الآية الصلوات الخمس

    Regarding the saying of Allah 11:114. It is narrated from Umro from Hassan: The first end is Fajr and the second end is Zuhr and Asr. And وزلفا من الليل [at the approach of the night] are Maghrib and Isha. According to this, the verse covers all five prayers.

    Tafsir Al Jassas

    As explained at the beginning, this opinion divides the day at the Zenith and assigns two "ends" at it.

    وقيل : النهار ينقسم قسمين فصلهما الزوال ، ولكل قسم طرفان ؛ فعند الزوال طرفان ؛ الآخر من القسم الأول والأول من القسم الآخر

    Some said: The day is divided into two halves. The Zenith is the partition between them and each half has two "ends" and there are two ends at the zenith (one for each part).

    Tafsir Qurtubi

    Jassas argues against this:

    وجائز أن يريد به العصر ؛ لأن آخر النهار من طرفه ؛ والأولى أن يكون المراد العصر دون الظهر ؛ لأن طرف الشيء إما أن يكون ابتداءه أو نهايته وآخره ويبعد أن يكون ما قرب من الوسط طرفا

    It is valid to take this to mean Asr, because the last part of the day is an end from one side. It is better if it is taken to mean Asr and not to mean Zuhr. Because a thing's border is either its beginning or its end. It is strange that the part which is close to the center should be called a border.

    Tafsir Al Jassas

  4. The first end is Fajr & Zuhr and the second end is Asr & Maghrib. Including all ends and counting Maghrib in the day.

    وقال مقاتل : صلاة الفجر والظهر طرف ، وصلاة العصر والمغرب طرف ، وزلفا من الليل ، يعني : صلاة العشاء

    Muqatil said: Fajr and Zuhr are one end and Asr and Maghrib are the other end, and وزلفا من الليل [at the approach of the night] is Isha

    Tafsir al-Baghawi

    The arguments for the above will apply to this case, counting Fajr and Maghrib because of 1, Zuhr and Asr because of 3.

  5. They are Zuhr and Asr only. This (minority) view counts Fajr as part of the night as well, in addition to Maghrib and Isha.

    وقال بعضهم : بل عنى بطرفي النهار ، الظهر ، والعصر ، وبقوله : ( زلفا من الليل ) ، المغر ب ، والعشاء ، والصبح

    And some said: The ends of the day are Zuhr and Asr, and وزلفا من الليل [at the approach of the night] are Maghrib, Isha and Fajr.

    Tafsir Tabari

    وقيل : الطرفان الظهر والعصر ... قال ابن العربي : والعجب من الطبري الذي يرى أن طرفي النهار الصبح والمغرب ، وهما طرفا الليل

    And it was said that the "ends" are Zuhr and Asr. ... Ibn Arbi said: I am amazed at Tabari for holding that Fajr and Maghrib are ends of the day when they are really ends of the night.

    Tafsir Qurtubi

    Qurtubi argued against it, citing that Fajr is counted as part of the day for purposes of fasting.

  • A very comprehensive answer. Excellent indeed. Very varied answer references and what I like is that you left the conclusion to the reader to choose from any of those answers thus still remaining yourself objective. I corrected my sentence in the opening question because of your input. Much appreciated for that. And I suggested just some tiny little improvements in your answer. No ill feeling intended, I merely intend to perfect your answer so that it can be a very good reference for others. May Allah SWT bless you for your deeds. – Rextia Oct 19 '17 at 5:02
  • You didn't address زُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ which make many linguists exclude maghrib from this as زُلَف means close to! – Medi1Saif Oct 19 '17 at 9:24
  • Okay. Since it's possible that it may have a relation to the previous clause I will post it in a another thread, but still linking it to this thread. – Rextia Oct 19 '17 at 13:56
  • But first let me ask, because i'm just curious, what is the limit for "day" and limit for "night" in Islam? it should have been the first question I ask before this one. – Rextia Oct 19 '17 at 13:59
  • Like for example, just 1 second after sunset (magrib), does it count as night time or does it still count as day time? – Rextia Oct 19 '17 at 14:11
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May Allah bless you for your patience.

I stated Friday prayer once a week observed between salat el fajr and salat el ishaa is called EL-SALAT-EL-WUSTA.. 2:238 refers to once a week for the following TWO reasons, 1)due to a specific prayer found in 62:9.."when the call to prayer is proclaimed on the "day of gathering/FRIDAY" DROP ALL BUSINESS and hasten to the remembrance of Allah.." this prayer happens during the business hours (thus 24:37 and 30:18 can confirm this time of prayer) HOWEVER 30:18 ALSO makes a point of CONTRAST between two extremes: heavens vs earth, night vs day, and life vs death (30:19). Secondly is the fact of the definate article "EL" before salat AND also before the word wusta, thus this is a specific salat that happens at a specific time and it is certainly UNIQUE AGAIN DUE TO THE DEFINATE ARTICLE "EL" vs "salat-el-fajr & salat-el-ishaa". Thus EL salat EL wusta is ONE OF A KIND. In regards to 20:130 I MUST revise my answer and say that the SECOND daily prayer is JUST BEFORE SUNSET UNTIL THE SUN ACTUALLY HAS SET, while the morning prayer FAJR is JUST BEFORE SUNRISE UNTIL THE SUN HAS RISEN.

20:130 is describing the salat timing thus:

A."gloryify the Lord before the rising of the sun AND BEFORE ITS SETTING.." B. "AND FROM PARTS OF THE NIGHT.."

C. "AND AT THE ENDS OF THE DAY.."

Thus this verse is not ADDING salat but FULLY DESCRIBING TWO SALAT WHICH HAVE A CRITERIA: MUST TAKE PLACE BEFORE RISING OF THE SUN.. BUT WHEN?? MUST TAKE PLACE DURING PARTS OF THE NIGHT..OK SO BEFORE THE SUN RISE AND FROM THE NIGHT..OK BUT THAT STILL DOESN'T SPECIFY EXACTLY WHEN! 2AM IS BEFORE THE SUN RISES AND DURING PARTS OF THE NIGHT SO.. LASTLY, MUST TAKE PLACE DURING THE ENDS OF THE DAY.. THUS we now have an exact time as to WHEN these two salat occur. 11:114: "two ends of the day(notice same phrase as 20:130) and during parts of the night.." (two ends of the day= two prayers one on each end of the day that takes part during/near some stages of "night" 17:78: "at the suns decline until the darkness of night(one prayer) AND QURAN EL FAJR(second prayer).." thus the two daily prayers take place BEFORE SUNRISE until sunrise(fajr) and BEFORE sunset until the darkenss of night(ishaa prayer), while EL-SALAT-EL-WUSTA takes place once a week during the day on Fridays. The below ref article mainly supports this theory that the two daily salat were originally fajr and asr(before sunset). Their is a hadith in the article below that states someone asked the prophet(pbuh) what should they do since 5 prayers a day were not managable and the prophet was quoted "atleast keep the asrani" they asked what the asrani was and he replied salat before sunrise and the salat before sunset.(page 58)

“ Western scholars have already noticed that according to Muslim sources, before the five daily prayers became part of the "pillars" of Islam, the Muslims used to pray only twice a day. Goldziher states that "before the duty of prayer was extended to five times a day, the Muslims are said to have observed only two canonical times of prayer: morning and afternoon ... ".1 Other scholars, like Mittwoch, for instance, who studied the evidence of Muslim sources, maintained that the first two prayers which the Muslims reportedly used to pray daily were saLat al-fajr (before sunrise), and salat al- 'isha' (after sunset).' JSAI 10,1987 MORNING AND EVENING PRAYERS IN EARLY ISLAM Uri Rubin And Allah knows best and has the final say.

  • If you insist in wanting to offer only 2 times of prayer a day to God because you truly can only offer 2, then that's fineee.....the midnight (tahajjud) prayer is also additional, you don't have to do it if you feel that your not willing to get any extra reward from God, right? Hopefully one day God will give you the ability to finally be able to do 5 times of prayer a day....just like the rest of us, because I'm pretty sure, no matter what you say, it is always true that the more good deeds you DO in this world.... the BETTER in the hereafter. Salam – Rextia May 19 '18 at 2:29
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1.“Morning and Evening prayers in Early Islam” by a Uri (google search pdf available online) 2.Salat in Islam is historically known to be TWO/day before it became 5. This is well known. 3. In my answer I gave Quranic references with surah number and verse number which I felt were sufficient for the question asked. 4. As far as 3 vs. 5: I am NOT in support of 3x a day as I feel its not correct HOWEVER I dont feel it matters if one prays once or twice or five times a day, and God knows best. 5. Quranically there are only TWO daily prayers with an extra community prayer on Fridays that is placed during day in MIDDLE of fajr&issha. Peace.

  • This is a comment in reponse to the OP questions on your answer but with with a different account; it is not an answer. With more reputation, users become able to post comments. – III-AK-III May 13 '18 at 17:03
  • " I dont feel it matters if one prays once or twice or five times a day, " You mean it doesn't even matter to you even if God clearly commands us to do so? Why do you say 2/day when in the Quran itself there is clearly more than that number ===> how do you interpret Taha [20:130] @Thinker? – Rextia May 14 '18 at 0:55
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Bismillah It is my understanding their are two salat performed per day as required by Quran and God knows best. I am also open to the hadith approach to Islam as historical documentation is relevent to any understanding of the past.

"Ends of the day" are the begining and end of DAY. Daylight starts at the break of dawn (Fajr) and the ends immediately after the sun sets (maghrib). Zulufan min el layl is "nearest"ness" to the NIGHT" but basically means near or close to something (zulufan). It refers to the parts of DAWN AND DUSK which is the MIX between NIGHT and day. Thus zulufan min el layl is "those parts" of times which are closest to the night (dawn and dusk).

Salat is a period of time that has a start time and end time. You must offer your prayer between the start of Dawn/Dusk and must complete it by the time the sun lights up the sky dissolving the night or when the sky is totally dark for the dusk prayer giving each salat a 40 min to 1hr 30 min time frame rough guess it depends on where you live but you dont need a watch or anything but your eyes to visually see it. We can all look outside and tell when that MIX of night and day is present and when it is gone. (17:78)-"AT THE SUNS DECLINE/SETTING UNTIL THE DARKNESS OF NIGHT AND THE MORNING PRAYER.." Again, there are ONLY two prayer "timeframes" per day this verse CONFIRMS 11:114 but now is even more specific as to what is meant by ends of the day as the "suns setting until the DARKNESS OF NIGHT.." the moring prayer is the OPPOSITE by default so salat al fajr is mentioned by name as it is now understood it is from the break of dawn until the sky has "lightness of day" vs "darkness of night".

2:238, SALAWAT(Plural salat meaning 3 or more) and especially EL-SALAT-EL-WUSTA. This verse is talking about the collective/cumulative salat one makes throughout an entire WEEK(7days). 2 salat per day *7=14 total salat a week PLUS an additional EL-SALAT-EL-WUSTA(Friday/Community/Group prayer) making a total of 15 salat per week. The two articles of "EL" is no mistake, this is refering to a specific salat that happens ONCE A WEEK(62:9) The VERSES of 2:238 and 62:9 ARE RELATED but NOT THE CHAPTERS thus 238+9=247 AND the verse 2:238 is related to 7 days thus 2+238+7=247. This is just an interesting numeric observation and could be coincidential but I feel it adds ferver to the theory. (Birds perform "salat" also 24:41)DAWN AND DUSK Chorus is a real natural phenomenon known in the bird kingdom feel free to wiki dawn and dusk chorus further adding to the two salat theory with an additional weekly friday prayer. And just because its one prayer ONCE a week doesn't mean its not as important as the two daily prayers thus "ESPECIALLY THE MIDDLE PRAYER.."(2:238) ONLY THREE SALAT LISTED BY NAME IN QURAN. 1.SALAT-EL-FAJR 2.SALAT-EL-ISSHA(SUNNIS MAGRIB PRAYER) 3. EL-SALAT-EL-WUSTA (THE SPECIFIC PRAYER DONE ON FRIDAYS PERFORMED ANYTIME IN THE MIDDLE(WUSTA) OF THE TWO SALAT (usually happens during NOON AND ASR hours). This is a time when people are shopping and conducting business during daylight. notice the missing article EL from numbers 1 and 2, further confirming number 3 is NOT done daily but ONCE a week on Fridays and is DISTINCT "EL-SALAT" from the other two daily salat. (NOTE: 5 SALAT PER DAY WOULD MAKE THIS ALWAYS THE ASR PRAYER AND ASR HAPPENS EVERYDAY AND IS IDENTICAL TO FAJR/ISSAH THUS MAKING IT NO DIFFERENT)

*AGAIN PLEASE NOTE ISSHA TIME IS THE PROPER NAME FOR WHAT SUNNI'S CALL MAGHRIB, the Quran refers to MANY instances of the world morning(variety of words) and evening (ishaa/asr) for worship/salat/praise. Asr can also mean dusk time. Please do your own simple research on definitions via google, ect.

I will cut the answer to your question short as their is alot more that can be said about the topic but I feel this is a sufficent answer. In conclusion the prayers at the ends of the day refer to salat-el-fajr (dawn hour) and the other end of the day you will find salat-el-ishaa(dusk hour). And of course God knows best and has the final say and judgement of all the matters.

  • Thanks, But I notice you are not attaching where your interpretation is coming from...therefore I'm not sure of your answer.. – Rextia May 13 '18 at 6:15
  • Btw are you of those in favor of 3 times of daily prayer or 5 times of daily prayer? – Rextia May 13 '18 at 6:18
  • What is the basis for your claim that Salatul Wusta is only once a week? When the Quran has commanded us to guard it strictly, should we leave six days based on unfounded presumptions? Zuhr is mentioned in 30:18 and five times are mentioned in 20:130. – UmH May 14 '18 at 3:29
  • Also day-time prayers like Zuhr and Asr are referred to in 24:37, as these are the times when trade is customarily done. It would be weak praise if prayer during the day was only required once a week. – UmH May 14 '18 at 3:48

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