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I have written a question previously on how to calculate prayer times. Now I seem to have found even more methods and sthis is just confusing me. I am worrying that I may think Maghrib ends at one time but it may actually end earlier. Right now according to moonsighting.com Maghrib time has ended but according to my local mosque it hasn't.

If the time has actually ended will my prayer be invalid or accepted because I don't know the correct time for prayer?

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    If you don't know the correct prayer timing then you should ask for prayer sheets in a close mosque or wait for the adhan (if available) or do your own research or read in newspapers. See also Adhan and timings of prayer, prayer times organisations differences and Figuring out right calculation method – Medi1Saif Feb 25 at 11:34
  • I have done lots of reseaech which has confused me further. I do have mosque times from local masjids and others and then compare them. I have used websites such as moonsighting which complicates things even further. Moonsighting's isha time is not similar to my local mosque or other ones quite close but it has been reported that moonsightings times are accurate – user32000 Feb 25 at 23:07
  • then there's no confusion as at least during time periods where the day is not too long you may pray 'isha' late as it is sunnah to delay it until the first third of the night so take the latest time for 'isha' as a reference. Else moonlighting actually is more correct when it comes to 'isha' timing in extrem North or South regions of the hemisphere. Else pray it at the local mosque. – Medi1Saif Feb 26 at 6:12
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The validity of a prayer in first place depends on your niyyah. And whether you performed it in a valid manner or not (taharah, correct act of prayer). You may pray a prayer on time or later, the prayer will be the same only the rewards may get lost or may turn into misdeeds if you missed the (recommended) time frame.

If you didn't pray on time by mistake your mistake might be forgiven by Allah. If you did it intentionally or without excuse you at least will be missing the rewards of praying it on time and may be committing a sin as you acted against Allah's commendation and orders. The same applies if you have been corrected and you agreed that you formally did a mistake and moved on doing it.

So basically if you are in a Muslim country you should stick to the adhan, as the best time to perform any prayer is between the adhan of the actual prayer and before the adhan of the next prayer. The earlier you pray the better.

If you are not in a Muslim country you should in first place ask the closest mosque to give you a prayer sheet (note that most of them rely to calculation methods, not on observations as might (and should) be the case in Muslim countries), next you should check the local newspapers about sunrise and sunset times if available and compare them with the data in your sheet. If you want to use an app never relay 100% on the data provided unless you understand how it works and which one is the most correct at your location and be aware that there's an error tolerance even for the best and most fitting calculation method. Finally if you can make your own observations. Basically you should pray in between the timings of the prayers to be on the safe site (the earlier the better). In the posts I provided in my comment you may find further information.

  • I am not in a Muslim country and it is very very very cloudy here so it is hard to tell the timings. I have to just get different time tables, compare and by the will of Allah they are in the right time – user32000 Feb 25 at 23:25
  • @MASPM Why don't you follow the timings of the local mosque? If you need a time table you could get it from the mosque itself. – Crimson Feb 26 at 13:53
  • I have but I'm confused ti whether that is correct. There are so many contradictory timings it is hard to tell. I got my local mosque, moonsighting.com and another mosque timetable and they are all different. – user32000 Feb 26 at 23:32
  • @MASPM you will hardly get certainty about the timings if you don't study these things and learn how to calculate or better observe them by yourself. As explained in one of the linked posts there are differences between madhhabs too. You may ask at the mosques about the used calculation method but I assume they don't know it. You could rely on the timing which you trust the most or pray at the beginning of the latest time... – Medi1Saif Feb 27 at 6:22
  • I do pray at the beginning of the latest time but it just does not feel right and it is hard to tell the times for pryer because it gets so cloudy – user32000 Feb 27 at 7:05
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Moonsightings has 4 different Prayer timings for 1. Hanafi (Shafaq General) 2. Hanafi (Shafaq Abyad) 3. Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali 4. Jafariyyah

The following are the Prayer Timings for the 4 respectively. The timings are Fajr to Isha from left to right respectively for my timezone.

Date        Fajr        Sunrise     Zuhr        Asr         Maghrib     Isha

Feb 24 Sun  05:14 am    06:36 am    12:20 pm    04:15 pm    05:58 pm    07:15 pm

Feb 24 Sun  05:14 am    06:36 am    12:20 pm    04:15 pm    05:58 pm    07:17 pm

Feb 24 Sun  05:14 am    06:36 am    12:20 pm    03:28 pm    05:58 pm    06:57 pm

Feb 24 Sun  05:14 am    06:36 am    12:20 pm    02:49 pm    06:12 pm    06:57 pm

From the above table, you can tell that the four don't have same timing for Asr, Maghrib, and Isha. So the timing of your Masjid might conflict with what you see on the internet.

An advice would be that you follow your Masjid's time instead of the timing on the internet. The internet decides their timing from a computer program that might not include many factors. The locals have to include various factors when calculating timing for the Prayers.

  • It has been reported that moonsigjting is quite accurate though – user32000 Feb 25 at 23:09
  • And who reported that it is quite accurate? – Ahmad Shahzad Feb 26 at 4:52
  • Moonsighting.com has received many Emails from its users regarding the objections for fixed degrees versus latitude and seasons based formulae. Just go on the website and it wil show you – user32000 Feb 26 at 23:36
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You can assume that your prayers are valid. What is clear is that you will have had the intention to perform the Maghreb prayer of that day, and this is sufficient after the time has expired to be a valid intention for a qada prayer (Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar).

I recommend you to offer in congregation if possible. If mosque is far away then you should go to the masjid and collect the information about timings of prayer. They have a type of calender which mentions their calculated time. Capture the picture and pray accordingly.

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.

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