Regarding Tahajjud


AA WR WB: I hope you are in good health & high Imaan Sidi. If I May Sidi I would like to ask you…

1: As a Shafi would like to confirm …. Is it true that tahajjud prayer can be performed at ANY time after `Isha as long as one has slept then awoke to perform the prayer ( even if before midnight ) ?

2: Some call it Fajr, some call it subh.. What is the meaning & difference between the two?

3: I / we are still trying to get our heads around & understand the timing for `Isha prayer & the degrees & 40 minute ruling etc….. For me is easiest to pray insha as early as possible to make tahajjud easier. Some say the 40 minute rule is ok including yourself.
So just to clarify if I were to pray the `Isha 50 minutes directly after Maghrib adhaan, would this be valid & acceptable? Even if in Melbourne Australia? And would this be valid and acceptable regardless of location in Australia or globally? Can you maybe elaborate in this for me a little more .

And if to go to bed straight after my `Isha and adhkar and wake up at any time even if before midnight and pray tahajjud would this also be valid & acceptable ?

4: Can you please refer me to some Shafi fiqh books that are readily available in English nite including Reliance of Traveler & Maqasid as I have these.

Afwan Jazakullah Sidi. Barik Allahu fiq. Wasalam


wa `alaykum salam,

1. Yes, in the Shafii school tahajjud is defined as what is prayed after both Salat al-`Isha and sleeping. That is, even if before midnight.

2. Lexically subh refers to the time of morning while Fajr describes the actual cleaving (Fajr) of the dawn; fiqh-wise they are synonyms for both the time and the prayer prayed in that time; Qur’anically the term for prayer is Fajr while subh is more generic for morning.

3. According to Imam al-Shafii’s final position it would be acceptable globally. You can go to and click “Claculation Method: Click here to change” then click “Twilight Angle and Time Difference –> Fajr” and choose “Isha = 50 minutes after Maghrib Time.” Then click “Calculate prayer times” and you will generate a monthly/annual schedule of prayer with that criterion.

As for tahajjud time validity the answer is yes as already stated, and some of the sources even specify “even if people are not yet asleep.”

4. Matn Abi Shuja` has received a reliable English translation. See here and here.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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