All the praises and thanks be to Allah (SWT), the Inspirer of Truth.
Today, the topic we’re about to shed light upon is something most Muslims are usually familiar with. However, unfortunately, some of us have been slightly misguided about the concept from the beginning.
Our topic of discussion revolves around “the time of the day when it’s forbidden to perform Salat.”
At this particular time of noon, the sun is at its peak. It is prohibited to perform Salat during this instance because this is when the unbelievers - “the sun followers” - worship the sun and prostrate to it.
As it’s obvious, praying at this time comes severely close to Shirk, which is why Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala prohibits His creations to perform Sujood during this occurrence.
Usually, people refer to this timing, when it’s impermissible to perform Salat, as “Zawal.” However, contrary to the belief, this information is not explicitly accurate.
In point of fact, “Zawal” is an Arabic word, which means to decline or fall. Therefore, Zawal is actually the starting point of Duhr - when the sun starts to begin its descent.
In other words, it’s perfectly alright to pray during Zawal. And the actual terminology used for the time when the solar noon strikes and Muslims can’t observe a prayer is “Istiwa.”
While it might not matter what we call this time of prohibition as long as our acts are according to Allah (SWT)’s orders, it’s still better to know our deen right. After all, it might turn out to be useful knowledge if we find ourselves educating others about Istiwa when they’re not already aware of it.
That said, it’s also worth mentioning that while we can’t pray during Istiwa, it is perfectly alright to make dua, recite, or listen to the Qur’an in the meantime.
Rest assured, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala always knows best.
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