I reside in Saudi Arabia. Here after maghrib azan there is around 15 minutes duration before the maghrib salah gets started. However, when I enter the masjid after azan, should I perform 2 rak'ats nafl before the iqama? Somebody told me not to perform salah right before the maghrib salah. Please clarify.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
It has been emphasised in a number of ahadith that Maghrib prayer should be offered after sunset as soon as possible. On this basis, the Hanafi jurists are of the view that the Maghrib prayer should be offered immediately after azan without any intervening nafl prayer. However, other jurists are of the opinion that it is advisable to offer two ra'kat nafl before the Maghrib prayer. The present practice in Makkah and Madinah is based on this latter view. Now, when the gap of about 10 - 15 minutes is, in any case, available for every person who prays there, one can avail of this opportunity by praying two rak'ats before the jama'ah; and there is no bar against it in Shari'ah, even in the Hanafi school, because they prefer to avoid any nafl before the maghrib prayer only to refrain from delaying the obligatory prayer. But when the obligatory prayer is bound to be delayed, according to the current practice in Makkah and Madinah, it will be permissible to offer nafl salat before the jama’ah.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Faizal Riza
Darul Ifta Australia