Prayer is the cornerstone of religion. In this context, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Prayer is the cornerstone of religion…” Prayer stands as the second pillar of Islam after testifying that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His final Messenger. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Prayer has a certain time in which a Muslim should offer it. Allah says, “Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers.” (An-Nisa’: 103). Also, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, warned against ignoring offering Prayers in their due times.
Dr. Marawan Shahin, Professor of Hadith and its Sciences, Faculty of Usul Ad-Din (Theology),Al-Azhar Univ. states: “One can perform `Asr in the permissible or optional time which is an hour before the starting time of Maghrib. This time is marked by the time when the sun turns into yellow color. When it becomes yellow, you enter into the reprehensible time for performing `Asr Prayer. So, generally speaking, one can perform `Asr between the two times after entering the time of `Asr and before the starting time of Maghrib. However, Muslim scholars have divided the time of Prayer into the favorite time which is at the beginning of the time, the optional time which is at the mid of the time and from the middle of the time onwards one enters into the reprehensible time and finally comes the forbidden time on entering the time of the next Prayer. So, a Muslim is advised not to enter into the reprehensible or the forbidden time without a valid reason. May Allah reward you and make you among those who observe Prayer on time and grant you happiness in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.”