How can we calculate the times of the Zhuhr (Noon) and `Asr (Afternoon) Prayers?
For example, in
the Republic of Mali
in winter, the shadow of an object at 12 o'clock is five feet long. When are the Zhuhr and `Asr Prayers in this time? In the summer, the shadow is under our feet and we are confused about the time throughout the year, and that is why we are asking you to clarify for us when the Zhuhr and `Asr Prayer times are.
The Shari`ah (Islamic law) has explained the times for the five obligatory daily prayers by giving us general universal signs that are constant and do not differ through time and place. It explained that the time for the Zhuhr Prayer starts when the sun passes the meridian, i.e. when it inclines towards the west from the middle of the sky. At that time, the shadows of all objects start to extend out to the east (Part No. 6; Page No. 123) after they had been extending to the west before noon. The time for the Zhuhr Prayer ends when time for the `Asr Prayer starts, whether the shadow at noon is long as it is in winter or short as it is in summer.The Shari`ah explains to us that the time for the `Asr Prayer begins when the length of an object's shadow is equal to its length, whether the shadow that appeared at noon, was long or short.The scholars have said that every one of us is seven “feet” tall, when measured by the length of our own feet. So, this means that the `Asr Prayer time starts when the length of your noon shadow increases by seven “feet” (when measured by the length of your own feet) at any place or time, whether summer or winter, and ends with the sunset.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.