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The Asr prayer (Arabic: صلاة العصر ṣalāt al-ʿaṣr, "afternoon prayer") is one of the five mandatory salah (Islamic prayer). As an Islamic day starts at sunset, the Asr prayer is technically the fifth prayer of the day.[better source needed] If counted from midnight, it is the third prayer of the day.[better source needed][better source needed]
The Asr prayer consists of four obligatory rakat. An additional four rakat are recommended to be performed before the obligatory rakat. As with the Zuhr prayer, if it is performed in congregation, the imam is silent except when announcing the takbir, i'tidal, and taslim.
The period of Asr prayer begins approximately when the sun is halfway down from noon to sunset (various branches of Islam differ on the starting point; some say that it begins when the shadow of an object equals its actual length plus its shadow during noon, others say that the actual length must be doubled), following Zuhr prayer, and ends at sunset, when Maghrib prayer begins. Shia Muslims are allowed to perform Zuhr and Asr prayers one after another, so they may perform the Asr prayer before the actual period begins. Barring the Hanafi school, which forbids prayer combination, Sunni Muslims may only do this if they are traveling and incapable of performing the prayers separately.
|Arab World||Arabic||صلاة العصر (Ṣalāt al-ʿAṣr)|
|Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan||Persian||نماز دیگر، نماز عصر|
|Pakistan, India||Urdu, Hindi||نماز عصر,
|Albania, Kosovo||Albanian||Namazi i pasditës|
|Bangladesh, India||Bengali||আসর, আছর (Asor)|
|Greater Somalia||Somali||Salaada Casir|
|Malay World||Indonesian, Malaysian, Basa Sunda||Salat asar, Solat asar|
|Kazakhstan||Kazakh||Екінті намазы (Ekinti namazy)|
However, it is very important to recite the prayer as soon as the time begins. Letter 52 of Nahj al-Balagha contains instruction of Ali to his governors on the timings of salat, "The Asr prayers can be performed till the sun is still bright and enough time of the day is left for a person to cover a distance of six miles."
The time period within which the Asr prayer must be recited is the following:
The Islamic prophet Muhammad said, "He who observes Al-Bardan (i.e., Fajr and `Asr prayers) will enter Jannah.Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, Narrated by Abu Musa. In another hadith: Muhammad said 'He who misses his Asr Salat (i.e. performs it after its specified time) is as if he had lost his wife, children and all his wealth.’ (Sahih Muslim)