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Prayer times?

(8 Posts)
slipslider Sat 27-Oct-12 09:11:50

I was a little confused by what I saw the other day when out and about. It was dusk on Thursday and driving up the motorway when I saw a muslim couple on the hard shoulder praying. There was no build up of traffic so it wasn't that they were stuck in traffic and couldn't get to somewhere to do this. They were also only about 100 m from a slip road which leads to a nearby industrial estate with loads of safe parking facilities! Am I correct in thinking that prayer times are not that strict or should people pray at specific times? I thought it a bit odd that someone would start a journey if they knew prayer times would be coming up or not try and find somewhere safe to stop a little way into their journey.

sieglinde Sat 27-Oct-12 11:51:58

Can't say about Islam, I fear, but for Orthodox Jews prayer times are very strict, as indeed they are for the odd very devout trad Christian. Typically it goes with sunset - you have to begin the Seder at sunset, Shabbat as son as the sun sets, and as a Xtian tertiary you have to say Vespers before the sun goes down and Matins in the hours of darkness, so perhaps dusk was the clue? Also for Islam you have to face Mecca, and it's easier to do that before the sun sets entirely.

Or maybe the industrial estate would be out for other reasons?

slipslider Sat 27-Oct-12 13:11:12

Ahh I just wasn't sure if timings existed or if it was important due to eid? I would assume the industrial estate would be ok, there is only car, homeware and a police unit on there and much more safer than on a motorway!

sieglinde Sat 27-Oct-12 14:18:37

Most festivals start at sunset, slipslider, so maybe Eid does? But I'm not Moslem so I'm kinda speculating.

crescentmoon Sat 27-Oct-12 14:40:40

Te fact you saw this at dusk is the most significant. Of the 5daily prayers magrib, the 4th one just after sunset has the smallest margin for the prayer to be completed on time- after sunset but before dusk. that sometimes leaves only 20/25 minutes. As for te other prayers they have a longer time to complete them in- i often pray mine just before the time te next prayer is due.( But i get up on time for the first one Fajr!) maybe they realised how close to dusk they were and rushed to get it in on time not realising the industrial park was close by. I'm travelling right now so im taking a ruling that allows me to shorten and join my prayers into 3 blocks rather than 5. I am guessing that couple were not far enough away from home to be able to use that clause- we are travelling an 800 mile round mile trip currently so im far enough away from home! - and so had to do their prayers sooner rather than later. I'm also guessing if the woman got out and prayed next to the man then they are both following a ruling that doesn't allow for prayers to be made sitting down in a vehicle. I didn't know about orthodox Jews and sunset- do they do ritual prayer as well? I wish I knew some people in rl to ask

slipslider Sat 27-Oct-12 16:06:11

Thank you for that. Yeah the woman and the man were both out of the car. I thought it may be due to the dusk timing and the fact that it was eid the following day. I am not sure about the Jewish rituals for prayer - I don't live in an area where there is a high proportion of Jewish people so don;t have many to ask! Tho sometimes that doesn't help even if u do! When I asked a muslim girl I worked with if eid had a story behind it like Christmas and Easter does she hadn't a clue! ha!

sieglinde Sat 27-Oct-12 16:26:45

Thanks, crescentmoon, and also to the OP - fabulous to understand this lovely tradition better!

SamG76 Mon 29-Oct-12 10:46:08

Orthodox Jewish prayer times aren't that strict. The times are given precisely (eg shabbat comes comes in at 5.59), but there's normally a window of a few hours to say any of the prayers, and even if you coming to the end of the window, you wouldn't be expected to endanger yourself by praying on the hard shoulder.

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