Definitions

Maghrib

Maghrib

[muhg-ruhb]
or Maghreb

Region of North Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It comprises the coastal plains of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and, often, Libya. In earlier times the term sometimes included parts of Muslim Spain. During Roman times the region was called Africa Minor, but, following the Muslim conquests of the 7th–8th centuries, it came to be known as the Maghrib (“West”) inasmuch as it comprised the most westerly reaches of the Muslim world. The region has since developed its own unique culture within the larger Islamic world. Berbers and Arabs are the two main ethnic groups. Arabic is the predominant language. Berber and French are also widely spoken.

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Maghrib (مَغْرِب) is the fourth daily salat in Islam, offered at sunset. The word maghrib is an Arabic term for "of the setting (sun)"; from the root "gharaba|غَرَبَ", "to set"; "to be hidden" (but it is not used for the setting of the moon). It is also used in a manner similar to the metaphorical use of "to be eclipsed", which is used in the English language.

Maghrib prayer

The Maghrib prayer is the sunset daily prayer performed by practicing Muslims. It is the fourth of the five daily prayers (salat). The five daily prayers collectively are one pillar of the Five Pillars of Islam, in Sunni Islam, and one of the ten Practices of the Religion (Furū al-Dīn) according to Shia Islam. It is a 3 rak'ah daily prayer and the first 2 rak'ah are prayed aloud.

In both types of Islam, the Maghrib daily prayer has three required (Fard) rak'ah. However, in Sunni Islam, two Sunnah rak'ah following the Fard raka'ah are highly recommended. The Maghrib prayer also is the fastest daily prayer Muslims usually shall hold, due to its occupancy of the shortest time period allowed to recite.

The Maghrib prayer indicates the end of the daily Muslim obligatory fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

Shia Islam

The time period within which the Maghrib daily prayer must be recited is the following:

  • Time begins: once the Sun has completely set beneath the horizon.
  • Time ends: at midnight. This is not necessarily at 12AM; rather it is the time exactly between sunset and the beginning of dawn.

However, it is very important to recite the prayer as soon as the time begins.

Sunni Islam

The time period within which the Maghrib daily prayer must be recited is the following:

  • Time begins: When the sun has completely set beneath the horizon; right after Asr prayer ends.
  • Time ends: According to the dominant opinions of the Maliki and Shafi'i schools, the prayer time ends as soon as enough time for a person to purify him/herself and pray has passed. After that, according to the Maliki school, the dharoori time (Time of Necessity for those who had a legitimate excuse to miss the prayer during the Prescribed Time) for Maghrib lasts all the way until a little before dawn, the beginning of Fajr prayer. The rest of the scholarly opinions say that the time for Maghrib salat ends when the time for Isha'a salat begins. However, there is a disgreement amongst Sunni scholars as to when that occurs. According to the Hanafi school, Isha begins when complete darkness has arrived and the yellow twilight in the sky has disappeared. According to a minority opinion in the Maliki school, the Prescribed time ends when the red thread has disappeared from the sky. And in another opinion of the Shafi'i school, the time completely ends when the red thread has disappeared from the sky. These times can be approximated by using the sun as a measure. When the sun has descended 12 degrees below the horizon, it is approximately equivalent to the disappearance of the red from the sky. For approximating when complete darkness begins, i.e. the disappearance of the white thread from the sky, some astronomers argue that it occurs when the sun has descended 15 degrees below the horizon while others use the more safe number of 18 degrees.

See also

  • Salat (Prayer)
  • Fajr (Dawn prayer)
  • Dhuhr (Mid-day prayer)
  • Asr (Afternoon prayer)
  • Maghrib (Sunset prayer)
  • Isha'a (Night prayer)

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