Prayer times

Traditionally the Islamic prayer times are:

  1. Fajr (pre-dawn): This is the morning prayer, performed before sunrise
  2. Dhuhr (noon): is the first afternoon prayer, performed shortly after noon
  3. Asr (afternoon): In the mid- or late afternoon
  4. Maghrib (sunset): Just after the sun goes down
  5. Isha (evening): The evening prayer before retiring for the night, usually performed about one and a half hours after sunset

The times of prayer are related to the course of the sun. In the Middle East, where the length of the day in summer differs little from the winter, the times are about the same throughout the year. In June the evening prayer in Mecca is only about one and a half hours later than in December. This is clearly seen in the chart below, in which the prayer times of Mecca and Amsterdam are shown for the longest and shortest day in 2014.

Location Date Fajr Sunrise Dhuhr ‘Asr Maghrib Isha
Mecca June 21 4:14 5:39 12:22 3:42 7:06 8:31
December 21 5:34 6:54 12:19 3:23 5:44 7:03
Amsterdam June 21 * 5:18 1:42 6:07 10:06 *
December 21 6:41 8:48 12:38 2:13 4:29 6:41


In Europe and North America this is very different. In the more northern hemisphere the required measure of darkness to determine the time of the morning and evening prayer doesn’t exist in the summer. This is true for all countries above the latitude of 48⁰. In the table these times are marked with an “*”.
Therefore, certain adjustments have been made for the northern continents, so that Muslims are able to fulfill their prayer duty.

Through calculations the correct time for each of the prayers is determined to the minute for every day. Several mosques and organizations publish their prayer times on the Internet.

For detailed information on the rules about determining the adapted prayer times for the northern continents, see: Clarification Prayer Times