The meaning behind ‘Zawal’ and ‘Istiwa’ in Islam
23 May 2022, 05:26 pm
The topic we are about to consider is what most Muslims are usually familiar with. Unfortunately, some of us were a little misguided about the concept from the beginning.
The topic of our discussion revolves around ‘the time of the day when it’s forbidden to perform Salah’.
At this particular time of noon when the sun is highest at its peak. It is forbidden to perform Salah during this occasion as this is when the unbelievers - the followers of the sun - worship the sun and prostrate to it.
Obviously, the prayers of this period are so close to Shirk that Allah prohibits his creations from playing Sujood during this event.
People usually call this moment ‘Zawal’ when it is impermissible to perform Salah. However, contrary to belief, this information is not explicitly accurate.
In fact, Zawal is an Arabic word for decline or fall. Therefore, Zawal is actually the starting point for Zuhr when the sun starts to begin its descent.
In other words, praying during Zawal is perfectly fine. And the actual term that should be used for the time when Muslims can’t perform any prayer is ‘Istiwa’.
While it might not matter what we call this time of ban as long as our acts are according to Allah’s instructions, it’s still better to know our deen right. It might turn out to be convenient knowledge if we find ourselves educating others about Istiwa when they’re not already alert of it.
That said, you can’t pray during Istiwa, but it’s perfectly fine to make duas, recite or listen to the Holy Quran during that time.