The mosque in the next street observes the Zuhr prayer quarter past one. The one in my street observe its own quarter to two. And on the radio, the call to prayer is done at exactly 2pm.
On Friday, the time inconsistencies continue. Some mosques observe their own Jumu'ah between 1.25 and 1.30 pm; some observe theirs at the top of the hour while some even take it as far as 3pm.
Sometimes I wonder why it is a big challenge for the Muslim community to maintain the same time for observing Solat. Except for the Fajr, Magrib and Ishai prayers the remaining two solats suffer serious time discrepancies. And at the end of the day each group would have tenable excuses which when critically looked at, do not hold water at all.
The other day I was listening to an Islamic program on a popular radio station in Osun state as they reeled out the different prayer times for each town and cities within the state and its environs. I observe that only a minute, a most two minutes was the difference between the times allotted to these localities. They even said that for any town which was not mentioned, they should use the time of the area very close to them. There goes the confusion. Did they take into consideration the fact that there is no perfect timing as regards the device called Clock or wristwatch? Besides, is their really a crime if one observe solat almost the same time other areas are observing theirs? Who was the meteorologist who assisted in plotting these times? We just create unnecessary confusion for ourselves.
How I wish we could all just be on the same page. It would go a long way at putting a sock in the mouth of critics of Islam who always argue that we don’t always speak with one voice.
May Allah help us in this huge task.Amin.