Delaying Isha prayer
Fatwa No: 81480

  • Fatwa Date:1-9-1999 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 21, 1420
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Question

I know the hadeeeth which says that a woman can delay the Isha prayer. Why is it preferable to delay it? Another thing, suppose I have some friends and we are sitting and the prayer time came for Isha and i kept sitting with them for about an hour (still in the time of Isha), is this delay OK, or should I leave them and pray immediately? If so, why this Hadeeth about delaying Isha? God bless you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The time of ‘Ishaa’ prayer begins when the red twilight disappears and continues up to half of the night. Allah Says (what means): {Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Quran [i.e. recitation] of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.} [Quran 17:78]. The angel Gabriel prayed with Prophet Mohammed, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and taught him all times of prayer. Performing prayer at its earlier time is better except for ‘Ishaa’ prayer, if there is no hardship. For example, one may not find the congregation on a late time or one is afraid of forgetting the prayer, or the Muslims feel the hardship in delaying the congregation etc. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars.

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “If it were not to be hardship upon my nation. I would order them to delay the night prayer until a third or a half of the night had passed”. Ibn Battal said: “Now it is not suitable for Imams to delay because Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ordered us to make things easy on the Ummah, due to weak, ill, and needy people. Ibn Hajar said: “If there is no hardship and no one among the praying people are bothered by its delay, then delaying the ‘Ishaa’ prayer is better.

Allah knows best.

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