Issues Related to the Fajr, ‘Isha and Witr Prayers
Fatwa No: 82216

  • Fatwa Date:20-9-1999 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 10, 1420
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My question is about the Isha prayer. Why did the Prophet say that if it was not hard on my people I would have ordered them to delay the Isha prayer. and specially for women? please explain . the second part of my question: suppose I am outside and the Isha prayer came is it O.K. if I pray it when I go home and it is still during the Isha time (i.e before 12 p.m.)? Is prayer of El Fajr Sunnah? Is Sobh prayer obligatory and could the Fajr be prayed after Elsobh prayer or it should be before it. Tell me more about the Shafea and Witr prayer.


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.

Dear brother, you should know that the prayers have its special times. Allah Says (what means): {Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.} [Quran 4:103]

All prayers have two kinds of times: A - Preferred Time. B- Permissible Time. The Sunnah always urges Muslims to perform the prayers at their specific time. Ibn Mas’ood  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): “Which deeds are the best? He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “Performing the prayer at its prescribed fixed times." He asked, then what? He (the Prophet) replied: “Being kind and dutiful to the parents.” He asked, then what? He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: “Jihaad for the sake of Allah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Women and men are equal concerning prayer times and common religious principles.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was not used to sleeping before ‘Isha nor to nightly chat except in necessity times. My dear brother, try hard and perform all prayers with congregation. May Allah protect you. We do not know any prayer by the name of “Subh” prayer. It seems that you mean Fajr prayer. The time of Fajr prayer is well known; it begins at true dawn and ends at sunrise, though the preferred time for it ends when it becomes light outside, after which the merely permissible time remains. This prayer is one of the two prayers, which are very hard for hypocrites. Do not miss the times of prayers.

The Witr prayer is three Rak'ahs, after performing the ‘Isha prayer and its Sunnah prayers. You pray two Rak’ahs, in the first Rak’ah it is preferable to recite Soorah al-A’la [Quran 87], and Soorah al-Kafiroon [Quran 109] in the second. This is what is called the Shaf' prayer. Then you start praying with odd number, this is one Rak’ah which is called the Witr prayer; after al-Faatihah, reciting Soorah al-Ikhlaas [Quran 112] is preferable.

You may read any part of the Quran. After straightening up from bowing (Rukoo’), you may make Du’aa’ (supplication), if you wish, and you may ask Allah whatever you need of this worldly life and the Hereafter.

The Witr prayer is a confirmed Sunnah; the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) never missed it neither in his journey nor his residency. At the same time, a person should not forget the night prayer (Tahajjud).

For more benefit on Witr prayer, please refer to Fatwa 83303, 84482, 39577, 92197, 92752, 98754, 84999 and 351082.

Allah knows best.

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