When Does the Time for Isha End?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I know that Isha cannot be prayed after midnight. Does that mean midnight sharp? Can we delay one or two minutes after midnight, or will it be a make up?

Answer

Thank you for your question.

Until True dawn

The time for the nightfall prayer (‘isha) begins when the red of sunset leaves the sky, and ends at true dawn ( true dawn being when the sky around the horizon begins to grow light).

Before this, a dim light sometimes appears overhead for some minutes, followed by darkness, and is termed the deceptive dawn (al-fajr al-kadhib) [Shirbani, al-Iqna’ fi hall alfaz Abi Shuja’].

But after a third of the night has passed, the preferred time for nightfall prayer has ended and the merely permissible remains. [Keller, Reliance of The Traveller]

Related:
Can I Pray Isha Right After Praying Maghrib? (Shafi’i)
What is Correct Time for Fajr and Sunrise?

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.