What is the best, and latest, time that ‘Isha prayer can be offered?


Someone told me it’s good to pray ‘Isha prayer late, but on most of the websites I checked it said ‘Isha prayer can be prayed until 12 a.m. I wasn’t sure if I should pray at the time of Azan or Iqamah, or as late as possible?


The time for ‘Isha prayer starts at Maghreb (when the sun has set and more than half the sky is dark). The time for ‘Isha ends at Islamic midnight (halfway between sunset and dawn- this is not always 12 am). If a person is separating their Maghreb and ‘Isha prayers, then the best time to pray ‘Isha is from when the twilight ends (i.e. when there is no redness left in the sky at all- this is around 90 mins after sunset) until one third of the night is over.

Imam al-Baqir (.as): “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: If I did not fear that I would make it difficult for my community, I would have delayed the ‘Isha prayer until the third of the night. And you are allowed (to perform the prayer) until the middle of the night and this is the extremely dark part of the night…” (Wasailul Shi’a, chapter 62 from the chapters on the times, hadeeth no. 3).

Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail
Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei