I've always heard that the time for maghrib is about 15 minutes after it start i.e the time for the red afterglow to disappear. But now i'm hearing that maghrib doesn't end until Isha' starts which is about 1 hour after maghrib starts. so how long does maghrib actually last? Is it permissible to delay maghrib for about an hour due to work if there is no other option?
The following hadith of Sahih Muslim says:
وَوَقْتُ صَلاَةِ الْمَغْرِبِ مَا لَمْ يَغِبِ الشَّفَقُ
the time of the Maghrib prayer is as long as the Shafaq has not disappeared
The Shafaq may refer to:
- the red light that appears when the sun is below the horizon
- the white light that appears after the red light
I believe this has caused the difference of opinion that you have mentioned. If this word is used in both meanings in the Arabic language then I see no reason why it must be restricted to the first one while determining the time of Maghrib prayer.
according to hadith http://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/2/4 ,
Then he (the Prophet) ordered him to call the Iqamah for Isha when the horizon (twilight) had vanished.
... on the next day :
Then he ordered him to delay Maghrib until right before the twilight had disappeared.
and same word "shafaq" is used in this cases, so last time of maghrib is only little time before start time of isha.
but whether "shafaq" means red light or even white light after it - i am not sure, different alims and mazhabs choosed different opinion, as i know. i tend to think it is white light, because it should disappear, according to this hadith, and there are many hadithes like this, and red light does not completely disappear because white light is left after it, and it is simmetrical and similar to the end of night and start of fajr time.