I heard it from my mother that it is not allowed to pray at 12 o clock in the night as it is when the shaitan or Jinn pray. That it their time and we should not disturb them. And if we do so, they might hurt us. Is it true?
Times when praying is foribidden
Times when praying (an optional prayer) is forbidden are defined by this two ahadith (based on this Arabic fatwa):
Uqba b. 'Amir said: There were three times at which Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) forbade us to pray, or bury our dead: When the sun begins to rise till it is fully up, when the sun is at its height at midday till it passes over the meridian, and when the sun draws near to setting till it sets. (sahih Muslim and all sunan books)
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: No prayer is valid after the 'Asr prayer till the sun sets and no prayer is valid after the dawn prayer till the sun rises. (sahih Muslim also reported by abu Hurairah, ibn 'Abbas and other sahaba)
Ordered prayers can be performed and must be performed if missed at any time due to the hadith.
Most scholars consider the ruling to apply on sujud too: for example sujud at-tilawa (when reciting the Qur'an) and sujud a-Shukr (performing a sajda of thankfulness)
So the first hadith forbids to pray:
- When the sun is rising (from begin till it is fully risen)
- When the sun is overhead at noon, until it has passed its zenith
- When the sun starts to set (this is often described with اصفرار الشمس which means when the sun gets a dark yellow color) until it is completely set.
Note that some schools of fiqh reject the 2nd point here. The second hadith forbids to pray:
- After the 'asr prayer until sunset.
- After the sobh (fajr fard) until sunrise.
The hanbali and shafi'i school of fiqh consider it haram to start an optional prayer at those times unless one has a reason. Shafi'i and hanafi make an exception for the Friday noon as there is no evidence that sahaba used to stop praying sunnah at noon, but they went ahead until the Imam came out.
The maliki school makes a difference between times where it is haram or discouraged to pray optional prayers, according this it is haram to pray while the sun is rising, when the sun sets, so far this applies in general. And while one is in a mosque it is haram to pray: while the Imam is holding his sermon on jumuah, when the call (iqamah) for a ordered prayer has started, when the Imam is going to start his sermon (khotba) of jumuah and if one remembers a missed prayer and has only time to start praying it before the time of an other ordered prayer starts. And it is discouraged to pray after sobh (fajr fard) until the sun rises to the height of a spear above the horizon and after 'asr prayer until sunset.
Praying 'isha after the middle of the night
According to this hadith in sahih Muslim.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about the times of prayers. He said: The time for the morning prayer (lasts) as long as the first visible part of the rising sun does not appear and the time of the noon prayer is when the sun declines from the zenith and there is not a time for the afternoon prayer and the time for the afternoon prayer is so long as the sun does not become pale and its first visible part does not set, and the time for the evening prayer is that when the sun disappears and (it lasts) till the twilight is no more and the time for the night prayer is up to the midnight.
Midnight here doesn't mean 12 O'clock but the middle of the night as one can deduce from the Arabic original
صَلاَةِ الْعِشَاءِ إِلَى نِصْفِ اللَّيْلِ
Some scholars like al-Istikhari (shafi'i), ibn Hazm, ibn Taymiyyah and ibn 'Othaymeen said that praying 'isha after the middle of the night is considered as not performing it on time but a qada' as they say the time for Isha' ends at the middle of the night. While the majority of scholars say the timing for a ordered prayer ends with the beginning of the time for the next ordered prayer even there's a fatwa of the sahaba abdurrhamn ibn 'Auf and abdullah ibn 'Abbas confirming this view. This also goes ahead with the meaning of this hadith.
The view of the hanfi and shafi'i school and a rather unkonown view of the maliki school says that the time for 'Isha' is when the twilight disappears until dawn. This is primarily based on the last linked hadith and on a hadith on the authority of abu Hurairah i couldn't find in the wording quoted in this article or fatwa
أول وقت العشاء حين يغيب الشفق ، وآخره حين يطلع الفجر
Which means the beginning of the time of 'isha' is when the twilight disappears and the ending is once the dawn rises.
The known and applied opinion of the maliki school here is that the time for 'isha is until the third (first) of the night based on this hadith (afterwards it would be considered as qada') this is also the view of the hanbali school (with small differences).
Note that my linked article which includes a lot of more ahadith saying that our Messenger used to delay 'isha' which is a known sunnah according the majority of scholars they only differ about the preferred time at when one should perform it.
As you may see there are -and Allah knows best- some misunderstandings and misinterpretations about this. So i couldn't find any source which relates praying at the middle of the night with jinns and we know very well that praying at night is a well known sunnah unless ahadith like this one and similiar narration about praying after 'Asr prayer.
There's also a kind of recommendation to not let children outside from the time of sunset on quoting Jinn as a reason, read for example this fatwa and there are many ahadith quoting Jinn when it comes to night times asking us not to keep cups uncovered or doors or windows open etc..
The thing is that scholars defined the times for prayers as follows: a time which is ikhtiyari إختياري (of choice) one could say a preferable time: which usually is at the begin of the time of an ordered prayer and a time which is idtirari إضطراي (of -urgent- necessity) one could say a time one must perform the prayer to not be considered a sinner. This is usually at the end of a time for an ordered prayer and before the call of the following ordered prayer would come.
There are no hadith or ayat to support this claim there for we should be careful to follow any teachings that cannot be backed up as this is bidah and this is a sure way to hell fire.
The only times we are advised not to pray is as the sun raises and sets and at high noon.
Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would praise Allah in his sermon as He deserves to be praised and then he would say, “Whoever Allah guides, no one can lead him astray. Whoever Allah sends astray, no one can guide him. The truest word is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil matters are those that are newly invented, for every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.”
Uqba b. 'Amir said: There were three times at which Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) forbade us to pray, or bury our dead: When the sun begins to rise till it is fully up, when the sun is at its height at midday till it passes over the meridian, and when the sun draws near to setting till it sets.
Interestingly, i also heard my father saying don't pray around 12 at night, and when asked for reason he didn't gave one.
And this reason given is interesting, though it has no source for the confirmation and as of my research i found nothing.
So, this claim has no value.
It is very important that we make every effort to follow reliable opinions within Islamic scholarship. When we hear things, it is our job to check their veracity. Negligence in these issues is what leads people to bid'ah (innovation in religion) which has been forbidden by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). However, we are also commanded to be kind and gentle towards our parents, so treat the matter with wisdom as it is improper conduct to be rude to parents, even if they are incorrect about something. As for your answer, this is not true as even the Prophet Muhammad would pray isha (late night) prayer very late with his companions.
In the name of Allah.
Before I answer your question, please keep this in mind: "This day I have perfected your deen, completed my favor upon you, and chosen (or is pleased with) islam as your way of life" Surah Maiedah - table spread (in the beginning)
The more important issue at hand is that Islam is complete. Islam is perfect. Nothing needs to be taken out or added in the "deen".
Our role model is Muhammad (peace be on him) who clearly delivered the message: " None is worthy of worship except Allah" He also showed us how to worship Allah.
Back to your question, there is no proof for the prohibition from Quran, Sunnah, or companions so we can pray at midnight.
A side point, not all jinn are shayateen (devils). Just like some humans are bad, and some are good. In the same way, some Jinn are bad, and some are good. Read Surah Jinn (72) for details.
Allah knows best.