Asalamu 'Alaykum dear brothers and sisters, When does the time for Isha prayer end. People say that it's after the half of the night or subh-sadiq (true dawn). I'm confused because I can't seem to find the time of true dawn anywhere. Can someone please explain?
There are different madhabs on when the time for Isha ends:
It ends at dawn. This means that it ends with the start of the time for Fajr. This is the view of the Hanafis, Shafi'is, Hanbalis and some of the Malikis. This view is based on the hadith:
أعتم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ذات ليلة حتى ذهب عامة الليل
The Prophet (ﷺ) delayed the prayer one night until most of the night had passed
This hadith disproves all the madhabs which say that the time of Isha ends before midnight (most > half > one-third). And it proves that the time extends till the end of the night at dawn - since no text provides any specific ending time after midnight and no one claims that either.
It is also based on the fact that the times for the prayer are contiguous (with the exception of the gap between Fajr and Zuhr) so when the time for one salah ends the time for the next one starts:
إنما التفريط على من لم يصل الصلاة حتى يجيء وقت الصلاة الأخرى
Negligence is when one does not offer one prayer until the time of the next prayer comes
This hadith proves that a salah can be offered without blame until the time for the next salah begins. Hence it follows that the time for Isha ends when the time for Fajr starts. And it is agreed upon that the time for Fajr starts at dawn.
And it is also narrated from some of the Sahaba.
These madhabs reconcile their view with the ahadith used by the other madhabs as follows: Those ahadith describe the limits of the preferable time for Isha rather than the allowed time. It is preferable to perform it before a third (or a half) but it is permitted to delay it till dawn.
The Hanafis consider it makruh to delay the salah beyond half of the night. Similarly the Hanbalis say that the preferable time ends at one-third of the night and the time of necessity extends till dawn - which can be used as a concession by those who have an excuse like an ill person or menstruating woman. The same meaning is conveyed in some of the texts of the Malikis. And similarly the Shafi'is consider the time before one-third (or half) to be preferable and the time after that till dawn to be permissible.
It ends when one-third of the night has passed. This is the mashur view of the Malikis and also adopted by some scholars of the other schools. It is based on the hadith of Gabriel:
أمني جبريل عليه السلام ... وصلى بي العشاء حين غاب الشفق ... فلما كان الغد ... وصلى بي العشاء إلى ثلث الليل ... والوقت ما بين هذين الوقتين
Gabriel (ﷺ) led me in prayer ... he prayed the night prayer with me when the twilight had ended ... On the following day ... he prayed the night prayer with me when about the third of the night had passed ... the time is anywhere between two times.
It ends when half the night has passed. This has also been adopted by some scholars. It is based on the hadith:
ووقت صلاة العشاء إلى نصف الليل
The time for the Isha prayer is until halfway through the night.
وآخر وقتها مالم يطلع الفجر الثاني ... والتأخير إلى نصف الليل مباح ... وإلى النصف الأخير مكروه
وآخر وقتها المختار إلى ثلث الليل وعنه نصفه ـ اختاره الموفق والمجد وجمع ـ ثم وقته الضرورة إلى طلوع الفجر الثاني
والعشاء بمغيب الشفق ويبقى إلى الفجر والاختيار أن لا تؤخر عن ثلث الليل وفي قول نصفه
ثلث الليل ... وهو المشهور من مذهب مالك
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. Alhamdulillahi rabbil-'alamin. Was-Salatu was-Salam 'ala Sayyidina wa Azimina, Wa Habibi Qulubina wa Shafii Nufusina, Abul Qasim Muhammad. Wa 'ala Ahli Bayti tayyibina tahireen.
Prayer time for Isha ends right in the middle of the night. Quranic verse 17:78 enjoins to establish Salah and sets time for 5 prayers.
Perform As-Salât from mid-day till the darkness of the night (i.e. the Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib and ‘Ishâ’ prayers), and recite the Qur’ân in the early dawn (i.e. the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Qur’ân in the early dawn is ever witnessed
Imam Jafar As-Sadiq explains that "till the darkness of the night" is its mid-point and it is the end of Isha time.
Allah (azwj) the Exalted Said to His (azwj) Prophet (saww) [17:78] Establish the Prayer from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night. So in what is between the (start of the) decline of the sun up to the darkness of the night are four Rak’at Salāt. Allah (azwj) Named these and Clarified these and their timings; and the darkness of the night, it is its mid-point.
I have researched this a lot like 2-3 years ago and have found True Dawn(Sub e Sadiq) is called Astronomical Twilight. True Dawn or Astronomical Twilight occurs when the sun is 18 degrees below the Earth's horizon. So to be safe 19 or 20 degrees is good to say that you shouldnt pray Isha after 19 or 20 degrees. In the following link just scroll down and you'll see when night ends in NYC and when sub e sadiq(Astronomical twilight) begins. PLEASE SEARCH FOR YOUR CITY FIRST THEN LOOK AT ITS NIGHT AND ASTRONOMICAL TWILIGHT TIMINGS. https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/usa/new-york - for night ending timing
https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/new-york - look at the "Sun Altitude" that's the degreesthe sun is at currently. Just stop praying Isha when the sun is about to rise and is at around 20 degrees or 19 degrees.
Eisha prayer time begines when Maghrib (evening prayer) time has been completed and it can be prayed upto the midnight, the midpoint between shafak and dawn.In other words it can be recited when the sehri time ends. You can easily find dawn timing on Internet as well as prayers timing charts displayed in each mosque or it can also be find from islamic book centers.