Delaying the Isha prayer until midnight
Is it true that it is preferred ( mustahab) to delay the Isha prayer until midnight and that the prophet (pbuh ) would do so sometimes ?If this is so, then what are the conditions that make it permissible to do so, so that it wouldn’t be considered an act laziness or procrastination on my part?
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Based on various hadiths on the subject, scholars have held different views as to the best time to pray `isha. While imam Abu Hanifah holds that the first third of the night is the best, Imam Shafi`i maintains that the prescribed time (i.e. the early time) is better. So we can say that if the person will be praying individually if he delays the isha, then definitely joining the jama’ah in the earlier time is better. But if there is a group of people and they want to pray together, then it is better to delay it till the first third of the night.
This is different from laziness in performing the salah under the pretext of delaying it till the recommended time. Allah is Most Aware of our intentions, and sincerity is necessary in all actions.
Allah Almighty knows best.