How Early Can We Pray Isha?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salamu alaykum,

I usually follow the Muslim World League prayer times, which places isha time at 17 degrees. This means, however, that Isha is well after 11 PM in the summer where I live. This can be especially difficult during Ramadan, because of tarawih, but even on normal days this is quite late if we have to get up early for work. Is there a valid opinion for praying Isha earlier?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, the position of the Two Companions (sahibayn) is that `Isha time enters once the redness leaves the sky. This position is followable, particularly in situations such as yours.

There is discussion as to the specific number of degrees their position would equate to, and according to some sightings, twelve degrees would seem to be the earliest. If you are reasonably able to make some sightings yourself, this would be best.

Consider also effectively “joining” between `Isha and Fajr by praying the former at the end of its time, and the latter at its beginning. Do the best you can, and ask Allah Most High for facilitation and ease.

Please also see: Delaying Isha Until Shortly Before Fajr and: When Does `Isha Time End, and Is it Disliked to Pray it After Midnight?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Photo: REUTERS/Yagiz Karahan