Fatwa Date : Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 29, 1420 / 9-10-1999
The time of maghrib: when does it start and end? Is there a set time for it, and is there a time when it is makrouh?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
The leading scholars (Imams) have two different opinions regarding Al-Maghrib (sunset) prayer time:
According to the first opinion, Al-Maghrib prayer time starts just after sunset, i.e., the sun sinks below the horizon. Its time ends quickly leaving just enough time for the Muslim to call the Azan, to make Wudu (ablutions), to put on his clothes, to call Iqama for Salah and to perform five Rakahs.
The second opinion concurs with the first one in the starting time. But for these scholars the finishing time is after the disappearance of the twilight, the red glow of sunset from the sky.
This means that Al-Maghrib here is about three times longer than the one above.
The second opinion is the one followed by most Muslims. Its evidence is the Hadith narrated by Muslim "Al-Maghrib prayer time is due as long as the twilight hasn't disappeared". As for the disliked time, it is detestable to delay Al-Maghrib prayer to its last time without a genuine reason.