Spending Time after ‘Ishaa’ Prayer
Fatwa No: 85246

Question

What is the Islamic rule of spending time after the Isha prayers? Nowadays people go very late into the bed after watching TV or just sitting and chatting. Is there any Hadith saying about the use of time after Isha prayer.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

A Muslim is asked to use his time in a good way, and he is warned against wasting his time in useless things that do not bring any benefit to his religion or his worldly matters.

Mu’ath Ibn Jabal  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “A servant of Allah will remain standing on the Day of Judgment till he is questioned about his age and how he spent it; and about his knowledge and how he utilized it; about his wealth from where he acquired it and in what (activities) he spent it; and about his body as to how he used it.” [Al-Bazzar and At-Tabaraani]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said: “Avail yourself of the opportunity of five things before five things (happen): your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before your getting busy, and your life time before your death.” [Al-Haakim]

So, the Muslim should be more careful about his time than about his money and property.

The righteous predecessors used to hate wasting time. They used to say: “Wasting time is a sign of abomination.

So, instead of wasting time, the Muslim is asked to occupy himself in that which is good for him in this worldly life and the Hereafter. So, if one watches TV, he should choose good programs that could benefit him. If he stays awake late at night with his colleagues, they should use their time in good things and avoid unlawful or nonsense matters.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to stay up until late at night with his Companions teaching them and counseling them about that which is good for the Muslims.‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated: “The Prophet ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) used to stay late at night – at Abu Bakr 's home – to deal with some Muslims’ affairs.” [Ahmad]

As for the Hadeeth that states the dislikeability of talking after ‘Ishaa’ Prayer, it is a sound Hadeeth. But the scholars are of the view that the reason for dislikeability is that staying up late at night results, most of the time, in missing the Fajr Prayer, and people who stay late until that time conclude their day with nonsense and miss the Qiyyaam (night prayer).

To conclude, we believe that if staying up after ‘Ishaa’ Prayer is for a good purpose, then there is no objection to it; otherwise, one should avoid it.

For more benefit on staying up late and missing the Fajr prayer, please refer to Fataawa 334630, 237589, 55000, and 83503.

Allah knows best.

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