Is it makruh to perform the night prayer after midnight?

Details of the Question
Is it makruh to perform the night prayer after midnight?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to the view of Hanafis on which the fatwa is based and the other madhhabs, the time of night (isha) prayer starts when the red dusk in the west horizon disappears and ends just before the true dawn. The evidence for the view is the hadith reported from Abdullah b. Umar: "The dusk is red. When the dusk disappears, it becomes fard to perform the night prayer." (as-San'ani, 1/114).

On the other hand, the preferred time for the night prayer is until one third or half of the night passes because the Messenger of Allah said, "If I did not want to cause difficulty for my ummah, I would order them to delay performing the night prayer until one third or half of the night passed." (ash-Shawkani, 2/11). Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) stated that Hazrat Prophet delayed performing the night prayer until half of the night passed. (ash-Shawkani, 2/12).

The following is reported from Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her): "Once Hazrat Prophet delayed the night prayer. The people in the mosque had slept. Then, he led the prayer and said: If I did not want to cause difficulty for my ummah, I would order them to perform the night prayer at this time." (Bukhar, Mawaqit, 24).

The beginning time of the witr prayer is after the night prayer; the end of the time of the witr prayer is just before the time for the morning prayer starts. (see Hamdi Döndüren, Delilleriyle İslâm İlmihali, İstanbul 1991, 313 ff.)

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