Maghrib Timing

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Salam. May I know what is the actual time frame for Maghrib? Is it all the until Isya’ or until a certain time only?


Wa alaykum salam.

Maghrib time commences when the sun has set ie. when the solar disc has completely disappeared below the horizon. It is not the time when the solar disc touches the horizon.
However, there is a difference in theoretically calculated sunset and actual sunset. Maghrib time is actual sunset.
That is why at least three minutes should be added to the calculated time of astronomical sunset for Islamic sunset or Maghrib. There are three reasons for this:

1. The calculations are made at one point by longitude and latitude, and the observer in most cases could be up to 15 miles away from it.

2. The refraction of light through atmosphere whose density keeps on changing due to temperature, pressure and humidity and that changes angle of refraction.

3. There is a possibility of the sloping downward ground towards western horizon, while the calculations are made assuming level ground.

Maghrib time ends with the commencement of Isha prayer which is when the twilight (شفق) disappears.

Twilight on Earth is the illumination of the lower atmosphere when the Sun itself is not directly visible because it is below the horizon. Twilight is produced by sunlight scattering in the upper atmosphere, illuminating the lower atmosphere so that Earth’s surface is neither completely lit nor completely dark.

However there are two types of twilights.
One is the الشفق الأحمر (the red twilight) which is the first one to appear and stays for about one hour. The other is الشفق الأبيض (the white twilight) which comes after the red twilight has dissapeared and stays for about twelve minutes.

According to the majority of the schools the maghrib time ends after the disappearance of the red twilight.
However the Hanafi view is that the maghrib extends until the white twilight remains. When that dissapears and is replaced by darkness then Isha time has commenced.

However, it is very much stressed that Maghrib should not be delayed after sunset, and should be prayed as soon as possible preferably within 15 to 20 minutes of sunset. It is considered Makruh (disliked) to delay Maghrib prayer without any legitimate justification. If due to unavoidable circumstances, one is delayed for Maghrib, it will not be Qadha until the beginning of Isha time.

قال ابن قدامة في المغني: لا خلاف في دخول العشاء بمغيب الشفق، وإنما اختلفوا في الشفق ما هو، فمذهب إمامنا رحمه الله أن الشفق الذي يخرج به وقت المغرب ويدخل به وقت العشاء هو الحمرة، وهذا مذهب جمهور أهل العلم، وذهب الحنفية إلى أن الشفق هو البياض

Shaykh Mohammed Shakeeb

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