Q: Assalama Aalaikum Imam,
From what I have understood, Isha is best to offer it once 1/3 of the night has passed. I have also heard the best time to pray qayamul layl is the last 1/3 of the night. Correct me inshallah if these statments are wrong. So my question is how to do you calculate 1/3 of the night, 2/3 of the night and even the last 1/3 of the night.
A:وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
I appreciate you seeking clarity regarding the time of isha and on wanting to know how parts of the ‘night’ is calculated.
It is highly preferred (mustahab) that one delays the isha up to one-third of the night. This is for people that do have have the fear of missing the isha all together. One-third is calculated from the time of magrib to dawn. It would not be calculated from 12am!
Rasulullah (SAW) said: had I not feared difficulty upon my Ummah, I would have commanded them (my ummah) to delay the isha up to one-third of the night.
According to RadulMuktar it is makrooh-tanzihi (reprehensible) to (intentionally and or without reason) delay the isha pass the middle of the night. (Again, the mid point is found between Magrib and dawn — not 12am!)
Allah Certainly Knows Best.