Q&A: Praying Isha instead of Maghrib



I said my Isha prayers instead of Magrib and later my alarm signaled me for Isha prayers, what should I do?


Forgetfulness is part of human nature. That’s why one is not punished due to forgetfulness, even if results in severe consequences.

However, praying (solat) is an act of worship. Every act of worship in the Muslim’s life requires intention (Niyyah), otherwise it becomes an activity without objective, nor rewards.

Sayyiduna Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, narrated a Hadeeth which was authenticated by Imam(s) Al-Bukhari and Muslim, that the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, said:

إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ، وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى

It means, “Deeds are according to the intentions behind them, and a person will be rewarded according to his intention.”

In addition to the fact, that intentions must be made solely for Allah, it also means, that intentions must be made appropriately, to match the time and nature of the ‘Ibadah we are about to carry out, especially when it comes to decreed deeds, such as Solat, Zakat, Hajj, and others.

When we intend to perform Maghrib and wrongly pray Isha instead, we have to do our Maghrib whenever we remember. If your alarm notifies you for Isha, and that makes you remember that you’ve prayed Isha in the wrong time, you have to pray your Maghrib, and then do your Isha. If there’s a congregation who are praying Isha at that time, you can join them for Isha, and then pray your Maghrib after the Jama’ah prayers is over.

The Isha you prayed earlier, during Maghrib time, is not counted, because it was done at the wrong time. Solat is only valid when it’s offered in its specified time.

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Allah knows best.