The blessing in the Isha prayer: “If they knew the blessing…they would come even if they had to crawl.” (Hadith of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

ID 159322332 © Golfmhee | Dreamstime.com
ID 159322332 © Golfmhee | Dreamstime.com

We read in a hadith that there is a blessing in the Isha prayer and if people knew what it was, they would all come and join the prayer even if they had to crawl. Abu Huraira reported:

“The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘No prayer is more burdensome to the hypocrites than dawn and evening prayer. If they knew the blessing in them, they would come even if they had to crawl.’” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

In another hadith, we learn that the Prophet (SAW) did not like to sleep before the Isha prayer and also that he did not like to talk after this prayer. We read:

Abu Barzah reported: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, disliked sleeping before evening prayer or talking after it.”

In another narration, he said: “The Prophet delayed the evening prayer until a third of the night had passed. He would recite in the dawn prayer sixty to a hundred verses. We would depart when it was light enough to see each other’s faces.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

We learn that the Prophet (SAW) would not go to sleep before praying Isha and that after he had completed the prayer he would go to sleep. Aisha (RA) reported:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would not sleep before evening prayer and he would not stay up after it.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

We read in a hadith that when the Prophet (SAW) had not come out to pray the Isha prayer until half of the night had passed, he explained that the people who waited for the prayer to begin are rewarded for the time they had waited. He went on to say that he would prefer to continue the delay of the prayer until half of the night had passed, but he did not do so due to the struggle of those who are weak or ill. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported:

“We prayed with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, at nightfall and he did not come out until half of the night had passed. The Prophet said, ‘Take your places.’ We took our places and the Prophet said, ‘Verily, people have prayed and laid down in their beds, but you continue to be in prayer as long as you wait for prayer. Were it not for the weakness of the weak and the sickness of the sick, I would delay this prayer until half of the night had passed.’” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

In another hadith, we learn that it is because he cared about the hardships of his nation that he did not delay the Isha prayer even further. For the same reason, he did not instruct people to perform wudu with every prayer or use the Miswak with every wudu. Abu Huraira reported:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Were it not hardship upon my nation, I would have commanded them to perform ablution with every prayer or to use the toothstick with every ablution. And I would have delayed the evening prayer a third of the night.’” (Musnad Ahmad)