Question: Some of the people complain when it is said to them: “Why do you delay salaatul Isha while working or other than this?” So they say: “The (time for) salaatul Isha is up until midnight and the time (to establish Isha) is wide.”
I beg from your eminence, clarification regarding this issue and the ruling on it with evidence for it. May Allaah preserve you and guide your steps.
Answer: It is obligatory upon every Muslim to pray salaatul Isha and other than this (the other salawaat) with the congregation and it is not permissible to delay it and to busy oneself with work. This is because praying in congregation is an obligatory matter. So it is not permissible for anyone to oppose the congregation except with an excuse that has been legislated; like illness and what leads to it.
This is because of the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم):
“Whoever heard the call (to salaat) and he did not come to it, then there is no (reward for the) salaat for him except with an excuse.”
It was said to Ibn Abbaas (رضي الله عنه): “What is the excuse?” He (Ibn Abbaas) said: “Fear (of death) or illness.”