What is the ruling of the Ulama-e-Deen in the following case: Zaid says that the time of Maghrib is very short and it is for this reason that short Surahs are recited in Maghrib and after the two sunnats and nafil of Maghrib, the time of Maghrib either expires or only five or six minutes remain. Amar says that it is mustahab (desirable) to read short Surahs and to read Maghrib in its earliest time. He further says that the time of Maghrib is until the redness remains in the sky. Actually he says that there is approximately half an hour that one has (for Maghrib). I would thus like to humbly query concerning the correct ruling regarding how long Maghrib lasts for and when it expires? I would also like clarification regarding the statements of Zaid and Amar. I would also like to query the ruling if a person reads Maghrib at the time when there is the whiteness in the sky which appears after the redness. Is it permissible to read at this time or not? Until what time is one allowed reading Maghrib without any uncertainty?
The Answer: The statement of Zaid is completely incorrect. He has just made this up from his own thinking. It is for this reason that he is himself in doubt, because he first said that there is no time left and then he says that there are five to six minutes left (for Maghrib to end) and to use one’s own idea in such religious issues, is totally haraam. In reality, the time of Maghrib remains until the whiteness in the sky has set. This whiteness refers to the whiteness on the western side of the sky which stretches breadth wise towards the northerly and southerly direction, like the whiteness in the morning. The whiteness after this, which does not stretch breadth wise northerly or southerly, but moves vertically towards the sky, like the whiteness of Subh Kaazib is not regarded as the correct whiteness. After the setting of the sun, until the whiteness in the sky that spreads breadth wise sets. In our areas, this remains for at least one hour eighteen minutes. The maximum time that it remains for is one hour thirty five minutes. The time varies between one hour eighteen and one hour thirty five minutes. On some days, the whiteness remains for one hour eighteen minutes whilst on other days it remains for one hour nineteen minutes or one hour twenty minutes, until the whiteness sets at one hour thirty five minutes.
ماتن الشفق ھو الحمرة عندھما و به قالت الثلثة و العیه رجع الامام فرمایا: و المحقق فی الفتح باه لا یساعده روایة و لا درایة الخ و قال تلمیذه العلامة قاسم فی تصحیح القدوری ان رجوعه لم یثبت لما نقله الکافة من لدن الائمة الثلثة الی الیوم من حکایة القولین و دعوی عمل عامة الصحابةبخلافه بخلاف المنقول قال فی الاخیتار الشفق البیاض و ھو مذهب الصدیق
و المستحب التعجیل فی المغرب مطقا و تاخیر قدر رکعتین یکرة تغزیھا
It is however better to read Maghrib Namaaz as soon as possible and it is Makrooh-e-Tanzeehi, in others words, contrary to what is better, to delay without reason, the Namaaz of Maghrib, for the amount of time that is usually required to read two Rakaats Namaaz (just as it has been mentioned in Durr Mukhtar). To delay maghrib so much that lots of stars begin to appear in the sky, is Makrooh-e-Tahreemi, just as been mentioned in Durr Mukhtar. والله تعالى اعلم Ahkaam E Shariat part 2 – by Alahazrat.