The Isha prayer (Arabic: صلاة العشاء‎‎ ṣalāt al-ʿišāʾ IPA: [sˤalaːt alʕiʃaːʔ], "night prayer") is the night-time daily prayer recited by practising Muslims. It is the fifth of the five daily prayers–[1] (salat) [Islamic evening begins at maghrib]. The five daily prayers collectively are one pillar of the Five Pillars of Islam, in Sunni Islam, and one of the ten Practices of the Religion (Furū al-Dīn) according to Shia Islam. It is a four rak'ah prayer and the first two rak'ah are prayed aloud. When travelling, according to some madhhabs, it may be reduced to two rak'ahs.

i) Four rakat sunnat e Ghair Mokadda (Optional but spiritually beneficial)
ii) Four rakat Fard
iii) Two Rakat Sunnat Mokadda
iv) Two rakat Nafil (Optional but spiritually beneficial)
v) Three rakat Wajib
vi) Two rakat Nafil (Optional but spiritually beneficial)

Uthman bin Affan reported that he heard Muhammad saying: "The one who offered Isha salat in congregation, it was as if he remained in salat up to midnight, and he who offered the Fajr salat in congregation, it was as if he remained in salat the whole night." From Muslim Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah said, "No Salat is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr (dawn) prayer and the `Isha' (night) prayer; and if they knew their merits, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Although every Namaz is equally important, but Fajr and Isha are considered as a measure of differentiating between Momineen (true believers) and Munafiqeen (pretenders of faith). Abu Hurrerah (R.A) narrates the Holy Prophet (PBUH) saying as:
“The most difficult salah for the munafiqeen is isha and fajr. Had they known the rewards for them they would have attended them even if they had to crawl on their knees.”(Bukhari)

So, to conclude, we can infer that Salah of Isha, due to its tough time frame, differentiates one as true devotee of Allah`s commands from those who only act as believers. It consists of Witr prayer which is actually to be offered at some part of night after sleep. It is also a good source of supplication in front of the Almighty God in the form of Dua e Qunoot. Last but not the least, it follows with huge quantity of benefits and rewards from the Creator of the universe. May Allah SWT give us the will and desire to offer all prayers, especially those which are tough to perform like Isha. Aameen!

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