Twilight in Arabic is known as “Al-shafaq” or “Ash-Shafaq”. It is the time Maghrib is prayed up until the last prayer of the day ‘Isha’ begins (or alternatively the 2nd prayer of the day since the muslim day starts at sunset).
وَقْتُ الْمَغْرِبِ مَا لَمْ يَغِبِ الشَّفَق “The Maghrib time is as long as Ash-Shafaq has not disappeared “— Sahih Muslim.
The nautical twilight also signals the time of the morning prayer Fajr. So it’s fair to say those moments of merging between night and day are connected to important prayer times.
The term shafaq (twilight) appears in Chapter 84 verse 16 of the Quran:
فَلَاۤ اُقۡسِمُ بِالشَّفَقِۙ “So, I do swear by the twilight” — The Clear Quran by Dr. Mustafa Khattab
Twilight routine for a muslim
Maghrib time is a recommended time to read your protection verses and adhkar (remembrance). After Asr is another opportunity.
- Close windows and doors while reciting bismillah (in the name of God) as you close.
- Say “Bismillahi-ladhi laa yadhurru ma’as-mihi shay’un fil ardhi walaa fisamaaii wa huwa samii’-ul aleem” 3 times
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي لاَ يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَىْءٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
Meaning : In the Name of God with whose Name there is protection against every kind of harm on earth or in heaven, and he is the All-Hearing and All-Knowing.
The messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) says in an authentic hadith: nothing will harm whoever reads this 3 times morning and evening.
— Abu Dawud and Al-tirmidhi.
3. Read chapter 114, 113 and 112 of the Quran (the short 3 surahs also known as the ‘Quls’). The last verse of Surah Baqarah (chapter 2 of the Quran) and Ayatul Kursi (also in Surah Baqarah). These verses protect you from bad spirits, nightmares and so on. Try and read these before bed too. Listening to a recitation of the verses if you can’t read Arabic might also be helpful.
4. Remembrance of God. Tasbeeh (with your fingers, beads or on an app), pondering on the 99 names of Allah, reflecting on Allah’s creations and what he has blessed you with. From Chapter 20 of the Quran ‘Taha’ the verse 130 :
فَاصۡبِرۡ عَلٰى مَا يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ وَسَبِّحۡ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّكَ قَبۡلَ طُلُوۡعِ الشَّمۡسِ وَقَبۡلَ غُرُوۡبِهَا ۚ وَمِنۡ اٰنَآىٴِ الَّيۡلِ فَسَبِّحۡ وَاَطۡرَافَ النَّهَارِ لَعَلَّكَ تَرۡضٰ
So be patient ˹O Prophet˺ with what they say, and glorify the praises of your Lord before sunrise and before sunset, and glorify Him in the hours of the night and at both ends of the day, so that you may be pleased ˹with the reward˺ — The Clear Quran by Dr Mustafa Khattab
5. And lastly, unwind and prepare your body for rest. Some of us are natural night owls, but give adopting a relaxed twilight routine a go. A warm drink, not trying to bring work home and implementing anything that helps you destress, reduces cortisol levels and ultimately leads to a restful nights sleep.
وَّجَعَلۡنَا الَّيۡلَ لِبَاسًا ۙ“and we made the night as a cover,”
وَّجَعَلۡنَا النَّهَارَ مَعَاشًا“and made the day for livelihood”. — The Clear Quran by Dr Mustafa Khattab
The Quran in Chapter 78 verse 10–11 describes the day as for livelihood and the night as a cover. Twilight is the transitioning of day to night and vice versa. Take the twilight as an opportunity to transition from daytime you to nighttime you through working to increase levels of spirituality and relaxation.