when does the combat end?

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the question is:

my opponent attacks with a creature and deals to me X combat damage, after that he wants to play devouring light on his own attacking creature (because it has a pay 2 life upkeep and he would die during his next turn). Can he do it?

untill when does the attacking creature is considered attacker?, untill when does the combat last?
Please autocard: [noparse]Devouring Light[/noparse] = Devouring Light

There are (normally) 5 steps in the combat phase:
1. Beginning of Combat
2. Declare Attackers
3. Declare Blockers
4. Combat Damage
5. End of Combat

A creature is considered "attacking" from the moment it's declared as attacker (or put into play attacking) all the way through the end of combat step. It's only when that step ends and the post-combat main phase begins that it stops being "attacking."

So yes, they can do that.
After the combat damage resolves (and before that, in response to the damage) during the Combat Damage step, each player has a chance to play spells and abilities during the Combat Damage step.

After that, there's another step, the End of Combat Step. This step is when abilities that trigger "at end of combat" would trigger, if there are any. After that step the Combat Phase ends, and creatures are no longer attacking or blocking.

He has plenty of time to play Devouring Light on his creature. ([noparse]Devouring Light[/noparse] = Devouring Light).
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