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['Aalim Network QR] Combining Prayers (Follow-up)


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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\
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Salaamun alaykum,

	The reply to the follow-up question was kindly provided by Shaykh
Hasnain.  The original question and answer is reproduced below.

Wasalaam,

Mustafa Rawji
Moderator, 'Aalim Network

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ORIGINAL QUESTION:

Assalamu-alaikum,

	A Sunni friend of mine asked me how we could combine our prayers. 
I did not have references.  Can you please provide a few solid references? 
This Sunni brother is quite knowledgeable. 

ANSWER:

The issue of combining Dhuhr and `Asr prayers and Maghrib and `Isha prayers
has been thoroughly covered by our scholars. Books on Shi`ah-Sunni polemics
discuss the issue well.

Arguments forwarded by our respected scholars can be summarised in the
following points:

1. There are numerous reports from Sunni books of Hadith which clearly
indicate that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, blessings of God be upon him and
his household, used to pray two pairs of salaat in both ways: sometimes
combining them, and sometimes saying them separately. (Some of these
hadiths are reproduced below).

2. The Shi`ah Jaferi are allowed to combine them as well as offer the
prayers separately. Which of the two methods is better? The scholars say
that it is better to say them separately.

3. There are a lot of differences between well known Sunni jurists and other
scholars on the issue. They are far from being unanimous in saying that it
is not permissible at all to combine the Dhuhr and `Asr and Maghrib and
`Isha prayers (see below).

4. To this day, Sunnis who attend the annual Hajj combine the two pairs of
salat in the following way: they offer `Asr prayers immediately after Dhuhr
with a single Adhan at `Arafat and pray the Maghrib in the`Isha time
followed by `Isha salat at Muzdalifa. Since in the first case they bring
`Asr forward and combine it with Dhuhr, this is known as Jam` at-taqdim. In
the second case the Maghrib is delayed and combined with `Isha therefore it
is know as Jam` at-ta'khir.

        As for the references, two books which have been translated in
English and published recently are enough to give evidences on this and
many other issues. These are:

1. `Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din AL-MUSAWI, Questions on Jurisprudence
(Masa'il Fiqhiyya), tr. Dr Liyakatali Takim, Hydery Canada, Scarborough 1996.

2. Sultan'l-Wa'izin Shirazi, Peshawar Nights, tr. H. Quinlan & C.A.
Campbell, Ansariyan Publication ,Qum 1996.
  (tr.= translated by)

God knows the best.

Hasnain Kassamali               Jamadiul Ula 13, 1417/October 13, 1996
Humble servant of the Ahlul Bayt (a)

			---------------------------------

FOLLOW-UP QUESTION:

	In an earlier ABDG-A answer, it was said that although it is
permissible to pray the Zuhr & Asr and Maghrib & Isha together, it was
better to pray them separately.  I wonder why, if this is so, it has
become the practice of Shia mosques to always pray Maghrib & Isha
together? 

ANSWER: 

There could be a combination of several factors. 

First, since people gather from far and wide to say one of the two prayers
and since it is permissible to combine them, they say the two prayers
together in congregation. This way they have both fufilled their wajibat
(obligation) as well as participated in the jamaat (congregation) prayers.
We observe that thousands of Sunni bretheren say their Jumu`ah prayer on
time but either delay (i.e. make Qada)  or fail to say the `Asr (late
afternoon) prayers. On the other hand a Shi'i Muslim who says Jumu'ah
would invariably perform the `Asr.

Second, we would like our children and other Muslims and the posterity to
know that the practice of combining the Dhuhr and `Asr, and the Maghrib
and `Ishaa is permissible as well as from the sunnah (established
practice) of the Holy Prophet (s). 

Third, like many actions which are better and carry a lot of reward as
well as benefits (e.g. Salatul Layl, or fasting in the month of Rajab) is
not always performed by all of us. It is the strong faith, special
circumstances or other reasons which make some of us to perform the
Mustahab acts. Similarly, saying of wajib salat at the excellent (afdal)
time also requires these factors. Untill all those who participate in the
Jama`ah prayers all equally commited to a cause, can a recommended
practice be insituted. 

God knows the best

Hasnain Kassamali
Humble servant of the Ahlul Bayt (a).







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