Some people criticize the Shia for combining the five prayers offering them at only three times. They combine the Zhuhr and Asr Prayers and the Maghrib and “Isha Prayers, whereas the Prophet (s) and Muslims offer them at their five specified times.
According to the opinion of the majority of scholars, it has been established that the Prophet (s) combined the Zhuhr and Asr Prayers without fear (of war) or traveling. The author of Jami’ul-Usul vol. 6 p. 459 quoting from the Sahih of Muslim says, The Prophet (s) offered the Zhuhr and Asr Prayers at one time without being in a state of fear or while traveling.” He added that az-Zubeir said, I asked Sa’id, “Why did the Prophet (s) do that?’ He answered, “I asked ibn Abbas about this and he answered: The Prophet (s) did not want to cause difficulty for the umma.” In another quotation, he added, without fear and there was no rain.’
It has been established from the traditions of the Infallible Imams that when the sun passes the zenith, it is the time for the two prayers but this (the first prayer) is before that (the second prayer). Similarly, when the evening comes, it is time for the two prayers but this is before that.
Allah has permitted the joining of the prayers and His Messenger did so without any purpose other than of making it easy for his umma. Why should Muslims have to make it difficult upon themselves just to make the separation of the prayers obligatory and sometimes miss the Asr and the “Isha Prayers which has happened not only to ordinary people but to some of the Sunni scholars as well?