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['Aalim Network QR] Combining Prayers

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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 |\

Salaamun alaykum,

	The reply to the following question was kindly provided by Shaykh 
Hasnain Kassamali.


Mustafa Rawji
Moderator, 'Aalim Network
In His name, the Beneficent, the Merciful.



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.


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)

Moderator's Note:  The following hadiths and excerpts have been taken from The SHI'AH ENCYCLOPEDIA VER 2.0, under "Joining Prayers and other related Issues", 
available at the following URL: 


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                 Joining Prayers and Other related Issues

It should also be noted that the Sunnis agree to the combining of prayers
in the case of Rain, Travel, Fear, or other emergencies.  Two forms are
allowed: Jam'a Taqdeem (Early Combination) or Jam'a Ta-ikheer (Late
Combination). An example of Early combination is the combining of Zuhr and
`Asr to be prayed in the time of Zuhr.  An example of Late Combination is
the combining of the Zuhr and `Asr to be prayed in the time of `Asr. The
EXCEPTION among the Sunni schools are the Hanifites (Followers of Abu
Hanifa):  They contend that you CANNOT combine the prayers at any time,
not even if you're traveling.  This clearly violated the other Sunni
schools of thought, but it was and still is tolerated. The Maliki's,
Shafeei's, and Hanbali's all agree to the combining of prayers when one is
traveling, but are in conflict on other times.  The Shia said that one can
combine the prayers ANYTIME without ANY cause of fear, rain, or whatever. 
Nonetheless, the Shia also contend that if you want to pray them
separately, it is acceptable as well. 

Now, what did the Prophet (PBUH&HF) do?  Here's what Ibn Abbas, one of the
most famous narrators, says according to the Musnad of Ibn Hanbal (One of
the books of tradition):

     "The Prophet (PBUH&HF) prayed in Madina, while residing there,
     NOT TRAVELING, seven and eight (this is an indication to the seven
     Raka't of Maghrib and Isha combined, and the eight Raka't of Zuhr and
     `Asr combined)."

Musnad al-Imam Ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, page 221.

Also, in the Muwatta' of Malik (Imam of Maliki sect), vol. 1, page 161, Ibn
Abbas says:

     "The Prophet (PBUH&HF) prayed Zuhr and `Asr in combination and Maghrib
     and Isha in combination WITHOUT a reason for fear or travel."

As for Sahih Muslim, see the following under the chapter of "Combination of
prayers, when one is resident":

     Ibn Abbas reported that the messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him)
     combined the noon prayer with the afternoon prayer and the sunset
     prayer with the Isha prayer in Medina without being in a state of
     danger or rainfall. And in the hadith transmitted by Waki(the words
     are): "I said to Ibn Abbas: What prompted him to do that? He said: So
     that his(prophet's)Ummah should not be put to (unnecessary) hardship."

Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1520

     Abdullah b. Shaqiq reported: Ibn Abbas one day addressed us in the
     afternoon(after the afternoon prayer) till the sun disappeared, and
     the stars appeared, and the people began to say: Prayer, prayer. A
     person from Banu Tamim came there. He neither slackened nor turned
     away, but (continued crying): Prayer, prayer. Ibn Abbas said: May you
     be deprived of your mother, do you teach me sunnah? And then he said:
     I saw the messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him) combining the noon
     and afternoon prayers and the sunset and Isha prayers. Abdullah b.
     Shaqiq said: Some doubt was created in my mind about it. So I came to
     Abu Huraira and asked him(about it) and he testified his assertion.

Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1523

     Abdullah b. Shaqiq al-Uqaili reported: A person said to Ibn Abbas(as
     he delayed the prayer): Prayer. He kept silent. He again said: Prayer.
     He again kept silent, and he cried: Prayer. He again kept silent and
     said: May you be deprived of your mother, do you teach us about
     prayer? We used to combine two prayers during the lifetime of the
     messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him).

Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1524

     Ibn Abbas reported: The messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him)
     observed the noon and afternoon prayers together in Medina without
     being in a state of fear or in a state of journey. Abu Zubair said: I
     asked Sa'id[one of the narrators] why he did that. He said: I asked
     Ibn Abbas as you have asked me, and he replied that he[the Holy
     prophet] wanted that no one among his Ummah should be put to
     [unnecessary] hardship.

Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1516

     Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him)
     observed in Medina seven (rakahs) and eight(rakahs), i.e., (he
     combined) the noon and afternoon prayers(eight rakahs) and the sunset
     and Isha prayers(seven Rakahs).

Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1522

	Furthermore, Allah (SWT) continually reminds us in the Qur'an that
Islam was revealed to make your life easier, not more difficult.  Hence, 
combining prayers is one way in which Allah (SWT) has made it easier for 
the followers to observe all the Wajib prayers, without any undue 

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