Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2: Combining two prayers
It is allowed for a person to combine the zuhr and 'asr salah, either duringthe time of the earlier or the later salah, or the maghrib and 'isha prayers ifhe is in one of the following circumstances:
The scholars are in agreement that one is to combine the zuhr and 'asrprayer during the time of the zuhr prayer, at 'Arafa [during the performance ofthe pilgrimage], and the maghrib and 'isha prayers during the time of the 'ishaat muzdalifah, following the example of the Prophet.
Most of the people of knowledge are of the opinion that it is permissible tocombine two prayers during the time of either one of them while traveling,regardless of whether the person is actually on the road or has stopped at aplace for some time.
Mu'azh reports that while the Prophet was at Tabuk and the sun had passedthe meridian, the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam combined the zuhr and 'asrprayers before he started his journey. If he started his journey before the sunpassed its meridian, he would delay the zuhr prayer until the time when hestoppped for the 'asr prayer. He would do likewise for the maghrib prayer. Ifthe sun set before he began his journey, he would combine the maghrib and 'ishaprayers [at that time]. If he began a journey before the sun had set, he wouldthen combine them at the time of 'isha. This is related by Abu Dawud andat-Tirmizhi who call it hasan.
Kuraib reported that Ibn 'Abbas said: "Shall I not inform you of thesalah of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam during a journey?" We said:"Certainly." He said: "If the sun passed its meridian while hestopped, he would combine the zuhr and 'asr prayers before remounting [i.e.,moving on]. If the sun had not passed its meridian while he had stopped [i.e.,before breaking camp], he would travel until the time of the 'asr prayer andthen he would combine the zuhr and 'asr prayers. If the sun set while he hadstopped, he would combine the magrib and 'isha prayers. If that did not occurwhile he had stopped, he would ride until the 'isha time and then combinethem." This is related by Ahmad.
Ash-Shaf'i has something similar in his Musnad, namely that when he [theProphet] set out to travel before the sun passed its meridian, he delayed thezuhr prayer and combine it with the 'asr during the time of the 'asr salah.Al-Baihaqi recorded it with a good chain and he says: "To combine the twoprayers due to traveling is something that is well-known and was practiced bythe companions of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam and those who followedthem."
Imam Malik records in al-Muwatta' from Mu'azh that the Prophet sallallahualehi wasallam delayed his salah one day during the battle of Tabuk and thenwent and prayed the zuhr and 'asr prayers together. Then he returned and wentback again and said the maghrib and 'isha prayers together.
Commenting on this report, ash-Shaf'i says: "His statement, 'then hereturned and left again,' only refers to a situation where the Prophet wasstaying in a certain place [i.e., he was not traveling from one site to another]. "
Ibn Qudamah mentions the preceding hadith and writes in al-Mughni: "Ibn'Abdul-Barr said: 'That hadith is sahih and its chain is confirmed. The peoplewho are familiar with the life history of the Prophet say that the battle ofTabuk took place in the ninth year of the hijrah. This hadith is a clear proofand the strongest evidence against those who claim that one can only combinethe prayers while one is actually moving from one site to another as theProphet was settled and was not traveling since the Prophet was staying in histent and would come out and combine two prayers and then return to his tent.Muslim recorded this hadith in his Sahih and stated: 'He would pray the zuhrand 'asr together and the maghrib and 'isha together. One must follow thishadith as it is confirmed [to be authentic] and it is a clear statement on thisrule and there is nothing which contradicts it. The permission to combine thesalah is a concession for anyone who is traveling but it is by no meansconfined to just those times when the person is actually on the road [i.e.,traveling from one place to another]. The same is the case for shortening thesalah and for wiping over the socks, but it is best to delay it.'": Havingthe intention to combine is not a condition for combining or shortening thesalah. Ibn Taimiyyah holds: "That is the position of the majority of thescholars. When the Prophet combined the salah with his companions or shortenedthe salah with them, he never ordered any of them to make the intention for combiningor shortening the salah. In fact, when he left Medinah for Makkah, he prayedtwo rak'at without combining the salah, and then he prayed the zuhr prayer at'Arafa without telling the people that he intended to pray the 'asr rightafterward, next he prayed the 'asr with them and they did not have theintention to combine their prayers, and in that combination he prayed thelatter salah early. When he went from Medinah, he led the people in the 'asrsalah at Zhul-Halifah and he did not order them to make the intention toshorten the salah.": Concerning offering the two combined prayers rightafter each other, Ibn Taimiyyah writes: "The correct opinion is that it isnot a necessary condition to do so under any circumstances, neither during thetime of the first salah nor during the time of the latter salah. There is nosuch limit in the shari'ah and doing so would defeat the purpose of theconcession [i.e., permission to combine the two salah]." Ash-Shaf'i says:"It is quite permissible for a person to pray the maghrib in his housewith the intention of combining the prayers and then go to the mosque to praythe 'isha." A similar statement has been related from Ahmad.
Al-Athram records in his Sunnan that Abu Salamah ibn 'Abdurrahman said:"It is a sunnah to combine the maghrib and 'isha prayers when it israining." Al-Bukhari records that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallamcombined the maghrib and 'isha prayers on a rainy night.
A summary of the opinions of the different schools of fiqh on this pointfollows:
The Shaf'i school says that it is allowed for the resident to combine thezuhr and 'asr or the maghrib and 'isha, praying each pair in the time of theearlier salah only, given that it is raining when one begins the earlier prayerand it is still raining by the time one begins the second prayer.
According to the Maliki school, it is allowed to combine the maghrib and'isha in the mosque at the time of the maghrib due to rain or expected rain, ifthere is mud and darkness along the way, or if there is a lot of mud and itprevents the people from wearing their shoes. Nevertheless, he dislikes thatthe zuhr and 'asr should be combined due to rain.
According to the Hanbali school, it is only allowed to combine the maghriband 'isha in the time of the former or the latter due to snow, ice, mud, severecold, or rain which soaks the clothes. This concession is allowed only for onewho prays with a congregation in the mosque and who comes from a distance overwhich he could be harmed by the rain. However, for one who prays in acongregation in his house or whose path to the mosque is covered or protected,or for one whose house is right next to the mosque, it is not allowed tocombine the salah.
Ahmad, Qadi Hussain, al-Khattabi, and al-Mutawali of the Shaf'i school areof the opinion that it is allowed to combine two prayers, either during thetime of the earlier or later salah, due to illness as it is a greater hardshipthan rain. An-Nawawi says: "This is a strong opinion based on [sound]evidence." In al-Mughni it is stated: "The illness which permits oneto combine the prayers is the one which would otherwise cause hardship and moreweakness [if he prayed each salah separately]."
The Hanbali school is the most accommodating as it allows one to combine theprayers, at the time of the early or later salah, for one who is ill as well asfor the woman who is breast-feeding and will face hardship in cleaning herdress for every salah, for the woman who is plagued by a prolonged flow ofblood, for the person who cannot control his urine, and for one who cannotpurify himself or herself, and for the one who fears for his life, property, orfamily.
Ibn Taimiyyah says: "Among the opinions the most accommodating on thisquestion is that of the Hanbali school which allows one to combine the prayersif he is busy (since an-Nasa'i has related something to that effect from theProphet sallallahu alehi wasallam) and they also say that the cook and baker,and so forth., may also combine their prayers if they fear their wealth (i.e.,their investment or what they are working on) will otherwise be ruined."
Imam an-Nawawi writes in his commentary on Sahih Muslim: "The majorityof the scholars are of the opinion that it is allowed for the resident tocombine the prayers due to some pressing need. This is the statement of IbnSireen and Ashhab from the companions of Malik, and al-Khattabi records it fromal-Qifal and ash-Shaf'i and from Abu Ishaq al-Maruzi, and from a number ofas-hab al-ahadith, and it is the conclusion of Ibn al-Munzhir. This issupported by the statement of ibn 'Abbas: 'The Prophet combined his salahbecause he did not want to put his ummah to hardship, and not because ofillness or any other reason."' The hadith from Ibn 'Abbas, mentionedpreviously, has been recorded by Imam Muslim who states: "The Messenger ofAllah combined the zuhr and 'asr and then the maghrib and 'isha in Medinahwithout there being any danger or rain." Ibn 'Abbas was asked: "Whatdid he desire by that action?" He replied: "He did not want anyhardship for his ummah." Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from him that theProphet prayed seven rak'at and eight rak'at, i.e., the zuhr and 'asr togetherand the maghrib and 'isha together, in Medinah. Muslim also records from'Abdullah ibn Shaqiq that 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas addressed the people one dayafter the 'asr salah until well after the sun had set and the stars began toappear. The people said to him: "The prayer, the prayer." A man fromthe tribe of Taim continuously repeated: "The prayer, the prayer."Ibn 'Abbas said: "Are you teaching me the sunnah? May you have nomother." Then he said: "I saw the Messenger of Allah combine the zuhrand 'asr and the maghrib and 'isha." 'Abdullah ibn Shaqiq commented:"I felt some uneasiness in my heart about what he had said, so I went toAbu Hurairah to ask him about that, and he confirmed what Ibn 'Abbas hadsaid."
In al-Mughni it is stated: "If someone performs both prayers at thetime of the earlier salah and then his reason for doing so ceases to existafter he has completed the salah and before the time of the next salah begins[i.e., the next salah being the one which he had just prayed during the earliertime], then what he has done is sufficient for him and he need not repeat thesecond salah at its proper time. Since he performed the salah in a propermanner, he is free from any extra obligation due to that action. He fulfilledhis obligation during a circumstance in which he had some legal excuse, and hisaction is not invalidated by the fact that this excuse no longer exists. Thisis similar to the case of a person who performe tayammum, and after he finisheshis salah, he finds water."
A salah on a ship, train, plane, and so on, is valid and there is no dislikefor such an act as it makes life easier for the one performing it. Ibn 'Umarsays: "I asked the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam about salah on a shipand he said: 'Pray standing upon them unless you fear that you will be drowned[i.e., the boat might capsize]."' This is related by ad-Daraqutni and byal-Hakim. The later grades it sahih according to the criteria of al-Bukhari andMuslim.
'Abdullah ibn Abi 'Utbah reports: "I accompanied Jabir ibn 'Abdullahand Abu Sa'id al-Khudri and Abu Hurairah on a boat, and they prayed standing ina congregation, with one of them as their imam, although they could have goneashore [if they had so desired]." This is related by Sa'id ibn Mansur.
It is preferred for the traveler to say, upon leaving his house: "Inthe name of Allah, the Exalted! We have trusted in Allah. There is no power ormight, save with Allah. O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from being misguided andfrom misguiding others, or that I stray from Your path or cause others to strayfrom Your path, or that I am wronged or that I do wrong to others, or that Iact foolishly or have someone act foolishly with me."
Then, the person may say whatever he wishes of the supplications which havebeen recorded from the Prophet, sallallahu alehi wasallam. Here are some ofthem:
'Ali ibn Rabi'ah narrates: "'Ali was brought a riding animal. When heput his foot in the stirrup, he said: 'In the name of Allah.' Then, when he saton it, he said: 'Praise be to Allah. Glory be to the One Who made thissubservient to us for we were not able to make [it subservient] and it is toour Lord that we will return.' He then praised Allah three times and extolledHis greatness three times and then said: 'Glory be to You; there is no God butThee. I have wronged my soul, so forgive me. No one forgives sins, except You.'Then, he laughed. I said to him: 'Why do you laugh, commander of the faithful?'He replied: 'I saw the Messenger of Allah doing the same and then laughing. Iasked him: "What makes you laugh, O Messenger of Allah?" He said:"The Lord is pleased with His slave who says: 'O Lord, forgive me,' and Hesays: 'My slave knows that no one forgives sins, save I.'" This is relatedby Ahmad and Ibn Hibban, and by al-Hakim who says it is sahih according to thecriteria of Imam Muslim.
Al-'Azdi reports that Ibn 'Umar taught him that the Messenger of Allah wouldextol Allah's greatness three times while seating himself on his camel for ajourney. Then he would say: "Glory be to the One who made this subservientto us for we were not able [to make it subservient]. It is to our Lord that weshall return. O Allah, we ask of Thee, in this journey of ours, righteousnessand piety and to (be able to) perform such deeds that are pleasing to You. OAllah, make this journey of ours easy for us and make its length short for us.O Allah, companion on this journey and the One who looks after our family andproperty in our absence. O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from the difficulty oftraveling and the unhappiness in what I see and in finding that somethingharmful has happened when I return to my property and family."
When he would return from his journey he would add: "Returning [are we]repentant, serving and praising our Lord." This is related by Ahmad andMuslim.
Ibn 'Abbas reports that when the Prophet desired to travel, he would say:"O Allah, You are my companion in my travels and the One Who looks aftermy family [while I am gone]. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from unworthy travelcompanions and an unpleasant situation upon my return. O Allah, make thedistance short for us and the travel easy for us." When he desired toreturn, he would say: "We are returning, [while] repenting to Allah,worshipping our Lord and praising Him." When he would enter upon hisfamily, he would say: "We are repenting to our Lord. We hope that none ofour sins would remain." This is related by Ahmad, at-Tabarani, and al-Bazzarwith a sahih chain.
'Abdullah ibn Sarjas reports that, when the Prophet had to travel, he wouldsay: "O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the difficulty of the journey,and sorrow on return, and disorder after things are set right, from the cry ofthe oppressed, and from seeing harm having come to our property andfamily."
And when he returned he would make a similar supplication, but instead ofsaying: "from seeing harm having come to our property and family," hewould mention family first and then property. This is related by Ahmad andMuslim.
Ibn 'Umar reports that when the Prophet went out for a battle or a journey,and night came upon him, he would say: "O Earth, my Lord and your Lord isAllah. I seek refuge in Allah from your evil and the evil of what is on you andthe evil of what has been created upon you and the evil of what walks upon you.I seek refuge in Allah from lions and large black snakes, and from snakes andscorpions, and from the evil or all that inhabit the land, and the evil of afather and what he has fathered." This is related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.
Khaulah bint Hakim as-Sulimiyah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehiwasallam said: "Whoever stops at a stopping place should say: 'I seekrefuge by the perfected word of Allah. the Exalted, from the evil of what hasbeen created,' then nothing will harm him until he leaves that stoppingplace." This is related by the group, save al-Bukhari and Abu Dawud.
'Ata ibn abi Marwan states from his father that Ka'b took an oath by the Onewho opened up the sea for Moses that Suhaib related to him that whenever theMessenger of Allah sallallahu alehi wasallam saw a city which he wished toenter, he would say: "O Allah, Lord of the seven heavens and what theyshade, Lord of the seven earths and what they carry, Lord of the satans andthose that they misguide, Lord of the winds and what they blow away, I ask ofYou for the good of this city and the good of its inhabitants and the good ofwhat is in it. I seek refuge in You from its evil and the evil of itsinhabitants and the evil of what is in it." This is related by an-Nasa'i,ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim who calls it sahih.
Ibn 'Umar says: "We would travel with the Messenger of Allah, and whenhe would see the city that he wished to enter, he would say: 'O Allah, give usblessings from what is in it,' three times. And, 'Allah, give us provisionsfrom its harvest and make us beloved to its inhabitants and make the piouspeople of its inhabitants beloved to us." This is related by at-Tabaraniin al-Ausat with a good chain.
'Aishah says: "Whenever the Messenger of Allah came to a place that hewished to enter he would say: 'O Allah, I ask of you of the good of this placeand the good of what you have collected therein. O Allah, grant us provisionsfrom its harvest and protect us from its diseases. Make us beloved to itsinhabitants and make the pious people of its inhabitants beloved to us.' Thisis related by ibn as-Sani.
Abu Hurairah reports that when the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam was ona journey and daybreak approached he would say: "Let one listen and witnessthe praise of Allah and His good favor toward us. Our Lord, accompany us andshow us favour [as we] seek refuge in Allah from the hell-fire." This isrelated by Muslim.