Posted: 20 Rabi-u-Thani 1424, 29 May 2005
|Q.) Can you combine Zuhr with Asr and
Maghrib with Isha salat while traveling? What do the different madhabs
say about this? JazakAllahkhair.
A.) According to the Hanafi school, it is not
permitted to combine the prayers and take a prayer out of its prayer
time by either delaying it or performing it before its time. The only
exception they have in this, based on the narration of Abdullah ibn
Mas'ud, is in Arafat (where Zuhr and 'Asr are combined) and in
Muzdalifa (where Maghrib and 'Isha are combined). The remaining three
schools permit combining in other circumstances too as when a person is
traveling, or it is raining heavily, etc.
There are many ahadith related on this issue and have been discussed
by the four schools. The Hanafis have judged all the narrations on this
issue to be based on the method of "apparent combining" [Jam' al-Suri]
not "real combining" [jam' al-Haqiqi]. This position is based on the
fact that we are told to make every prayer on time, and there are
ahadith of Ibn Mas'ud which clarify that the Prophet never combined the prayers together [by
taking a prayer out of its time] except in 'Arafat and Muzdalifa during
The following, which is an excerpt from the Fiqh al-Imam: Key Proofs in Hanafi Fiqh
may be useful in understanding the ahadith on this issue:
3. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, Radi-Allahu anhu, relates:
I never observed the Messenger of Allah perform any prayer out of its time except
at Muzdalifa. He combined Maghrib and 'Isha at Muzdalifa (Sahih
al-Bukhari 1:227, Sahih Muslim 1:417, Sharh Ma'ani 'l-athar 1:164).
4. Another narration of Ibn Mas'ud, Radi-Allahu anhu, states:
The Messenger of Allah combined
two prayers whilst on a journey. He would combine Maghrib and 'Isha by
delaying Maghrib until just before its expiry time, and performing
'Isha immediately as its time entered (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:458).
5. 'A'isha, Radi-Allahu anha, narrates:
The Messenger of Allah whilst
on a journey, would delay Zuhr and perform 'Asr early and would delay
Maghrib and perform 'Isha early [i.e. perform each prayer in its own
time] (Sharh Ma'ani 'l-athar 1:164, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:457).
6. Ibn 'Abbas, Radi-Allahu anhu, narrates:
I performed eight rak'ats together [four of Zuhr and four of 'Asr]
and seven rak'ats together [three of Maghrib and four of 'Isha] with
the Messenger of Allah . [One of
the narrators says,] "I asked Abu 'l-Sha'tha', 'I assume he delayed
Zuhr [to the end of its time] and performed 'Asr as soon as it entered,
and delayed Maghrib [likewise] and performed 'Isha early.' He replied,
'I also think the same'" (Sahih Muslim 1:246, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba
This hadith of Sahih Muslim is very clear about the exact
description of combining two prayers. The method described by the
narrator is jam' al-suri.
7. Imam Abu Dawud has transmitted the following:
The muezzin of 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar informed him it was time for
prayer. Ibn 'Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, instructed him to continue on the
journey. When the red of sunset [shafq ahmar] had nearly disappeared,
he got of from his mount and performed Maghrib, then he waited until
the red had completely disappeared and performed Isha. He then said,
"Whenever the Messenger of Allah was in a
hurry for some reason, he would do just as I have done" (Sunan Abi
As we can see, the method of combining mentioned in the above
ahadith is none other than that of jam' al-suri. It is an agreed upon
method which nobody has any argument with. How can there be an
objection to two prayers being performed together in a way that does
not cause them to be performed either before their stipulated time or
after it? Undoubtedly, this is the safest method of combining two
prayers, and would be the most suitable way to explain the ahadith on
It is also common knowledge that the Fajr prayer should not to be
performed before its time or intentionally delayed beyond it.
Similarly, other prayers should not be performed out of their
stipulated times either, especially not while considering it to be
sunna. This indicates that the sunna method of combining two prayers is
jam' al-suri, as has also been substantiated through the Qur'an and
Hadith. This is the Hanafi opinion in this issue.
<>If it was permissible to practice jam' al-haqiqi in the event of
travel or illness, etc., then why is it confined to some prayers only?
Why is it not permissible to perform all the prayers of the day
together in the morning before departing on a journey? The reason for
this is quite simple. The practice of combining mentioned in the
ahadith is not to be taken as jam al-haqiqi, but as jam al-suri wherein
each prayer remains in its own time, but are performed one after
And Allah knows best.