Impermissibility of Literally Combining Between Two Salahs

Chapter on the Impermissibility of Combining between two Salahs with a Literal Combination
[From the work “I’la al-Sunan”]

The Hadiths

Hadith One

Narrated from ‘Abd Allah [ibn Mas‘ud] (Allah be pleased with him), he said:

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلى الصلوة لوقتها إلا بجمع وعرفات
“The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would offer Salah at its [set] time except at Jam‘ (Muzdalifah) and ‘Arafat.”

Al-Nasa’i narrated it and its isnad is sahih. (Athar al-Sunan, 2:72)

Hadith Two

Narrated from ‘A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her), she said:

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فى السفر يؤخر الظهر ويقدم العصر ويؤخر المغرب ويقدم العشاء
“The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), on a journey, would delay Zuhr and bring ‘Asr forward and delay Maghrib and bring ‘Isha’ forward.”

Al-Tahawi, Ahmad and al-Hakim narrated it and its isnad is hasan. (Athar al-Sunan, 2:73)

Hadith Three

Narrated from Nafi‘ and ‘Abd Allah ibn Waqid that the muezzin of Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with them) said: “Salah!” He said: “Travel, travel!” Until it was [the time] before the disappearance of the twilight, he descended and prayed Maghrib, and then he waited until the twilight disappeared, and then he prayed ‘Isha’. He said: “Verily, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would, when a matter made him hurry, do the like of what I did.” He travelled in that day and night the journey of three [days and nights]. Abu Dawud and al-Daraqutni narrated it. Its isnad is sahih. (Athar al-Sunan, 2:73)

Hadith Four

Narrated from Kathir ibn Qarawanda, he said: We asked Salim ibn ‘Abd Allah about the Salah of his father during a journey, and we asked him: “Would he combine between any of his Salahs during his journey?” He related that Safiyyah bint Abi ‘Ubayd was under him [i.e. was his wife], and she wrote to him while he was in his farm: “Verily, I am in the last day of the days of this world and the first day of the next.” He rode to her and hastened the journey, until when [the time of] Salat al-Zuhr arrived, the muezzin said to him: “Salah, O Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman!” He did not pay attention to him until it was between the two Salahs, whereupon he descended, and he said: “Say the Iqamah, and when you say salam, say the Iqamah [of ‘Asr].” He prayed and then he rode until the sun had set, whereupon the muezzin said to him: “Salah!” He said: “[Do] as you did for Salat al-Zuhr and ‘Asr.” Then he travelled, until the stars spread out, whereupon he descended, and he said to the muezzin: “Say the Iqamah, and when you say salam, say the Iqamah [for ‘Isha’].” He prayed, then he turned and gave attention to us, and he said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

إذا حضر أحدكم الأمر الذي يخاف فوته فليصل هذه الصلاة
“When an [important] matter, the loss of which is feared, comes to one of you, let him pray this Salah.” Al-Nasa’i narrated it and its isnad is sahih. (Athar al-Sunan, 2:73)

Hadith Five

Narrated from ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib from his father from his grandfather that ‘Ali would, when travelling, travel after the sun had set until it almost became dark, and then he descended and prayed Maghrib. Then he asked for his supper and he had his supper, and then he prayed ‘Isha’. Then he travelled and he said: “This is what the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would do.” Abu Dawud narrated it and its isnad is sahih. (Athar al-Sunan, 2:74)

Hadith Six

Narrated from Ibn Jabir, he said: Nafi‘ narrated to me, he said: I came out with ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar on a journey [in which] he intended a land of his. Someone came to him and said: “Safiyyah bint Abi ‘Ubayd is severely ill, so see that you can reach her [in time].” He came out in a hurry and with him was a man from Quraysh who travelled with him. The sun set, and he did not pray Salah. My experience with him was that he would be careful in offering his Salahs [on time], so when he delayed [the performance of Maghrib], I said: “Salah! Allah have mercy on you!” He turned to me and he continued [the journey], until it was the last part of the twilight; he descended and prayed Maghrib, and then he performed ‘Isha’ when the twilight had disappeared, and he led us in prayer. Then he turned to us and said: “Verily, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would, when he was hurried by a journey, do likewise” Al-Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, al-Tahawi and al-Daraqutni narrated it and its isnad is sahih. (Athar al-Suan, 2:74)

Hadith Seven

Narrated from Abu ‘Uthman, he said: Sa‘d ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) and I travelled in a group, hastening for Hajj. We would combine between Zuhr and ‘Asr, bringing the latter forward and delaying the former, and we would combine between Maghrib and ‘Isha’, bringing the latter forward and delaying the latter, until we arrived at Makkah.” Al-Tahawi narrated it and its isnad is sahih (Athar al-Sunan, 2:74)

Hadith Eight

Narrated from Anas that when he wished to combine between two Salahs in travel, he delayed Zuhr to the last part of its time and prayed it, and he prayed ‘Asr in its beginning time, and he prayed Maghrib at the last part of its time, and he prayed ‘Isha’ in its beginning time, and he said:

“This is how the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would combine between the Salahs on a journey.”

Al-Bazzar narrated it. Ibn Ishaq is in it, who is trustworthy, but is a mudallis (Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, 1:206) And it is mentioned in al-Targhib (2:53): “In sum, he is from those who are differed over, and he is hasan in hadith.”

Hadith Nine

Narrated from ‘Uthman ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Mawhab, he said: Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) was asked: “What is negligence in Salah?” He said: “That it is delayed until the time of the next one arrives.” Al-Tahawi narrated it and its isnad is sahih. (Athar al-Sunan, 2:75)

Hadith Ten

Narrated from Abu Qatadah (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

أما إنه ليس فى النوم تفريط إنما التفريط على من لم يصل حتى يجيء وقت الصلاة الأخرى
“Behold! Verily there is no negligence in sleep. Negligence is only [necessitated] upon the one who did not pray until the time of the next Salah arrives.”

Muslim and others narrated it. (Athar al-Sunan, 2:75)

Hadith Eleven

Narrated from Tawus from Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them), he said:

“A Salah is not lost until the time of the next one arrives.”

Al-Tahawi narrated it and its isnad is sahih. (Athar al-Sunan, 2:75)

COMMENTARY

The hadiths of the chapter prove by a clear indication that what is established from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) of combining between two Salahs, it is apparent combination, not literal. And by this [explanation], harmonisation between the hadiths is achieved. As for what opposes them from the hadiths and are difficult to interpret as ‘apparent combination’:

from them is what is in Bulugh al-Maram (1:79) from Anas, he said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would when he travelled before the sun deviated [from its midpoint], delay Zuhr to the time of ‘Asr¹, and then descend and combine between them, and if the sun deviated before he travelled, he prayed Zuhr and then he travelled.” (agreed upon)

 and in the narration of al-Hakim in al-Arba‘in with a sahih isnad: “He prayed Zuhr and ‘Asr and then he rode [his animal].”

 and according to Abu Nu‘aym in the Mustakhraj of Muslim: “He would when he was on a journey and the sun had deviated [from its midpoint], pray Zuhr and ‘Asr together, and then he travelled.”

 and Muslim narrated it from him (1:245) with the wording: “The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would, when he intended to combine between two Salahs during a journey, delay Zuhr until the beginning time of ‘Asr entered, and then combine between them.”

 and according to him also: “When a journey made him rush, he delayed Zuhr to the first part of ‘Asr and he combined between them and he delayed Maghrib until he combined between it and ‘Isha’ when the twilight disappeared.”

 and in Majma‘ al-Zawa’id (1:205) it is narrated from him with the wording: “And indeed the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), when he was on a journey, and the sun deviated [from its midpoint] before he travelled, he prayed Zuhr and ‘Asr together, and if he travelled before the sun deviated, he combined between them at the start of ‘Asr, and he would do that in Maghrib and ‘Isha’.” Al-Tabrani narrated it in al-Awsat and its narrators were declared trustworthy.

The response is that his [i.e. Anas’s] narration according to al-Bazzar – which has preceded in the main text – opposes them, and that proves that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would combine apparently not literally, so when the reports clash from Anas, they cancel each other, so there is no proof in them for either [position]. Also, the last three hadiths from the main text which prove [the prohibition of] negligence in [delaying] Salah after it time and likewise His (Exalted is He) statement, “Verily, Salah is ordained for the believers at fixed times” (Qur’an 4:103) negate them; so the prohibition is given priority over the permission as is their principle. And Allah knows best.

As for what Muslim (1:276) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them), he said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed Zuhr and ‘Asr together in Madinah without fear or travel.” Abu al-Zubayr said: “So I asked Sa‘id, why did he do that?” He said: “I asked Ibn ‘Abbas just as you asked me, and he said: ‘He wished that there is no difficulty on anyone from his ummah.’”

And that which is in Majma‘ al-Zawa’id (1:206) from ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, he said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) combined between Zuhr and ‘Asr and between Maghrib and ‘Isha’, so it was said to him about that and he said: ‘I did this so my ummah suffers no difficulty.’” Al-Tabrani narrated it in al-Awsat and al-Kabir and in it is ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Quddus, who Ibn Ma‘in and al-Nasa’i weakened, and Ibn Hibban declared trustworthy, and al-Bukhari said: “Reliable, but he narrates from weak people.” I say: He narrated this from al-A‘mash and he is trustworthy.

These are interpreted as apparent combination, and interpreting them as literal combination is against consensus. Al-Tirmidhi said in his ‘Ilal: “All that is in this book of hadiths is acted upon and some of the people of knowledge have adopted them, except two hadiths, the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) combined between Zuhr and ‘Asr at Madinah and Maghrib and ‘Isha’ without fear, nor travel nor rain…” (2:235). Thus the outward of this hadith is abandoned by consensus, and none profess it.

And al-Tirmidhi transmitted from Ibn ‘Abbas from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), he said: “Whoever combined between two Salahs without an excuse, he has attended a door from the major sins.” Hanash Husayn ibn Qays is in it. Al-Tirmidhi said: “He is weak according to the scholars of hadith, Ahmad and others weakened him.” (1:26) I say: The hadith was transmitted by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak from Hanash from ‘Ikrimah from Ibn ‘Abbas and then he said: “Hanash ibn Qays al-Rahbi, he is called Abu ‘Ali from the people of Yemen, he resided in Kufah, trustworthy.” In al-Tahdhib after mentioning a long statement about him [it says]: “Abu Muhsin claimed that he is a reliable shaykh. Abu Bakr al-Bazzar said: ‘weak in hadith’” (2:36); while there is a sahih report from a Sahabi that corroborates it, since it is authentic from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) that he wrote to Abu Musa: “And know that combining between two Salahs without an excuse is from the major sins.” ‘Abd al-Razzaq transmitted it in al-Musannaf from Ma‘mar from Qatadah from Abu al-‘Aliyah al-Rayahi. This is found in al-La’ali (2:13) and its narrators are the narrators of the Sahih. This is a statement of a Sahabi in the ruling of a report traced to the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

If you say this is a proof against the Hanafis because it implies the permissibility of combining between two Salahs with an excuse, I say: This is drawing evidence from the implied meaning which is not a proof according to them [i.e. Hanafis]; while also it says in al-Mudmarat: “The traveller, when he fears thieves or highway robbers, and companions are not watching over him, it is permissible for him to delay the Salah because it is with an excuse.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 1:397) Thus, the combination of delay between two Salahs with an excuse is permissible according to the Hanafis also, but mere travel is not an excuse according to them, rather fear on one’s life or his property. As for the combination of bringing forward, it is not permissible at all in other than ‘Arafah.

A great multitude of scholars have taken the position of apparent combination. Al-Nawawi said: “It [i.e. apparent combination] is a weak or false interpretation because it opposes the outward [meaning of the hadiths] with an opposition that is not tolerable.” Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari replied to his statement with his statement: “This – what he weakened – was regarded as good by al-Qurtubi, and Imam al-Haramayn before him gave it preference, and Ibn al-Majishun and al-Tahawi from the predecessors asserted it, and Ibn Sayyid al-Nas gave it strength.” I say: And from the latecomers, al-Shawkani preferred it in Nayl al-Awtar, and on this issue he has a separate treatise which he called: Tashnif al-Sam‘ bi Ibtal Adillat al-Jam‘ (Athar al-Sunan, 2:75).

I‘la’ al-Sunan, Karachi: Idarat al-Qur’an wa l-‘Ulum al-Islamiyyah, 1427 H, 2: 93-100

[Footnote]

1. I say: Its meaning, and likewise the meaning of his statement, “to the beginning time of ‘Asr,” indicates the time of ‘Asr or its beginning time is close. This interpretation is identical to how they interpreted the hadith of the imamate of Jibril: “He prayed ‘Asr on the first day when everything was the equivalent of its shadow, and he prayed Zuhr on the second day when the shadow of everything was equivalent to it, at the time of ‘Asr on the previous day.” Since its outward indicates a common time between Zuhr and ‘Asr, they interpreted it by [saying] that the intent is that he prayed Zuhr on the second day, close to the time in which he prayed ‘Asr on the previous day. (Mawlana Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani)

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