Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
I was recently in Yemen, and as you well know, it is regarded as the capital of the Shaffii madhab. I had a problem , because shafii’s pray Asr when the shadow is equal to one length. I heard two opinions exist in the hanafi madhab, one is that Asr time starts when the shadow is one length (i think this the opinion of Imam Yusuf, please correct me if I’m wrong). But the opinion held by Imam Azzam, Abu Hanifa (RA) was that the time for asr starts when the shadow is twice the original length. Some brothers prayed when at the Shaffi time, others when the shadow was twice the length. What do we do in this situation. Some one said that when we’re in a dominant Shaffi area we should pray at Shaffi time, to keep the unity. Does anyone what we should do in this situation?
The same happens when we are in Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawarrah. Most of the Hanafi `Ulama offer their salah behind the Imam in these places practising on the view of Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad. Hence you can offer salah with the Shafi`is.
Allah Ta`ala Knows Best.
Response from Sidi Faraz
As stated by Ibn Abidin, Ibn Nujaym, Kamal ibn al-Humam, and most major Hanafi authorities, the relied upon opinion of the Hanafi school for Asr time is that of Imam Abu Hanifa. However, the position of his two companions, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, is also a valid one, and a minority of scholars even deemed it to be sounder.
According to Mufti Mahmoud Usmani and scholars from Damascus, if the prevalent practice of one’s area is to pray Asr at one shadow-length, then one should just act on the position of the Two Companions and pray with the congregation of Muslims.
Note, however, that whoever claims that Ibn Abidin preferred the position of the Two Companions, or that he said that the fatwa is on their position, really needs to re-read what Ibn Abidin said.