Can You Explain the Ruling for Combining Multiple Intentions in a Prayer? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam aleykum,

1. Is it permissible to combine the intentions of catching up a Fajr prayer with a Duha prayer?


2. Can I add the intention of the prayer of repentance to the first two cycles of a Witr prayer?

3. Can I add the intention of the prayer of ba’diyyah isyak to the first two cycles of a Witr prayer?

4. Can someone, after praying an obligatory prayer, combine the qabliya prayer and badi’yyah prayer together?

5. Is it permissible to combine the obligatory ritual bath (because of a wet dream) with the sunna ritual bath on Fridays?

Answer: Wa alaykum salam

I pray you are well and enjoying Allah’s Countless Blessings.

Prayers are divided into two categories: maqsudah and non-maqsudah. Maqsudah refers to a specifically legislated prayer while non-maqsudah refers to an occasion where the performance of a prayer is required, but not a specific prayer.

The rule is that one may include as many non-maqsudah prayers as he wishes in a single two unit prayer. One may also include as many non-maqsudah prayers as he wishes with a single maqsudah prayer. One may not however combine together two maqsudah prayers.

Examples of maqsudah prayers include: the Duha prayer, Witr, Rawatib (prayers before and after the compulsory prayers) and Tahajjud. Examples of non-maqsudah prayers include the Prayer of Greeting the Masjid, the Prayer after Ablution, the Prayer of Istikharah and the Prayer of Tawbah or Repentence, amongst others. Thus the answer to your questions are:

1. No, both the Fajr prayer and the Duha prayer are maqsudah.

2. Yes, Witr is maqsudah and the Prayer of Tawbah is non-maqsudah.

3. No, both are maqsudah.

4. Yes. Here you are not combining two prayers in one, but merely joining two prayers together. In other words, you cannot combine the two units of prayer before Dhuhr with the two units of prayer after Dhuhr in a single two unit prayer. However, you may join the two sets of prayers in a single four units of prayer; or as in your example, combine the four sets of prayers in a single 8 units of prayer. The only condition when joining the prayer before Dhuhr with the prayer after Dhuhr is that the joined prayer can only be performed after the performance of the Dhuhr prayer.

5. Yes.

And Allah Knows best

Wassalam
Abdurragmaan Khan

Photo: Jorge Quinteros