Why isn’t it that a hanafi mufti decides based on this clear hadeeth,that it would be a good pratice to pray 2 rikaat of sunnah and then going for the fardh as soon as possible. I do not mean to be disrespectful and i’m all in favor of ordinary people following a consistent set of principles (madh-hab), but it troubles me when a mufti (someone who has the authority to give rulings) says that we just need to do this because it has been this way in such and such fiqh for so long and that is the only reason we should stick to it.
?Between every 2 Adhaans, i.e. Adhaan and Iqaamat, there is Salaat for whoever wishes.? (Tirmidhi pg.45; Saeed)
From the apparent meaning of this Hadith, it is understood that between the Adhaan and Iqaamat of Maghrib Salaat, some Salaat is stipulated. However, in regards to the Rakaats of Salaat of Maghrib, the jurists have different views. Imaam Shaafi (RA) and Imaam Ahmad (RA) have 2 views on this. One of it beng Mustahabb (preferable) and the second of it being Jaaiz (permissible) based on the abovementioned Hadith.
Imaam Abu Hanifa and Imaam Maaliki (RA) hold the view that it performance is Makrooh (disliked). Their answer to the abovementioned Hadith is that in Dar-e-Qutni (vol.1 pg.264) and in Bayhaqi (vol.2 pg.474), the following Hadith appears, ?Between every two Adhaans there are two Rakaats of Salaat besides Salaat al-Maghrib.? However, there are conflicting views in regards to the authenticy of this Hadith.
The second proof is the narration of Abu Dawud (vol.1 pg.182) where the following appears, ?Taoos (Radhiallaahu Anhu) says that he asked ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) concerning the 2 Rakaats before Salaatul Maghrib and he replied, ?I did not see anyone performing it in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).?
The third proof appears in Bayhaqi (vol.2 pg.474), Ibraaheem Nakhaee (Radhiallaahu Anhu) says neither Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) nor Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) nor Uthmaan (Radhiallaahu Anhu) read the 2 Rakaats before Maghrib.? However, if we analyse the aforementioned proofs, we find that there is a negation of these 2 Rakats being Sunnah but there is not negation of it being permissible. Furthermore, there are strong proofs which show the permissible of this Salaat. Consider, O Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ?Perform Salaat before Maghrib 3 times.? And on the third time he said, ?for whoever wishes? disliking that the people consider as Sunnah. (Bukhari pg.157)
Anas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) says, ?When the Muadhin used to complete the Adhaan, some of the companions of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) would rush to the pillars until Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) would come out whilst they were still performing the 2 Rakaats before Maghrib and between the Adhaan and Iqaamat there was hardly any time. (Bukhari pg.87)
These are clear proofs that the 2 Rakaats before Maghrib are permissible and it is for this reason that some of the latter Hanafi Ulama have given the permissibility of this Salaat and from amongst them are ibn Hummaam (RA) and Allaamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri (RA).
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai