Mufti Waseem I would like you to shed some light on this subject. According to all the four mazhabs is it permissible to join salah, under any circumstance. Whether it be for a Mussafir or anyone one who does not fall into the category of being a Musafir. I’ll try to be practical if it is some one goes out be it male or female and they know they wont be back home for the Asr salah will it be ok to join Zuhr and Asr or any other salah for that matter. People are saying that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) was often in doing this practice. they also say Islam was made easy so it will be permissible to do it. could you please educate us on this subject. Jazak Allah. Assalamu Alaikum.
Wa Alaikum as Salaam,
The practice of joining Salaah is not unanimously accepted among all the Imams. Some are of the opinion that this is not permissible.
Many traditions have mentioned that the Prophet (SAS) used to perform his Salaat on its time except on the occasion of Hajj (at Arafah and Muzdalifah). In other words, it was not the practice of the Prophet (SAS) to join between two Salaah for any reason. In this regard, Abdullah bin Masud (RA) who was a very close companion of the Prophet (SAS) and who accompanied the Prophet (SAS) in his journeys, and remained with him in residency said, that he had not seen the Prophet (SAS) performing Salaat out of its time except at the joining at Hajj. (Bukhari, Muslim). In another tradition, he said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (SAS) used to perform Salaah on its time except at the joining in Muzdalifah and Arafah (for Hajj)’. (Nasa’i, who said its Sanad was good).
These traditions show clearly that the Prophet (SAS) used to perform all his Salaah on its proper timing, and he did not join between two by taking one out of its proper timing to put it in the time of another Salaah. In fact, he spoke against this by saying, ‘There is no negligence in sleeping. Certainly the negligence is by that person who does not perform Salaah on its time, and waits until the time of another Salaah enters. ( Recorded by Muslim and others from the tradition of Abu Qatada RA). In another narration, Abu Hurairah (RA) was asked, ‘What is negligence in Salaah?’ He replied, ‘It is to delay Salaah until the time of another Salaah enters’. (Recorded by Tahaawi who said that the Sanad was good and sound). Tawoos also narrates from Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) that he said, ‘Salaah should not be missed to the extent that the time for another Salaah enters’ (Recorded by Tahawi who says that the Sanad is sound).
All these narrations show that performing Salaah on the time fixed for it is essential, and this has been the practice of the Holy Prophet (SAS). In fact, one who misses it from its time has been referred to as a negligent person in the preceding narrations.
Hence, the established position of many scholars especially Imam Abu Hanifa (AR) and others, is that joining of Salaah is not permissible except during the period of Hajj (in Arafah and Muzdalifah).
With respect to certain traditions that give an indication that the Prophet (SAS) had joined two Salaah, the jurists have given explainations regarding this. For example, there is a tradition narrated by Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) which stated that the Prophet (SAS) joined Dhuhr and Asr, and Magrib and Isha Salaah at Madina without reasons of fear and rain. (Recorded by Bukhari and Muslim).
In regards to this and other similar traditions, the scholars have stated that the joining which took place was not a ‘true’ and ‘actual joining’ (Jam’a Haqeeqah) where one salaah was taken out of its respective time and performed in the time of another Salaah. This did not take place. Instead, the joining which took place was one which was a ‘seeming joining’ (Jam’a Soori) which looked like a joining to the onlooker, but, in reality it was not a joining.
This type of joining takes place when one Salaah is delayed to its last timing and the other one (after it) is brought forward to its very beginning time. In this case, the onlooker sees that two different Salaah are performed one after the other (immediately, without a break), hence, he thinks that one has joined between two Salaah, when, in reality, there was no joining. It is simply a matter of performing two Salaah on its own respective timing, but one is delayed to its very last time and the other is brought forward to its very beginning time.
This practice is permissible and can be done when one is on a journey or other similar reasons. This is the explaination that has been given by many great scholars for the Prophet’s action of joining Salaah. The great scholar of Hadith and Commentator of Sahih Al Bukhari, Allama Badrudeen Al Aini (AR) has discussed the above in details in his famous book ‘Umdatul Qaari’ and has stated that ‘the explaination that the Prophet (SAS) performed one Salaah in its ending time and the other in its beginning time is supported by the fact that Abdullah bin Masood (RA) clearly stated that he did not see the Prophet (SAS) performing any Salaah out of its time (Bukhari, Muslim)- (Umdatul Qaari vol. 5 pg. 31)
The other great scholar of Hadith, Allama Muhammad bin Ali An Nimawi (AR) has given the same explaination, and has gone in details to give different traditions to prove this position. From the traditions which he has quoted in his famous work ‘Athaarus Sunan’, are the following:-
1) Aisha (RA) states that on journey, the Prophet (SAS) will delay the Dhuhr Salaah and will bring forward the Asr, and he will delay the Magrib Salaah and bring forward the Isha’. (Recorded by Imam Tahawi who said that the Sanad is sound. Ahmad and Hakim have also recorded it- Athaarus Sunan pgs. 226-227).
Here, in this narration, Aisha (RA) gave a clear explaination with respect to the Prophet’s practice on journey. Aisha explained that he would normally delay Dhuhr Salaah to its last time and bring forward the Asr Salaah to its beginning. In this way, he performed two different Salaah, one after the other, but each was performed on its own specific time. The same he did with Magrib and Isha.
Performing Salaah in this manner made it very easy for travelers seeing that the constant stopping and dismounting from the animals were difficult.
2) In another narration, Nafi and Abdullah bin Waaqid narrates that once while accompanying Abdullah bin Umar (RA) on a journey, the Muezin (of Ibn Umar) said (to him), ‘it’s time for Salaah (of Maghrib)’. Upon this, Ibn Umar (RA) said to him, ‘go on travelling’. This continued for a short while until it was a little before the disappearance of the evening glow (a time when Magrib Salaah will come to an end). At this time, Ibn Umar dismounted from his animal and performed Magrib Salaah (on its time). He then waited until the evening glow completely disappeared. At this time, he performed Isha Salaah and then said (to his Muezzin), ‘Whenever the Prophet (SAS) was in haste (while undertaking a journey for any matter), he would do the same as I have done’. (Recorded by Abu Dawood, Dar Qutni and the Sanad is sound- Athaarus Sunan pg. 227)
The above incident of Ibn Umar gives a clear indication that although his action looked like the joining of Salaah, it was not so. He performed each Salaah in its respective time by delaying Magrib to its last time and by bringing forward Isha to its beginning time. This is what is known as a ‘seeming joining’ (Jam’a Soori) which in reality is not a joining between two Salaah. Having done this, Ibn Umar (RA) attributed it directly to the Prophet (SAS) and said that he (the Prophet ) used to do the same while on a journey.
3) It is narrated that whenever Ali (RA) had to undertake a journey, he will travel after the sun has set. He will then continue on his journey until it was close to becoming dark. At this time, he will dismount and perform the Salaah of Magrib and then ask for his dinner. He will then take his dinner, perform the Isha Salaah and then resume his journey. While doing this, he will say, ‘this is what the Prophet (SAS) used to do’. (Abu Dawood with a sound Sanad-Athaarus Sunan pg. 228).
The above narration of Ali’s practice shows the manner in which two Salaah were performed. Ali (RA) himself attributed this manner of performing the Magrib and Isha Salaah on journey to the Prophet (SAS) which clearly shows that there was no real joining.
It is therefore evident from these narrations that besides the joining at Arafah and Muzdalifah (on the occasion of Hajj) there was no actual joining of two Salaah which was done by the Prophet (SAS).
With respect to what you have asked about joining Zuhr and Asr at one time (if one will not be home for Asr Salaah), this will not be permissible. Each Salaah must be performed on its own respective time. Whether it is in the beginning, middle or ending time- each Salaah must be performed on its own time. Alhamdulillah, Allah Has made Islam very easy for us, and Salaah can be performed at all places. It is not necessary that it be performed only at home or in the masjid. Wherever you are, you can perform Salaah. Hence, there is no pressing situation which makes it difficult for you to perform Salaah on time.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan