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Ruling for praying Isha’ right after Maghrib.

Question

Can you please tell us about the ruling on praying Isha right after maghrib? Also is the rule different for each madhab? I’m really struggling waking up for Fajr after praying Isha so late.

Answer

Bismillahi Ta’ala

Walaikum Assalam Warahmatullah,

At the outset, understand the first premise that Allah ta’ala has imposed an injunction upon us to perform our Salaat in their respective times. This injunction is entrenched in the verse of the Qur’an

{ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا} [النساء: 103]
indeed the Salah is enjoined upon the Mu’mineen in their specific times

Hence, the Qur’anic injunction effectively prohibited validity of Salah outside their specified time.

Thereupon, understand the second premise from this very Ayah is that every Salah’s time is independent on its own and no two salaat occupy the same time. Hence, if it is time for Maghrib Salah, one cannot say that it is equally Ishaa’ time as well.

It is for this reason at its core, none of the Fuqaha’ from any school of thought deem it permissible to perform two different salah in one time as regular “ada'” (i.e. not makeup of missed salah).

This forms the default position in Islam. Thereupon, any exclusion to this default will need to be established from equally sound evidence in Islam which can make amendments to an injunction in Ayah of Qur’an.

This exclusion is where difference of opinion occurs among the fuqaha’. Remember that when exclusions are made to a default position, they are very specific and only to the limit of their specificity from respective evidence.

In our issue of performing Isha’ Salah right after Maghrib Salah, this would mean that we pray Isha’ salah in Maghrib’s time, while keeping the sequence of Maghrib then Isha’. In fiqh, this is called Jam` bayn al salatayn (i.e. joining two salaat in one time). [technically it would be called Jam’ taqdeem i.e. bringing isha’ into maghrib time as opposed to jam’ ta’kheer i.e. delaying maghrib inti isha’ time)

When we look at the compendium of ahadeeth, we realize that Nabi ﷺ prayed two salaat together either Dhuhr & Asr, or Maghreb & Isha’. But there are many narrations expounding different scenarios of these. Before using the narrations to alter the qur’anic injunction, it is vital to know the extent these narrations can affect the injunction. Hence, we find difference of opinion within the madhahib (schools of thought).

According to Hanafiya, there is no real (practical) joining of two Salaat in one time, except for `Arafa and Muzdalifa during the Hajj times behind the Imam of Hajj. What this means is that Hanafi scholars maintain the Qur’anic injunction in its real form, that you cannot pray Isha’ in time of Maghreb.

As for the narrations which show that Nabi ﷺ joined the salaat, Hanafi scholars say that these were not in the real sense, rather delaying of one salah to its last time, and then praying the second salah in its early time, such that both salah remain within their own times. This remains the position on which Hanafiya give fatwa upon, regardless of conditions like rain, fear or travel.

Imam Muhammad al-Shaybani rahimahullah, the erudite student of Imam Abu Hanifa rahimahullah says in al-Asl i.e al-Mabsut:,

الأصل المعروف بالمبسوط للشيباني (1/ 147)
قلت أرأيت هل يجمع بين الصلاتين إلا في عرفة وجمع قال لا يجمع بين صلاتين في وقت واحد في حضر ولا سفر ما خلا عرفة والمزدلفة قلت أرأيت المسافر إذا صلى الظهر في آخر وقتها والعصر في أول وقتها هل يجزيه ذلك قال نعم قلت وكذلك المغرب والعشاء قال نعم

…I said, “what is your opinion about joining between two salahs except in `arafa and jam`?,
he said, “There is no joining between two salah in one time, whether in hadhr (status of being resident) nor in Safr (travelling) other than `arafa and muzdalifa.
I said, “What is you opinion of a traveller if he prays dhuhr in its last time, and Asr in its first time, would that be permissible?”
he said, “Yes.”
I said, “and the same for Maghrib and Isha’?”
He said, “Yes.”

Other schools of thought used their own Ijtihad to establish the exception to the default rule. However all of them still maintained that the exception can only be applied with some genuine excuse. This excuse (udhr) could be rain, fear, travel etc. None of the schools held the position that Salaat can be joined in absence of any excuse.

Hereunder I am only reproducing minimal reference from each of the madhahib.

Imam al-Nawawi rahimahullah mentions the stance of Shafi’i school along with that of others as well in al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhab:

المجموع شرح المهذب (4/ 384)
في مذاهبهم في الجمع في الحضر بلا خوف ولا سفر ولا مرض: مذهبنا ومذهب أبي حنيفة ومالك وأحمد والجمهور أنه لا يجوز وحكى ابن المنذر عن طائفة جوازه بلا سبب قال وجوزه بن سيرين لحاجة أو ما لم يتخذه عادة

in regards to stance of schools about joining for residenct without fear and without travel or sickness: Our madhab (Shafi’i) and the madhab of Abu Haneefa, and Malik and Ahmed and majority (of scholars) is that it is not permissible. It’s permissibility has been narrated from Ibn al Mundhir from some scholars, and he says that Ibn Sireen permitted for necessity or if one does not make a habit of it.

[the last two opinion mention are not from the four madhahib, hence they are rogue stances which are not adopted]

Ibn al-Rushd al-Maliki rahimahullah mentions in bidayat al-Mujtahid wa nihaya al-Muqtasid:

بداية المجتهد ونهاية المقتصد (1/ 184)
وأما الجمع في الحضر لغير عذر، فإن مالكا وأكثر الفقهاء لا يجيزونه

as for joining Salaat for a resident without excuse, then Imam Malik and majority of Fuqaha’ did not permit it

Ibn al Qudama al-Hanbali rahimahullah has mentioned a unanimous decision of Hanbali scholars in al-Sharh al-Kabeer`ala matn al-Muqni’:

الشرح الكبير على متن المقنع (2/ 116)
وقد أجمعنا على أن الجمع لا يجوز لغير عذر

and (our scholars) have been unanimous upon that joining of Salah is not permissible without (valid) excuse.

Finally, as mentioned before that aside from Hanafiya, other three schools do have dispensation for excuses like rain, sickness or travel. However, whether our current condition of delay in Isha’ Salaah time constitute as a valid excuse according to these schools is something best suited for expert of respective Madhahib.

For instance, I could mention from my personal reading from Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal rahimahullah, as presented from Imam Abu Dawud al-Sajistani rahimahullah:

مسائل الإمام أحمد رواية أبي داود السجستاني (ص: 108)
سمعت أحمد بن حنبل، ” سأله رجل عن الجمع بين الصلاتين في السفر؟ قال: أخر المغرب حتى تصليهما جميعا، قال: أنعس؟ قال: إن نعست فتوضأ «.

I heard from Ahmed ibn Hanbal, “a man asked him about joining two salah during travel”
He replied, “delay Maghrib such that you can pray both salaat (maghrib and isha’) together.
The man said “I become sleepy” [i.e. it becomes too late]
He replied, “If you become sleepy, then you should make wudhu'”

This suggests that Imam Saheb rh. is of the opinion of joining Maghrib and Isha’ in Isha’s time and not in Maghrib’s time. Moreover, sleep was not sufficient to move away from his fatwa position.

But obviously, an expert in Hanbali school is more worthy of establishing the fatwa based of their usools of the school.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi

This answer was collected from Fatwa.ca, which is a fatwa portal operated by Mufti Faisal al Mahmudi from Canada. 

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