Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I have heard that Shah Waliullah stated that one can combine Dhur and Asr prayer between the the early and late Asr time (i.e. between time when the the shadow is more then length up till the time of double the length). Is this a valid opinion in Hanafi School?
Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh
Thank you for your question.
Shah Waliullah’s position is not a valid opinion in the Ḥanafi school, therefore one may not combine these prayers. The position of the school is that it is not valid to combine Ẓuhr with ʿAṣr, nor Maghrib with ʿIshāʾ unless one is in a state of Iḥrām at ʿArafāt and Muzdalifa on the 9th and 10th of Dhul-Ḥijja.
Any other type of combination is only superficial: one delays the first prayer to just before the end of its time, and after praying it he performs the second prayer right at the beginning of its time. This is allowed. (Marāqi al-Falāḥ).
Having said this, there are four reliable schools of Law, and one is obliged to follow one of them when it comes to the rulings of the Sharīʿa. So, based on what Shaykh Abdul-Ghanī al-Nābulsī, the great Ḥanafī polymath, said, one may follow any school in relation to any position as long as all the conditions of the school in question are fulfilled.
Therefore, one may perform Ḥajj as a Mālikī, give Zakat as a Ḥanafi and pray as a Shāfiʿī as long as one knows and applies all of the conditions each of these schools has for that act of worship. so, if one was to learn these conditions and apply them it would be valid to combine based on another school (Abdul-Ghanī al-Nābulsī, Khulasat al-Tahqiq Fi Bayan Hukm al-Taqlid wa al-Talfiq; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar).
Wisdom and Obligation
Shah Waliullah al-Dihlawī felt that originally there were only mean to the three prayer times: Fajr, Ẓuhr and Maghrib, and that the other two prayers were added so that there were not any long periods of time bereft of the remembrance of Allah. Therefore, combination of prayers was legislated to reflect the original ruling.(Hujjat Allah al-Bāligha).
This is his attempt to deduce on of the wisdoms behind the way in which rulings are laid out in the Sharīʿa. Wisdom is not what obliges us to obey the commands of the Sharīʿā; rather it is the direct commands that have come from Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) – be they explicit, or deduced by a mujtahid through valid ijtiḥād.
May Allah grant you the the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat