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Section II: Combining Prayers

Firstly: What is Meant by Combining Prayers
Combining prayers refers to offering two prayers at the time of one of them, whether by combining them early or combining them late.
Prayers that may be combined are zuhr with `asr and maghrib with `isha’.
Secondly: Reasons to Combine Prayers Combining prayers at `Arafah and Muzdalifah
It is sunnah to combine the zuhr and `asr prayers at `Arafah early (i.e. during the time of zuhr) and to combine the maghrib and `isha’ prayers at Muzdalifah late (i.e. during the time of `isha’). Consensus on this was related by Ibn `Abd al-Barr and Ibn Rushd. Combining when travelling
The ruling of combining when travelling
It is permissible to combine prayers when travelling [532] Alhough they differ regarding the conditions of travel that permits combining prayers. whether early or late. [533] The Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis hold that it is better not to combine prayers. This is the well-known position of Malikis [534] Although some of them stipulated that the journey must include traversing distances with a sense of purpose while others did not stipulate such a requirement. and the position of the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools. The majority of scholars of the Salaf and Khalaf hold this position.
Is it best to combine at the earlier or later of the times?
It is best for the traveller to do what is easiest for him in terms of combining early or late. This is the position of the Shafi`i [535] They explicitly mention that if a traveller makes a stop during the time of the first prayer, it is best to combine early. If he is actively travelling during the time of the first prayer, then it is better to combine late. The reason for this distinction is to choose what is easier for him in each case. and Hanbali schools. It is the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin. Combining due to illness
This will be discussed in the third section regarding the prayer of the ill. Combining prayers when in a state of istihadah
It is permissible for a woman in a state of istihadah (abnormal uterine bleeding) to combine her prayers. [536] This ruling applies to others like her, like someone who has urinary incontinence, is constantly producing madhy, or has a constant nosebleed. This is explicitly mentioned by Hanbali jurists and is the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Shawkani, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin. Combining prayers due to rain
The ruling of combing prayers due to rain
It is permissible to combine prayers due to rain. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, [537] The condition according to them is that it be heavy rain, even if merely expected. This refers to rain that causes people to cover their heads. It also applies when mud is so thick that it is difficult to walk in it while wearing shoes and the streets are dark due to a lack of moonlight. Shafi`is, [538] They hold that this is the case whether the rain is light or heavy, as long as it wets the clothing. The presence of rain at the start of the first prayer is a condition, and the act of combining is during the time of the first prayer. It is not permissible to combine prayers due to rain at the time of the second prayer according to the soundest of the two positions. Hanbalis, [539] They hold that rain that allows the combining of prayers is that which wets the clothing and causes hardship upon one walking under it. As for a drizzle or light rain that does not wet the clothing, it does not permit combining prayers. and the seven jurists. [540] The seven jurists are Sa`eed ibn al-Musayyib, `Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, Kharijah ibn Zayd ibn Thabit, `Ubayd-Allah ibn `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, Sulayman ibn Yasar, and Abu Bakr ibn `Abd al-Rahman.
Prayers that may be combined due to rain
The zuhr and `asr prayers are combined due to rain, as are the maghrib and `isha’ prayers. This is the position of the Shafi`i school, one position among Hanbalis, the position of some of the Salaf, and the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin. Combining prayers due to fear
Scholars hold two positions regarding whether fear is a valid reason to combine prayers:           
The first position: It is permissible to combine prayers due to fear. This is the position of the Hanbali school, one position among Malikis and Shafi`is, the position of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
The second position: It is not permissible to combine prayers due to fear. This is the position of the Hanafi and Shafi`i schools and one position among Malikis. The Permanent Council’s verdict is in accordance with this position. The ruling of combining prayers when breastfeeding
It is permissible for a breastfeeding woman to combine prayers if it is difficult for her to wash her garments for every prayer. This is explicitly mentioned by Hanbali jurists, and it is the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn `Uthaymin. Combining prayers to avoid difficulty and hardship
It is permissible to combine prayers while being a resident in order to avoid difficulty and hardship. This is explicitly mentioned by Ahmad, and it is the position of a group of jurists and Hadith masters. It is the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Thirdly: What is and is not required When Combining Prayers What is required when combining early
Starting with the first prayer
One is required to start with the first of the two prayers, such as by starting with zuhr when combining it with `asr and by starting with maghrib when combining it with `isha’. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Offering combined prayers in quick succession
A condition of combining prayers early is offering them in quick succession. If a lengthy gap separates the two prayers, they are not to be combined. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
The existence of a reason to combine prayers at the start of the first
Scholars are of two positions regarding the requirement that a reason to combine prayers must exist at the start of the first prayer: [541] Though they schools of jurisprudence differ regarding which reasons permit combining prayers, as has been discussed. Hanbalis are lenient regarding reasons that permit combining prayers, such as allowing prayers to be combined in the case of anyone who has an occupation or reason that permits abandoning the Friday and congregational prayers, such as fearing for oneself, one’s wife, or one’s property. Combining is also permissible for those whose needed livelihood would be otherwise harmed.
The first position: A reason permitting combining prayers must exist at the start of the first prayer. This is the position of the majority: the well-known position of the Maliki [542] Malikis stipulate the existence of the reason when commencing the first prayer but not its continuity. Thus, if the rain stops after commencing prayer, they perservere in combining because they cannot guarantee it won’t return. school, Shafi`is, [543] In addition to stipulating the existence of the reason for combining at the start of the first prayer, they also stipulate its existence at the time of the start of the second prayer and salams from the first prayer. and Hanbalis. [544] In addition to stipulating the existence of the reason for combining at the start of the first prayer, they also stipulate its existence at the time of the start of the second prayer and salams from the first prayer. They distinguish between combining due to travel and combining due to illness, for combining due to travel is predicated on the journey lasting until the end of the second prayer. It is also different from combining due to rain in which case this is not required. Rather, if the rain stops during the prayer and it is muddy, the act of combining is not invalidated.
The second position: It is not a condition that a reason permitting combining prayers exist at the start of the first prayer. Thus, if rain falls during the prayer, it is permissible to combine prayers even if this reason did not exist at the start of the first prayer. This is the position of some Shafi`is, and it is the position of choice of Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin.
That the first prayer not be the Friday prayer
It is not permissible to combine the Friday prayer with `asr. This is explicitly mentioned by Hanbali jurists and is one position among Shafi`is. It is the position of choice of Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin. What is not required when combining early
Intending combining prayers
The intention is not a requirement for combining prayers. Rather, combining prayers is valid even if one does not intend so at the start of the first prayer as long as the reason for it remains. This is the position of the Hanafi [545] Combining prayers is only legislated according to Hanafis when combining the zuhr and `asr prayers at `Arafah and the maghrib and `isha’ prayers at Muzdalifah. They do not stipulate the presence of an intention to combine before praying. Ibn Taymiyyah says: “They say: ‘Combining and shortening are not predicated upon an intention, and this is the position of the majority: scholars like Malik, Abu Hanifah, and others.’” (Majmu` al-Fatawa, 24/51) school, one position among Malikis, a position of a group of Shafi`is, and one position among Hanbalis. It is the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah. Ibn Hajar reached the same conclusion, as did Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin. What is required when combining late
Intending combining prayers
One must intend delaying prayers to the second of the two prayers’ times during the time of the first prayer. This is the position of the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools, and it is the position of choice of Ibn `Uthaymin.
The reason for combining prayers must remain
The reason for combining prayers must remain until the start of the time of the second prayer. This is explicitly mention by Shafi`i and Hanbali jurists, and it is the position of choice of Ibn `Uthaymin. Prayers that are haram to combine
It is not permissible to combine the fajr prayer with any other prayer, nor the `asr prayer with maghrib. Consensus on this was related by Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Qudamah, al-Nawawi, and al-`Iraqi.


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