The following is a response to SlaveOfAhlubait’s article entitled: “Combining of Two Prayers.” The article can be found here.
In this article, SoA makes the assumption that Sunnis prohibit the combining of prayers. This is not the case. It is permissible to combine prayers according to the consensus of the scholars of Islam, but under certain conditions. Reasons for combining prayers include, when one is traveling, in fear, sick, or during cold rainy days.
Unfortunately Sunni’s don’t pay much attention to the their Books or the Prophets (pbuh) Sunna. In the Quran we clearly read there are three specific times:
Holly Quran 17:78 Establish regular prayers – at the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.
Ironically, it seems that it is the Shias that are not aware of what is in their books, since they are not familiar with the commentary of Abu Ja’afar Al-Baqir on these verses. See Al-Burhan by Al-Bahrani 6/81:
He said, “From the dulook of the sun until the ghasaq of the night are four prayers. Allah has mentioned them, made them clear, and their timings. The ghasaq of the night is the middle of the night. Then He said (tabaraka wa ta’ala): and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.”
The narration is taken from Al-Kafi, Ilal Al-Shara’i’i, and Al-Faqeeh. The chain is authentic.
So, as we can clearly see. The Imam himself interprets this verse to mean five prayers, and not three.
SoA then quotes a number of narrations from Sunni books in order to demonstrate that Sunnis have in fact combined prayers in the past. We have no qualms with this, since we are more familiar with the hadith of the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam), his actions, and the actions of the Sahaba, than SoA and his friends.
However, each and every one of the examples provided will fall under the exceptions that we have listed above in the beginning of the article. This is clearest when we examine the first narration that SoA presented:
Sahih Bokhari Volume 1, Book 10, Number 518:
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
“The Prophet prayed eight Rakat for the Zuhr and ‘Asr, and seven for the Maghrib and ‘Isha prayers in Medina.” Aiyub said, “Perhaps those were rainy nights.” Anas said, “May be.”
As we can see, it was common knowledge at the time that the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) did not combine prayers without a reason. It was as soon as Ayub heard this narration that he suggested that it must have been during a rainy night.