Salaat is a very Strong pillar of Islam which is mandatory on every Muslim. Failure to fulfill ones Salaat automatically makes him/her a non-Muslim or a Holly sinner. Salaat deals with time which must be followed very well.
Allah mentioned in the Quran that “Surely, Salaat is an obligation on the believers that is tied up with time” [4:103]. This is just to tell believers about the importance of time when it comes to performing Salaat.
But Allah loves us very much, hence made things very easy for us. Let’s Praise Allah for His kindness.
Salaat is one of the worships that Allah made very easy for His slaves. No matter the condition in which you are, Allah has reduced the act of Salaat to match our situations just to make it easy. Alhamdullilah!!!
May Allah grant us more ease and comfort. This brings us to the combination of Salaat, is it permissible in Islam? Why and under what circumstances can one combine Salaat?
Combining Salaat is one of the mercies of Allah that helps believers in situations that could have been difficult without this combination. Combining two Salaat is permissible in Islam base on certain conditions.
According to the Quran, Sunnah and trustworthy scholars, only two Salaat can be combined at a time. They include;
- Zuhur and Asr
- Magrib and Isha
This means that Asr and Magrib and the rest cannot be combined except these two set of combinations.
Also, with these two set of Salaat, you cannot just choose to combine them without any reliable reason. Combining Salaat is permissible base on conditions which I would like to discuss as follows;
In the case of a traveler…
Sometimes travelers found themselves in situations where the performance of Salaat becomes very difficult. It is therefore permissible for that person who is travelling to combine two prayers if it will be difficult for him to perform the second prayer on time.
Note that we cannot pray ANY Salaat before the time for such Salaat. If you intend to travel before Zuhur, you cannot pray Zuhur before Zuhur time but can delay Zuhur and combine it with Asr at Asr time.
Similarly, if you are working and you notice you can pray Zuhur on time at your break time but will not be able to pray Asr at Asr time then you can make up your mind to add Asr to Zuhur (Insha Allah).
Same goes with Magrib and Isha. Whenever there is difficulties like rain about to fall after the Magrib prayers in the Mosque (Masjid) and there is a fear that it may rain for long, maybe till after Isha time, in this case the Imam can add Isha immediately after the Magrib prayers.
But let’s note that the rewards for praying on time is far more than combining so let’s not just combine unnecessarily. Allah knows our intentions and difficulties and will reward us accordingly.
In order that the readers may understand the subject clearly (Be-izn-Allah, By Allah’s Permission), I’ll like us to cover this issue based on different queries covering different aspects of the topic, and we will then walk through the answers to get the facts clarified, In shaa Allah.
Let’s cover the subject in two major parts: The first part deals with the essence of Salaat Al-Qasr; whereas, in second part we shall understand the requirements/actions/other categorized things associated with Salaat Al-Qasr.
First part is “Why should we offer shortened prayers while in a journey? Most of the people say that we should always offer shortened prayers during journey because it is a compulsory act.
This act isn’t something conditioned by people, the details in the support of this view is simple, it is from God stated in the Quran. But let not limit our knowledge to this because it can make our understanding in this topic incomplete.
thus, this needs to be studied from a detailed perspective. Let’s relate to the Holy Book (Quran) and some ahadith to obtain the exact information on the subject.
Allah says in the Quran – 4:101;
(وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ كَانُوا لَكُمْ عَدُوًّا مُبِينًا)
“And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Salat if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial; verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies.”
With a careful look, we can see that the above verse of the Quran does not emphasize any order from Allah for shortening Salaat, rather, Allay states that doing it does not bring you any harm.
What to do now? Lets back it up with the following hadith.
Yǎla bin Umayyah said: I asked Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA), “Do you see that people are shortening the prayers? This, despite the fact that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, said: ‘If you fear that those who disbelieve will put you in trial.’ And this fear has now gone in our days.”
Umar Farooq (ra) replied, “I also wondered about what you are wondering, and I mentioned this to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh), and he said: (This is a) charity that Allah has given to you, so accept His charity.”
Source:(Hadith No. 1199, Book of The Traveller’s Prayers, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 1573 (686), Book of The Traveller’s Prayers & Shortening Thereof, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).
Hence, it is not made compulsory by Allah in Qur’an; rather it is an ease from Allah (as Allah’s Messenger (pbuh), said in hadith quoted above), and refusing the charity or allowance from Allah will be an act of non-thankfulness on our part.
Now the best way to put it goes like this – Offering the obligatory prayer, either under normal circumstances or during a journey is a (fard), and the act of shortening the (fard) prayer during the journey is a Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). That’s why we should shorten prayers when embarking on a journey.
Let me add that if you meet congregational Salaat in a journey or other brothers to pray with then you MUST pray in full without shortening.
Even though scholars has mentioned 48 miles travelling qualifies us to shorten our salaat, others have said that the most important reason to shorten is if you are facing difficulties or in danger which means even if you are not travelling or travelling a shorter distances but faces difficulties or fear enemy attack you can shorten your Salaat and move on.
And Allah knows best.
May Allah increase us in beneficial knowledge.