The method, and time of the Prayer (Salat) prescribed on every male and
The Shia acknowledge FIVE daily PRAYERS. However, they are allowed to pray
them in THREE distinct TIMES, not five; the five prayers are: Fajr
(Morning), Zuhr (Noon), `Asr (Afternoon), Maghrib (Sunset), and Isha
The Fajr (morning) is prayed at the normal Fajr time.
Shias are allowed to pray noon and afternoon prayer one after another
(without a lot of delay between the two). Similarly we are allowed to pray
sunset prayer and night prayer one after another. Actually it is better to
pray in their own specific time (close to what Sunnis do), but it is not
necessary. Thus instead of five separate times, we can pray all the five
daily prayers only in three separate times.
(NOTE: The prayers in ALL cases are DISTINCT (separate), it's NOT that
they (the Shia) pray eight Raka't (for Zuhr and `Asr) straight, or seven
Raka't (for Maghrib and Isha) straight, as part of ONE prayer. It is the
SAME regular form of prayer, but combined into one TIME, NOT one PRAYER.)
It should also be noted that the Sunnis agree to the combining of prayers
in the case of Rain, Travel, Fear, or other emergencies. Two forms are
allowed: Jam'a Taqdeem (Early Combination) or Jam'a Ta-ikheer (Late
Combination). An example of Early combination is the combining of Zuhr and
`Asr to be prayed in the time of Zuhr. An example of Late Combination is
the combining of the Zuhr and `Asr to be prayed in the time of `Asr. The
EXCEPTION among the Sunni schools are the Hanifites (Followers of Abu
Hanifa): They contend that you CANNOT combine the prayers at any time, not
even if you're traveling. This clearly violated the other Sunni schools of
thought, but it was and still is tolerated. The Maliki's, Shafeei's, and
Hanbali's all agree to the combining of prayers when one is traveling, but
are in conflict on other times. The Shia said that one can combine the
prayers ANYTIME without ANY cause of fear, rain, or whatever. Nonetheless,
the Shia also contend that if you want to pray them separately, it is
acceptable as well.
Now, let's question why the Shia perform the Prayers as described above,
and who is more accurate in their Prayer, the Sunnis or the Shia? Here is
what Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran (17:78):
"Establish regular prayers at the Sun's decline till the darkness of
the night, and the recital of the Quran in the morning prayer; for the
recital of the dawn is Witnessed. [17:78]"
How many prayer times are mentioned? THREE, NOT five. Count them: the
"Sun's Decline, Darkness of the Night, and the Morning Prayer." That's
THREE, not FIVE.
Now, what did the Prophet (PBUH&HF) do? Here's what Ibn Abbas, one of the
most famous narrators, says according to the Musnad of Ibn Hanbal (One of
the books of tradition):
"The Prophet (PBUH&HF) prayed in Madina, while residing there,
NOT TRAVELING, seven and eight (this is an indication to the seven
Raka't of Maghrib and Isha combined, and the eight Raka't of Zuhr and
Musnad al-Imam Ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, page 221.
Also, in the Muwatta' of Malik (Imam of Maliki sect), vol. 1, page 161, Ibn
"The Prophet (PBUH&HF) prayed Zuhr and `Asr in combination and Maghrib
and Isha in combination WITHOUT a reason for fear or travel."
As for Sahih Muslim, see the following under the chapter of "Combination of
prayers, when one is resident":
Ibn Abbas reported:
"The messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him)
observed the noon and the afternoon prayers together, and the sunset
and Isha prayers together without being in a state of fear or in a
state of journey"
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1515
Ibn Abbas reported that the messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him)
combined the noon prayer with the afternoon prayer and the sunset
prayer with the Isha prayer in Medina without being in a state of
danger or rainfall. And in the hadith transmitted by Waki(the words
are): "I said to Ibn Abbas: What prompted him to do that? He said: So
that his(prophet's)Ummah should not be put to (unnecessary) hardship."
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1520
Abdullah b. Shaqiq reported:
Ibn Abbas one day addressed us in the
afternoon(after the afternoon prayer) till the sun disappeared, and
the stars appeared, and the people began to say: Prayer, prayer. A
person from Banu Tamim came there. He neither slackened nor turned
away, but (continued crying): Prayer, prayer. Ibn Abbas said: May you
be deprived of your mother, do you teach me sunnah? And then he said:
I saw the messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him) combining the noon
and afternoon prayers and the sunset and Isha prayers. Abdullah b.
Shaqiq said: Some doubt was created in my mind about it. So I came to
Abu Huraira and asked him(about it) and he testified his assertion.
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1523
Abdullah b. Shaqiq al-Uqaili reported:
A person said to Ibn Abbas(as
he delayed the prayer): Prayer. He kept silent. He again said: Prayer.
He again kept silent, and he cried: Prayer. He again kept silent and
said: May you be deprived of your mother, do you teach us about
prayer? We used to combine two prayers during the lifetime of the
messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him).
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1524
Ibn Abbas reported:
The messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him)
observed the noon and afternoon prayers together in Medina without
being in a state of fear or in a state of journey. Abu Zubair said: I
asked Sa'id[one of the narrators] why he did that. He said: I asked
Ibn Abbas as you have asked me, and he replied that he[the Holy
prophet] wanted that no one among his Ummah should be put to
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1516
Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him)
observed in Medina seven (rakahs) and eight(rakahs), i.e., (he
combined) the noon and afternoon prayers(eight rakahs) and the sunset
and Isha prayers(seven Rakahs).
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter CCL, Tradition #1522
Furthermore, Allah (SWT) reminds us in the Quran that Islam was revealed to
make your life easier and not difficult. Thus by joining prayers would we be
able to fulfil the religious obligation easier or difficult.
How many people offer their prayers all 5 times a day on regular basis,
especially during Ramazan. And how many people would pray all 5 time prayers
if they just pray 3 times a day.