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Joining Prayers

The method, and time of the Prayer (Salat) prescribed on every male and female believer.

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 (Night).

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 `Asr combined)."
Musnad al-Imam Ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, page 221.

Also, in the Muwatta' of Malik (Imam of Maliki sect), vol. 1, page 161, Ibn Abbas says:
"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 [unnecessary] hardship.
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.