Sunday 11 Rabi‘ al-awwal 1443 - 17 October 2021
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Cases in which it is permissible to put prayers together, and the ruling on putting prayers together because of snow

Question

I have moved to live in a new city, because of my studies. I went to the mosque to pray Maghrib and the imam put together the Maghrib and ‘Isha’ prayers. Although I know that there are reasons for putting prayers together, I do not have complete knowledge about that. So I went and asked him why he had put the prayers together, and he said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) put prayers together because of rain, and because there is snow outside, we put the two prayers together. Is putting prayers together in the case of snow permissible? What are all the reasons for which prayers may be put together?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

The Sunnah indicates that it is permissible to put Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together because of rain. Muslim (705) narrated from Sa‘eed ibn Jubayr that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) put together Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’, in Madinah when there was no fear and no rain. I said to Ibn ‘Abbaas: Why did he do that? He said: So that his ummah would not be subjected to hardship.

It is permissible to put prayers together because of snowfall, by analogy with rain.

It says in Kashf al-Qinaa‘: And it is permissible to put Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together, but not Zuhr and ‘Asr, because of snow and hail, because they come under the same ruling as rain.

And it is permissible to put Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together because of ice, because the weather will be very cold.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said with regard to putting prayers together because of hail: It is not permissible except on condition that the hail be accompanied by cold winds that could harm people, or if it is accompanied by snow, because when snow falls it undoubtedly causes trouble. In that case, it is permissible to put prayers together.

It should be noted that the Hanbali madhhab is the most easy-going madhhab concerning excuses that make it permissible to put prayers together. We will list these excuses here, so as to for the readers benefit.

Al-Bahooti (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘ (2/5):

Chapter on putting prayers together… It is permissible to put Zuhr and ‘Asr together at the time of either of them, and to put Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together at the time of either of them. These four are the prayers that can be put together: Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’, at the time of either of them, either the first or the second.

That may be done in eight cases:

1.

For the traveller for whom it is permissible to shorten the four-rak‘ah prayers, so long as his journey is not makrooh (disliked) or haraam (prohibited).

2.

For one who is sick, for whom not putting prayers together will cause hardship and toil. It is proven that it is permissible to put prayers together for the woman who is suffering from istihaadah (irregular bleeding), which is a kind of sickness. Ahmad argued that sickness is more difficult than travel, and he was treated with cupping after the sun set, then he ate supper, then he put the prayers together.

3.

For one who is breastfeeding, because of the difficulty caused by a great deal of impurity (najaasah). That is, it is difficult to purify it for every prayer. Abu’l-Ma‘aali said: She is like one who is sick.

4.

One who is unable to purify himself with water or to do tayammum for every prayer, because putting prayers together was permitted for one who is travelling and one who is sick because of difficulty, and the one who is unable to purify himself for every prayer comes under the same ruling as them.

5.

One who is unable to work out the time, such as one who is blind and one who is underground, as referred to by Ahmad; he mentioned it in ar-Ri‘aayah.

6.

One who is suffering from istihaadah and others who come under the same ruling, such as one who is incontinent and constantly passes urine or emits madhiy, or suffers constant nosebleeds, and the like. That is because of what is mentioned in the hadith of Hamnah, when she consulted the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) about istihaadah, and he said: “If you are able to delay Zuhr and bring ‘Asr forward, then do ghusl and pray Zuhr and ‘Asr together, and then delay Maghrib and bring ‘Isha’ forward, then do ghusl and offer the two prayers together, then do that.” Narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawood, and by at-Tirmidhi who classed it as saheeh. The one who is suffering from urinary incontinence and the like comes under the same ruling.

7 and 8.

One who has work or an excuse that makes it permissible not to pray Jumu‘ah and prayers in congregation, such as one who fears for his life or his wealth.

These excuses make it permissible to put together Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’.

There are other excuses that make it permissible to put together Maghrib and ‘Isha’ in particular. There are six of these, which he explained as follows:

It is permissible to put together Maghrib and ‘Isha’ in the event of rain that soaks one’s clothes, or soaks one’s shoes or body, and which causes hardship. Al-Bukhaari narrated with his isnaad that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) put together Maghrib and ‘Isha’ on a rainy night. Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan did likewise. But it is not permissible to put prayers together because of drizzle, or because of light rain that does not soak one’s clothes, according to our madhhab, because that does not cause hardship.

It is permissible to put together Maghrib and ‘Isha’, but not Zuhr and ‘Asr, in the event of snow and hail, because they come under the same ruling as rain.

It is permissible to put together Maghrib and ‘Isha’ in the event of ice because the weather will be very cold, and in the case of mud and intense cold wind. Ahmad said in the report of al-Maymooni: Ibn ‘Umar would put prayers together on a cold night. And he added in al-Madhhab and al-Mustaw‘ab and al-Kaafi: If it was dark. Al-Qaadi said: And if there is any mention of him not attending prayer in congregation because of the cold, there should be added: or when it is muddy, because the hardship caused by cold is not greater than the hardship caused by mud. This is indicated by the report of Ibn ‘Abbaas which says that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) put prayers together in Madinah when there was no fear and no rain, and there is no way to understand this report except meaning that there was mud. That is, assuming there was no sickness [that would prevent him from attending the prayer]. al-Qaadi said: This is more likely to be the case, and is better than understanding it to mean that there was no excuse at all and it is better than suggesting that this ruling is abrogated. So it is permissible to put prayers together in the case of these excuses, even for one who prays in his house or who prays in his local mosque under the arcade, or for one who is staying in the mosque, and the like, such as the one between whose house and the mosque there are only a few steps, even if he will not be harmed except a little. That is because in the case of a general concession, it makes no difference whether hardship is present or not, as in the case of travel. Rather this is limited to putting Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together because the reports only speak of this case, and the hardship involved is greater as these prayers are offered when it is dark, and the hardship of travel is because of travelling and the fear of having no travelling companions. End quote.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) thought it more likely to be the case that one may put Zuhr and ‘Asr together too in such situations, if hardship is involved.

He (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The correct view regarding this issue is that it is permissible to put Zuhr and ‘Asr together too in such situations, just as it is permissible to put Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together. The reason for that is hardship. If there is hardship, whether by night or by day, it is permissible to put prayers together. End quote from ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘ (4/393).

And he (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If it is intensely cold, with wind that is harmful to people, then it is permissible to put together Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’, because of the proven report in Saheeh Muslim from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah have mercy on him), according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) put prayers together in Madinah when there was no fear and no rain. They said to Ibn ‘Abbaas: What was the aim behind that? He said: He did not want his ummah to be subjected to hardship. This indicates that the wisdom behind permitting putting the prayers together is to relieve the Muslims of hardship, otherwise it would not be permissible to put prayers together. The hardship in the case of cold is only when it is accompanied by cold winds. If there is no wind, then a person can protect himself against the cold by wearing layers of clothing, and he will not be harmed by the cold. Hence if someone were to ask us: Is it permissible to put prayers together just because it is very cold? We would say: It is not permissible, unless the cold is accompanied by a cold wind that harms people, or if it is accompanied by snow, because when snow falls it undoubtedly causes trouble. In that case, it is permissible to put prayers together. But if someone puts prayers together just because it is cold, this is not a legitimate excuse to allow him to put the prayers together. Whoever puts two prayers together for no legitimate reason is sinning and the prayer that he puts together with the earlier prayer is not valid and does not count; rather he must repeat it. If he puts them together at the time of the later prayer, then the first prayer is not offered at its time, so he is sinning by doing that. I wanted to point out this issue, because some people told me that they put prayers together two nights ago because of the cold, without there being any wind that harms people, and this is not permissible for them.

End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh (18/1).

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A