Salāh has been ordained by Allāh Ta’ālā and is an important injunction of Islam. By means of Salāh, the servants of Allāh Ta’ālā communicate with their Rabb. Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The first command that was made compulsory upon my Ummah was Salāh and the first command to be reckoned on the day of Qiyāmah will be Salāh. Fear Allāh Ta’ālā concerning your Salāh. “
What is “al-Jam Bayn al-Salātayn”?
Al-Jam Bayn al-Salātayn” refers to the combining of two Fardh Salāhs in one Salāh time. It is categorized as follows:
- al-Jam’ al-Haqīqi (Actual Combination)
- . al-Jam’ al-Sūri (Figurative/Non-Actual Combination)
There are certain Ahādīth Shareef which state that Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) would combine two obligatory (Fardh) Salāh while travelling. The Ahādīth explain how he would alight from the back of the animal and perform Maghrib followed by ‘Isha, and then resume his journey. There is a difference of opinion regarding the interpretation of these Ahādīth, i.e. exactly how Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) combined the two Salāh together.
Hadhrat Imam al-Shafi’i (r.a), Imam Ahmad (r.a) and Imam Ishāq (r.a) are of the opinion that Jam al-Haqīqi is permissible. The Hanafiyah School of thought states that is not permissible to combine two Salāh within the stipulated time of one specific Salāh except at Arafah and Muzdalifah.
The Hanafiyah School of thought offers the following explanation.
Although the Nabi of Allāh (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) performed the Salāhs one after another, he actually performed each Salāh in its own time. For example, when combining Maghrib and ‘Isha, he would stop a short time prior to the end of Maghrib and would perform the Salāh; then as soon as the time of ‘Isha would enter, he would perform ‘Isha and resume his journey.
Other scholars offer the explanation that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) would perform Maghrib and ‘Isha in the time of ‘Isha (i.e. after Maghrib had expired).
The method offered by the Hanafi school of performing the first Salāh toward the end of its time and the second Salāh immediately after, at the beginning of its time, is known as ‘Jam’ al-Sūri’ or ‘apparent combining’ in the terminology of the jurists (Fuqahāh). The method of performing two obligatory (Fardh) Salāhs in one Salāh time is known as ‘Jam’ al-Haqīqi’ or ‘real combining’
There are many Ahādīth which describe combining two Salāhs. According to Hanafi scholars, the most suitable explanation is that of jam’ al-Sūri, wherein each Salāh is performed in its own time. The Hanafi approach in explaining this issue is in total agreement with the Qur’an and Ahādīth, both of which emphasize each Salāh being performed in its own stipulated time. On the contrary, the jam’ al-Haqīqi approach leads to great conflicts between the Qur’an and Ahādīth.
It is also important to remember that performing Maghrib and ‘Isha in the time of Maghrib, and Zuhr and ‘Asr in the time of Zuhr, is known as Jam’ al-Taqdīm or ‘advanced combing,’ since one of the Salāhs is performed before its time. Combining them at the time of the later Salāh is known as Jam’ al-Tākhīr or ‘delayed combing,’ because one of the Salāhs is delayed from its specific time.
The view of Imam Abu Hanīfah (r.a) is quite simple. According to him, the Jam’ al-Haqīqi method is not permissible except at ‘Arafat (during Hajj), where advanced combining takes place between Zuhr and ‘Asr, and at Muzdalifah, where the pilgrims perform delayed combining between Maghrib and ‘Isha. The practice of advanced and delayed combining at these two places is established through the consensus of the scholars. Hence, the Hanafi Jurists do not permit Jam’ al-Haqīqi except in these two instances. They have interpreted the Ahādīth which mention the combining of two Salāhs as Jam’ al-Sūrī. This type of combining is permissible at all times, as there can be no doubt concerning the permissibility of two Salāhs performed in their own times.
In accordance to the Hanafi Madhhab, one may not combine any 2 Salāh (Jam al-Haqīqi), whether one is on a journey or even in a hurry. (Al-Dur al-Mukhtār)
The Qurān on This Issue
- Allāh, the Exalted, says: “Verily Salāh is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours (4:103)
This means each Salāh has an appointed time with a beginning, prior to which the Salāh is not valid, and an ending, after which the Salāh is not to be delayed; otherwise it will become Qadhā’ or missed Salāh. Hence, this verse indicates the importance of performing each Salāh in its own time.
- Allāh Ta’ālā says: “Guard strictly the (five obligatory) Salāh.” (2:238)
This verse is also quite clear about performing Salāhs at their appointed times and not delaying them. Whilst commenting on the above verses, Hadhrat Mufti Shafi’ (r.a) has said that Salāh is Fardh and its times have been stipulated. Therefore, it is compulsory that each Salāh is performed at its fixed time. [Ma’riful Qur’ān)
- Abu Musa (r.a) narrates that Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Combining two Salāhs together without any valid reason is from the major sins (kabā’ir).” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybāh).
- ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ūd (r.a) narrates: “I never observed Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) performing any Salāh out of its time except at Muzdalifah. He combined Maghrib and ‘Isha at Muzdalifah.” (Sahīh al-Bukhari, Sahīh Muslim, Sharh Ma’āni al-Āthār 1:164)
- In another narration Ibn Mas’ūd (r.a) states: “Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) combined two Salāhs while on a journey. He would combine Maghrib and ‘Isha by delaying Maghrib until just before its expiry time and performing ‘Isha immediately as its time entered.” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybāh)
- Aishah (r.a) narrates: “While on a journey, Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) would delay Zuhr and perform ‘Asr early and would delay Maghrib and perform ‘Isha early (i.e. each Salāh in its own time).”) Sharh Ma’āni al-Āthār, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybāh )
- Sayyidinā Umar ibn Ali (r.a) , the son of Sayyidinā Ali (r.a) reports that it was the practice of Sayyidinā Ali ibn Abi-Tālib (r.a) that whenever he was on journey, he would continue moving until just before it became dark, i.e. just before the time of Maghrib had finished. He would at this time perform his Maghrib Salāh. Then he would partake of meals and thereafter he would perform the Esha Salāh. Sayyidinā Ali (r.a) would also mention that this was how Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) would do. (Sunan Abu Dawūd )
- Sayyidinā Abdullah Ibn Umar’s (r.a) students have reported that when he (Ibn Umar) was on a journey, he once performed the Maghrib Salāh just before the end of its time (before the disappearance of the horizon), he then waited until the time of Esha entered and thereafter performed it. Then he (Ibn Umar ) said, ‘Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) would do the same when he was in a hurry on journey.’ (Sunan Abu Dawūd).
As we can see, the method of combining mentioned in the above Ahādīth is none other than that of jam’ al-Sūri. It is an agreed upon method which no one disputes. How can there be an objection to two Salāhs being performed together in a way that does not cause them to be performed either before their stipulated time or after it? Undoubtedly, this is not only the safest method of combining two prayers, but it is also the most suitable way to explain the Ahādīth on the subject of combining.
The above mentioned view was held by many Sahābah al-Kirām (r.a) (Honourable companions of Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) and many Tabi’īn (those who succeeded the sahabah al-Kirām ) and many prominent Ulamā from amongst the pious predecessors; such as:
From the galaxy of the Sahābah – (Radhiyallahu Anhum Ajma’een):
- Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ūd
- Hadhrat Sā’d ibn Abi Waqqās
- Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar
From amongst the Tabi’īn – (Rahimahumullah Ajma’een):
- Hadhrat Hassan Basri
- Muhammad Ibn Sireen
- Ibrahim al-Nakha’i
- Sufyan Thauri
- Amr Bin dinar
- Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz
- Laith Bin Sā’d
- Imam Abū Hanīfah
- Imam Abū Yūsuf
- Imam Muhammad
Hāfidh Ibn Hajar (r.a) who adheres to the teachings and Madhhab of Hadhrat Imam Shafi’i (r.a) sates that the evidences and proofs of jam al-Sūrī is much stronger than that of Jam al-Haqīqi (Naylul Awtār)
It is also common knowledge that the Fajr Salāh should not be performed before its time or intentionally delayed beyond it. Similarly, other Salāhs should not be performed out of their stipulated times either, especially not while considering it to be Sunnah. This indicates that the Sunnah method of combining two Salāhs is jam’ al-Sūri, as has also been substantiated through the Qur’an and Ahādīth. This is the Hanafi opinion in this issue.
Related Ahādīth Shareef on Combining Salāh
In the following, we will analyse some Ahādīth that are normally presented to establish the permissibility of jam’ al-Haqīqi.
- Ibn ‘Umar (r.a) narrates: “Whenever Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) would undertake a hurried journey, he would combine Maghrib and ‘Isha.” (Sahīh Muslim 1:245)
This narration is sometimes used to prove the permissibility of jam al-Haqīqi, whereas it just mentions that Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) combined two Salāhs and does not mention that jam’ al-Haqīqi was performed. The Hanafiyah School have explained that Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) performed ‘ jam al-Sūri – apparent combining’ and not ‘real combining,’ since the former is a method agreed upon by all scholars.
In this Ahādīth, since Ibn ‘Umar (r.a) does not mention the actual method of combining; we turn to Ahādīth number 6 above – also a narration of Ibn ‘Umar (r.a) – where he expounds on the method of combing prayers. This method he describes in that narration is none other than jam’ al-Sūri, so it will be taken as a commentary for this narration.
It has been mentioned in a Hadīth that Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) would delay the first Salāh to the end of its time and perform the second one immediately thereafter in its own time. The following narration of Ibn ‘Abbas (r.a) suggests the same explanation:
- “Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) combined Zuhr and ‘Asr together and Maghrib and ‘Isha together in Madīnah Munawwarah without (being in the state of) fear or rain.” (Sahīh Muslim)
This narration speaks of the Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) combining the Salāhs even though the circumstances were not of fear, rain, or travel. These are the main three circumstances under which one can perform jam’ al-Haqīqi according to many scholars besides the Hanafi.
So was he performing jam’ al-Haqīqi, even though none of the valid reasons for doing so were present? The correct explanation we could offer here is that these narrations of Hadhrat Ibn ‘Abbas (r.a), as well as the other narrations on this issue, do not speak of Rasūlullah (ضلى الله عليه و سلم) performing jam’ al-Haqīqi at all; but rather to his performance of jam’ al-Sūri.
It could be safely concluded that the Hanafiyah School have followed a safe path in explaining the Ahādīth Shareef in regards to this issue. Their explanation does not contradict the Ahādīth or Qur’ānic verses that strictly enjoin that prayer be performed in their own times. They interpret the Ahādīth of combining to be based on jam’ al-Sūri, wherein two Salāhs are performed one after another – the first Salāh at the end of its time and the second Salāh immediately thereafter, at the beginning of its time. This seems to be the safest and most uncontroversial approach to adopt in light of the many narrations on this issue.
On the other hand, taking the various narrations to be based on jam’ al-Haqīqi – wherein one Salāh is intentionally delayed and performed in the time of the other, or the later Salāh is performed in advance during the time of the earlier Salāh – will cause these Ahādīth to contradict the verses and Ahādīth that encourage Salāhs to be performed in their own times. Furthermore, those who allow jam’ al-Haqīqi have also stated that it is superior not to combine the two Salāhs but to perform them separately in their own respective times.
It is also common knowledge that the Fajr Salāh should not to be performed before its time or intentionally delayed beyond it. Similarly, other Salāhs should not be performed out of their stipulated times either, especially not while considering it to be Sunnah. This indicates that the Sunnah method of combining two Salāhs is jam’ al-Sūri, as has also been substantiated through the Qur’an and Ahādīth.
If it was permissible to practice jam’ al-Haqīqi in the event of travel or illness, etc., then why is it confined to some Salāhs only? Why is it not permissible to perform all the Salāhs of the day together in the morning before departing on a journey? The reason for this is quite simple. The practice of combining mentioned in the Ahādīth is not to be taken as jam al-Haqīqi, but as jam al-Sūri wherein each Salāh remains in its own time, but are performed one after another….
May Allāh Ta’āla bless us with the understanding of Deen and may Allāh Ta’āla safeguard us from following our Nafs