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Question : #401 Category: Salaat / Prayers
Subject: praying 5 vs 3 times daily
Question: why do the shia people pray the 5 daily prayer in 3 times instead of 5 separate times? i was told that the elderly people can't do the ouzoo 5 times because its hard for them to go to the bathroom so that's why they pray the five daily prayer in 3 times to make it easy for them. please answer the the question from the Quran and authentic hadis thanks.
Answer: "Undertake the prayer at the time of the declining sun to the darkness of the night and the morning recitation; for indeed the morning recitation is witnessed"
(Quran: Chapter 17, Verse 78)

The Shiah acknowledge the five obligatory daily prayers. However, they frequently combine the Zuhr and Asr prayers by offering them consecutively during the time period defined by the start of Zuhr and the end of Asr. They also consider it permissible to combine the Maghrib and Isha prayers in a similar manner. This practice is in complete agreement with the Quran as well as authentic traditions from the Prophet (s).

The Sunni schools of law (fiqh) - with the exception of the Hanafi school - allow the combining of the obligatory prayers (al-jam bayn al-salatayn) in the case of rain, travel, fear, or other emergencies. The Hanafi school of law prohibits the combination of the daily prayers at any time, with the exception of the prayers at Al-Muzdalifa during the Hajj. The Maliki, Shafii, and Hanbali schools of law all agree on the permissibility of combining the prayers when one is travelling, but have differences of opinion on other reasons. The Shiah Jafari school of law states that one can combine the prayers without any particular reason.

Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, the famous Sunni commentator on the Quran, wrote regarding the verse quoted (Chapter 17, Verse 78) :

"If we interpret the darkness (ghasaq) as being the time when darkness first appears then the term ghasaq refers to the beginning of Maghrib. On this basis, three timings are mentioned in the verse: the time of noon, the time of the beginning of Maghrib and the time of Fajr. This requires that noon be the time of Zuhr and Asr, this time is shared between these two prayers. The time of the beginning of Maghrib is the time for Maghrib and Isha so this time is also shared between these two prayers. This requires allowing the combining between Zuhr and Asr and between Maghrib and Isha at all times. However, there is proof to indicate that combining whilst at home without any excuse is not allowed. This leads to the view that the combining be allowed when travelling or when there is rain etc." [Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, al-Tafsir al-Kabir, vol. 5, p. 428]

The Holy Prophet (saw) combined his prayers as stated by Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed in Medina seven (rakahs) and eight (rakahs), i. e. (combined) the noon (Zuhr) and afternoon (Asr) prayers (eight rakahs) and the dusk (Maghrib) and night (Isha) prayers (seven rakahs).
[Sahih al-Bukhari (English translation), volume 1, book 10, number 537; Sahih Muslim (English translation), Kitab al-Salat, Book 4, Chapter 100 Combination of prayers when one is resident, hadith no. 1522].

Further, many traditions from the Prophet (s) clearly indicate that he used to combine prayers without any particular reason. The Prophet (s) prayed in Madinah, while residing there, not travelling, seven and eight (this is an indication to the seven Rakat of Maghrib and Isha combined, and the eight Rakat of Zuhr and Asr combined) [Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, vol. 1, page 221]

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