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Fatwa Number : 3460

Subject : Ruling on Joining two Prayers because of Sickness

Classified : Shortening and Combining of Prayers

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa


Question :

What is the ruling on joining Zuhr and `Asr, and Maghrib and Isha` because of sickness?


The Answer :

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Scholars have disagreed about joining prayers because of sickness. Hanafi and Shafi scholars are of the view that it isn`t permissible, be it advanced or delayed. Yet, Shafi scholars have permitted what they called "Make-believe combination of prayers" by which the first prayer is delayed to the end of its prescribed time and the second is delivered at the beginning of its prescribed time.

However, Maliki, Hanbali, and many Shafi scholars, such as Al-Khattabi, Judge Hussein, and Al-Rawiani have permitted joining prayers because of sickness. An-Nawawi said, "This is a very strong opinion, and it is supported by the Hadith in which Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) 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."{Related by Muslim, Al-Majmou`, 3/21}.

We, Iftaa` Department, are of the view that it is permissible to join two prayers because of sickness. Therefore, there is no blame upon a sick person, when facing hardship due to his sickness, to join two prayers (Zuhr and Asr, and Maghrib and Isha`); particularly if that sickness makes it hard for him to make ablution. Almighty Allah said, "God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. "{Al-Baqarah, 185}. And, "Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty."{Al-Ma`idah, 6}.Therefore, scholars are agreed on the rule: "Difficulty demands facilitation."

To prevent harm, as it is confirmed that joining two prayers because of travel and rainfall is permissible, then joining them because of sickness should take precedence. This is because sickness is worse than travel or rain; thus, this concession was granted by analogy to the concession granted in these two situations.

It was stated in the Maliki Book {Mawahib Al-Jaleel, 1/390}, "In his book Al-Mkhadimaat, chapter on joining two prayers, Ibn Roshd reported from Al-Ash-Habb, and said, "Malik and all his fellow scholars have agreed that it is permissible to join two prayers{Zuhr and Asr, and Mghrib and Isha`} because of travel, sickness, and rainfall."

It was stated in the book {Al-Moghni By Ibn Qhodamah, 2/204}, "It is permissible to join two prayers because of sickness, and this is the view of A`taa` and Malik…….Sickness which allows joining prayers is one which makes it hard for that person to perform prayer at its due time. Al-Athram said, it was said to Abi Abdullah: Is it permissible for the sick to join two prayers? He said: I pray that it is if he couldn`t bear the hardship and couldn`t but join prayers….Like a traveler, it is up to the sick to either perform advanced or delayed joining of prayers. However, if this makes no difference for him, then delayed joining should be given precedence." And Allah the Almighty knows best.




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