Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim

Prayer and Adverse Weather Conditions

Assalaamu 'Alaikum,

May Allah reward you.  In regards to the position of combining salats within the Hanbali mathhab, exactly what constitutes the amount of rainfall (snow or ice for that matter) required to combine salats?  Must there be fear of flooding for example, hardship, or is simply one's clothing becoming wet sufficent?  Must the rainfall begin during the current salat, for example, say during dhur in order to combine 'asr?  Is a mere drizzle or forecast of rain sufficent?

May Allah guide us to the straight path.

wa `alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

There are several dispensations for adverse weather conditions. One concerns group prayer and another concerns joining prayers.

The individual obligation of attending the five daily congregation prayers and the Jumu`ah prayer is dropped when the individual would be harmed by rain, mud, snow, ice, hail or strong wind at night. (See Zad Al-Mustaqni` (c6.15))

It is permissible to join between Maghrib and Isha` because of snow, hail, ice, mud, fierce cold wind, or rain which soaks the clothing when the group in general feels some hardship. It is not necessary that each individual suffer hardship, rather a general hardship is enough. This dispensation applies whether the prayers are prayed in the mosque or at home. It is permissible to join the prayers in Maghrib or in Isha'. It is better to do whichever is best for the group; when there is no preference it is better to delay.

When joining at Maghrib the following are necessary:
  • intention to join prayers when beginning the first prayer
  • not separating between the two prayers more than the amount of time needed to quickly make wudu and to make the iqama
  • the excuse for joining being present at the beginning of both prayers and at the taslim of the first prayer. It is not a condition that the excuse remain until finishing the second prayer
When joining at Isha` the following are necessary:
  • intention to join the prayers some time during Maghrib before the remaining time is too restricted to perform Maghrib
  • the excuse continuing until the second time enters
(See Zad Al-Mustaqni` (c7.3, c7.4-5))

And Allah knows best.

wa al-salamu `alaykum