Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim
Joining Prayers For the Non-Traveller
More About Joining Between Madhhabs
It is mentioned in the reliance of the traveller taken from al-Fiqh 'ala
al-madahib al-arba'a that it is permissible in the Hanbali school to join
prayers if someone fears for himself his property or reputation or who
fears harm in earning his living if he does not join his his prayers. Is
this accurate? This would be helpful in the west as people get in these
situations. Is al-Fiqh 'ala al-madahib al-arba'a accurate in accordance e
to hanbali fiqh rulings?
You mentioned [...] that sometimes is it to permissable join between
madhabs or have a I misunderstood you?
[added from another message by same reader:]
You mentioned the following
It is permissible to follow another school on a particular issue when the
other school is superior or equal. It is also permissible when the other
school is inferior according to the majority of Hanbalis, the Hanafis,
the Malikis, and most Shafi`is.
How can one know what is superior or equal since all the madhabs have
there own usul?
wa `alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
The statement is accurate but incomplete. It is permissible to join
between Zuhr and `Asr, and Maghrib and `Isha during the following
circumstances, for someone:
And it is permissible to join between Maghrib and `Isha, whether praying at
home or in the mosque or even when residing in the mosque, in the following
- for someone on a journey for which it is permissible to also shorten
- for someone resident who is sick that would when it would be
difficult for him to join them
- for someone who is sick where there is hardship from a great amount
of filth or cleaning it for each prayer is a hardship
- for a woman suffering abnormal vaginal bleeding and the like
- for someone incapable of making wudu or tayammum for each prayer
- for someone incapable of knowing the time, such as someone blind or
- for someone with an excuse allowing them to forego praying in a group
or praying the Friday prayer, such as fear for himself, the people he is
responsible for, or his property
- for someone occupied by something that permits him to forego the
group prayer or the Friday prayer
It is better to do whatever is easiest for the group, whether praying it in
Maghrib or `Isha; when they are both equal, it is better to delay.
- cold and heavy winds
- rain that wets the clothing---even if only slightly--when it causes
There are additional conditions for praying in the first time and the
second time, quite similar to the Shafi`i madhhab.
[See: Nail Al-Ma'arib]
I have not read much from Al-Fiqh `Ala Al-Madhhahib Al-Arba`, but
what I remember reading matches the madhhab pretty well. It, like all books
of comparative fiqh, has to be used with great care: you cannot simply pick
and choose things you might end up combining actions in a way that it
There are three logical possibilities regarding joining between
The first two possibilities are extremes, and the third is a middle ground.
And each one of these possibilities has an appropriate time and place:
- permissible for all issues
- impermissible for all issues
- permissible for some issues and impermissible for others
But both of the first two cases really violate the whole idea of joining
between madhhabs since the layman has no systematic madhhab and can only
follow whatever some random scholar tells him, while the mujtahid can only
follow his own. So unless you are at one of the extremes in your
knowledge (a layman or an expert), you must follow the third
- someone who has no madhhab and is blessed to live in a region rich
with scholars from various madhhabs will end up doing whatever he is told
to do, since "al-`ami la madhhab lahu" ("Laymen have no madhhab").
- someone who has been blessed by Allah in gathering the disciplines
necessary to make ijtihad on the given issue is required to follow what
his ijtihad leads to--following the principles of usul al-fiqh, not
- someone who is a student of one of the four madhhabs permissible to
follow must follow the general principles of his madhhab regarding
following another madhhab in an issue. These conditions, as stated
previously in at least two messages, in the Hanbali madhhab include:
believing the worthiness of the other madhhab, not simply following the
easiest thing, and that one not combine things in such a way that it is
rejected according to the consensus of the scholars.
As for following the superior and inferior opinion for a given issue, this
is obviously going to go back to the general principles one uses for
textual interpretation and determining preponderance. Since there are
differences the usul al-fiqh used for each madhhab--and even differences
within each madhhab--this too will require somehow determining which
program of usul is superior.
[strength of evidence]
Just a side note: There are people today who go around with the
intention of following only that which appears to be strongest to them.
Some of these people actually have some knowledge on which to base their
decision, while others are armed with little more than the words "sahih"
and "da`if". These people sometimes get upset, asking how such-and-such
madhhab could take a certain position given the evidence that they have.
What these people do not realize is that the evidence listed in books is
not always the same evidence used by the foundational scholars, and that in
many cases a dha`if hadith is being used because it is explicit while the
actual evidence of the imam is to reconcile between two sahih hadiths, or
one of the other sources in usul al-fiqh.
An example of this is how Imam Ahmad determined that liquid human waste
renders water filthy even when the water is more than 212 liters. Many
later books that include evidence cite a dha`if hadith that is explicit on
this ruling, while the Imam himself also proved it by reconciling between
Another example is where the Hanafis and Hanbalis place their hands under
the navel (a dha`if hadith) instead of somewhere on the chest (a sahih
hadith). What's really obnoxious is when people claiming to be Hanbalis
come along and say that the Hanbali madhhab needs to be fixed. Imam Ahmad
had three transmitted opinions on this:
In Al-Mughni Ibn Qudamah does not even both to give evidence to
prove the superiority of the first or second opinion, even though he agrees
with the first opinion in Al-`Umdah and other books. In
Kashshaf Al-Qina`` Al-Buhuti even indicates that Imam Ahmad
considered it makruh to put them on the chest, and that Al-Qadi Abu Ya`la
was asked why put them under the navel when that's part of the `awrah and
he replied saying that covering the `awrah is more deserving than covering
- that they are placed under the navel, was done by Companions and
Successors including `Ali, Abu Hurayrah, Abi Majlaz, Ibrahim Al-Nakha`i,
Sufyan Al-Thauri, and Ishaq bin Rayuyah (Allah be pleased with them all).
`Ali (may Allah ennoble his countenance) related that putting them under
the navel is part of the sunnah [Ahmad, Abu Daduw] in a weakly
authenticated hadith. Why would these Companions (Allah be well pleased
with them) have done and said this other than from seeing that it goes
back to a sunnah from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?
And where did these Successor (Allah be pleased with them) get
this, if not from their instructors?
- that they are placed somewhere on the chest,which is the opinion of
Sa`id bin Jubayr and Al-Shafi`i, and because of the rigoriously
authenticated hadith of Wa'il ibn Hujr (Allah be well pleased with him)
that he saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) praying and
he put his hands on his chest, one over the other.
- that the person is allowed to choose whichever he wants, since both
are mentioned from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and
there is broadness in the matter.
You will find that Imam Ahmad and all of these Hanbali scholars after him
were fully aware of the hadith of Wa'il bin Hujr (Allah be well pleased
with him), yet they still have all said that the official opinion in the
madhhab is that it is best to put them under the navel.
In any case, where the hands are put and how are not consider things
essential to the soundness of the prayer, and a quick look through the
madhhahib shows that the Hanafis have on basic position while the other
three madhhabs each have three positions. And as Imam Ahmad said: this is a
matter where there is some broadness.
Why people make such a fuss about this fiqh-ish issue is beyond me.
Muslims being exterminated, starved to death, forced to drink sewage water,
and orphaned Muslim babies being offered to non-Muslim foster families are
all matters of sound and complete iman. May Allah forgive each and every
one of us: essential communal obligations simply are not being met while
valuable resources are being spent on the non-essential and
[See: Masa'il Imam Ahmad: Riwayat Salih, Mukhtasr
Al-Khirqi, Al-`Umdah, Al-Mughni, Al-Raudh Al-Murbi`, Kashshaf
Al-Qina, Manar Al-Sabil`]
As always: Allah knows best.
wa al-salamu `alaykum