Fri 25 Jm2 1435 - 25 April 2014
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It is not correct to combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah

I was traveling and on the way I stopped in a village and prayed Jumu’ah with them. After the prayer I stood up and prayed ‘Asr, i.e., I combined Jumu’ah and ‘Asr. One of my friends was with me and he objected to that, and said that it is not permitted to combine ‘Asr prayer with Jumu’ah. What is the ruling on that?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

What your friend said is correct; Jumu’ah prayer cannot be combined with ‘Asr. Rather what it says in sharee’ah is that Zuhr may be combined with ‘Asr, and Maghrib with ‘Isha’.

Based on this, you have to repeat the ‘Asr prayer that you joined with Jumu’ah, because you offered it before its time, and prayers offered ahead of time are invalid. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen explained the ruling on this issue, as follows: 

It is not permissible to combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah in the cases where it is permissible to combine Zuhr and ‘Asr. If a traveler passes through a town and prays Jumu’ah with them, it is not permissible for him to combine ‘Asr with it. 

If rain falls and it becomes permissible to combine Zuhr and ‘Asr because of the rain, it is still not permissible to combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah. If a sick person who is allowed to combine prayers attends Jumu’ah, it is not permissible for him to combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah. 

The evidence for that is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours”

[al-Nisa’ 4:103] 

i.e., the prayers must be offered at certain times. Allaah has explained these times in general terms in the verse in which He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Perform As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑Salaah) from mid‑day till the darkness of the night (i.e. the Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, and ‘Isha’ prayers), and recite the Qur’aan in the early dawn (i.e. the — Fajr morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Qur’aan in the early dawn (i.e. the morning — Fajr prayer) is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night)”

[al-Isra’ 17:78] 

The time referred to in this verse – from mid-day until mid-night (the darkness of the night) includes four prayers: Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib and ‘Isha’. These are mentioned together because there is no interruption between their times; as soon as the time for one of them ends, the time for the next one begins. Fajr prayer is mentioned separately because its time is not connected to either the time of ‘Isha’ or the time of Zuhr. 

The Sunnah has explained the times for these prayers in detail, in the hadeeths of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas, Jaabir and others. It states that the time for Zuhr is from when the sun passes its zenith until the shadow of an object is equal in length to it; the time for ‘Asr is from when the shadow of an object is equal in length to it until the sun sets, but once the sun starts to turn yellow, this is the time of necessity; the time for Maghrib lasts from when the sun sets until the red afterglow disappears; the time for ‘Isha’ is from when the red afterglow has disappeared until halfway through the night; and the time for Fajr is from when dawn begins until the sun rises. These are the times that Allaah has set for the prayers in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

Whoever offers a prayer before the time defined in the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Messenger is sinning and his prayer is rejected, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allaah, then such are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers)”

[al-Baqarah 2:229] 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does any action that is not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected.”  The same applies to one who offers a prayer after its time with no legitimate shar’i excuse. 

Whoever prays Zuhr before the sun has passed its zenith, his prayer is invalid and rejected, and he has to make it up. Whoever prays ‘Asr before the shadow of an object is equal in length to it, his prayer is invalid and rejected and he has to make it up, unless he has a legitimate shar’i excuse that allows him to combine Zuhr and ‘Asr at the time of Zuhr. 

Whoever prays Maghrib before the sun sets, his prayer is invalid and rejected, and he has to make it up. 

Whoever prays ‘Isha’ before the red afterglow has disappeared, his prayer is invalid and rejected, and he has to make it up, unless he has a legitimate shar’i excuse that allows him to combine the two at the time of Maghrib. 

Whoever prays Fajr before dawn comes, his prayer is rejected and he has to make it up. This is what is dictated by the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

Based on this, whoever combines ‘Asr with Jumu’ah has offered the prayer before its time begins, which is when the shadow of an object is equal to its length, so it is invalid and rejected. 

If someone were to say: can we not draw an analogy between combining ‘Asr with Jumu’ah and combining ‘Asr with Zuhr? 

The answer is: this analogy is not correct for several reasons: 

1 – It is an analogy concerning acts of worship. 

2 – Jumu’ah is a separate prayer with its own rulings; it differs from Zuhr in more than twenty rulings. In such a case the two prayers cannot be compared.  

3 – This analogy goes against the apparent meaning of the Sunnah, because in Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) combined Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’ in Madeenah at times other than times of fear or rainfall. He was asked about that and he said that he did not want to make things difficult for his ummah. 

There was heavy rainfall that caused hardship at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but he did not combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah at that time. It is narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere from Anas ibn Maalik that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed for rain one day when he was on the minbar, and he did not descend from the minbar until rain had soaked his beard. Such a thing could not happen except in the case of heavy rain that would have allowed him to combine the prayers, if it were permissible to combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah. He (Anas) said: The following Friday, a man came in and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, our wealth has been drowned and our buildings have been destroyed; pray to Allaah to withhold it from us.” This implies that water was flowing in the streets, in such a way that it would have allowed them to combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah, if this combination were permissible. 

If someone were to ask: what is the evidence that it is not allowed to combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah? 

The answer is that this question is not appropriate, because the basic principle concerning acts of worship is that they should not be done unless there is evidence that they should be done. So we should not question the one who is not doing a certain act of worship about his evidence, rather the one who is doing a certain act of worship should be asked for his evidence, because Allaah says, denouncing those who worship Allaah in ways that are not prescribed in sharee’ah (interpretation of the meaning):  

“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not ordained?”

[al-Shoora 42:21] 

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”

[al-Maa’idah 5:3] 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), will have it rejected.” 

Based on this: 

If someone says: what is the evidence that it is not allowed to combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah? 

We say: What is the evidence that it is permitted? The basic principle is that it is obligatory to offer ‘Asr on time; this principle may be waived when it is combined with another prayer when there is a reason for doing so, but at other times the principle still stands, which is that it should not be offered ahead of time.  

If it is said: What do you think if a person intends Jumu’ah prayer as Zuhr so that he can combine ‘Asr with it? 

The answer is that if the one who is leading Jumu’ah prayer and the people behind him do this, i.e., if the people of a town intend Jumu’ah prayer as Zuhr, then there is no doubt that this is haraam and the prayer is invalid, because Jumu’ah is obligatory for them, and if they ignore it and pray Zuhr instead, then they have turned away from something that is enjoined upon them towards something that they are not commanded to do. So their action is invalid and rejected, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), will have it rejected.” 

But if the person who intends Jumu’ah as Zuhr is someone like a traveler who prays behind those who are praying Jumu’ah but intends it as Zuhr so that he can combine ‘Asr with it, this is not valid either, because when he attended Jumu’ah, it became obligatory for him, and whoever is obliged to pray Jumu’ah but prays Zuhr before the imam says the salaam at the end of Jumu’ah, his Zuhr prayer is not valid. Even if this action was valid, he has still missed out on a great deal of good, which is the reward for Jumu’ah prayer. 

The authors of al-Muntaha and al-Iqnaa’ (who are Hanbali scholars) have stated that it is not valid to combine ‘Asr with Jumu’ah; this is mentioned at the beginning of the chapters on Jumu’ah prayer. 

I have spoken about this matter at length because of the need for that. I ask Allaah to help us to do that which is right, for He is the Most Generous. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 15/371-375.

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