Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Combining Maghrib and ʿIshāʾ when ʿIshāʾ is Late

Evening Twilight

A translation of this fatwā from Naseem Al-Sham:


My family and I live in Europe and the adhān for ʿIshāʾ is very late, around quarter past eleven. We’re very tired by that time and especially the children, who have to sleep early in order to wake up and get ready for school. It is permissible for us to combine the ʿIshāʾ prayer with the Maghrib prayer when the first prayer comes in,[1] which is at about ten minutes to nine? Or, do we have to wait for the ʿIshāʾ prayer, and if it is the case that we have to wait until ʿIshāʾ, it is permissible for the children, especially those who are under 14, to combine their prayers and sleep, and especially the ones who are used to sleeping early, i.e. before half past nine? Please let us know, and may Allah reward you.

Praise be to Allah, and He suffices, and peace be upon His Chosen Messenger.

To proceed:

Jamʿ al-taqdīm is not permissible unless one is travelling, and it is possible for the difference between Maghrib and ʿIshāʾ to be an hour and a half for people whose red horizon[2] never disappears, and this applies to every adult.[3]

[1] (tn): known as jam’ al-taqdīm, which would also apply to praying al-uhr and al-ʿAsr during the time for al-uhr. Jamʿ al-taʾkhīr, on the other hand, refers to delaying the first prayer and combining it with the second prayer during the second prayer’s time.
[2] (tn): Ar. al-shafaq al-aḥmar, i.e. evening  twilight, during which time there is red in the sky.  Please see, which is also the source for the image above. What the sheikh is saying, may Allah preserve him, is that it is not permissible to combine prayers merely because the second prayer is late. If there is indeed no disappearance of the redness in the sky, one can wait an hour and a half and then prayʿIshāʾ.
[3] (tn): Ar. bāligh, which, in the Revealed Law, is anyone who has reached puberty, indicated by a wet dream in the case of boys and menstruation or pregnancy in the case of girls. If none of these occur, then the child is deemed legally responsible (mukallaf) once he or she turns 15 lunar years of age. Please see Reliance of the Traveller (Beltsville, Maryland: Amana Publications, 1999), section k13.8, p. 411-412, which is in the Book of Trade.

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