How can the following hadith be explained, as some modernists/ikhwanis in Europe use it to prove prayers can be joined in summer (maghrib immediately followed by 'isha).
Ibn-Abbas (RA) one day delivered a sermon in the afternoon until the sun set and the stars began to appear in the sky, so people kept saying: the prayer! The prayer! And a man from the tribe of Tamim walked towards him and said strongly: the prayer! The prayer! Ibn-Abbas replied: Are you going to teach me the Sunna, what a fool you are! Then he said: I've seen the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) combine noon and mid afternoon, and combine sunset and nightfall prayers.
The narrator, Abdullah son of Shaqiq, goes on to say: I still felt uneasy, so I went over to Abu-Hurayra (the great companion of the Prophet) and asked him about that and he confirmed the validity of what Ibn-Abbas said. [Refer to Sahih Muslim].
I am aware the majority of 'ulama do not permit combining prayers if there is no travel, fear or rain (as reported by Imam Nawawi (RA), but how is this specific hadith to be understod ?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
The ĥadīth in question is as follows:
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ شَقِيقٍ، قَالَ: خَطَبَنَا ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ يَوْمًا بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ حَتَّى غَرَبَتِ الشَّمْسُ، وَبَدَتِ النُّجُومُ، وَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ يَقُولُونَ: الصَّلَاةَ الصَّلَاةَ، قَالَ: فَجَاءَهُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ بَنِي تَمِيمٍ، لَا يَفْتُرُ، وَلَا يَنْثَنِي: الصَّلَاةَ الصَّلَاةَ، فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ: أَتُعَلِّمُنِي بِالسُّنَّةِ؟ لَا أُمَّ لَكَ ثُمَّ قَالَ: «رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ جَمَعَ بَيْنَ الظُّهْرِ وَالْعَصْرِ، وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَالْعِشَاءِ». قَالَ عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ شَقِيقٍ: فَحَاكَ فِي صَدْرِي مِنْ ذَلِكَ شَيْءٌ، فَأَتَيْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، فَسَأَلْتُهُ فَصَدَّقَ مَقَالَتَهُ (صحيح مسلم، باب الجمع بين الصلاتين في الحضر)
Narrated from ‘Abdullāh bin Shaqīq, he said: Ibn ‘Abbās addressed us one day after ‘Aŝr until the sun set and the stars were visible. The people started saying, “Ŝalāh! Ŝalāh!” So a man from Banī Tamīm rushed to him without pausing: “Ŝalāh! Ŝalāh!” Ibn ‘Abbās said, “Are you teaching me Sunnah? May you lose your mother (an exclamation of rebuke not intending the actual meaning).” He further said, “I saw Rasoolullāh Sallallāhu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam ‘combine’ between Zuhr and ‘Aŝr and between Maghrib and ‘Ishā’…(Saĥīĥ Muslim)
The meaning of “combine between Zuhr and ‘Aŝr and between Maghrib and ‘Ishā’” is not literal. Rather, “combining” is meant in its figurative sense; in academic terms it is called jam‘ ŝūrī. Meaning, the first of two ŝalāts is performed right before the time may expire and the second ŝalāh is prayed immediately after the time commences. For example, if Maghrib time ends at 8:00 p.m. (naturally that means ‘Ishā’ commences immediately thereafter), one wishing to do jam‘ ŝūrī will perform Maghrib Ŝalāh at ~7:50 p.m. Then he will wait for a short while (~5 minutes) until ‘Ishā’ time sets in and perform ‘Ishā’ thereafter. Apparently one has “combined” his prayers. However, in reality each ŝalāh was performed in its own time.
This interpretation of the hadith has been presented by the following great muhadditīn:
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Student, Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
حاشية السندي على صحيح مسلم و كذا قال العلامة شبير أحمد في فتح المهم
فتح الباري ج-٢ ص-٣٠، دار الحديث