Combining The Prayers

Question

I am on a visit to the UK for about five months. Here in the UK the day and night hours these days (July) are such that one offers one's Isha prayers at 11 p.m. and the Fajr prayer timings start at 2:15 a.m.What should one do in such a situation regarding Tahajjud Prayers because you hardly get to bed when Fajr prayer timings start. Secondly, the Ulama here (I am told) have issued a Fatwa that the residents of the UK can combine Maghrab (9:34 p.m.) prayers with that of Isha and Zuhar with with Asar. What are your views about it?


Answer

We believe that according to the clear directives of the Qur'an the prayer is to be offered in the determined timings. As for tahajjud it is not fard (obligatory). Those who want to earn great reward should offer it a little before fajr. It is the matter of excellence in optional prayer and of course it is difficult. The Prophet (sws) allowed people to offer tahajjud before going to bed in the month of Ramadan when the people found it hard to get up and offer tahajjud and also prepare for the sahri in the morning. This concession allotted by the Prophet (sws) should be availed by the people living in your country for they too have even more pressing problem.

I am not really sure of the extent of the problem for the people in your country about the timings of zuhr and asr and maghrib and isha. Therefore, I cannot say anything about the ijtihad of the scholars who held it possible to be offered in combined form. It is actually extension of the permission to combine the prayer while travelling.

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