Can I Join My Prayers Due to Important Needs?

Shafi'i Fiqh
Hanbali Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

I am doing my college placement after my college course in health care and I can’t find a window of opportunity to pray Magrib in its time. I once heard there was an opinion that made it permissible. Is there any situation that allows combining prayers? Is there any position I can take to combine Maghrib with the ʿIsha prayer while working with patients in need?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.
Thank you for your important question. In general, one should exhaust every means to pray on time, but according to the view of a minority of scholars, valid needs permit joining the prayers, and Allah knows best.
A similar question was addressed by Shaykh Farid Dingle and adapted here as follows:

Joining Prayers for Important Needs

Some Hanbali scholars mention that one may join prayers for hardship (haja). These hardships generally include everything that would allow one to skip going to Jumu’a. [Bahuti, Kashshaf al Qina’]

Although this position does not exist in the Shafi’i School, it does resonate with the opinions of many Shafi’is who allow joining for need (haja). The Shafi’is explicitly mention that giving emotional support to a patient is an excuse for missing Jumu’a [Ba‘Ishn, Bushra al Karim].

In your particular scenario, I do not see any problem with you joining prayers if it is genuinely difficult to leave the room while seeing to patients, and Allah knows best.
Please also see:
Joining Prayers at Work

I pray this is of benefit.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.