Did the Maliki Jurist Ibn Abi Zayd Believe Allah is Literally Above the Throne?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah


After studying for a while and increasing my understanding in many issues, one issue still causes me confusion, and that is the issue of Allah and the ‘Arsh. I accept the verses of the Qur’an as they are about this matter and do not even translate them but accept them “bi la kayf”. However, I came across a translation of Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani’s Risalah. In that translation it mentions on page 18: “He is upon His glorious throne by His essence, yet is in every place by His knowledge.”


The main confusion I have is over the expression “bi dhatihi”. Why did the Shaykh mention this in this way. As far as I know, no verse of the Qur’an or Hadith uses this expression. I have asked two scholars about this issue but neither of them explained it. Also, I feel a bit uncomfortable about asking as Imam Malik censured a questioner for asking about the ‘Arsh. I just want an explanation of why al-Qayrawani used this expression. I only know a tiny bit of Arabic so I cannot access the Arabic commentaries.



Answer: This is a very good question and one that is essential for all serious seekers of knowledge to know what the scholars have said about this. The line that you are referring to from the Beliefs portion of the Risala of Ibn Abi Zayd is one that has caused numerous discussion among scholars and students from past and present. The line, in most available copies reads, “And He [Allah] is above the Throne al majeed bi dhatihi.” I have left untranslated the words “al majeed bi dhatihi” because that is where there must be a discussion.

Allah is Not Contained by a Direction

The main problem in the line is that it could lead someone to believe that Allah is in a direction, which goes against the belief of Ahlus Sunna wal jama’ah. Imam Al Tahawiyy says in his widely accepted book on the beliefs of Islam, “He [Allah] is not contained by the six directions” [Al-Tahawiyy, Aqidatul Tahawiyya]. Some of the Maliki scholars, such as Sidi Ahmed Zarruq, have said that the line in the Risala that indicates Allah being in a direction (above the Throne) is something that was added in by deviant people and it was not part of the original manuscript [Zarruq, Sharh al Risala]. This is one explanation for the line that is given by the commentators of the Risala.

Metaphorical Aboveness

If we are to assume that Ibn Abi Zayd actually wrote the line, then the explanation given by the Maliki scholars is that he meant “above” in a metaphorical sense and not a literal sense. In other words, that Allah is above the need of the throne or that He is above it in grandness. They say that Ibn Abi Zayd could not have meant it in a literal sense because that would make him from the people that believe Allah to be in a particular direction, which is a deviant belief. We know that Allah does not resemble creation and that directions are a part of creation. One of the most basic principles of belief is that “Everything that you can conceive, Allah is different than that.”

Why Would Ibn Abi Zayd Use the Word “Above”?

Sidi Ahmed Zarruq, may Allah be pleased with him, said that one of the explanations of why Ibn Abi Zayd would say that Allah is “above” His Throne is that there were people at in his time that believed Allah to be on earth. These people were the ‘Ubaydiyyah, also known as the Isma’ilis, and were deviant in many aspects of their belief and practice including believing that one of their rulers was God. Therefore, Ibn Abi Zayd was using this line to teach people that Allah is not on earth and he is above, in a way similar to the slave woman who was asked where Allah was [Zarruq, Sharh al Risala].

“Al Majeed bi dhatihi.” Honorable Owner or Honorable Throne?

Another issue with the line is understanding where the adjective of the word honorable (majeed) is linked to. If we say that Honorable is an adjective to the word Throne, then the line would read as, “And He is above the Honorable Throne in His essence.” This would be a very strong statement indicating that Allah, in His Essence, is above the Throne and we would have to go through our list of explanations for the use of this phrase. But, if we look at the word Honorable as an adjective for Allah, the line would read as, “And He, Honorable is His essence, is above His throne,” and it would not be as easily interpreted that Allah is literally above the throne. To decide on what it is an adjective for, we can look at the ayah in 85:15 where Allah uses “majeed” to describe Himself and not the throne. Since Ibn Abi Zayd was using many verses and Hadiths in his section on creed, we would use the verse from the Quran as a guide to understand the grammar of the text’s line.

Above in the Quran

One thing to note is that although the line in the Risala uses the preposition “fawq” in Arabic to describe Allah in relation to the Throne, nowhere in the Quran do we find this preposition used with the Throne. In the Quran, all the verses that speak about the Throne use the preposition “ala.” So, if one is to stay true to the texts of the Quran and Hadith, saying “fawq al arsh” is not acceptable. Many people that believe Allah to be in a direction use the line of Ibn Abi Zayd as a proof. The response should be that we use the verse as it is and say “ala”. Then, we have to understand that the prepositions can have literal and metaphorical interpretations.

One place where the preposition “fawq” is used is in the verse 48:10 but it is not in relation to the Throne. The people that believe Allah to be in a direction say that this preposition of “fawq” (above) is metaphorical, yet when they read the preposition “ala” for the throne, they say it is literal and that Allah is literally on His throne. They have contradicted themselves by allowing metaphorical interpretation sometimes and other times not. Contradiction is a sign of falsehood as truth does not contradict itself (Quran 4:82).

One last thing I would like for those who believe Allah to be in a direction to ponder on is the nature of our universe. When a person stands upon the earth and says that Allah is in a direction and points up, that up is the down of the person on the other side of the earth. So, if Allah is up for you, does that mean that He is below the person on the other side of the Earth? Allah is exalted above what people falsely ascribe to Him.

Rami Nsour

Related Answers:

How Do We Understand the Hadith Stating that Allah Descends to the Lowest Heaven in the Last Third of Every Night?

What Is Our Stance Regarding the Statement of Some That Allah “Sits” on the Throne?

Is There a Way to Physically Describe Allah?

Details Regarding Being a “Wali” for Marriage in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: I have a few questions relating to what it means to be a “Wali”. From my understanding, a Wali for a convert is a Muslim male guardian, and I understand that some madhhab’s don’t “require” me to have a Wali, but I’m still missing quite a bit of information regarding this subject.

1. What are the Wali’s responsibilities?
2. What are the responsibilities of person X to a Wali?
3. How does one “pick” a Wali?
4. If an Imam conducts the marriage ceremony for a convert, does he automatically become her Wali if she doesn’t have anyone yet?
5. What is the Maliki view on having/requiring a Wali?


1. There are various types of a Wali, such as those who are entrusted with the care of orphans and the Wali in terms of a marriage. In terms of a Wali’s responsibility towards someone they are representing in a marriage, that Wali must insure that the marriage is suitable for the woman and that the contract insures she be treated fairly. The Wali’s position is over once the marriage is complete and he does not have a legally binding (fiqh) responsibility but the rules of good conduct (akhlaq) would entail that he continue to ensure that someone he married off is being treated well.

2. There are no responsibilities of person X towards their Wali.

3. Person X can choose whoever they want to be their Wali during the marriage contract. The person also can change who they want their Wali to be. The only requirement for the Wali is that he be an adult Muslim male who has knowledge of the rules of marriage, knows what is good for the person he is marrying off based on the culture of the people, and that he be free from outward deviance (fisq).

4. If the Imam conducts the marriage, he would be the Wali.

5. In the Maliki school, a woman must have a Wali present at the contract for the marriage to be sound. If a woman does not have a Muslim male relative, then she can choose a Wali from amongst the Muslim men as long as he is knowledgable and trustworthy.

[Dusuqi, Hashiya Al Sharh al Kabir]

Words of Divorce and Dealing With Abuse in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question:  My husband is addicted to pornography and music. He does not want to stop.  Once I found that he watched obscene stuff on his computer, so I hid it, but I told him that i threw it away. Hearing this he got very angry and asked me to leave him and go away if I have a problem with him. Does this count as a divorce? After that he called his parents and said that he wants to divorce me. Did that constitute divorce?

My husband and his family also make rude remarks about my height and make fun of me. I began to feel that he doesn’t love me and I don’t want to be a burden on him , so I told him I will observe idda for three months and during that time he can decide whether he wants to keep me or leave me. Please advise me on this.


Does Saying “Leave Me and Go Away” Count as Divorce?

May Allah give you patience to bear and accept this test in your life. To answer your question, a divorce is dependent on the intention of the husband. So, if he were to tell you to “go away” and did not intend divorce by that, then it is not a divorce and you do not have to go through an iddah. If he made the intention for divorce, then it would be binding. You should ask him if he intended a divorce and if so how many did he intend. [Dusuqi, Hashiyatul Sharh al Kabir]

Does Discussing Divorce Count as Divorce?

As for him discussing with his family that he would like to divorce you, that also does not count as a divorce. Merely discussing the idea of divorce does not count as a divorce. One way that divorce is binding is when a person says the words “divorce” to his wife in English or in any other language (such as “I divorce you” or “You are divorced”) and this would be binding even if he did not intend divorce.

The second way is to have an intention to divorce, even if he did not say the word “divorce.” An example would be like if he said, “Go away” or “go back to your parents” and intended by this divorce. If he was only saying it out of emotion but did not intend it, then it would not be a divorce. [Dusuqi, Hashiyatul Sharh al Kabir]

Marriage is Meant to Honor People

One thing that you should remember is that marriage is there to protect people in terms of faith, finance, and dignity. If at any time you feel there is harm and you cannot reconcile the differences, then you should consider seeking a divorce. You have to consider your safety in terms of spiritually, mentally and physically.

If a person is in a place where they are being humiliated they must move away from that as the Messenger of Allah said, “It is not befitting for a believer to belittle himself.” The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, asked, “And how would he humiliate himself?” He said, “He faces a tribulation more than he can bear” [Tirmidhi and others].

Consider the Future of Abuse

You should think about your own health (spiritually, mentally and physically) and the health of your child. You may be thinking that you are staying in the marriage for your son, but you have to find out whether staying will actually harm your son more. As humans, we learn by imitation.

What is your son learning about how to treat a wife? How will he treat his wife when he gets married? There is a lot of research showing that this can start a vicious circle of transfer of abuse. You should seek more advice (shura) from other scholars, family and professionals and then pray istikhara before making your decision.

Pornography and Abuse are Diseases

You have to also realize that a person addicted to pornography is dealing with a serious sickness and addiction He needs professional help and counseling unless he makes a sincere tawba that turns him away from that entirely. His abuse of you (whether physical, verbal, mental, or spiritual) is also something that he needs help for. If he is not willing to get outside help, then you must seriously consider going through a divorce.

Your Sustenance is With Allah

Finally, remember that your sustenance (rizq) is with Allah and do not have a fear of not being provided for. Your decision to stay with your abusive husband who is addicted to pornography should not be based on a fear of not being provided for. Some women stay in an abusive relationship because they feel they have no other choice and can either not live unmarried or they won’t be able to find another husband.

Whether or not you find another husband, Allah will provide for you. So, do not base your decision on the fear of not being provided for. You have to make your decision based on what is best for you and your son. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and every one of you will be asked about his flock” [Muslim].

And Allah knows best.

Transferring Property to Children in One’s Lifetime

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: My parents own a home. They would like to transfer the entire home to me, their only son. However, I am close to my sisters and feel it is best if the home is transferred to all 3 of us.

According to Islamic law, what is the distribution or allocation method for this property to all 3 of us (my 2 sisters and myself)? Also why is it not equal distribution, so 1/3rd each?

So, for example, if the value of the property is £300,000, if £100,000 is not allocated to each of us 3 children, then by what proportion is the allocation made?

Also, what happens in the event of sale of the property — how are the proceeds supposed to be distributed among the 3 of us?

I also don’t understand if women have equal rights in Islam, why isn’t the allocation fair and equal — why less for women? Is it because they are likely to get married, and therefore take a share of their husband’s property or savings?



To begin, it is important to understand the difference between a bequest (wasiyah) and a transfer of wealth (hadiya or ‘atiyya). A bequest is where a person says, “Upon my death, give such and such amount to so and so.” Once the person passes away, there is an assessment to ensure that no debts are owed, that the total bequests do not exceed one third of the deceased person’s total wealth, and then to see if that person is a suitable recipient.

One of the matters that would cause a person to not be able to receive a bequest is if they are an inheritor, such as a spouse or child. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him said), “There is no bequest to an inheritor” (Tirmidhi). So, if a person is guaranteed a portion of the inheritance, such as a son or a daughter, they would not be able to receive a bequest. Again, a bequest is the transfer of wealth after the death of a person and it comes from their estate.

Transfers of wealth

While a person is alive and not on their death bed, technically they are free to give away any portion of their wealth to whoever they would like. Once a person is on their death bed, they are no longer allowed to give away their wealth since that is akin to giving away the right of the inheritors. So, if a person’s parents are not on their death bed, they can give their wealth to one child over the other.

The Sunna in Giving

Although this is their right, it would be sunna for them to be equal in their distribution of wealth as the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Treat your children equally,treat your children equally, treat your children equally! ” (Ahmed and others). The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) also said, “Be equal in gifts to your children, and if I were to give more to one I would have chosen the women” (Bayhaqi and Tabarani).

Equal Rights in Islam

In regards to your question about equal rights for women and why they receive a lower share than men, one must understand that there are only certain situations where a woman would get less than a man. If the deceased left only one son and one daughter, for example, then the son would have two shares of the wealth and the daughter would have one.

One of the wisdom in this can be seen when we realize that financial obligations of a family are upon the man and not the woman. So, the son will take his two shares and support his wife and children whereas the daughters will take her one share and does not have to spend it on her husband and children. Another thing to realize is that there are situations where a woman would get more than the men, such as in the case where the deceased left a daughter and his brothers (the daughter’s paternal uncles). The daughter would get one half of the wealth and the brothers, no matter how many would split the remainder.

Your situation

Your parents have the right to give you their house without including the daughters. If it will not anger you parents, you can suggest that they distribute it to you and your sisters. If they do not agree, then what you can do is then give a portion of your wealth to your sisters once the wealth is yours unless your parents had stipulated that you do not give the house to anyone.

I would suggest that you contact a local scholar to help you work through your situation and do not rely on this reply alone. There are other opinions in the books of fiqh and your situation is a complex one dealing with inheritance, gifts and rights of parents (birr al walidayn).

And Allah knows best.

What is the Limit of Using Honorific Titles for Scholars?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Is exaggerating in lauding the scholars with different titles before their name allowed in Islam?

Answer: Some scholars have warned against using a name that has a pronouncement of one’s integrity (tazkiyatul nafs) . This is taken from the verse in Sura al Najm which states, “then do not pronounce your own integrity” [Quran 53:32]. Scholars such, as Imam Nawawi, disliked using names such as “Muhiy al Deen” (The One Who gives life to the religion) and he disliked it when people would call him using that title. There are other scholars who have allowed such names and one can find a list of some scholars with such names in the book of Imam Zarnugi entitled Taleemul Mutallim.

Historical Examples of Honorific Titles

Imam Abu Hanifa is referred to by scholars as “Imam al Adham” (The Greatest Imam) and Imam Malik is referred to as “Imam Dar al Hijrah” (The Imam of the Abode of Immigration). We also find that the scholars of have referred to such luminaries as Imam al Ghazzali as “Hujjatul Islam” (The Proof of Islam) and there are many other examples where honorific titles are given to great scholars. So, as long as the title does not exceed the limits of the Sharia, there is no harm in using such titles to honor a scholar.

Some Warnings about Honorific Titles

In the Book Kashhaf al-Qina`, the author says, “One should be careful of boasting about the integrity on one’s teacher as that could be a trick of the self to try to boast it’s integrity by default.” By this he means that a person is essentially trying to say, “My shaykh is great and I am his student so that makes me great.” So, although we should speak highly of our teachers, we should be careful that we are not doing it so out of boastful pride (fakhr).


Should I Advise My Husband Islamically or Remain Silent?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: I recently found out I pregnant. I have been married for less than a year. My husband and I are overjoyed; however since being married and finding out I am pregnant, my husband stopped praying. He misses all his prayers. He argues with me on all matters of Islam, and ultimately, it is having a negative impact on me because i need his support and prayers as I am going through a tough time adjusting to marital life and the pregnancy. I feel as though i have no patience. What can i do to help him? Do i leave him to his own devices or do i help him?

Answer: May Allah grant you success in dealing with your situation. Before giving advice and suggestions on how you can approach the situation, it is important to know the ruling regarding changing a wrong. Any wrong (munkar), including leaving prayer, must be changed by a Muslim if one is able. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whosoever of you sees a wrong (munkar) must change it with his hand. If he is not able to, then with his tongue. If he is not able to then with his heart.”

There are conditions to this changing though and they are 1) Knowledge that there is consensus about the prohibition of the matter at hand, 2) The belief that the attempt to change will be of benefit, and 3) That they changing does now lead to a greater harm.

In terms of the first condition, you know that there is consensus about the obligation of the prayer. Now you have to see if there is a benefit for you to mention something to him. If there is, even if it requires many times until he gets the point, then you have to work towards that. If you feel there is zero benefit to your urging him to pray then it is not an obligation to work towards the change. We must be careful though in allowing ourselves a way out by saying that there is no benefit in changing the wrong.

In terms of helping him see the right, one of the best things that you can do is lead by example. Make sure that he sees you do wudu and pray. You can also send him inspirational articles and videos that you may find he would benefit from. You have to use wisdom in choosing what to send him and when.

You know your husband’s temperament and you would be the judge of how much and how often to remind him. Another important thing to remember about calling to the good is that you have to work incrementally. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered Muadh ibn Jabal to focus on calling the people to tawheed when he sent Muadh to Yemen and said that once the people are firm in their faith to work on the prayer.

Based on this, I would say that you should work on helping your husband strengthen his faith. As you see his faith grow, then start incrementally with encouragement about the prayer. Do not worry about all the other details of the religion that he is not accepting, since faith and prayer are the most important. The people once complained to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) about a young man who they said he did every wrong action around.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) told them to not worry about the young man because he prays with him in congregation and this would cause him to leave those foul things. Eventually, the young man left all foul things because of the prayer and Allah says, “Indeed prayer prohibits indecency and foul things” (Quran 29:45).

May Allah grant you success in working towards providing a spiritual place to bring your child into. The most important part of your “nesting” will be creating a space where your child can grow spiritually. Have sincerity in your endeavor, trust in Allah, depend on Him, leave things ultimately to Him, and you will find success.


Using Soapy Water for Ghusl in Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Is it permissible to use soap to make ghusl in the Maliki school considering its strictness on rubbing the whole body with the hand?

Answer: You must not use soap during a ghusl in place of the obligation of rubbing the body. In the Maliki madhab, one of the conditions of wudu and ghusl is rubbing (dalk) which is defined as “passing one limb over the other” but it does not have to be with the hand alone [Dusuqi, Hashiya al Sharh al Kabir]. You can technically use your forearm to rub your other arm, for example. You can also use a rope or the like in the case of areas that are hard to reach [Ibnr Ashir, al-Murshid al-Muin].

The issue with soap is that it changes the water and one must use water in its natural form (mutlaq). If the water reaches the body in a pure form but changes after it has made contact with the skin, like if there is soap on the body, then that is excused [Dusuqi, Hashiya al-Sharh al-Kabir]. The best thing is to avoid soap during a ghusl to ensure that all water reaches the body in a pure form (mutlaq). If one wants to use soap before or after the ghusl to remove filth, then there is no harm in that.

And Allah knows best.

Is It Permissible to Buy and Sell Cats in the Maliki School?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Upon discussing the issue with some non-madhab following brothers, there appears to be an opinion within this group saying that the purchasing of cats is haram. They cite an opinion of the Maliki school and say that it should not be done.

Is there any prohibition in purchasing cats as pets? And is this ‘Maliki’ position reliable?

Answer: According to the Maliki madhab, it is permissible to sell and buy cats. In the Mukhtasar of Khalil in the first section on the rules of Transactions he says, “It is permissible to purchase a cat or a predatory animal for its skin.” (وجاز هر وسبع للجلد). In the commentary (Hashiya) of Dusuqi, he mentions the words of al-Banani who said, “As for a cat, it is permissible to purchase it to derive benefit from it living or dead according to the apparent understanding of the Mudawanna, and this is what al-Mawwaq explained it as. This is in contrast to the apparent meaning of the author.” By “author” he means Khalil as in the Mukhtasar it says that you can purchase a cat to use its hide and it would leave someone to think that if there was a purchase for other than the hide it would not be permissible. But, as al-Banani clarified, purchasing a cat is permissible.

وأما الهر فيجوز بيعه لينتفع به حيا وللجلد على ظاهر المدونة وبه شرح المواقخلافا لظاهر المصنف

And Allah knows best.

Rami Nsour

Breastfeeding Leading to Mahram Relationship

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I have read numerous views about the rule of breastfeeding which makes a person a mahram.

Some scholars believe that one suckling is enough to make a person mahram and others believe that the suckling or breastfeeding session should be five or more times within the first two years of a childs life to make him a mehram. I would like to know what is the most common understanding on this issue. How many times does one have to be breastfed to become a mahram?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,

Wa alaikum as salam,

Thank you for your question. The mahram relationship, like the one between siblings or parent and child, is established in the Hanafi school after even a single instance of ingesting even a drop of the milk of a women, as long as the child ingesting it was less than 2.5 lunar years old at the time. [Mukhtasar al-Quduri]

According to the Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia, the position that one instance of feeding establishes the mahram relationship is the position of the majority of scholars, including many of the Sahaba, Tabi’een, the Hanafi and Maliki schools, as well as a narration from Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. [al-Mawsu’a al-Fiqhiyya al-Kuwaitiyya]

Their proof for this is from the Qur’an itself, when Allah Ta’ala says, “And your mothers who breast-fed you…” [Quran 4:23]. This connects the event of breast –feeding to the establishment of the mahram relationship without any specification or qualification of the number of times it took place, thereby meaning that even one instance of suckling would fulfill the meaning and establish its ruling.

The opinion that there should be 5 feedings to establish the mahram relationship is the position of the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools. Their proof was the hadith of Aisha that you referred to, that originally the number of feedings was set at 10 in the Quran, then abrogated to 5 [am: then further abrogated from recitation, with the abrogation of its ruling being the point of difference here].

However, as Mufti Taqi Usmani explains in his commentary on this hadith, it is clear that after considering many other narrations of Sahaba and Tabi’een that mahram relations are established by “little or much” breast-milk, the ruling of 10, 5 or 3 feedings must have been abrogated in stages till only one feeding was required, but since this abrogation took place right before the passing of the Prophet [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him], perhaps not every Companion was aware of the final ruling right away. Many of the jurists amongst the Companions, however, were. [Usmani, Takmila Fath al Mulhim Sharh Sahih al-Imam Muslim]

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Joining Prayers in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: What is the ruling on joining prayers according to the Maliki teachings, is it strictly limited to times when traveling or is it permissible at others times or under other conditions?

Answer: According to the Maliki madhab, it is a permissible dispensation (rukhsa) to join prayers while traveling. The travel does not have to be one where the distance allows you to shorten the prayer, you merely have to be out of your city limits. Once you are out of your city limits, and traveling to do something that is not disobedience, then you can either bring asr (or isha) forward or delay dhuhr (or maghrib) depending on your situation. If you are in a resting place when dhuhr enters, and you intend to be traveling until maghrib, then you can bring asr forward. In the case of maghrib, if you are resting while it enters and you will then travel past fajr time, then you can bring isha forward.

To delay dhuhr or Maghrib, the following is the scenario; If you are traveling while dhuhr enters and you will continue traveling but will stop before maghrib, then you can delay dhuhr. If you are traveling while Maghrib enters and you will stop before Fajr, then you can delay Isha.

So, as an example, you are leaving Liverpool around noon to attend a program after asr in London. You are on the road when dhuhr comes in but you wont get into London to the masjid until after asr has entered. In this situation, you can delay dhuhr and pray it with asr in London. On the way home, you leave before maghrib enters and then the sun sets while you are on the road. You will get back to Liverpool before fajr and so you can pray maghrib with isha when you return.

For bringing them forward; you are travelling from Liverpool to London in the winter time. You stop for fuel when dhuhr is in and you wont get to London until maghrib. You can pray asr with dhuhr.

To illustrate using this dispensation in times other than when you shorten prayer: You live in Liverpool but you need to go to Warrington. You leave before maghrib and the sunsets after you have left your city limits. You will be out and about the whole time in Warrington until you return but then maghrib will be out. You can delay maghrib and pray it with isha.