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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.

Rami

What Islamic Perspective is Taught at SeekersGuidance?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Are the courses at SeekersGuidance, such as the beliefs course Kharida al-Bahiyya and others, representative of Sunni Islam? Also, could you explain what is meant by Sunni Islam?

Answer: wa `alaykum assalam

The courses at SeekersHub and the texts taught in these courses are based on the orthodox Sunni tradition (Ahl al-Sunna). This is a tradition accepted and followed by the vast majority of Muslim scholars and laity from the time of the Companions (Allah be well pleased with them) up to our own times.

Thus, the Kharida al-Bahiyya, which is the text we are reading for this class, was written by Imam Dardir, who was considered one of the greatest scholars of the Maliki school of his time, an expert in the field of Islamic belief, as well as an accomplished spiritual master.

Understanding Sunni Orthodoxy

The best way to understand the tradition of Ahl al-Sunna is through the hadith of Gibril (Allah bless him), narrated by Abu Hurayra (Allah be well pleased with him) as follows:

“One day while the Prophet was sitting in the company of some people, (The angel) Gabriel came and asked, ‘What is faith (iman)?’ Allah’s Apostle replied, ‘Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection.’ Then he further asked, ‘What is submission (islam)?’ Allah’s Apostle replied, ‘To worship Allah Alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly to pay the compulsory charity (Zakat) and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan.’ Then he further asked, ‘What is Ihsan (perfection)?’ Allah’s Apostle replied, ‘to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, then be sure that He is seeing you.'” [Bukhari, Muslim]

This narration sums up the orthodox and accepted tradition of Islam, which is divided into three main sub-categories:

a. Faith (iman), namely what we need to believe, discussed under the science of Islamic belief (`aqida),

b. Submission (islam), namely the ritual practices we need to perform, discussed under the science of Islamic Law (fiqh), and

c. Perfecting our belief and worship (ihsan), namely spirituality and purification of the self, discussed under the science of tasawwuf, tazkiyya, or, as you refer to it, Sufism.

Together, these three formulate the “religion” (din) as a whole and so none of them should be neglected.

The Sciences & Relying on Authority

Each of these three sciences, namely belief (`aqida), law (fiqh), and spirituality (tasawwuf/tazkiyya), have been well-defined, developed, and transmitted by thousands of scholars for the past 1400 years, from the very time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) up to our own times.

Our duty is to recognize this scholarly way and benefit from it, following the command of Allah to “ask those who know if you know not.” (16:43)

Thus, when it comes to Islamic belief (`aqida), we have the Ash`ari and Maturidi schools. Both helped define the contents of faith, the proof for it, and defended it from those who sought to undermine it.

Likewise, when it comes to Islamic law (fiqh), we have the four schools (madhabs): the Hanafi, Shafi`i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools. Each of these legal schools have a long, nuanced tradition of dealing with aspects of Islamic practice like prayer, fasting, Zakat, and Hajj, and have been accepted as the standard of this science for centuries.

Similarly, when it comes to Islamic spirituality (tasawwuf), we have the spiritual masters who are trained in identifying and fixing the ailments of the self (nafs), purifying the heart, and making one’s worship sincere. This is the reality of Sufism.

The authoritative figures of each of the sciences can be found in every generation including our own. As a living tradition, there is no era where experts in each of these fields do not exist, guiding people, answering questions, coming up with answers to new problems, and spreading the light of this religion.

Focus & Aim

Thus, we strive to follow the hadith of Gibril (Allah bless him) and teach our courses with a focus on all three of the main categories mentioned in this noble narration without neglecting any one of them. This is the way of balance and the way the scholars of this religion tread throughout the past.

Thus, you will find that we teach courses covering all of these science, such as law, belief, hadith, and spirituality. In doing so, we teach from the most authoritative and widely-accepted texts in each field and recognize the importance of constantly going back to this long accepted tradition of scholarship that has its roots in the very earliest generations of Muslims, namely the Companions (Allah be well pleased with them).

I hope that answers your questions. Please do not hesitate to post a follow-up.

I would also advise reading the following:

The Asharis & Maturidis – Standards of Mainstream Sunni Beliefs

A Reader on Following Schools of Thought (Madhabs)

Excellent lecture by Shaykh Faraz

Salman

Recommended Class:

Islamic Beliefs for Seekers: Dardir’s Kharidah Explained

Sunni Orthodoxy: When Was It Established and Systematized?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Is it true that “Sunni orthodoxy” was established in the third Islamic century? I have read this in many books authored by non-Muslims. My understanding is that orthodoxy was known from the first century, but systematized as a science in the third century. Is this understanding correct?

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Your understanding is correct, mashaAllah. Sunni orthodoxy was codified and organized formally in the second, third and fourth centuries, as 4 schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali) and 2 schools of beliefs (Ash’ari and Maturidi).

Yet the teachings of those formal schools were in essence a presentation of revelation itself: the Qur’an sent down to our Master Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and his Noble Sunna that explained and exemplified the Qur’an. The codified Sunni orthodoxy of those later centuries was merely a systematic formalization of what was inherited from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions.

For more detail, please see related articles on masud.co.uk, as well as the following:

A Reader on Following Schools of Thought (Madhabs)

The Ash`aris & Maturidis: Standards of Mainstream Sunni Beliefs

How Are Madhabs Any Different From Sects In Christianity?

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani