Salat is an essential pillar that is mandatory upon every muslim. Not just that however, but also praying at the stipulated time the right way as thought by the prophet Muhammad (SAW).
In accordance with these, it is allowed for a person to only combine two prayers in a day – usually Thuhr (noon) and ‘Asr (afternoon) prayers, or the Maghrib (sunset) and ‘Ishaa’ (night) prayers, during the time of either prayer if he finds himself in any of the below listed circumstances.
#1.Combining two prayers at ‘Arafah and Al-Muzdalifah
During hajj or when someone is performing hajj, he is permitted to combine the Thuhr and ‘Asr prayers during the time of the Thuhr prayer at ‘Arafah, and the Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ prayers during the time of the ‘Ishaa’ prayer at Muzdalifah, following the example of the Prophet (SAW).
#2.Combining two prayers while travelling
Muslims are permitted to combine the Thuhr prayer with the ‘Asr prayer and also the Maghrib prayer with the ‘Ishaa’ prayer while they are on or about to embark on a journey with the fear that they might miss the prayer while enroute.This is regardless of whether the person is physically traveling or has made a temporary break in his journey.
#3.Combining two prayers during rainfall
Al-Athram (RA) recorded in his Sunan that Abu Salamah Ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan (RA) said: “It is a Sunnah to combine the Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ prayers when it is raining.” Al-Bukhara (RA) recorded that the Prophet (SAW) combined the Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ prayers on a rainy night.
#4.Combining two prayers due to illness and other reasons
The Hanbali school is most accommodating in this regard as it permits one to combine the Thuhr and ‘Asr prayers and the Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ prayers, at the time of the early or later prayer, for one who is ill as well as for the woman who is breast-feeding and will therefore face hardship in cleaning her dress for every prayer; for the woman who is plagued by a prolonged flow of blood; a person with urinary incontinence; one who cannot find the means to purify himself or herself; and lastly who fears for his life, property, or family.
#5.Combining two prayers due to some pressing need
Imam An-Nawawi (RA) in one of his commentary on the book of Imaam Muslim (RA) : “The majority of scholars are of the opinion that it is allowed for the resident to combine prayers due to some pressing need. This is supported by the statement of Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him: ‘The Prophet (SAW) combined his prayers because he did not want to put his Ummah (nation) to hardship, and not because of illness or any other reason.”
Also, Imaam Muslim (RA) stated: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) combined the Thuhr and ‘Asr and then the Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ prayers (all) in Madeenah, without there being any danger or rain.” Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, was asked: “What did he desire by that action?” He replied: “He did not want any hardship for his Ummah.”
#6.Prayer on board a ship, train or plane Salat on a ship, train and plane, is valid and there is no disliking for such an act as it makes life easier for the one performing it. Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I asked the Prophet (SAW) about prayer on ships and he replied: “Pray standing upon them unless you fear that you will drown (due to the ship capsizing).”” [Ad-Daaraqutni and Al-Haakim].
Its beyond any doubt that indeed islam is a religion that understands the flaws of all humans and made clear ruling on how to still practice or worship even in the most unbearable circumstances.Alhamdulilah.May Allah give us the ability to worship him in the best of ways as described to us by the holy prophet (SAW) amin.