Sharh as-Sunnah : Lesson 49: Point 82
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And know that the obligatory prayers are five. There is to be no increase in them nor any reduction in their set times. And upon a journey they consist of two Rak`ahs except for the Maghrib prayer. Whoever says that they are more than five then he has innovated and whoever says that they are less than five then he has innovated. Allaah will not accept any of them unless they are performed within their times except for the one who forgets then he is excused and must perform it when he remembers it and the traveler who may combine the two prayers if he wishes.
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The five obligatory prayers have tremendous importance. And it is the second pillar (rukn) from the pillars of Islaam after the two testifications. And whoever abandons it denying its obligation then he is a kaafir (disbeliever) by consensus (Ijmaa` ) of the Muslims. And whoever abandons it takaasulan (out of laziness) whilst acknowledging that this is obligatory then he is a disbeliever upon the correct saying from the two sayings of the scholars. And the proof is his sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam’s saying:
“Between the servant and between disbelief, there is the abandonment of the prayer.”
The saying of the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam:
“The covenant that is between us and them is the prayer. So whoever abandons it then he has disbelieved.”
This is clear. And he did not say whoever abandoned it denying its obligation. Rather, he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam made it general along with many evidences, which this is not the place to quote in full.
And the prayers became settled at five prayers every day and night. The Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said to Mu`aadh ibn Jabal when he sent him to Yemen:
“Let the first thing that you call them to be the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah. So if they accept that from you then inform them that Allaah has made five prayers obligatory upon them.”
And it was made obligatory upon the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and upon his nation on the night of the Mi`raaj (ascent) through the Heavens, which shows its importance. They were first made obligatory as 50 in each day and night. Then the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam returned to his Lord for a reduction until Allaah made it 5 with regard to its performance and they are 50 in the balance because a single good deed is rewarded with 10 times its like. So a single prayer is for 10 prayers. So, it is multiplied to 50 prayers but as for the action then it is 5 prayers in the day and the night.
So whoever says that the prayers are more than 5 then he is a mubtadi’ (innovator) because he has added something into the religion that is not from it and whoever says that they are less than 5 as is said by a sect of the innovators and the people of misguidance that they are 3. The prayers are confirmed by the Book and the Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslims as being five prayers.
He, the Most High, said:
أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا
Establish the prayers from the time when the sun passes the Zenith until the darkness of the night and establish the recitation of the Qur’aan in the dawn prayer. Indeed the recitation of the Qur’aan in the dawn prayer is attended by the angels of the night and the day. (Sooratul-Israa· (17), aayah 78)
And the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam explained them by his saying and his action and they have set times.
He, the Most High, said:
إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا
The prayer is a duty prescribed for the believers at set times.
(Sooratun-Nisaa· (4), aayah 103)
Meaning: An obligatory duty at set times. Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam clearly explained them by his saying and his action. It is not permissible to take them out of their times except on the condition of a valid excuse such as he has slept or forgotten until the time finishes. So then when he remembers or wakes up it becomes obligatory for him to hasten to perform the prayer whatever time it is. He sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“Whoever forgets a prayer or sleeps through it then let him pray it when he remembers it. There is no expiation for it except that.”
And as for deliberately letting it pass beyond its time then it will not be correct from him even if he prays it because he has not prayed the prayer which Allaah commanded him with. Rather, he has just prayed a prayer in accordance with his own desires. So if he deliberately lets it go outside its time then it will not be accepted from him even if he does pray it. So what is upon him is at-tawbah (repentance), that he repents to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic and is constant upon observance of the prayer.
And the number of the rak`ahs (prayer units in each prayer) was explained by the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. The Fajr prayer is 2 rak`ahs and the Maghrib is 3 rak`ahs because it is the odd number of prayer of the day. And the Dhuhr prayer is 4 rak`ahs and the `Asr prayer is 4 rak`ahs and the `Ishaa· prayer is 4 rak`ahs.
And when on a journey, the 4 rak`ah prayers are reduced to 2 rak`ahs; the Dhuhr prayer and the `Asr prayer and the `Ishaa· prayer as occurs in the established Sunnah from the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. And that occurs in the Qur’aan:
وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ
And when you travel upon the earth then there is no blame upon you if you shorten the prayer. (Sooratun-Nisaa· (4), aayah 101)
As for the Fajr (dawn) prayer then it remains as two rak`ahs and as for the Maghrib prayer then it is not shortened because it is the witr (odd numbered) prayer of the day time. So if it were shortened then the number of rak`ahs of the day time would become even. And this is how the ahaadeeth occur regarding the prayer. So it is not permissible for anyone to interfere with them; either adding or deleting or taking it out of its time.
 Reported by Muslim (82) from a hadeeth of Jaabir radiyAllaahu `anhu with the wording:
“Between a man and between shirk & kufr is the abandonment of the prayer.”
 Reported by Imaam Ahmad in the Musnad and by at-Tirmithee and Ibn Maajah and an-Nasaa·ee from a hadeeth of Buraydah radiyAllaahu `anhu. And at-Tirmithee said it is hasan, saheeh (good, authentic) and it was declared authentic by Ibn Hibbaan and by al-Haakim in Al-Mustadrak.
Likewise, Shaykh Al-Albaaniyy rahimahullaah declared it saheeh also in his checking of at-Tirmithee; declared it saheeh (authentic).
 Reported by Al-Bukhaariyy in his saheeh; you’ll find it there in a number of places; the first of them being no. 1,395 and also reported by Muslim (19) from a hadeeth of `Abdullaah ibn `Abbaas radiyAllaahu `anhumaa.
 Reported by Al-Bukhaariyy (597) and Muslim (684) from a hadeeth of Anas radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 Translator’s side point: Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah said regarding the point – Imaam al-Barbahaaree said that “whoever adds to those five or deletes from the five prayers then he has innovated”,
“As for the saying of the author here, “then he has innovated,” this is different to his usual practice for he very often uses the wording of disbelief for things which are less than full disbelief and here he used the word innovation whilst knowing that whoever says that the obligatory prayer is more than five or less then he has become a disbeliever by consensus of the People of Knowledge. This being based upon Tawaatur (something reported by huge number of people throughout the generations at every level).
And then, these five every one of them is well-known with regard to the number of its rak`ahs so the dawn prayer is 2 rak`ahs and the Dhuhr and `Asr are 4 and Maghrib is 3 and `Ishaa· is 4.
So it is not permissible when in residence to pray less than that and whoever does that claiming that the prayer has been reduced or increased then he is to be made aware of the matter if he is ignorant and if he then still persists then he has disbelieved. So the number of their rak`ahs is taken by narration, which has been passed down by generation after generation from the time of the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam to this time.
And it is not permissible to pray less than that except when on a journey in which case the 4 rak`ah prayers are reduced to 2 rak’ahs as is proven by the evidences. And whoever claims that the Maghrib prayer or the dawn prayer should be shortened then he is to be made aware and if he still persists then he becomes a disbeliever.
And likewise, their due times have been taken from what has been passed down from one whole generation to the next by transmission of the action and transmission of the saying. So every obligatory prayer from the obligatory prayers has a separate time and its time has a beginning and an end. And it is not permissible to bring it before its time nor to delay it beyond it except that it is permissible for the traveler to gather two prayers due to the ruling of his being a traveler; either delaying the earlier one to the time of the later one and that is by consensus or bringing the second one forward and praying it along with the first one in the time of the first one in the view of some of the People of Knowledge who hold that the hadeeth in that regard is authentic.
And it is permissible for a person who is ill to combine the prayers to repel difficulty which occurs with praying each obligatory prayer in its specific time.
And whoever makes just three times for prayer like the Shi`a; those who permit joining always such that they join the `Asr with the Dhuhr prayer at the time of Dhuhr and they join the `Ishaa· along with the Maghrib at the time of Maghrib based upon the saying of some of their Imaams. Then whoever does that from them and believes it’s permissible then he is an innovator astray.
Just as is also the case of one who combines `Asr along with Maghrib (the day time prayer along with the night time prayer) or who combines `Ishaa· prayer along with Fajr then he is daalun (astray) also. So therefore jam’ (combining the prayers) cannot be except two obligatory prayers, which can share in their times meaning Dhuhr prayer along with `Asr or Maghrib along with `Ishaa·.
And whoever abandons the prayer deliberately until its time has passed then he has disbelieved because of the authentic evidences which prove that. From them is his sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam’s saying:
“Between a man and between shirk and kufr is the abandonment of the prayer.”
And from them is his saying:
“The covenant between us and them is the prayer so whoever abandons it then he has disbelieved.”
…to the rest of the evidences.
And the jumhoor (great majority) hold that the one who abandons the prayer is not a disbeliever (meaning he abandons it out of laziness) on account of that, yet still in spite of this many of them hold that his repentance should be sought. So either he’ll repent from that otherwise he is to be executed with the prescribed punishment. And the matter there is disagreement between the people of knowledge and Allaah, the Most High, knows best. Unless he leaves it on account of a valid excuse, which is forgetfulness or sleep then it’s obligatory upon him to pray it when he remembers it because of the hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik radiyAllaahu `anhu who said “The Prophet of Allaah sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“Whoever forgets a prayer or sleeps through it then his expiation is to pray it when he remembers it because Allaah, the Most High says:
وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي
And establish the prayer for my remembrance.
(Soorah-Taa Haa (20) aayah 14)
And Allaah is the one who grants success.”
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Transcribed by Saima Zaher.
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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