Bohra or sunni prayers
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Dear Brother Burhan, AssalamOAlaikum.
I am glad you mentioned that Bhoris pray three times a day as opposed to 5 times as most muslims do. I forgot to ask you about it. I personnaly do (try to) pray 5 times a day. When I asked my elders the reason behind this Bohri practice, the answer was that there were times (I think during some battles) that the prophet did combine the two prayers together thus creating a sunnah. What are the facts? Wassalam.
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Bohra or sunni prayers
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Indeed, when the Prophet (saws) was traveling, or in the times of extreme rain, he did combine the zohr/asr and Magrib/isha prayers. But on a regular basis, he always led the congregation at five different appointed times of the prayer.
But one must understand that this Sunnah of combining the prayers was only done by the Prophet (saws) while he was traveling or during extreme rain, etc. Thus this Sunnah was done in certain circumstances, and when those circumstances arise, it is no harm for a believer to combine his prayers while he is traveling, etc.
But just because the Prophet (saws) combined his prayers during traveling, does not mean that we have the right to combine our prayers on a regular basis!
For eg. The Prophet (saws) did tayammum when there was no water available for wudu. Does that mean that we would be following Sunnah if we do tayammum on a regular basis!
The Prophet (saws) did not fast some days in Ramadan when he was traveling out of Medina. Does it mean that it is a Sunnah not to fast in Ramadan!
Thus brother, it is imperative that we understand the situation in which the Sunnah was created, so that we can apply the Sunnah in our lives whenever we get the opportunity to do so. But to take an act which was done by the Prophet (saws) in special circumstances, and apply that as a Sunnah in our lives on a regular basis, is not understanding the Sunnah.
Praying five times a day at the appointed times on a regular basis is something the Prophet (saws) did in front of thousands of his companions, and there is absolutely no doubt amongst all the sects of Islam that the Prophet (saws) led the five obligatory prayers at five different times of the day. This process of combining the prayers on a regular basis was created many years after the death of the Prophet (saws), without any authority from Allah. Thus those, who indeed believe in Allah and the Last Day, must strive to pray the five obligatory prayers at their appointed times for the pleasure of Allah Subhanah.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,