My relatives sometimes offer the five daily prayers together at a time of their convenience such as at ʿIshāʾ. If asked about this they would say as per ḥanafī fiqh this is permissible. Also, they sometimes offer ʿaṣr prayer close to the time for maghrib. Can they be considered Muslim?
It has been reported by Imām Muslim on the the authority of Ibn ʿAbbās رضي الله عنه that the Prophet ﷺ gathered beween Ẓuhr prayer, with ʿAṣr prayer, and gathered Maghrib prayer with ʿishāʾ prayer, without (reason of) fear or rain.
Imām An-Nawawī states in his explanation of Muslim: “A group of the scholars have taken the opinion of the permissibility of gathering between prayers in case of necessity, for the one who does not take it as a habit”. End.
This is the view of the majority of the scholars from them being Ash-shāfiʿī, Aḥmad and Mālik.
Our Shaykh Muḥammad bin Ḥizām -may Allāh preserve him- states in Fatḥul ʿAllām (1/109): “This is the correct opinion and it is the choice of our Shaykh Muqbil al-Wādiʿī رحمه الله.”
So based upon this small introduction we realize that some of the scholars hold the permissibility of gathering between the obligatory prayers, however with two conditions as mentioned by Imām An-Nawawī;
- There must be some form of a necessity
- This must not be taken as a habit.
As for the scenario mentioned in the question then it is a totally different issue for two main reasons:
Firstly, it is lacking the two conditions placed by An-Nawawī رحمه الله
Secondly, the persons in question are gathering all five prayers at once!! This is not in accordance to the hadeeth of Ibn ʿAbbās رضي الله عنه because Prophet ﷺ did not gather all five prayers at once, rather he ﷺ, only gathered Ẓuhr with ʿAṣr, and then later gathered Maghrib with ʿishāʾ .
As for their saying: “this is the Madh-hab of Abū Ḥanīfā”
Then firstly: from the the Madh-hab of Abū Ḥanīfā I have found that he says: “Whoever wishes to gather between two prayers for the reason of rain, travel or other, then he should delay the time of the first prayer until its last hour and bring forward the second prayer until its first hour and join them at that time so then in reality he has prayed every ṣalāh in its time and its not befitting to gather between two prayers in the time of one of them only, except for Ẓuhr and ʿAṣr…”
This is taken from the books written according to the Madh-hab of Abū Ḥanīfā.
الكتاب: الحجة على أهل المدينة
المؤلف: أبو عبد الله محمد بن الحسن بن فرقد الشيباني (المتوفى: 189هـ)
Secondly: In any case this act is wrong and an evil Bidʿah!! And the ṣalāh is void because it is lacking the conditions set by Allāh and His messenger.
Are they Kuffār?
No, they are ignorant people who need to be taught with patience, add to that also their doubt regarding the Madh-hab of Abū Ḥanīfā.
So we advise with patience and good admonishment from the evidence of the Kitāb and Sunnah, not to take their religion as play and something of no importance!! By forging precedence to the worldly affair before their hereafter, for indeed this world is ending and the hereafter is ever-lasting.
كَلَّا بَلْ تُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ
Not [as you think, that you (mankind) will not be resurrected and recompensed for your deeds], but (you men) love the present life of this world,
And leave (neglect) the Hereafter.
القيامة: ٢٠ –٢١
إِنَّ هَٰؤُلَاءِ يُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ وَيَذَرُونَ وَرَاءَهُمْ يَوْمًا ثَقِيلًا
Verily! These (disbelievers) love the present life of this world, and put behind them a heavy Day (that will be hard).
بَلْ تُؤْثِرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا
Nay, you prefer the life of this world;
وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ
Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting
الأعلى:١٦ – ١٧
Answered by: Abū Hārūn Muḥammad ʿAbdin-Nūr