Prayers: Advanced on a rainy day

Q465 :Is there any tradition or Hadith concerning the advancing of Isha prayer so as to combine it with Maghrib on a rainy day? I have only seen this after I have come to work in Saudi Arabia. Please explain.

A465 : As you are well aware, Islam is a religion that is easy to follow. It does not wish to afflict people. When it rains, particularly in an area like the Arabian Peninsula, roads become muddy and inconvenient to walk. Hence, when it rains, Muslims are given the concession that they need not attend the congregational prayer in the mosque. Furthermore, if they are in the mosque, and they are offering Maghrib prayer when it is rainy, they may bring forward Isha prayer and offer it with Maghrib so that they do not have to come again to the mosque. If rain is pouring down at the time of Maghrib prayer, then the person who is making the call should announce that people may pray where they are. An authentic report related by Al-Bukhari quotes Abdullah ibn Al-Harith as saying: "Ibn Abbas gave us a sermon on a day with mild rain and mud. When the athan was called and the person saying the athan reached the phrase, "hay lla assalah", which means "hasten to prayer", he ordered him to say in a loud voice: "Pray where you are." Those who were present looked at one another, so he said: "This was done by people who were better than this man. It is an action of strong resolve." It may be suggested that in our modern cities, rain does not cause much mud. There is no doubt, however, that it is still very inconvenient to walk in the rain. The concession is there to follow. Hence, we need not hesitate about benefiting by this concession. If it is raining, we need not go to the mosque for the congregational prayer. If we are in the mosque and it rains, then we may advance Isha and join it with Maghrib so that we do not go out twice on a rainy night.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )