Prayers: Combined in pilgrimage

Q470 :What is the reason for joining two prayers on returning from Arafat?

A470 : When the Prophet set out on his pilgrimage he was joined by no fewer than one hundred thousand of Muslims who wanted to do the pilgrimage with him. As he started, he said to them: "Learn your rituals from me". What he meant was that we should do the pilgrimage in the manner he has shown us. If you study carefully the reports of the way the Prophet conducted his pilgrimage, you realize that the pattern he set was deliberate and well thought out. Nothing took place by mere coincidence. Therefore, we must follow the Prophet's example if we wish to do the pilgrimage properly. We need not question the reasons behind any selected method for doing a particular duty. This is the way Allah wants us to conduct this act of worship. We do it as He wishes, i.e. in the way shown to us by the Prophet. On the day of Arafat, the Prophet offered his prayers in a particular way and told all pilgrims with him to do likewise. He prayed Dhuhr and Asr consecutively at Arafat, shortly after the time of Dhuhr prayer began. Furthermore, he shortened each of the two prayers to two rak'ahs. Although people from Makkah may feel that Arafat is at too short a distance to merit shortening prayer, they should do as the Prophet has done, because the Prophet was joined by thousands of pilgrims from Makkah and all offered their prayers as he did. After the sun had set on that day, one of his companions suggested to the Prophet that they should offer Maghrib prayers. The Prophet told him that on that particular occasion, prayer would be offered after they had reached a certain spot. It was only after reaching Muzdalifah that the Prophet offered Maghrib and Isha prayer. Therefore, these two prayers must be offered in Muzdalifah. They must be joined together, which means that Maghrib is offered complete, three rak'ahs and finished with Salam. Immediately afterward, people should rise to offer their Isha prayer which is shortened to two rak'ahs. This is what the Prophet has taught us and this is the manner which we must follow.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )