Muslim has made a chapter in Saheeh Muslim, which he named

بَاب الْجَمْعِ بَيْنَ الصَّلَاتَيْنِ فِي الْحَضَرِ

Online Translators have translated it as

CHAPTER: COMBINATION OF PRAYERS, WHEN ONE IS RESIDENT

I will share one of the Narrations from this chapter, Link has been provided above, and You can refer to it for more Narrations

حدثنا أحمد بن يونس ، وعون بن سلام جميعا ، عن زهير ، قال ابن يونس : حدثنا زهير ، حدثنا أبو الزبير ، عن سعيد بن جبير ، عن ابن عباس ، قال : ” صلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، الظهر والعصر جميعا بالمدينة في غير خوف ، ولا سفر ” ، قال أبو الزبير : فسألت سعيدا : لم فعل ذلك ؟ فقال : سألت ابن عباس ، كما سألتني ، فقال : أراد أن لا يحرج أحدا من أمته

Online Translation is

Ibn ‘Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) observed the noon and afternoon prayers together in Medina without being in a state of fear or in a state of journey. (Abu Zubair said: I asked Sa’id [one of the narrators] why he did that. He said: I asked Ibn ‘Abbas as you have asked me, and he replied that he [the Prophet] wanted that no one among his Ummah should be put to [unnecessary] hardship.)

Similar narration has been given by Ibn Hibban in His Saheeh, 4/471. Sheikh Shoaib, researcher of the book, authenticated Chain of that Narration in the footnotes

Also, similar narration is present Saheeh Ibn Khuzaima, urdu version, 2/178.

This narration is very much self explanatory.

There was no excuse, rather Holy Prophet (asws) did it intentionally to make it easy for His Ummah.

But I have seen people making excuses for this. Let us refer to the explanation given by Abdur Rehman Mo’alami, One of Great Scholars in view of Salafis.

He writes in his book, ( فوائد المجامیع ) Fawaid-ul-Majami’i, p. 257

في “الصحيح” (1) عن ابن عباس وأبي هريرة: “أن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – جمع بأصحابه في المدينة بين الظهر والعصر، وبين المغرب والعشاء لغير عذر ولا سفر”. وفي رواية: “ولا مطر

In Saheeh, it is narrated from Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira: Holy Prophet combined Zuhr and A’sr prayers, and Maghrib and I’sha without any excuse or Journey, and in another Narration: without rain

He further writes

فأخذ بهذا بعض التابعين وغيرهم. وتأوَّله الجمهور؛ فمنهم من تأوَّله بأنه كان لعذر. ورُدَّ بأن الصحابي قد قال: “بغير عُذرٍ”، وفعله ابن عبَّاس لغير عذر

This was done by some of Tabaeen etc. And Jamhoor/Majority made an explanation, and amongst these is that He did it due to excuse. But this is rejected by Sahabi who said: without excuse. And Ibn Abbas also did it without excuse.

Finally, He gives His opinion in the following words

فأقوى ما بيد الجمهور أن عمل النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – الغالبَ التوقيتُ، وعمل الأئمة مستمرٌّ عليه. ولكن غايته أن يكون الجمع مكروهًا فقط. وفَعَله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لبيان الجواز، وتَرَكه الأئمةُ لكونه مكروهًا، فلا يلزم من هذا عدم الجواز

And the strongest what is present in hands of Jamhoor is, that Holy Prophet offered prayers in their times mostly, and Aimmah also acted on it, and the reason is that it is disliked to combine. And Holy Prophet had combined it to show that it is allowed. And Aimmah left it due to the fact that it is disliked. But this does not mean it is not allowed.

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