The Hadith stating the permissibility of combining Salahs without a due cause

Q 14: It is related by Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) combined Zhuhr (Noon) and `Asr (Afternoon) Prayers, and Maghrib (Sunset) and `Isha' (Night) Prayers, in Al-Madinah under no circumstances of fear or rain. When asked about it, ibn `Abbas said: "He (the Prophet) wanted to remove hardship and troubles off his Ummah." How do you judge the authenticity of this Hadith? In case the Hadith is authentic, is it permissible for us to permanently combine Salahs (Prayers) following the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him)? How can this Hadith be reconciled with the Ayah (Qur'anic verse) that reads: Verily, As-Salât (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours. ?

A: This Hadith is not evidence for the permissibility of combining Salahs as this does not go in line with (Part No. 7; Page No. 22) the practical Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) regarding Salah. It also runs counter to other Hadiths defining fixed times for each Salah. Moreover, scholars are unanimous that this Hadith may not be acted upon. Imam Al-Tirmidhy argued: "It is likely that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did so under adverse circumstances other than fear, rain, or travel." May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.