Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Prayers are to be performed at their fixed times. Therefore, it is not allowed to pray the Maghrib Prayer before its due time
In his response to your question, Dr. Marawan Shahin, Professor of Hadith and its Sciences, Faculty of Usul Ad-Din (Theology), Al-Azhar University, states:
It should be clear that Prayer should be performed at its due time. Allah says, “(Salah (worship) at fixed times has been enjoined on the believers.”(An-Nisaa’ 4:103)
It is not allowed to offer any Prayer before its actual time. So, you are not allowed to pray Maghrib Prayer 20 minutes before its due time.
However, if it is difficult for you to pray in the way back home or reach your home before the `Isha’ prayer, you then are allowed to combine Maghrib and `Isha’ Prayers in the time of `Isha’.
There is nothing wrong to do so if you have an excuse. But you are not allowed to pray before the actual time starts.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.