Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling if a person wants to perform rawatib prayer after performing jamak zohor and asar prayers (taqdim)? Is this permissible since it is impermissible to perform any sunnah prayer after asar prayer? Hope for an explanation.
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.
Qasar and jamak prayers are a rukhsah (facilitation) given by Allah SWT. It is facilitation granted to the Muslim ummah so that they can pray whenever they are. This is stated by Allah SWT states:
وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا۟ مِنَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ
“And when you travel throughout the land, there is no blame upon you for shortening the prayer,” 
The above verse explained that the rukhsah is a facilitation given by Allah SWT for his travelling slaves. The facilitation (rukhsah) is a gift from Allah SWT for His slaves and we should accept it. Saidina Umar RA once asked a question related to this matter to the Messenger PBUH, the Rasullullah PBUH said:
صَدَقَةٌ تَصَدَّقَ اللَّهُ بِهَا عَلَيْكُمْ ، فَاقْبَلُوا صَدَقَةَ اللَّهِ.
“It is an act of charity which God has done to you, so accept His charity.” 
Jamak lexically is an antonym of the word separate. What is meant by jamak according to jurists is performing zohor and asar prayer together and maghrib and isyak prayer together through taqdim or ta’khir.
There are several reasons which enable a person to jamak (bringing together) between two prayers as stated by jurists in their books. Among them is jamak performed during travel. Since safar (travel) is described by Rasullullah PBUH as a part of the burden, hence it is categorized as a debility that permits a person to perform jamak. This is strengthened with a hadith narrated by Muaz bin Jabal RA, where he said:
خَرَجْنَا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي غَزْوَةِ تَبُوكَ فَكَانَ يُصَلِّي الظُّهْرَ وَالْعَصْرَ جَمِيعًا وَالْمَغْرِبَ وَالْعِشَاءَ جَمِيعًا
“We went out with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on the Tabuk expedition, and he would offer Zuhr and ‘Asr prayers together and Magbrib and ‘Isha’ prayers together.” 
While rawatib prayers are sunnah prayers performed before and after the five obligatory prayers. The wisdom of its sanctioning is to perfect all the deficiencies when performing the obligatory prayer, such as getting distracted or not reflecting on the verses recited. 
According to the above-stated definition, rawatib prayers are prayers that are bound with obligatory prayers, whether they are performed before the obligatory prayer named as qabliyyah or after the obligatory prayer named as ba’diyah.
The sunnah rawatib prayers are divided into mu’akkad (emphasized) and ghairu mu’akkad (not emphasized). We’ve discussed this issue in-depth in Ahkam Syar’iyyah #78 Muakkad and Non-Muakkad Rawatib Prayers.
There are great rewards for rawatib prayers. Ibn Rajab said: Indeed, rawatib prayers before and after obligatory prayers is prioritized over qiyamullail according to the jumhur of scholars because of its binding relation with the obligatory prayers. 
The Issue of Rawatib Prayer After Jamak Prayer
In answering the above question, we state the following:
Once, a man came to meet Rasullullah PBUH to ask about Islam, the Prophet PBUH said:
خَمْسُ صَلَوَاتٍ فِى الْيَوْمِ وَاللَّيْلَةِ. فَقَالَ هَلْ عَلَىَّ غَيْرُهُنَّ قَالَ لاَ. إِلاَّ أَنْ تَطَّوَّعَ
“Five times of prayer each day and night.” He asked, “Must I observe any more than them?” He replied, “No, unless you do it voluntarily.” 
Likewise, performing the sunnah rawatib prayers is a sunnah of the Prophet PBUH where the Prophet PBUH never neglected it. This is based on the statement from Ibnu Umar R.Anhuma, he said:
صَلَّيْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ رَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ الظُّهْرِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الظُّهْرِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الْجُمُعَةِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الْمَغْرِبِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الْعِشَاءِ.
“I prayed along with God’s Messenger two rak’as before and two rak’as after the noon prayer, two after the sunset prayer in his house, and two after the evening prayer in his house.” 
Regarding the question presented, we see that there is no issue and restriction to perform sunnah rawatib prayers right after the zohor and asar jamak prayers. This is the opinion presented by Imam al-Nawawi, he said: “When performing jamak maghrib and isyak, he should complete the two obligatory prayers (first), then (after completing them) perform the sunnah maghrib prayer, then sunnah isyak prayer after witir prayer.
I (Imam al-Nawawi) stated this is the opinion of Imam al-Rafi’i. As for jamak zohor and asar, then this matter is syaz (unusual) and weak. The truest according to muhaqqiq scholars is to perform the sunnah before zohor first, then perform jamak zohor and asar followed by ba’diah sunnah zohor before sunnah asar prayer.” 
Imam al-Nawawi also stated in his book, Raudhah al-Talibin, the sunnah ba’diah zohor and qabliah asar can only be performed after completing both the prayers.
This opinion is supported by scholars in madhhab Syafi’i, Syeikh Zakariya al-Ansari. He said: “If a person performs jamak zahor and asar, regardless of whether taqdim or ta’khir, he should first perform the qabliah zohor, then jamak the two obligatory prayers (zohor and asar), followed by ba’diah zohor then sunnah asar prayer.” 
The summary of what is stated by Imam al-Nawawi and Syeikh Zakariya al-Ansari is as the following:
- If one is performing the jamak zohor and asar prayer, whether it is taqdim or ta’khir, first perform the sunnah qabliah, then jamak the prayers followed by the ba’diah zohor then the sunnah asar prayer.
- If performing jamak maghrib and isyak. First, perform the maghrib and isyak prayer before the sunnah maghrib. Then, the sunnah isyak prayer is followed by the sunnah witir prayer.
To conclude, we state that there is no restriction and it is permissible to perform the sunnah rawatib prayer right after praying jamak zohor and asar. May Allah grant us guidance and strength to always perform the sunnah prayers as addition and sustenance for our hereafter.