The Shia acknowledge FIVE daily PRAYERS.
However, they are allowed to pray them in THREE distinct TIMES, not five; the five prayers are: Fajr (Morning), Zuhr (Noon), `Asr (Afternoon), Maghrib (Sunset), and Isha (Night).
We are allowed to pray noon and afternoon prayer one after another (without a lot of delay between the two). Similarly we are allowed to pray sunset prayer and night prayer one after another. Actually it is better to pray in their own specific time (close to what Sunnis do), but it is not necessary.
Thus instead of five separate times, we can pray all the five daily prayers only in three separate times however the Order of prayers must be observed at all times.
It should also be noted that the Sunnis agree to the combining of prayers in the case of Rain, Travel, Fear, or other emergencies. Two forms are allowed: Jam’a Taqdeem (Early Combination) or Jam’a Ta-ikheer (Late Combination).
An example of Early combination is the combining of Zuhr and `Asr to be prayed in the time of Zuhr.
An example of Late Combination is the combining of the Zuhr and `Asr to be prayed in the time of `Asr.
The EXCEPTION among the Sunni schools are the Hanifites (Followers of Abu Hanifa): They contend that you CANNOT combine the prayers at any time, not even if you’re traveling.
This clearly violated the other Sunni schools of thought, but it was and still is tolerated. The Maliki’s, Shafeei’s, and Hanbali’s all agree to the combining of prayers when one is traveling, but are in conflict on other times.
The Shia said that one can combine the prayers ANYTIME without ANY cause of fear, rain, or whatever. Nonetheless, the Shia also contend that if you want to pray them separately, it is acceptable as well.
Lets examine why Shia are allowed to pray 3 times per day, using SUNNI Hadith and not Shia Hadith.
Sahih Muslim (Sunni), English version, Chapter (COMBINATION OF PRAYERS, WHEN ONE IS RESIDENT), Tradition #1515
Ibn Abbas reported that the messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him)
combined the noon prayer with the afternoon prayer and the sunset
prayer with the Isha prayer in Medina without being in a state of
danger or rainfall. And in the hadith transmitted by Waki(the words
are): “I said to Ibn Abbas: What prompted him to do that? He said: So
that his(prophet’s)Ummah should not be put to (unnecessary) hardship.”
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter (COMBINATION OF PRAYERS, WHEN ONE IS RESIDENT), Tradition #1520
Abdullah b. Shaqiq reported: Ibn Abbas one day addressed us in the
afternoon(after the afternoon prayer) till the sun disappeared, and
the stars appeared, and the people began to say: Prayer, prayer. A
person from Banu Tamim came there. He neither slackened nor turned
away, but (continued crying): Prayer, prayer. Ibn Abbas said: May you
be deprived of your mother, do you teach me sunnah? And then he said:
I saw the messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him) combining the noon
and afternoon prayers and the sunset and Isha prayers. Abdullah b.
Shaqiq said: Some doubt was created in my mind about it. So I came to
Abu Huraira and asked him(about it) and he testified his assertion.
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter (COMBINATION OF PRAYERS, WHEN ONE IS RESIDENT), Tradition #1523
Abdullah b. Shaqiq al-Uqaili reported: A person said to Ibn Abbas(as
he delayed the prayer): Prayer. He kept silent. He again said: Prayer.
He again kept silent, and he cried: Prayer. He again kept silent and
said: May you be deprived of your mother, do you teach us about
prayer? We used to combine two prayers during the lifetime of the
messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him).
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter (COMBINATION OF PRAYERS, WHEN ONE IS RESIDENT), Tradition #1524
Ibn Abbas reported: The messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him)
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 Holy
prophet] wanted that no one among his Ummah should be put to