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    Allah’sServant's Avatar
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    Prayer while travelling

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    Salam,
    I have been on vacation for the past 2 weeks, and I have been shortening all my four rakah prayers to two rakat. However, I just read on IslamQA that it is only permissible to do this if someone travels for less than 4 days. Otherwise, he has to offer them in full. I am travelling for 20 days, but keep in mind every couple of days I go to another country by car. My parents are insisting that I can shorten them (and some websites say that as well) because RasulAllah (saws) and the companions did. Now I’m confused.
    Also, what is the ruling on combining prayers? Some scholars say it’s only permissible in pilgrim. So can I combine my prayers or not?
    Jazakoumallah Khayr

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    Allah’sServant's Avatar
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    Re: Prayer while travelling

    Oh, one more thing. If I had to offer my prayers in full, should I repeat them?

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    MazharShafiq's Avatar
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    Re: Prayer while travelling

    According to the Hanafi school of thought, do I qualify for the conditions of travel (safar) whilst at university and on placement and how do I correctly fulfill these?

    Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

    According to the Hanafi school, the conditions of being deemed a traveler are to:

    (a) go to a place at least (roughly) 48mi (77km) from one’s home, and

    (b) stay there for less than 15 days.

    Hence, you do meet the conditions of travel when you are at university. You also meet those conditions when you are on placement as long as you stay there for less than 15 days at a time. If you stay there for 15 days or longer, you are legally a resident there.

    When one is a traveler, it is mandatory (wajib) to shorten the obligatory four-rakat prayers (zuhr, asr and isha) to two rakats. One still prays the sunna prayers though, unless in the midst of a journey and in the rush of travel.

    If one is a traveler during the month of Ramadan, then fasting is optional, although it is superior to do so if it does not pose undue hardship. Of course if one does not fast, it is obligatory to make up the missed days.

    This is merely a quick summary; for more details on the rulings related to travel, it would be strongly advised to take a basic course such as:
    Prayer while travelling


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    Re: Prayer while travelling

    Quote Originally Posted by MazharShafiq View Post
    When one is a traveler, it is mandatory (wajib) to shorten the obligatory four-rakat prayers (zuhr, asr and isha) to two rakats.
    Excuse me brother, but I had a question regarding your post.
    You said it is mandatory to shorten to 2 rakats while traveling? I understand while traveling it can be hard to do, but does that means that if I were to travel and still be able to do 4 rakats, I should not do them and still only do 2?
    | Likes a.danhamidu liked this post

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    a.danhamidu's Avatar
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    Re: Prayer while travelling

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandy View Post
    Excuse me brother, but I had a question regarding your post.
    You said it is mandatory to shorten to 2 rakats while traveling? I understand while traveling it can be hard to do, but does that means that if I were to travel and still be able to do 4 rakats, I should not do them and still only do 2?
    Very good question...the answer can be found in the appropriate Hadith; the next mission would be finding out which Hadith that is. I look forward to the answers...as well as how to search for such issues in the Hadith collections.

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    HabibUrrehman's Avatar
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    Re: Prayer while travelling

    Quote Originally Posted by Allah’sServant View Post
    Salam,
    I have been on vacation for the past 2 weeks, and I have been shortening all my four rakah prayers to two rakat. However, I just read on IslamQA that it is only permissible to do this if someone travels for less than 4 days. Otherwise, he has to offer them in full. I am travelling for 20 days, but keep in mind every couple of days I go to another country by car. My parents are insisting that I can shorten them (and some websites say that as well) because RasulAllah (saws) and the companions did. Now I’m confused.
    Also, what is the ruling on combining prayers? Some scholars say it’s only permissible in pilgrim. So can I combine my prayers or not?
    Jazakoumallah Khayr
    The commandment of the qasr or shortening of prayer is from the following aayah of the Glorious Quran:
    When you go on a journey, there is no harm, if you shorten your salaat, (especially) when you fear that the disbelievers might harass you, for the disbelievers are openly bent upon enmity against you. (4:101)
    We must also try and comprehend how did the Messenger of Allah (saws) understand the above aayah and how did he follow the commandment of Allah in the Quran.

    This is obviously a long subject and various scholars have given various opinions about the qasr prayers, each giving evidence from the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (saws). I will try and break it down into sections for easy reference, Insha Allah.

    Minimum distance to start praying the Qasr

    The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible to shorten ones salaah when one leaves ones residence and is outside ones city. Some of the scholars are also of the opinion that the minimum distance must be 89 kilometers, and the evidence they give is that some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to pray shortened prayers if the distance they were travelling was the distance of a camel travel for 3-days and 3-nights, and that has been calculated to about 89 kilometers.

    How much time one needs to stay in one place to pray qasr

    The scholars are of the opinion that if a person intends to stay at one place for more than fifteen (15) days, then he must offer full prayers. If his intention is to stay less than fifteen days, then the prayers must be shortened. For example if you are planning to stay at one place for 3 weeks then you can't shorten your prayers except in active travelling. Active travelling is the travel from one place to another by any means such as by driving a car, by airplane or by horse etc. Once you reach your destination where you intend to stay for 3 weeks, you can't shorten your prayer. If you intend to stay there for 2 weeks then you have to shorten your prayers.

    Do we have to pray qasr or can we pray full prayers

    It is mandatory that one offers qasr prayers when travelling for a distance of more than 89 kilometers or another city, or for a time period of less than fifteen days.
    One of the closest companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws) asked the Prophet (saws): Why should we offer qasr prayers, when we are strong and not afraid of the disbelievers attacking us, and we are easily able to offer full prayers?. The Messenger of Allah (saws) replied: Allah Subhanah has given his slaves this gift, thus he should accept the gift from Allah. (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi)

    Which prayers have to be shortened

    The Fajr (2 rakahs) and Magrib (3 rakahs) will NOT be shortened. They are always prayed in full.
    The Zuhr, Asr and Isha prayers, when prayed qasr or shortened, will be reduced to two rakahs from four rakahs each.

    Now some scholars say that we should only shorten Fard and pray sunnah as we normally do.

    I am of the opinion that we should only pray shortened Fard rakahs and should not pray Sunnahs. This is based on the understanding that Fard are more important than Sunnah and if we are shortening Fard then we should not read Sunnahs (which are less important than fard).

    Prophet Muhammad PBUH never left 2 Sunnahs before Fajr and Witr prayer even while he was travelling. So at minimum, we should pray shortened fard rakahs for each prayer as mentioned above, 2 sunnahs before Fajr and Witr prayer.

    Combining Prayers while Travelling

    Imam Ahmad, Ash- Shaf'i and Malik are of the opinion that while traveling we can combine prayers. Imam Abu Hanifa is of the opinion that we can't combine prayers while travelling. Lets look at some hadith on this regard.
    Mu'azh reports that while the Prophet was at Tabuk and the sun had passed the meridian, the Prophet PBUH combined the zuhr and 'asr prayers before he started his journey. If he started his journey before the sun passed its meridian, he would delay the zuhr prayer until the time when he stopped for the 'asr prayer. He would do likewise for the maghrib prayer. If the sun set before he began his journey, he would combine the maghrib and 'isha prayers [at that time]. If he began a journey before the sun had set, he would then combine them at the time of 'isha. This is related by Abu Dawud and at-Tirmizhi who call it hasan.

    Kuraib reported that Ibn 'Abbas said: "Shall I not inform you of the salah of the Prophet PBUH during a journey?" We said: "Certainly." He said: "If the sun passed its meridian while he stopped, he would combine the zuhr and 'asr prayers before remounting [i.e., moving on]. If the sun had not passed its meridian while he had stopped [i.e., before breaking camp], he would travel until the time of the 'asr prayer and then he would combine the zuhr and 'asr prayers. If the sun set while he had stopped, he would combine the magrib and 'isha prayers. If that did not occur while he had stopped, he would ride until the 'isha time and then combine them." This is related by Ahmad.

    Ash-Shaf'i has something similar in his Musnad, namely that when he [the Prophet] set out to travel before the sun passed its meridian, he delayed the zuhr prayer and combine it with the 'asr during the time of the 'asr salah. Al-Baihaqi recorded it with a good chain and he says: "To combine the two prayers due to traveling is something that is well-known and was practiced by the companions of the Prophet PBUH and those who followed them."

    Imam Malik records in al-Muwatta' from Mu'azh that the Prophet PBUH delayed his salah one day during the battle of Tabuk and then went and prayed the zuhr and 'asr prayers together. Then he returned and went back again and said the maghrib and 'isha prayers together.

    Ibn Qudamah mentions the preceding hadith and writes in al-Mughni: "Ibn 'Abdul-Barr said: 'That hadith is sahih and its chain is confirmed.

    The people who are familiar with the life history of the Prophet say that the battle of Tabuk took place in the ninth year of the hijrah. This hadith is a clear proof and the strongest evidence against those who claim that one can only combine the prayers while one is actually moving from one site to another as the Prophet was settled and was not traveling since the Prophet was staying in his tent and would come out and combine two prayers and then return to his tent. Muslim recorded this hadith in his Sahih and stated: 'He would pray the zuhr and 'asr together and the maghrib and 'isha together. One must follow this hadith as it is confirmed [to be authentic] and it is a clear statement on this rule and there is nothing which contradicts it. The permission to combine the salah is a concession for anyone who is traveling but it is by no means confined to just those times when the person is actually on the road [i.e., traveling from one place to another]. The same is the case for shortening the salah and for wiping over the socks, but it is best to delay it.'": Having the intention to combine is not a condition for combining or shortening the salah. Ibn Taimiyyah holds: "That is the position of the majority of the scholars. When the Prophet combined the salah with his companions or shortened the salah with them, he never ordered any of them to make the intention for combining or shortening the salah. In fact, when he left Medinah for Makkah, he prayed two rak'at without combining the salah, and then he prayed the zuhr prayer at 'Arafa without telling the people that he intended to pray the 'asr right afterward, next he prayed the 'asr with them and they did not have the intention to combine their prayers, and in that combination he prayed the latter salah early. When he went from Medinah, he led the people in the 'asr salah at Zhul-Halifah and he did not order them to make the intention to shorten the salah.": Concerning offering the two combined prayers right after each other, Ibn Taimiyyah writes: "The correct opinion is that it is not a necessary condition to do so under any circumstances, neither during the time of the first salah nor during the time of the latter salah. There is no such limit in the shari'ah and doing so would defeat the purpose of the concession [i.e., permission to combine the two salah]." Ash-Shaf'i says: "It is quite permissible for a person to pray the maghrib in his house with the intention of combining the prayers and then go to the mosque to pray the 'isha." A similar statement has been related from Ahmad.

    I normally do combine prayers while on active travel but once I reach my destination, I try to pray each prayer at its own time. Again this is my opinion after years of research and I feel comfortable doing this. You can consult your local Imam regarding this issue and make sure you have an evidence from hadith to follow our beloved Prophet PBUH.

    Miscellaneous Regulations

    If a traveler is praying behind a local Imam, then he/she will have to offer will prayer.

    The residence of the place can offer their prayer behind an Imam who is travelling. Such an Imam, however, has to announce that he is a traveler at the beginning of Salah so that at the completion of two Rakahs the resident followers may complete their prayer independently.

    If a traveler offers four rakahs of Fard by mistake, and has observed the first Qadah duly after two rakahs, he should perform sajdah sahv. In this case, two of the four rakahs will be regarded as Fard and the remaining two as Nafl and the prayer will be in order. However, if he has not observed the first Qadah, the four rakahs will be counted as Nafl, and he will have to offer the prayer afresh.

    The prayers missed during a journey will have to be shortened when offered later at home, and the prayers missed while at home will have to be offered in full when offered during a journey.

    Allah knows the best and I hope this is helpful.
    Last edited by HabibUrrehman; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:39 PM.
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