Prayer while traveling

Wa`alykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh.

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:

There is general consensus among scholars that if a traveling person is determined to return as soon as his work is done and does not know when that will be, then he may continue to pray Qasr as long as he is on travel.

In his response to the question you posed, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

1) There is general consensus among scholars that if a traveling person is determined to return as soon as his work is done and does not know when that will be, then he may continue to pray Qasr as long as he is on travel.

If, however, a person decides to settle down in a city, the moment he does so, he ceases to be a traveler, and, therefore, he must pray full.

If, on the other hand, one is determined to stay only for a few days the number of which he knows precisely, then he should pray full, according to a great number of scholars, if his stay exceeds more than four days. The Hanafi School, however, puts the number of allowable days at fifteen, while a third group of scholars put it at eighteen.

The first view seems to be the safest view to follow, as it has been based on the Prophet’s practice. According to authentic reports, he stayed in Makkah for four days, and during his stay he prayed qasr; he had already known in advance how many days he would be staying. He is reported to have prayed Qasr for eighteen and twenty days on two different occasions, when, most likely, he had no idea as regards the number of days he would be staying.

Having said this, I should rush to state that if anyone follows the position of theHanafi School, he should not be blamed for his action, for theirs is a Fiqh– ruling based on acceptable practices of the Salaf as-Salih (pious predecessors). Since it is merely a question of differences of interpretation based on valid Ijtihad (creative exercise of reasoning), one should never make a big issue out of such differences of opinion among Imams.

2) The most accurate way to count the number of days for a traveler is to consider oneself a traveler only after one has crossed the boundaries of his city of residence.

Thus, in case of people living in Toronto, if they are in a long distance journey, they will be considered travelers only after they have crossed the boundaries of GTA. The days of stay are calculated by excluding the day/days of going and returning.

3) Yes, according to the vast majority of scholars and Imams, it is perfectly allowed for a traveler to combine Zhuhr and `Asr , and Maghrib and `Isha’. This ruling (known as Jam`) is based on the authentic traditions which clearly state that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had combined Zhuhr and `Asr as well as Maghrib and `Isha’ on a number of occasions while traveling.

According to the Hanafi School, however, combining prayers is allowed only during Hajj while performing the rite of standing in `Arafah. At other times, they allow only what is often termed as Jam suwari (a kind of combining): By this they mean to say that you are allowed, for instance, to delay Zhuhr and pray it at the last time of Zhuhr and then pray `Asr at the first time of `Asr.

The majority view allowing combining of prayers as mentioned earlier has been considered to be the most authentic; it has been adopted later by many scholars belonging to Hanafi School as well.

4) While combining prayers, you are allowed to make either taqdim (advancing) or ta’khir (delaying): In other words, you are allowed to advance the second prayer to the time of the first prayer.

Thus, if you are combining Zاuhr and `Asr , you can first pray Zhuhr, and then advance `Asr by praying immediately, or if you wish you can defer praying Zhuhr until the time of `Asr and then pray `Asr afterwards. The same procedure applies to combining Maghrib and `Isha’ as well. at the time of arrives, in which case, you will first pray.

An important word of caution concerning Jam` is that there is no combining of Fajr with Zhuhr, or `Asr with Maghrib, or ‘Isha with Fajr.

It is also worth mentioning that while praying Qasr during travel is highly recommended—some Imams such as Abu Hanifah even consider it as obligatory—during travel, praying Jam` is only allowed while one is actually traveling or pre-occupied with pressing circumstances. Jam` is rare, while Qasr is common.

A final remark to be made is that if a person is aimlessly wandering, he is not considered a traveler and is, therefore, not allowed to make use of the allowances of Qasr and Jam`.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

aboutislam.net

Mu’ meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

How should one pray namaz when he is travelling ? Since i did not knew how to pray namaz while travelling i just prayed namaz thinking ( i mean in mind) should i pray these namaz again. 2nd question is how to know sunnat namaz which one should pray because i am really confused 1st our family call themselves shahfi and they pray according to it, then there are hanafi and i have a friend who is ahle hadis he has a diffrent sunnat`s to which i pray now i am really confused by it all and my wife who converted in islam also finds everyone telling her diffrent sunnat namaz like someone tell 4 rakat sunnat before isha and someone tells 2. I need to know how many sunnats are there according to HADIS and is it wrong if i pray by shafi or hannafi or ahle hadis ??

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

Answer:

Prayer while traveling and sunnah

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Q-1: How should one pray namaz when he is travelling ? Since i did not knew how to pray namaz while travelling i just prayed namaz thinking ( i mean in mind) should i pray these namaz again.

The commandment of the qasr or shortening of prayer is from the following aayah of the Glorious Quran:

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 101: 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.

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). We will try and break it down into sections for easy reference, Insha Allah.

Which prayers have to be shortened.

Minimum distance to start praying the qasr prayers.

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

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

Ref: 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.

Ref: Minimum distance to start praying the qasr prayers.

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.

Ref: 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 days, then he must offer full prayers. If his intention is to stay less than fifteen days, then the prayers must be shortened.

Ref: Do we have to pray qasr or can we pray full prayers.

It is preferred 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.

From the above narration, the scholars are of the opinion, that Allah has been merciful and allowed His slaves the easiness to shorten his prayers. Thus, a believer should accept this Mercy from Allah, and shorten his prayers whenever he is eligible to do so.

But if the traveler goes to a mosque or joins a prayer which is led in congregation, then it is better that he prays the full prayer behind the resident imam.

Q-2: 2nd question is how to know sunnat namaz which one should pray because i am really confused 1st our family call themselves shahfi and they pray according to it, then there are hanafi and i have a friend who is ahle hadis he has a diffrent sunnat`s to which i pray now i am really confused by it all and my wife who converted in islam also finds everyone telling her diffrent sunnat namaz like someone tell 4 rakat sunnat before isha and someone tells 2. I need to know how many sunnats are there according to HADIS and is it wrong if i pray by shafi or hannafi or ahle hadis ??

Allah Subhanah commanded and made five prayers obligatory (fard) for the believers, which if the believers do not pray, it is a major sin. All the other prayers are voluntary (nafl); if one prays them, they will get a huge reward from Allah Subhanah, and if one does not pray them, there is no sin. The voluntary (nafl) prayers which the Prophet (saws) prayed become his Sunnah for the believers; and those voluntary (nafl) prayers which the Prophet (saws) prayed regularly are known as the Sunnah Muakkedah.

The Messenger of Allah (saws) regularly prayed a total of 12 rakahs voluntary prayers before or after the obligatory prayers as follows:

2 before

FAJR

+0 after

4 before

DHUHR

+2 after

0 before

ASR

+0 after

0 before

MAGHRIB

+2 after

0 before

ISHA

+2 after

Thus these twelve rakahs are known as Sunnah Muakkedah, and the believers who strive to observe these voluntary prayers will, Insha Allah, receive a huge reward in the Presence of their Merciful Lord.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your Brother in Islam,

Burhan

islamhelpline.net

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I had a few questions regarding prayer while traveling.

1. If a person is traveling while maghrib enters and stops when the preferred time for ‘isha enters, would maghrib be prayed as a qada’ prayer? If it won’t be prayed as a qada’ prayer, then would be the prayer of the person who intended it as a qada’ prayer be valid?

2. A person recently came to know that if he stays in a place for four nights and days and for a minimum of 20 prayers, he is to shorten prayers. Previously, this person had been shortening prayers while staying in a town for more than the prescribed duration. Are the prayers valid or do they need to be repeated? Could a dispensation be taken from the Hanafi madhab in retrospect in which the prescribed duration of stay is 15 days?

3. Related to the second question, if a person arrives in a city after sunrise ( around 11 am), on a Monday and is leaving on Friday after the Jum’a prayer, when do they start counting the nights and the days and when do they stop in order to figure out if they have to shorten prayers?

4. If a person is staying in a city for more than four nights and days, and is praying ‘asr behind a traveling shafi’i imam who shortens the prayer, is it permissible to follow the imam in shortening. If not, what is a person to do if they did follow the imam? Does the prayer need to be repeated?

Jazakallah Khair

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

According to the Hanafi school, it is necessary (wajib) to shorten one’s prayers.

Shortening prayers (qasr) means that all four cycle (rak`at) prayers must be performed as two cycles (rak`ats), if praying alone or leading–though, one follows the imam if they’re praying in full.

One shortens if one is: legally considered a traveller; and is intending to stay, in a single place, for less than fifteen days.

As for your scenarios:

If `Isha time enters and one has not yet prayed one’s Maghrib prayer, it would be made up as a makeup (qada’) prayer.

According to the Hanafi school, if one shortened one’s prayers whilst: being considered a legal traveller; and staying in a place for less than fifteen days, one’s prayers would be valid.

One is considered a legal traveller from the point one leaves one’s city boundary. One would begin ‘counting’, in hours, from the point one arrives in the (travelled-to) city.

It is completely valid to pray behind an imam, of another school, who, too, is a traveller. Therefore, in the Hanafi school, one’s prayer would be valid and does not need to be repeated.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

Are We Supposed to Pray Sunna and Witr Prayers When Traveling?

Shortening Prayers when Traveling for Leisure?

Missed Prayers While Traveling: Does One Make Them Up Shortened?

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Taken from “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” by Sheikh Salih Al-Fawzan , Vol 1 , pg 238 – 241

A traveler is one of the excused persons for it is permissible for him to shorten the prayer consisting of four rak’ahs ( units of prayer ) to only two rak’ahs as stated in the Noble Qur’an, the Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition ) , and the consensus of Muslim scholars. Allah , Exalted be He , says:

“And when you travel throughout the land , there is no blame upon you for the shortening prayer ..” (Qur’an : An-Nisa:101 )

Moreover , the Prophet (Peace be upon him) performed only shortened prayers on his journeys . Furthermore , on journeys , shortening the prayer is better than completing it according to the majority of scholars . It is narrated in the Two Sahihs that Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her ) said :

“When the prayer was enjoined ( by Allah ) , it was two rak’ahs (units of prayer ) only ( in every prayer ) both when in residence or on a journey . Then the prayers performed on journey remained the same , but ( the rak’ahs of ) the prayer for non-travelers were increased.”

Umar (may Allah be pleased with him ) said:

“The prayer performed on journeys is of two rak’ahs . This is the complete prayer without shortening.”

A Muslim on a journey is to start shortening the prayer as soon as he leaves his town or city as Allah permits the shortening of prayer for those who travel through the land . Before leaving his town, a Muslim is not legally considered a traveler through the land (and hence he is not permitted to shorten the prayer ) . The Prophet ( Peace be upon him ) used to shorten the prayer as soon as he left his hometown . So, if a person does not travel from the residential land , he is not considered a traveler.

A traveler is permitted to shorten the prayer even if he frequently travels , as in the case of a mail carrier or a taxi driver who spends most of his time on the way between towns.

It is permissible for a traveler to combine the Zuhr prayer and the Asr ( Afternoon ) prayer at the due time of either of them , and, likewise , to combine the Maghrib ( sunset ) prayer and the Isha ( night ) prayer at the due time of either of them . That is because what makes it permissible for the traveler to shorten prayer makes it permissible for him to combine prayers as well .

However , shortening prayer is a temporary permission valid when there is a necessity , as in the case when traveler is in haste on his journey. Mu’adh ( may Allah be pleased with him ) narrated :

” on the Battle of Tabuk , when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had gone forth before the Sun passed the meridian , he would delay the Zuhar prayer and combine it with the Asr prayer , performing them together . But when he proceeded after the sun had passed the meridian , he would perform the Zuhr and the Asr prayers ( at the time of the Zuhr ) and then he would proceed. ( He acted similarly for the Maghrib prayer. ) When the sun had set before he proceeded , he would delay the Maghrib prayer and combine it with the Isha prayer , performing them together . But when he proceeded after sunset , he would perform the Isha prayer and the Maghrib prayer at the time of the Maghrib prayer “.

( Related by Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi )

When a traveler stops on his journey , to take a rest , it is better for him to perform each prayer shortened at its due time , not to combine prayers . If it is difficult for a Muslim patient to perform each prayer at its due time , then he is permitted to combine the Zuhr prayer and the Asr prayer ( at the due time of either of them ), and to combine the Maghrib prayer and the Isha prayer ( at the due time of either of them ).

Shaykhul – Islam Ibn Taymiyah said :

“Allah has ordained shortening of prayer to remove difficulties and make things easy for the Muslim nation . So , a Muslim is permitted to combine prayers when necessary . All hadiths (related to this matter ) imply that it is permissible to combine two prayers at the due time of either of them in order to remove any possible hardship caused to the Prophet’s nation. Thus , it is permissible to combine prayers if it is to cause hardship if not done. This proves that it is permissible with greater reason for a Muslim patient to combine ( two ) prayers at the due time of either of them as long as it is difficult for him to perform each prayer at its due time . ”

Ibn Taymiyah also said :

” Patients can combine the prayer according to the Sunnah for it is narrated in two hadiths that the Prophet ( Peace be upon him ) ordered a mustahadah to combine the prayer . “

By means of analogical deduction with the case a mustahadah , the combining of prayer is permitted for every Muslim who cannot purity for every prayer, such as those inflicted with enuresis , a continuously bleeding wound , or a permanent nosebleed .The Prophet ( Peace be upon him ) said to Hamnah Bint Jahsh when she asked him about istihadah ( vaginal bleeding other than menstruation ) :

“…But if you are strong enough to delay the Zuhr prayer and advance the Asr prayer ,to wash , and then combine the Zuhr and the Asr prayers; (and ) to delay the Maghrib prayer and advance the Isha prayer , to wash , and then combine the two prayers, do so .”

( Related by Ahmad , Abu Dawud , and At-Tirmidhi and deemed sahih ( authentic) by the latter )

It is permissible to combine the Maghrib prayer and the Isha prayer , in particular , if there is rain that wets clothes and causes difficulty ( for those who go to the mosque ). The Prophet ( Peace be upon him ) combined the Maghrib prayer and the Isha prayer in a rainy night , and so did Abu Bakr and Umar afterwards .

Shaykul – Islam Ibn Taymiyah ( may Allah have mercy on him ) said :

” According to the soundest view of scholars , it is permissible for a Muslim to combine prayers because of mud or strong cold wind in a dark night , even if it has stopped raining . This is more incumbent than performing each prayer at its due time at home . Moreover, to abandon combining congregational prayers in mosque to perform prayer at home is a bid’ah ( a matter innovated in religion ) that contradicts the Sunnah ( Prophetic tradition ) .

It is an act of the Sunnah to perform the Five ( obligatory ) prayers in congregation in the mosque , and this is more due , according to the unanimous agreement of Muslims , than performing prayers at home. In addition, congregational prayer combined in the mosque is more due than performing prayers at home individually, according to the unanimous agreement of the scholars who maintain the aforementioned permissibility to combine prayers ( due to bad weather ) , such as Malik , Ash-Shafi’i and Ahmad .

It is better for one permitted to combine prayers to combine them according to what suits his / her situation most.

On the day of ‘ Arafah , it is better ( for the pilgrims ) to combine the Zuhr prayer and the Asr prayer at the time of the former , but in Muzdalifah , it is better ( for the pilgrims ) to combine the Maghrib prayer and the Isha prayer at the time of the latter , according to what the Prophet (Peace be upon him) did ( in his Hajj ) . On the day of Arafah , pilgrims combine the Zuhr and the Asr prayers at the time of the former in order to continue staying at ‘ Arafah mount (without interruption), but in Muzdalifah, they combine the Maghrib and the Isha prayers at the time of the latter to continue moving toward Muzdalifah.

In general , it is an act of the Sunnah for pilgrims to combine prayers on the Day of Arafah and in Muzdalifah but in circumstances other than that , it is permissible when necessary . However , when there is no necessity , it is better for a traveler to perform each prayer at its due time .

During the days of his Hajj , the Prophet (Peace be upon him) combined prayers only on the Day of ‘ Arafah and in Muzdalifah , but he (Peace be upon him) did not combine prayers in Mina because he was to stay there .

So the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to combine prayers only when he was in a hurry on a journey . We invoke Allah to guide us to useful knowledge and good deeds .

End Notes:

REFERENCES:

Ad-Dara qutni ( 2275 , 2276) and Al-Bayhaqi

Al-Bukhari (350) and Muslim (1568)

An-Nasai (1419) and Ibn Majah (1036)

Abu Dawud (1208) and At-Tirmidhi (552)

See: Majmu ‘ul Fatawa (26/64)

Mustahadah: A woman in a state of istihadah (i.e a woman having vaginal bleeding other than menstruation)

See : Majmu ‘ul Fatawa (24/72,74)

Istihadah: Vaginal bleeding other than menstruation

Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi (128)

Al-Bukhari (543) and Muslim (705)

‘Abdur-Razzaq in his Musannaf (4440)

See: Majmu ‘ul Fatawa (24/38,29)

Muslim (2941)

Al-Bukhari (1674) and Muslim (309)

COURTESY: Islamic mailing group.

Allah Knows best!

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