How Should I Understand the Distance of Travel When It Comes to Prayer?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


I have a question regarding travelers’ prayers as described in Shurunbulali’s Maraqi al-Sa‘adat. I have read various answers regarding this in Seekers, but I am not confident in my understanding. He writes (paraphrased) that certain rulings take effect when a minimum travel of three days on a camel is done. Later, he writes, traveling at a medium pace to a place he will reach in at least three days.

My question is if we interpret the above as ANY form of travel (plane, train, etc.) at ANY pace (the trip to the airport is slower than the plane ride itself) longer than 77 km?

I will be traveling to Bangladesh in a 2-day journey (less than three days)


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Yes, what counts is the distance, regardless of the means of transportation used or the pace of this travel. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

When you start a journey covering 77 km or more, it becomes mandatory (wajib) to shorten your prayers. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

In order to calculate this distance, scholars have chosen the average mode of transportation and pace available to humanity as a whole, regardless of the historic era, which is the pace of a camel when used in a caravan.

They choose the average and not the fastest (like a plane) or the slowest (like a cart) because the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace be upon him) has said: “The best of the matter is the moderate one.” [Bayhaqi]

And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found. Then, he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others. He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.