Prayer Of The Traveler

Questions Regarding Prayer While Traveling

Hanafi Fiqh

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: [i] legally considered a traveller; [ii] and is intending to stay, in a single place, for less than fifteen days. [`Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

As for your scenarios:

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

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

[3] 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.

[4] 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?