Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam
Question: Can you please tell me if it is permissible to shorten prayers if one travels to a location which is over 120 km. Note that I just plan to stay there for an afternoon and possibly the evening hours. I am just curious as to whether my situation is like that of a traveler even though I’m simply going for a leisure purpose or must I still pray the full set of prayers (e.g. 4 for Zuhr and 4 for Asr)?
Answer: Wa alaykum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you’re well, insha’Allah.
Yes, it would be permitted for one to shorten one’s prayers in the Hanafi School in this case. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
You should shortens the Zuhr, `Asr and `Isha prayers from 4 cycles (rak’ahs) to 2 cycles (rak’ahs). One begins shortening when one has left one’s city boundaries. [ibid] It is noteworthy to remember that one only shortens the obligatory 4 cycle (rak’ah) prayer to 2 cycles (rak’ahs) and nothing else.
In the Hanafi School, the reason for shortening prayers is due to the travel itself, namely traversing a specified distance. The reason for traveling is of no consequence. Since you will be traversing the required distance and staying in the specified location for less than 15 days, you will be legally considered a traveler. Therefore, you should shorten your prayers.
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani