How Does a Traveler Pray according to the Shafi’i School?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

  1. According to Shafi`is, when does the shortening of salah start when a person is traveling?
  2. Does counting of the days include the arrival date and departure date?
  3. Does the day start before maghrib or do we use the Gregorian calendar when counting the days?
  4. If my intention is to stay away from my residence for more than 5 days, am I still regarded as a traveler from day one

Answer

1) The shortening of obligatory prayers for a traveler occurs at his city limits. If there are no signs, one goes according to what is commonly acknowledged as the edge of town. [Keller, Reliance of the Traveler, f15.6]

2) A traveler may only shorten his prayers if he intends to stay less than four full days, excluding the day of arrival and the day of departure. This is explained in detail here: When Is a Traveler Allowed to Shorten His Prayers? [Shafi’i]

3) You count the days according to the lunar calendar. Therefore, if you arrive at your destination at night, you must start counting your day at dawn (fajr). If you arrive during the day, you start counting your day from sunset (maghrib).

4) If you intend to be away from your home for more than five days, meaning that you will be at your destination for more than four full days, excluding the day of arrival and the day of departure, then you may not shorten your prayers after reaching the destination. And Allah knows best.

Related:
What Are the Rules of Travel According to the Shafi’i School?

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.