Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
Question: Assalam alaykum,
1. Is it permissible to combine prayers during vacation/leisure travel?
2. Travel is limited to 4 days. But what if you are on the move for more than 4 days, e.g., on a hike, and it will take you 6 days to reach the destination. When does the 4 days end? Can we still combine prayers after the four days have expired?
Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam
Shukran for your questions.
Yes it is permissible. The only journey where the joining and shortening of prayers are not permitted, is a journey of disobedience. This means that the core objective of the journey is one of disobedience. By way of example, one sets off on a journey to a casino with the intention of gambling. However, if the journey is a permissible one, like traveling for a holiday, and one happens to sin on that journey, the joining and shortening of prayers are still permitted, as the objective behind the journey is not one of disobedience.
You are are no longer considered a traveler if you intend staying more than than five days (day of arrival, three days and day of departure) in one city. When hiking, there are two possibilities, either you are hiking around one city which is unlikely if you are on a six day hike, or you traveling from one city to another. If the six day hike is in one city, you may not combine and shorten prayers, if it’s not in one city, then you may do so.
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And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.