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The Etiquette of Travelling: A Comprehensive SeekersHub Reader

The etiquette of travelling forms the 17th chapter of Imam Al-Ghazali’s seminal work, the Ihya, which is widely regarded as the greatest work on Islamic spirituality in the world.

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When Is a Person Considered a Traveler Who Can Shorten Their Prayers?

Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: As-salamu Alaykum. I pray you’re in the best of health!

I’m a student at Uni and my question is regarding shortening prayers. First of all what is the distance that causes one to shorten his prayers? (I’m not certain of the ‘exact’ figure according to the Hanafi Madhab)

Also do I fall into the category of a traveller if I stay at university for less than a week (considering I’m renting a flat at Uni) and go home weekly (provided the distance causes me to be a traveller)?

Or will I be a traveller the few days I go home and not a traveller at the University accommodation?

I just need to clarify this because I was told (by someone who talked to a scholar) that I’m a traveller every time I’m at uni as I stay for less than 15 days and fulfill the distance, so I’ve been praying Qasr. However someone else said that I’m a traveller when I travel home because I’m spending the majority of my time at University(though less than a week at a time, the sum total is greater than the time I spend at home). I pray you can clarify these points

JazaakAllahu Khair! Ma’asalam

Answer: Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh Sidi,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits insha’Allah.

[1] According to the Hanafi school, the traveling distance is: 48 miles.

[2] If one stays at university for less than 15 days and one is beyond the traveling distance, one would legally be considered a traveler and would shorten one’s prayers.

[3] When one goes “home”, one is returning to one’s long-term/permanent residence; therefore it remains one’s “home” (watan al-asli) and one does not shorten.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah/Ibn Abidin, Radd ul-Muhtar]

And Allah knows best.

Related Answers:

The Definition of a Resident Person & Traveler

Shortening Prayers when Traveling for Leisure?

Missed Prayers While Traveling: Does One Make Them Up Shortened?

A Traveler Praying Behind a Resident Imam: Do I Shorten My Prayers?

wassalaam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Faraz Rabbani