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Legal Rulings of Travel : A Reader

This reader gathers many resources on different subjects on the legal rulings related to travel, such as combining prayers, and fasting.legal rulings of travel

For more, also see The Etiquette of Traveling: A Comprehensive SeekersHub Reader

General Guidance

Traveling on Friday: Disliked or Not?

When am I Considered a Traveller? (Shafi’i)

What Is Considered to Be a City Boundary When Traveling? 

Parental Approval to Travel to Seek Knowledge

Spiritual Dimensions of Travel

 

Praying While Travelling

The Basic Rulings of Praying While Traveling (Hanafi) 

What Are the Rules of Travel And Prayer According to the Shafi’i School? 

Joining Prayers While Traveling (Maliki)

How Make up My Missed Prayers from Travel?

Are We Supposed to Pray Sunna and Witr Prayers When Traveling

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

 

Fasting While Travelling

When and Where Do I Break My Fast on a 20 Hour Airline Flight?

Can I Break My Fast While Traveling During Ramadan?

Should I Feel Bad for Not Fasting When I Had to Travel?

When Am I Allowed to Not Fast When Traveling?

 

Women Travelling

Can I Travel by Plane Without a Mahram?

Can I Follow Another Madhhab When Traveling?

Can a Woman Travel Alone for More Than 48 Miles If There Is a Benefit?

 

 

 

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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I Study Abroad – Should I Shorten My Prayers During My Visit Back Home?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

I study in Canada. I am visiting my parents for 2 weeks in Saudi Arabia and then will go back to Canada. Should I shorten my prayers during my visit back home?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

The basis is that you have one place of permanent residency (watn asli). [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to shorten his prayers when he returned to Makkah after the migration (hijra) despite it being his hometown.

It is related that Anas was heard to say, “We went out with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, from Madina to Makkah and he prayed two rak’ats for every prayer [except Maghrib] until we returned to Madina. Yahya ibn Abi Ishaq said, “I asked, ‘Did you stay in Makkah at all?’ He replied, ‘We stayed for ten days.'” [Bukhari]

Accordingly, you would shorten when travelling elsewhere, even if this travel is to your parents’ home and even if you have residency in multiple countries.

Please also see: When Is a Person Considered a Traveler Who Can Shorten Their Prayers? and: The Definition of a Resident Person & Traveler

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Traveling Daily During Ramadan

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Salams brother,
I will travel daily at least 100 Kilometers due to work.
Should I count this as a travel for exemption from Fasting? How about prayers? reduced or full?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
(1) Yes, you will shorten your prayers during your journey. You can begin shortening them from the point you leave your city boundary. [see: Shortening Prayers when Traveling for Leisure?]
(2) You will be excused from fasting if you initiate your journey and have left your city boundary before the entrance of Fajr time. However, if it does not pose a difficulty for you to fast, you should strive to do so. [see: Should I Feel Bad for Not Fasting When I Had to Travel?]
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Travelling to Parents’ Home for Less Than 15 Days

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: If one travels to one’s parents’ home (which is more than 80 km from the city oneself lives in) for less than 15 days, does one pray qasr?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

If one does not consider it one’s own home, but rather just one’s parents’ home, then one shortens the prayer (since it is outside the travel distance, and one is there for less than 15 days).

If one does consider it one’s own home, one does not shorten the prayer, as one would not legally be deemed a traveler.

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Questions Regarding Prayer While Traveling

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?

Shortening Prayers as a Traveler When Praying in Congregation (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Omar Qureshi

Question: In the Shafi’i school, as a traveler, does one shorten the ishaa prayer (or other prayers) if one prays in a congregation behind an imam?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaikum.

In the Shafi’i school, if one is a traveler, one may shorten prayers the afternoon (zuhr), midafternoon (‘asr), and nightfall (‘isha) prayers to two raka’ah. If one is praying in a group and the imam is praying four raka’ah, then one may not shorten the number of raka’ah to two. Instead one must follow the imam and pray four raka’ah. This is the case whether one joined the congregation from the beginning or joined it even for a moment.

There are three scenarios in the case of one joining the congregation while one is not sure as to whether the imam is praying four or two raka’ah (if the imam is also traveling):

1) it is valid to shorten the prayer if one intended to shorten the prayer, and the imam also shortened his prayer

2) one must pray the full number of raka’ah if one intended to shorten the prayer, but the imam was praying the full number of raka’ah

3) if the follower intended that he will shorten if the imam shortens the prayer and pray the full number of raka’ah if the imam prays the full number, then one must follow the imam each of the cases. (I’anah al-Talibin, v. 2, p. 102-103)

Allah the Exalted knows.

Omar Qureshi

A Real Life Case Study of When to Shorten Prayers and Refrain from Fasting When Traveling

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I was wondering if you could help me figure out how I should have prayed and fasted during each of the periods given below.

On June 19th, I left my home city of New York to fly to Atlanta, GA. I then made my way by shuttle to Peachtree City, some 24km away, where I commenced a 12-day stay for a job orientation.

I departed Atlanta on July 1st with a group of my colleagues. We traveled to Mumbai, India, to stay for 5 weeks to get work training. We arrived in Mumbai shortly after midnight on July 2nd. We were to stay until August 6th.

Shortly after midnight on July 16th, we confirmed that we would be taking a one-day trip by bus to do some sightseeing. We had a couple destinations on the itinerary that day, the further being about 77km* from our hotel.

Similarly, the following week, on July 21st, we confirmed we would be taking a trip to Delhi and Agra. We left our hotel in Mahape, Navi Mumbai, and journeyed some 28km* to get to Mumbai’s international airport. From there, we took a 2hr flight to Delhi on the evening of July 22nd and continued by bus for 4hrs to Agra, where we arrived around 2am on the morning of the 23rd. We spent that day and that night in Agra and then returned to Delhi by bus on the evening of July 24th. We took a flight back to Mumbai from Delhi that night and then made our way back to our hotel in Mahape after landing.

On the 29th, I confirmed another one-day bus trip for the following day, July 30th. Getting to this location was a distance of some 60km* from my hotel but in returning, we took a faster but longer route that was about 80km* in distance back to the hotel.

Ramadan started on August 2nd in India.

On the evening of August 5th, we departed our hotel and once again journeyed to the same airport in Mumbai. The plane left the gate around 1:40am and proceeded to the runway. It accelerated to take-off but then suddenly slowed to a stop. We remained for 3hrs in that state before maintenance men came aboard and announced the cancellation/postponement of the flight until the following day at the same time. We were transported from the tarmac to the airport building by bus within 40mins of this announcement, collected our bags from baggage claim by 5:45am and reached the hotel the airline had arranged for us to stay in around 6:30am that same morning. Fajr came in around 4:48am.

We departed from the hotel around 8pm that night and returned to the airport where I caught a different flight at 1:30am on the morning of the 7th.

Back in NY, I found that everyone started fasting on the 1st of August. If Eid falls on August 29th, 29 days of fasting would have elapsed. For me though, I would have only seen 28 days of Ramadan. Is there a problem with that such that I would need to fast an extra day to make it at least 29 days?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.

The Legal Criteria

The basic rule to keep in mind is that any trip to a place 77km away from your place of residence, for a duration of less than 15 days, renders you a legal ‘traveler’ whereby (a) you must shorten the fard prayers of zuhr, asr and isha to 2 rakats; and (b) you have the option to not fast in Ramadan.

If your trip is to a place less than 77km away, or for a duration of 15 days or longer, then legally you are not a ‘traveler’ and hence the above rulings do not apply.

Your Trips

Based on these criteria, the following depicts your status for each of your trips:

(1) Peachtree City (12 days): Traveler

(2) Mumbai (7/2 – 8/6): Resident

(3) One-day trip (7/16): You mention that the furthest place was about 77km away from your hotel. However, that means that it was probably less than 77km away from Mumbai city limits, so hence you remained a resident for that day.

(4) On 7/21, you confirmed a trip to Delhi and Agra. You still had more than 15 days until your departure from Mumbai, so you remained a resident while in Mumbai.

(5) Trip to Delhi and Agra (7/22 – 7/24): Traveler

(6) Upon returning on (7/24) from Delhi/Agra, you had only 13 days left in Mumbai until departure, and hence at that point you were a traveler for the remainder of your stay in Mumbai, as well as on the one-day trip on (7/30).

(7) Hence, when Ramadan started on (8/2), you had the option to fast while in Mumbai.

(8) Regarding the night of (8/5) when your flight was cancelled, you were already a traveler in any case, so you remained a traveler that next day as well. Hence, you had the option to not fast.

(9) You remained a traveler until arriving within NY city limits (your home city).

(10) Regarding your last question, yes in that case you would fast an extra day after Eid to make the total 29 days. But you should celebrate Eid with your local community.

And Allah knows best.

wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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

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

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: My question is with regards to the salah of the traveller. When one is reading behind the imam then how is this prayed? My question is really with regards to going for Umrah or Hajj. If the period is less than 15 days then how can one leave his/her prayer behind the imam and do salam after two salams?

Answer: Walaikum Salam Warahmatullah,

If one is a traveler and praying in a congregation where the imam is praying four rakats, then one follows the imam in the number of rakats.

If one is praying Dhuhr in congregation, then one will pray the full prayer as the normal four rakat behind an imam.

It is not permissible nor valid to make salams and break off from the congregation after the second rakat. Rather, the prayer started behind a resident imam has to be completed as four rakats, regardless of one being a traveler or not.

What is important to remember is that:

(a) You only shorten the prayer as a traveler if you are praying alone or you are the imam yourself.
(b) Thus, if you are a traveler praying behind a resident imam, then you do not shorten your prayer, but pray a normal four rakat prayer.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Zayla`i, Tabyin al-Haqa’iq]

Wassalam,
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Sidi Waseem Hussain attained an M.Sc. in Engineering, concentrating on international technology management. He  studied the Islamic sciences in Amman for a number of years, with particular emphasis on fiqh, hadith and `aqida. He is founder of the Danish Islamic Q&A service www.haya.dk. He currently lives in Denmark with his wife.