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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

The Traveler’s Prayer, Mixing Madhabs, and Maliki Reference Works

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamu ‘aleikum. I have a few Maliki fiqh questions.

1. I currently live in one city and study in another city that is 163 km away from my city of residence. I travel there by train and it takes approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. Can I consider myself a traveler while being in the city where I study and may I join prayers if there is a practical need to do so?

2. Is it obligatory or recommended for the traveler to shorten the prayers?

3.  Is it generally permissible to follow the opinion of another madhab when there are real difficulties involved in not doing so? 

4. Every madhab has some book which is considered a reference work, a book to turn to for reference when it comes to detailed or complicated issues. For the Shafi’is I think Imam al-Nawawis al-Majmu’ would be considered one such work, and for the Hanbalis al-Mughni of Ibn Qudama. Would Al-Kharshis explanation of Mukhtasar Khalil be considered such a work in the Maliki madhab, which has been printed with a hashiya of shaykh al-‘Adawi, or is al-Sharh al-kabir with the hashiya of al-Dasuqi a stronger reference?

Answer:

1. The distance that you mentioned is sufficient to be considered a traveller and shorten your prayers. For the Maliki ruling on joining prayers, it would only be while you are en route during your journey. In the situation where you described about studying, you could pray maghrib and isha when you return to your home. While you are on campus, since you are a traveller, you can also join dhuhr and asr. It would be preferred for you to dealy Dhuhr to pray with Asr.

2. The shortening of prayers is a strong sunna according to the Maliki school.

3. Following the opinion of another school of the four schools of thought is valid and permissible, as long as one does the whole act of worship (or interaction) according to that opinion. If for example, one will follow a Shafi’i opinion on wudu, they should also make their prayer valid according to the Shafi’i school. To join between multiple opinions is called talfeeq and is not permissible.

When choosing to follow the opinion of another school there must be a need. This is called a dispensation (rukhsa) and is permissible. What is not permissible is constant following of dispensations (it-tiba’ al rukhas). This has been mentioned by the scholars such as Imam Nawawi in the Maqasid.

4. The two commentaries on the Mukhtasar that you mentioned are relied upon works and may be referenced when needed. In general, the Mukhtasar and its commentaries are difficult to navigate unless one has studied them with a teacher.

I would also suggest that you begin reading and referring to a more basic work, such as Ibn Ashir or Risala. Both have translations in English available on the internet.

Do I Make Up My Prayer as a Resident or a Traveler?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I am a traveler on my way back to my home city and the time for Zuhr starts. I don’t have wudu and by the time I enter my city boundaries there are approx. 30 mins left before Asr starts. However, due to heavy traffic I don’t get to my actual house until after the start of Asr so Zuhr has been missed.

When making qadha of Zuhr do I pray 2 rakats (as one would like a traveler) or pray 4 rakats as normal?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this finds you in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

You would make up four units (rak`ats) as you are considered to be a resident from the moment you enter your city boundary.

Note that missing the prayer is a serious sin and you should take the means to repent. See: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam, Tabraze Azam

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

The Definition of a Resident Person & Traveler

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I’ll be leaving to live in a rural town (>51 miles from home) for 3 weeks for university placements. However, after 3 or so days, I’ll be coming back home for Eid, and then going back to this town for another 2 weeks. Because I’Il initially be there for less than 15 days, and I’ll be initiating travel back home, am i considered a traveler for this first period of time? And is it the the same for the 2 weeks I’ll be there later on, because again its less than 15 days? Also, I always considered a resident at home, correct?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

A resident person is someone who is either in their home town or staying somewhere for 15 days without initiating a legal journey (>51 miles).

Thus, you would be a traveller in the first part of your stay in the rural town, as you’re staying there less than 15 days; and also for the second stay there, if also staying less than 15 days.

You are correct that you’re always considered a resident at home.

[ref: Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala’ al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

wassalam, 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.

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

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: Does one pray missed prayers during a state of traveler in full if making them up while resident?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

No, prayers missed while one was a traveler are made up as they were missed, namely shortened. Therefore, a Dhuhr prayer, for example, missed while a traveler is made up as two cycles even when one is making the prayer up as a resident.

This is based on the fact that:

a. Performing prayers shortened is necessary (wajib) when one is a traveler, and
b. Missed prayers are made up as they were obligated on an individual.

Since the obligation relating to the Dhuhr, `Asr, and `Isha prayers is to pray them shortened in a state of travel, one will make these prayers up as they were obligatoed on one. This is regardless of whether one is a traveler or a resident when making up such a prayer.

[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Fatawa Hindiyya]

Wassalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Shortening Prayers when Traveling for Leisure?

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.

wassalaam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani