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Salatul-Musafir [Traveller’s prayer Salatul-Qasr]

By the grace of Allah and His mercy He made the duties and the Wajibs easy and feasible. An example of this feasibility in enjoining the worshipping duties, is the reducing the Salats of the traveller from the 4 Rak’ah Salats to 2 Rak’ah Salats. (The Salats of Az-Zuhr, Al-Asr and Al-lsha).1

Conditions of Salatul-Qasr [Reduced Salat]

There are some conditions prescribed by the Islamic Shari’ah for the "reduced" Salat of the traveller. All these conditions should exist, otherwise the Salats would remain in their Tamam [complete] form, not Qasr. These conditions are:

1. Distance: The first conditions for the Salat to be reduced is that the total distance which a traveller is to cover must not be less than eight Farsakhs, four for going and four for the return2, (nearly 45 km).

2. From the beginning, the traveller's intention must be fixed on covering that distance in his journey, and his intention is to remain so, until he has covered it. If he did not have the intention of travelling that distance from the beginning of his journey, he would have to do the Tamam Salat, even if he had covered that very distance later on in his journey.

3. The travelling must be for a legitimate purpose.3 If it was for some illegitimate purpose, such as, if he travelled to do wrong, or to assist a wrongdoer, he must do the Tamam Salat.

4. From the beginning the traveller must not have the intention of staying4 10 days in the place to which he is travelling, nor have any doubt about his stay. If the traveller covers the whole (required) distance by joining together the two distances; that is four Farsakhs for going and four Farsakhs for return. Otherwise, if his intention was, from the beginning, to cover eight Farsakhs, the intention for 10 day stay and hesitation in staying would not affect the travel state, since he has not actually realised the 10 day stay.

5. He must not, at the start, have the intention of passing through his homeland or his place of residence, nor should he have any doubt about it.

Rules of the Traveller's Stay [lqamatul-Musafir]

1. If a person intended to stay 10 days or more, in the place to which he has travelled, he would have to perform Tamam Salats, as he would not be allowed to reduce them to the Qasr form.

2. If a person stayed in a place for 30 days without having the intention of staying, he may perform the reduced Salat (Qasr) up to 30 days, he should perform the Tamam (compete) Salat. And he would not be allowed to perform the Qasr the Salat.

3. A person whose profession is to travel all the time, such as a peddler, a driver, a sailor, or one who carries his house with him, such as the nomads, must perform the Tamam Salat.

4. The traveller is allowed to turn to the Qasr Salat only after reaching the limit of Tarakhkhus i.e. after covering a distance at which the houses and the obvious signs of the town disappear.

Discussion

Q1. Does the Musalli perform the Qasr Salat in the following cases? Why?
a. Someone who travelled 20 km, then stopped his journey.

b. A hunter who covered 40 km in chasing the game.

c. Someone who travelled 30 km in order to transgress someone else.

Q2. Someone who decided to stay for 10 days in the place to which he travelled. Should he perform the Tamam or the Qasr Salat?

Q3. If a shepherd took his herd for a distance of 45 km, how should he perform his Salat? Tamam or Qasr?

Q4. A traveller who stayed in a place for 32 days without intending to stay so long. How should he perform his Salat?

  • 1. The Qasr Salat during travel is Wajib, according to the Shi’ah and the Hanbalis. The Shafi'is say that the Qasr Salat is preferred to the Tamam, while other sects say that it is allowed. The majority say that the Qasr Salat is Wajib.
  • 2. According to the Hanafis it is 24 Farsakhs going, and to the Hanbalis, the Malikis and the Shafi'is it is 16 Farsakhs for going only.
  • 3. The Hanafis do not accept the condition of a legitimate travel and say the Qasr Salat is Wajib in all cases, though the travel itself is Haram.
  • 4. It is 15 days according to the Hanafis and 4 days to the Malikis and the Shafi’is. Or, according to the Hanbalis a period within which he will have to perform more than 20 Salats (Al-Fiqha Alal-Madhahibil-Khamsah ").