Table of Contents

Traveller’s Salah

Please read this booklet completely. You will realize its benefits,

Excellence of Ṣalāt-‘Alan-Nabī

The Beloved and Blessed Prophet has stated, ‘When the day of Thursday comes, Allah sends angels who have papers made of silver and pens made of gold. They write [the name of] one who recites Ṣalāt on me in abundance on the day of Thursday and the night of Friday.’ (Tārīkh Damishq li Ibn ‘Asākir, vol. 47, pp. 142)

Ṣadr-ul-Afāḍil, ‘Allāmaĥ Maulānā Sayyid Muhammad Na’īmuddīn Murādābādī has stated: Fear of [harm from] non-Muslims is not a condition to do Qaṣr (i.e. shortening Ṣalāĥ). Sayyidunā Ya’lā Bin Umayyaĥ  asked Sayyidunā ‘Umar Fārūq-e-A’ẓam   ‘We are living in peace, then why do we do Qaṣr [i.e. shorten our Ṣalāĥ]?’ He   replied, ‘I also wondered about it, and humbly asked the Beloved and Blessed Prophetthe same question. The Revered and Renowned Prophetreplied, ‘This is a Ṣadaqaĥ for you from Allah so accept His Ṣadaqaĥ.’ (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, pp. 347, Ḥadīš 686; Khazāin-ul-‘Irfān) 

Umm-ul-Mu`minīn Sayyidatunā ‘Āishaĥ Ṣiddīqaĥ  has narrated, ‘[At first] two Rak’āt of Ṣalāĥ were declared Farḍ. After the Beloved and Blessed Prophet migrated, four [Rak’āt] were declared Farḍ but the Ṣalāĥ during a journey was left in the initial state [with two Rak’āt of Farḍ].’ (Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī, vol. 2, pp. 604, Ḥadīš 3935) 

Sayyidunā ‘Abdullāĥ Bin ‘Umar ‘  has narrated that the Noble Prophet declared two Rak’āt obligatory for the Ṣalāĥ offered during a journey saying that it is complete [Ṣalāĥ], not incomplete. That is, even though apparently two Rak’āt were reduced but two Rak’āt are equal to four Rak’āt in terms of reward. (Sunan Ibn Mājaĥ, vol. 2, pp. 59, Ḥadīš 1194)

Distance of Shar’ī journey

By Sharī’aĥ, a traveller is the person who has left his place of residence, i.e. city or village, with the intention of travelling 57½ miles (i.e. approximately 92 kilometres). (Derived from: Fatāwā Razawiyyaĥ, vol. 8, pp. 243; Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 740, 741) 

When does one become a traveller?

The mere intention of travelling does not render a person traveller. In fact, the rulings of a Shar’ī traveller will apply after he has travelled beyond the populated areas of his town, i.e. his village or city. For a city-dweller to travel beyond the populated suburbs adjacent to his city is also essential. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 2, pp. 722)

Meaning of ‘travelling beyond the populated areas’

To ‘travel beyond the populated areas’ means that one has travelled past the populated areas along the route of one’s intended travel, even if the populated areas have not ended in the direction parallel to it. (Ghunyaĥ, pp. 536)

Definition of ‘surroundings’ of a city

To become a Shar’ī traveller, it is not necessary for a city-dweller to travel beyond the village adjacent to the outskirts of his city. Similarly, it is also not necessary for him to cross the orchards adjacent to the outskirts of the city, even if the caretakers and workers of those orchards live in them. (Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 2, pp. 722)

Outside the outskirts of the city, if certain places are dedicated for particular activities of city-dwellers like a graveyard, a racecourse and a dumping ground and they are adjacent to the city, then it is necessary to cross them. If there is some distance between these places and the city, then it is not necessary to cross them. (ibid)

The condition for becoming a traveller

In order to become a Shar’ī traveller, the travelling person must have the intention of travelling the distance of three days (i.e. approximately 92km), from the place of his departure. If he departs with the intention of travelling for a distance of two days (that is less than 92 km), and upon reaching there, intends to travel to another place which is also at a distance of less than three-days-distance (i.e. less than 92 km) he is still not a traveller. Even if he travelled throughout the world in this manner, he would not be deemed to be a Shar’ī traveller. (Ghunyaĥ; Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 2, pp. 722, 724)

It is also a condition that the travelling person intends to travel the distance of three days [i.e. approximately 92 km] consecutively. If he has such an intention that he will do some chore after he has travelled the distance of two days, and thereafter he will travel the distance of one more day, this is not the intention of consecutively travelling the distance of three days [i.e. approximately 92 km]. Therefore, he would not be deemed to be a traveller. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 743)

Types of hometown

There are two types of Waṭan (hometown):

  1. Original hometown [Waṭan-e-Aṣlī] is the town or city where a person was born or where his family members live or where he has settled with no intention of leaving.
  2. Temporary hometown [Waṭan-e-Iqāmat] is the place where a traveller intends to stay for fifteen days or more. (‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 142)

Cases of temporary hometown [Waṭan-e-Iqāmat] being nullified

One temporary hometown [Waṭan-e-Iqāmat] nullifies the other. That is to say, if a person stayed at a town or city for fifteen days or more  and then went to another town with the intention of staying there for the next fifteen days or more, then the first town would no longer remain his temporary hometown regardless of whether or not there is a distance of three days (i.e. approximately 92 km) between the two towns. 

Similarly, if a person returns to his original hometown [Waṭan-e-Aṣlī] or sets off a three-days-distance journey, the temporary hometown [Waṭan-e-Iqāmat] will be nullified. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 2, pp. 731; Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 751) 

Two routes for a journey 

If there are two routes to a particular destination – one is three-daysdistance [i.e. approximately 92 km] long while the other is shorter, then the route one takes will be the determining factor. If one takes the shorter route, then he is not a traveller but if he took the longer route, then he would be a traveller even though he had no genuine reason to take the longer route. (‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 138; Durr-e-Mukhtār, Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 1, pp. 726) 

How long does a traveller remain a traveller? 

A traveller remains a traveller unless he returns to his village or city, or makes the intention of staying in any populated area for complete fifteen days. This ruling will apply when he has travelled complete three-daysdistance (that is approximately 92 km). Hence if he intends to return before covering the distance of three days (that is approximately 92 km), he is no longer a traveller even if he is in a jungle. (‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 139; Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 2, pp. 728) 

 Ruling on impermissible journey 

Whether the journey is aimed at doing anything permissible or impermissible, the rulings of a traveller will apply. (‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 139) 

Employer and employee travelling together 

If an employee earning salary on a monthly or annual basis travels with his employer, then he is a follower of his employer. An obedient son is a follower of his father and a student whose teacher provides him with food is a follower of his teacher. The intention of the leader will be deemed to be the intention of the follower. Therefore, the follower should ask the leader about his intention and act as per his reply [i.e. if his leader is a traveller, the follower will also offer shortened Ṣalāĥ]. If the leader did not give any reply, then the follower must see whether his leader is a traveller or a resident. If the leader is a traveller, then the follower should also consider himself as a traveller and if the leader is a resident, the follower should also consider himself as a resident. 

If it is not known whether the leader is a traveller or a resident then the follower must do Qaṣr [offer shortened Ṣalāĥ] after he has travelled a distance of three days (i.e. approximately 92 km). Before covering three-days-distance [approximately 92 km] he must offer normal Ṣalāĥ [with the complete number of Rak’āt]. If he did not get the chance of asking his leader, then the same previously mentioned ruling of ‘asking but not receiving any reply’ will apply. (Derived from: Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 745, 746) 

Once I have finished my work I will return! 

If a traveller stays somewhere for a few days or even thirteen to fourteen days with the intention of doing some piece of work or waiting for his relatives or returning after doing his work, he will be deemed to be a traveller and will offer shortened Ṣalāĥ even if many years pass in this condition because he has the intention of staying there for less than fifteen days. (ibid, pp. 747, ‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 139) 

The rulings for woman’s journey 

It is not permissible for a woman to travel the distance of three days (approximately 92 km) or more, without a Maḥram. She cannot also travel with a minor or a partially insane person. During the journey, she must be accompanied by an adult Maḥram or her husband. (‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 142) 

If accompanied by a (reliable) Maḥram adolescent boy (who is near the age of puberty), a woman can travel. An adolescent boy close to puberty is deemed to be an adult. The [accompanying] Maḥram must not be one who unnecessarily takes risks. Likewise, he must neither be a severe transgressor nor a vulnerable person. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 752, 1044, 1045)

Woman’s parental home and in-laws’ home

If a married woman resides in the house of her in-laws, then her parents’ home is no longer her original hometown [Waṭan-e-Aṣlī]. That is, if her in-laws’ house is situated at a distance of three days (i.e. approximately 92 km) from her parents’ home and she comes to her parents’ home without making the intention of staying there for fifteen days, she must offer shortened Ṣalāĥ.

After marriage, if she has not abandoned the home of her parents and just visits her in-laws’ home temporarily, then her journey will come to an end as soon as she returns to her parents’ home. Now, she must offer normal Ṣalāĥ [with the complete number of Rak’āt without shortening it]. (ibid, pp. 751)

Ruling for those staying in an Arab country on visa

Nowadays, many people along with their families migrate to other countries for business etc. They get the visa for a fixed period of time (for example, in U.A.E. a residential visa is issued for a maximum period of three years). This is a temporary visa and must be renewed after every three years by paying a fixed amount of money. Since this visa is issued for a limited period of time, the intention of staying there permanently [and making it an original hometown] is not valid even though one resides there with his family for one hundred years in this situation. U.A.E. cannot be his original hometown [Waṭan-e-Aṣlī] in this case. Whenever he returns from a journey, he will have to make the intention of staying [for the next fifteen or more days]. For example, a person living in Dubai travels – with a Sunnaĥ-Inspiring Madanī Qāfilaĥ of Dawat-e-Islami with the devotees of Prophet – to Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E capital, which is approximately 150 km away. Upon his return, if he wants to stay in Dubai, he will have to make the intention of staying for the next fifteen days or more otherwise the rulings of a traveller will apply for him. However, if it is apparent from his circumstances and condition that he will be spending fifteen or more days in Dubai, then he has become a resident.

If he does such type of business which involves Shar’ī-travel from time to time and hence is unable to live in Dubai for complete fifteen days and nights, he will remain a traveller and will have to offer shortened Ṣalāĥ although he pays visits to his family in Dubai for several years in this way. Those supplying goods to far-flung areas outside their cities, visiting different cities and countries and drivers [for transportation companies] must keep these rulings in mind. 

An essential ruling for the visitor of Madīnaĥ

If a person has made the intention of staying (for fifteen days or more) but his circumstances indicate that he would not be able to stay for fifteen days then his intention is not valid. For example, a person travels [92 km or more] to perform Hajj and makes the intention of staying in Makka-tul-Mukarramaĥ for the next fifteen days despite the fact that the month of Żul-Ḥijja-til-Ḥarām has commenced. This intention of his will not count since he has intended to perform Hajj and will certainly go to Minā and ‘Arafāt on the 8th and 9th of Żul-Ḥijja-tilḤarām respectively in order to perform the rites of Hajj. Therefore, he will not be able to stay for fifteen (consecutive) days in the blessed city of Makkaĥ. However, if he makes the intention of staying in Makkaĥ after he has returned from Minā, then his intention will be valid provided he could really stay in Makkaĥ for the next fifteen days or more. If it is quite likely that he will depart within fifteen days for Madīnaĥ or his own country, then he will still remain a traveller. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 2, pp. 729; ‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 140)

Over-staying for Hajj after expiry of ‘Umraĥ visa

Those having the intention of staying illegally for Hajj after reaching Makkaĥ or Madīnaĥ on ‘Umraĥ visas or those residing in any country of the world after the expiry of their visas will be considered residents until they live in the city or village in which they were living as resident at the time of the expiry of their visas. Even if they live there for decades they will still remain residents. However, if they travel from that city or village with the intention of covering the distance of 92 km or more even once, they will become traveller as soon as they leave the populated areas of their city or village, nullifying their intention to stay [for fifteen days or more]. 

For example, someone went to Makka-tul-Mukarramaĥ from Pakistan on an ‘Umraĥ visa and was residing in Makka-tul-Mukarramaĥ as a resident at the time of the expiry of his visa, the rulings of a resident will apply for him in this case. Say he went to Madīna-tul-Munawwaraĥ later on, he would become and remain a traveller even if he lives there for decades illegally. If he returns to Makka-tul-Mukarramaĥ, he will still remain a traveller and will have to offer shortened Ṣalāĥ. However, if he gets his visa renewed, he can make the intention of staying [for the next fifteen days or more].

Remember! If the violation of a law leads to humiliation, bribery and lying etc., then it is not permissible to violate it. My master, ‘Alā Ḥaḍrat, Imām-e-Aĥl-e-Sunnat, ‘Allāmaĥ Maulānā, Ash-Shāĥ Imām Aḥmad Razā Khān has stated: Among Mubāḥ [permissible] acts, some are considered to be crimes from a legal point of view. Committing them (i.e. violating those laws) amounts to presenting oneself to be punished and disgraced, which is impermissible. (Derived from: Fatāwā Razawiyyaĥ, vol. 17, pp. 370)

Therefore, staying in any country or for Hajj without a visa is not permissible. To declare this illegal stay for Hajj as a bounty of Allah  and benevolence of His Prophet is a sheer folly.

Qaṣr [shortening Ṣalāĥ] is Wājib

It is Wājib for a traveller to do Qaṣr in Ṣalāĥ [offer shortened Ṣalāĥ]. That is, the four Rak’āt Farḍ Ṣalāĥ [like Ẓuĥr, ‘Aṣr and ‘Ishā] must be reduced to two Rak’āt. For a traveller, these two Rak’āt are complete Ṣalāĥ. If he offered four Rak’āt intentionally and sat for Qa’daĥ after the second Rak’at, then his Farḍ would get offered and the last two Rak’āt would be considered as Nafl but he would be a sinner, deserving hellfire because a Wājib would get missed. Therefore, he must repent of it.

If he did not sit for Qa’daĥ after the second Rak’at, then his Farḍ would not get offered and all four Rak’āt would be deemed as Nafl. However, if he made the intention of residing [for the next fifteen days] before he performed the Sajdaĥ of the third Rak’at, his Farḍ would be valid, but he would have to repeat the Qiyām and Rukū’ of the third Rak’at. And if he made this intention during the Sajdaĥ of the third Rak’at, then his Farḍ would become invalid. Similarly, if he did not do Qirā`at in any of or both of the first two Rak’āt, his Ṣalāĥ would be invalid. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 743; ‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 139)

Rulings on Ṣalāĥ started with intention of four Rak’āt instead of Qaṣr

If a traveller made the intention of offering four Rak’āt Farḍ Ṣalāĥ instead of Qaṣr [shortened Ṣalāĥ] by mistake but realized it during the Ṣalāĥ and offered Salām after two Rak’āt, his Ṣalāĥ would be valid. Similarly, if a resident made the intention of offering two Rak’āt of Farḍ instead of four but completed four Rak’āt and offered Salām afterwards, his Ṣalāĥ would be valid.

The honourable scholars of Islamic jurisprudence have stated: It is not necessary to specify the number of Rak’āt when making the intention of Ṣalāĥ as it is implicit. Hence, a mistake in the specification of the number of Rak’āt during the intention does not affect Ṣalāĥ. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 2, pp. 120)

Travelling Imām and resident Muqtadī (follower)

[When offering Ṣalāĥ with Jamā’at] it is also an essential requirement for the follower to know whether the Imām is a traveller or a resident so that his act of following the Imām in Ṣalāĥ can be valid. It does not matter whether the follower knows it at the time of the commencement of Ṣalāĥ or afterwards. Therefore, the Imām should announce that he is a traveller before he starts leading the Ṣalāĥ. If he did not make the announcement at the beginning of Ṣalāĥ, he should do afterwards in these words: ‘I am a traveller. All resident Islamic brothers should complete their Ṣalāĥ’ [i.e. offer complete four Rak’āt]. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 2, pp. 735)

If he has already announced at the beginning, even then he should announce that he is a traveller after the Ṣalāĥ so that those who were not present at the beginning of Ṣalāĥ will also come to know about it. If it is obvious that the Imām is a traveller then post-Ṣalāĥ announcement is only Mustaḥab. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 749)

Resident follower and remaining two Rak’āt

When completing their remaining Ṣalāĥ after the Imām who is a traveller has offered the Salām of shortened Ṣalāĥ, the followers should stand silent in the third and fourth Rak’āt of Farḍ for as long as it normally takes to recite Sūraĥ Al-Fātiḥaĥ instead of reciting it. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 2, pp. 735; Derived from: Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, part 1, pp. 748)

Are travellers exempted from offering Sunnaĥ Ṣalāĥ?

During the journey, Sunnaĥ Ṣalāĥ are not shortened but rather will be offered completely. If the traveller is in the state of fear or anxiety, he is exempted from offering Sunnaĥ Ṣalāĥ but he is required to offer it when in peace. (‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 139)

In connection with five letters of ‘Ṣalāĥ’, five Madanī pearls about offering Nafl Ṣalāĥ on a moving conveyance

  1. [For a traveller who has travelled] outside the city, (‘outside the city’ refers to the place from where Qaṣr becomes Wājib for a traveller), one can offer Nafl Ṣalāĥ while riding a conveyance (e.g. a moving car, bus, or van. In this condition, facing the direction of Qiblaĥ is not a pre-condition) and the traveller must face the direction towards which the conveyance is moving. If he does not face this direction, then the Ṣalāĥ will not be permissible. Facing the Qiblaĥ is not a condition even at the time of the beginning of Ṣalāĥ. He is required to face the direction towards which the conveyance is moving, and to perform Rukū’ and Sujūd by gestures. (It is also necessary that) the motion for Sajdaĥ should be lower than that of the Rukū’ (i.e. one has to bend more for Sajdaĥ than for Rukū’). (Durr-e-Mukhtār, Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 2, pp. 588; Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 671
  2. If there is enough space on a conveyance like a moving train etc., then one will have to offer Nafl Ṣalāĥ while facing the Qiblaĥ as usual.
  3. After a villager has been out of his village, he can offer Nafl Ṣalāĥ on the conveyance. (Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 2, pp. 588) 
  4. If one began Ṣalāĥ outside the city, in a conveyance, but entered the city while still offering Ṣalāĥ, he could complete his Ṣalāĥ until he reaches his house. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 2, pp. 589) 
  5. In a moving vehicle, without a Shar’ī exemption, one cannot offer any Farḍ, Sunnaĥ of Fajr, and Wājib Ṣalāĥ and cannot also perform the Sajdaĥ of recitation provided the verse of Sajdaĥ was recited on the ground. The Wājib Ṣalāĥ includes the Witr, the vowed [Nażr] Ṣalāĥ, or the Nafl Ṣalāĥ that was invalidated after being started. If there is a Shar’ī exemption then it is a condition that all the above-mentioned should be offered while standing and facing the Qiblaĥ, if possible, otherwise [i.e. if it is impossible then] in any possible manner. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 673 )

Ruling on the Ṣalāĥ in which a traveller stands up to offer third Rak’at

If a traveller starts the third Rak’at in his Qaṣr Ṣalāĥ then there are two

  1. If he has already sat for the Qa’daĥ Akhīraĥ (i.e., final sitting) [after the second Rak’at] for as long as it takes to recite the Tashaĥĥud, he must revert to the Qa’daĥ position provided he has not yet offered the Sajdaĥ of the third Rak’at. He is then required to perform Sajdaĥ Saĥw and Salām [to finish his Ṣalāĥ]. And if he did not revert and offered Salām while standing, even then his Ṣalāĥ would be valid, but a Sunnaĥ would get missed. If he has offered Sajdaĥ of the third Rak’at then he must add another Rak’at [to make it four] and finish it after performing Sajdaĥ Saĥw. In this case, the last two Rak’āt will be regarded as Nafl.
  2. If he has stood up without sitting for the Qa’daĥ Akhīraĥ [after the second Rak’at] then as long as he has not offered the Sajdaĥ of the third Rak’at, he must revert to the Qa’daĥ, perform Sajdaĥ Saĥw and then offer Salām.  
  3. If he has offered the Sajdaĥ of the third Rak’at [without sitting in Qa’daĥ after the second Rak’at, then his] Farḍ will become invalid. Now, he should add another Rak’at [to make it four] and offer Sajdaĥ Saĥw and complete his Ṣalāĥ. All these four Rak’āt will be regarded as Nafl. (Offering two Rak’āt of Farḍ still remains an obligation for him).

Qaḍā Ṣalāĥ and the journey

The Ṣalāĥ missed in the state of being a resident will have to be offered as Qaḍā with complete number of Rak’āt without being shortened even during a journey. Likewise, the Ṣalāĥ missed during a journey [as a traveller] will have to be offered as Qaḍā with Qaṣr (i.e., shortening) even after becoming a resident. 

Drops of Mercy Fell on Me As Well

An Islamic brother of Korangi, Bāb-ul-Madina Karachi (approx. 22 years old) makes the following statement:

Unfortunately! I had indulged in many evils such as missing Ṣalāĥ, watching film and dramas, fashion and company of wicked friends. I was a spoilt youngster whose precious life was passing in sins. The crescent of Ramaḍān (1426 A.H.) appeared and the rain of Allah’s mercy began to shower. Some drops of mercy showered on me as well and I performed collective I’tikāf during the last ten days of Ramadan in the Karimia Qadiriyyaĥ Masjid of Korangi, Bāb-ul-Madina Karachi.

The prolonged dark night of my life’s autumn began to turn into the bright morning of the spring. participation in the collective I’tikaf changed my life-style altogether; I not only repented of all the sins, began to offer Ṣalāĥ, grew beard, began to wear the turban but I also travelled with a 30 days Sunnaĥ-inspiring Madani Qafilaĥ of Dawat-e-Islami, the international non-political religious movement of the Quran and Sunnaĥ in the company of the Prophet’s lovers in order to learn sunnah. 

 at this moment in time, I am carrying out the Madani work of Dawat-e-Islami as a Zeli Qafilaĥ Zimmadār in a Masjid.