The Fiqh of Travel

ANISUL MUSAFIR

[By Mawlana Abu Usama: Fahim Husain]

RULES RELATING TO A MUSAFIR

WHO IS A MUSAFIR?

1. The person who sets out with the intention of eventually travelling three manzils (approx. 77 km) * is regarded as a musafir in the Shari`ah.

[* This is the Fatwa of Mufti Mahmud Gangohi (r.a.) as mentioned, in detail, in Masa’il-e-Safar of Mawlana Rafat Qasmi p 43 and briefly in Fatawa Mahmudiyyah v 2 p 269 and v 2 p 274. Mufti Rashid Ahmad has also given Fatwa on 77 km in Ahsan al Fatawa v4 p105]

2. The moment he comes out of the boundaries of his town or city he becomes a musafir. Within the boundaries of his town or city, he will not be a musafir.

If the airport is within the boundaries of the city (in the sense that the buildings of the city are linked to it without a considerable break in between) it will fall under the rule of the city and the person will not be considered a musafir when he reaches it. If it is outside the boundaries, then upon reaching it, the person will be regarded as a musafir.

PRINCIPLE: A person will not become a musafir until he firmly intends to travel 77 km from the place he is in.

Thus a person who travels from place to place, intending to travel less than 77 km each time, will not become a musafir– even if he travels the entire world in this way!

THE (QASR) SALAH OF A MUSAFIR

1. When a person qualifies as a musafir according to the Shari`ah he is required to offer two rak`ahs for the Fard of Zuhr, `Asr and `Isha’ Salah. The other Salahs remain as normal.

2. More than two rak`ahs should not be offered for the Fard of Zuhr, `Asr and `Isha’ Salah. If a person mistakenly offered four raka`at for these Salahs, and he had sat down for Tashahhud (al-Tahiyyat) in the second rak`ah, then the first two rak`ahs will be regarded as Fard and the other two rak`ahs as nafl.

3. In the above case he will have to make sajdah al-sahw. If he did not make sajdah al-sahw then he must repeat the Salah if its time still remains.

4. If he did not sit in the second rak`ah then all four raka`at will become nafl and he will have to repeat his Fard Salah.

BECOMING A MUQIM (RESIDENT)

1. A person will remain a musafir and will continue offering two rak`ahs for the four-raka`at Salahs until he makes the definite intention of staying at a place for fifteen days or more.

2. The place where he makes this intention is known as his Watan al-Iqamah. He must offer four raka`at Salah here.

3. If he makes the intention of staying for 15 days whilst in Salah then he must offer this very Salah as a muqim i.e. 4 raka`at.

PRINCIPLE: A musafir will not become a muqim until he firmly intends to stay at a place for a period of fifteen days from the time he makes this intention.

Based on the above principle consider the following two cases:

a) A person stops at a place intending to stay for two or three days. Due to circumstances every day he makes the intention of leaving the following day but he still does not leave. In this way fifteen days, twenty days, a month or even more passes, but he did not, at any point, make the firm intention of staying there for fifteen days. In this case he will remain a musafir irrespective of how many days he stays at that place.

b) A person intends to stay at a place for ten days but after seven days he decides to extend his stay by an additional ten days (which will make his total stay twenty days.) In this case he will remain a musafir. This is because after he had decided to stay ten more days there were thirteen days of his total stay remaining. Hence at no point did he make the intention to stay for fifteen days. In other words, ‘fifteen days’ is considered from the time he changed his intention and not from the beginning of his stay.

4. The intention of staying fifteen days has to be for staying the full fifteen days at one place. If he makes an intention of staying for 15 days at two different places, and the distance between the two places is such that the adhan of one place cannot be heard at the other, then he will be a musafir in both those places.

E.g. If a person intends staying for 10 days in Makkah and 5 days in Mina he will be a musafir both in Makkah and Mina.

Thus a Haji who arrives in Makkah less than fifteen full days before the morning of the 8th of Dhu al-Hijjah will be a musafir.

If he arrives in Makkah fifteen days or more before the 8th then he will be a muqim both in Makkah and Mina.

5. If in the above case (i.e. Law 4) he intends spending all the fifteen nights at one place then he will be a muqim in that place.

6. If both places are so close that each other’s adhan can be heard, then both places will be regarded as one place. He will become a muqim in both places by intending to stay there for 15 days.

7. After becoming a muqim (by firmly intending to stay at a place for fifteen days) if he changes his intention and decides to leave before fifteen days then he will not become a musafir.

8. When he leaves with the intention of eventually travelling to another place that is at a distance of 77 kilometres or more then only will he become a musafir. If that place is less than 77 kilometres away, he will not become a musafir.

OTHER SALAH ON A JOURNEY

1. Sunnah Salah should not be unduly missed during the journey. However if the musafir is in a hurry then, apart from the Sunnah of Fajr, it will be permissible for him to omit the other Sunnah Salahs. If he is not in a hurry nor does he fear his companions leaving him behind then he should offer all theSunnah Salahs.

2. There is no reduction in the number of raka`at of Sunnah Salah.

3. Sunnah and Nafl Salah can be offered whilst seated in a moving vehicle if it is outside the town. The salah must be commenced facing the Qiblah. Thereafer, if the vehicle turns, resulting in the Qiblah direction changing, the musalli does not have to turn towards the Qiblah.

4. Witr Salah is wajib. Hence it must be offered whilst on a journey as well. If it is missed then qada’ must be made.

5. Qada’ of Salahs missed whilst on a journey will be two rak`ahs for Zuhr, `Asr and`Isha. This applies even when the qada’ is being made at home or as a muqim in any other place.

6. If any Salah, such as Zuhr, is missed before embarking on a journey then qada’ of it whilst on the journey must be made in full i.e. four raka`at.

The principle in laws 5 and 6 above is that the condition of a person, whether musafir or muqim, is considered in the final moments of that Salah. Accordingly the status of the Qada’ Salah (i.e. whether it is two or four raka`at) will be determined.

THE HOMETOWN (AL-WATAN AL-ASLI)

A person’s hometown is the place where he resides with his family and belongings without having a definite intention of relocating.

1. Immediately upon entering his hometown the musafir will become a muqim whether he intends staying for fifteen days or not.

2. This also applies when a musafir, during the course of his journey, passes through his hometown i.e. he will immediately become a muqim. If he merely bypasses his hometown but doesn’t enter its boundaries then he will remain amusafir.

3. If a person moves to another town and settles there permanently then this second town becomes his hometown and the first town is no longer his hometown.

RULES RELATING TO WOMEN

1. If a woman begins a journey whilst she is in the the state of haid (menstruation) then the distance she covers in that state is not considered as part of the Safar distance. Hence, if the haid continues until she reaches her destination she will not be a musafir.

However if, during the course of the journey, she attains purity from her haid and there is still a distance of 77 km or more to her destination, then she will become amusafir.

2. If when she leaves home she was pure and her haid begins during the course of the journey then she will be a musafir.

3. The hometown of a woman who begins living with her husband after her marriage will become that of her husband’s. Her original hometown (i.e. the place where she was residing with her parents) will no longer remain her hometown.

4. It is a major sin for a woman to travel 77 kilometres or more without her husband or a mature (baligh) male mahram. She should not even travel less than 77 kilometres without her husband or mahram.

This law also applies to women travelling for Hajj or`Umrah. A woman must have her husband or a mahram accompanying her in these journeys as well.

5. It is also not permissible for a woman to travel with a mahram who does not fear Allah Ta`ala and does not abide by the laws of Shari`ah.

6. The Wali (male person accompanying the woman) must be able to fulfil the role of a competent Wali in guarding the chastity and honour of the woman.

RULES RELATING TO SALAH ON AN AIRCRAFT, TRAIN, SHIP, etc.

1. Fard Salah has to be offered in a standing posture in a moving ship, train or aircraft.

2. If a person feels dizzy by offering Salah standing or fears that he will fall then he is allowed to sit and offer Salah.

3. The musalli must face the Qiblah whilst offering Salah in a moving vehicle.

4. If the vehicle turns and the direction of the Qiblah changes then he will also have to turn in his Fard Salah towards the Qiblah. *

5. If a person is offering Salah and the vehicle, which has his belongings or family, is about to leave then it will be permissible for him to break his Salah. The Salah must then be offered later.

SALAH WITH JAMA`AH

1. As far as possible Salah should be offered in jama`ah whilst on a journey.

2. A muqim (i.e. a resident or non-musafir) can follow an imam who is a musafir whether it is an ada’ Salah (i.e. a Salah in its time) or a qada’ Salah.

3. In the above case, when the musafir imam completes his Salah of 2 rak`ahs and makes salam, the muqim follower (muqtadi) should stand up without making salam and complete his Salah. He must not recite any Qira’ah in the 2rak`ahs he is completing. He should merely remain silent for the duration of Surah al-Fatihah.

4. When the musafir imam makes salam, it is preferable (mustahab) for him to inform his followers that he is a musafir. It is preferable that he also informs them before commencing the Salah.

5. A musafir can also follow an imam who is a muqim as long as it is within the time of that Salah . If the time has expired then he can follow him for the Fajr and Maghrib Salahs and not for the Zuhr, `Asr, and `Isha Salahs.

FASTING FOR A MUSAFIR

1. A musafir is permitted to abstain from the fast of Ramadan although it is meritorious for him to fast if it isn’t difficult. The qada’ of the fasts missed will have to be made.

2. If a musafir who was not fasting in Ramadan becomes a muqim, either by returning home or by intending to stay at a place for fifteen days, then he has to compulsorily abstain from eating etc. for the rest of the day. However he still has to make qada’ of that day.

3. If he did not eat anything since sehri time then he can make the intention of fasting if it’s before Al-Dahwah Al-Kubra (approximately an hour before zawal.) In this case the fast will be valid and no qada’ is necessary. After this time (i.e. al-dahwah al-kubra) he cannot make the intention to fast but he still has to abstain from eating for the remainder of the day and qada’ of that day is necessary.

4. If a muqim who is fasting begins a journey then he must complete that fast. He cannot break the fast.

MISCELLANEOUS MASA’IL

1. If a person leaves his home with the intention of travelling 77 kilometres but after travelling a distance less than 77 km, he changes his mind and decides to return home then from the moment he makes the intention of returning, he will no longer remain a musafir.*

[*Al-Durr al-Mukhtar v 2 p 134]

2. It is preferable (mustahab) to give adhan and sunnah to say the iqamah whilst on a journey.

3. If a person makes sajdah on something made out of straw or cotton wool he must press his head down firmly such that he cannot press any further. If he does not press it down firmly, but merely places his head lightly, his sajdah will not be valid. The same applies to sajdah on grass.

4. During Salah it is makruh to gather one’s clothes to prevent them from becoming soiled.

5. Whilst on a journey after reading Surah al-Fatihah, in Salah, any other Surah can be recited. The Sunnah Qira’ah for the various Salah does not have to be adhered to.

6. Jumu`ah, `Id and Qurbani are not compulsory upon a traveller. However there is still more reward if these actions are fulfilled even whilst on a journey.

MMVIII © Qibla.

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