Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Qasar Prayer (5)

When is a traveller termed as a muqim in the country of destination?

We have understood that one is still considered as a traveler as long as he/she has not reached his/her destination and he/she still holds the intention to complete the journey as explained in (ix). But for how long can he/she hold this intention. Scholars differed in their opinions in this matter. These following evidences, support the opinion that there is no restriction, no limit in the length of stay.


Al-Miswar ibn Makhramah reported: "We stayed with Sa'd in some of the cities of asy-Syam [Syria/Jordan/Palestine] for 40 days, and Sa'd would perform qasr while we would offer the whole salah."
An-Nafi‘ also narrated: "Ibn 'Umar was in Azerbaijan for six months, as there was snow blocking the pass, and he would pray two rak'at." Hafs ibn 'Ubaidillah says: "Anas ibn Malik stayed in asy-Syam for 2 years and he prayed the solah of a traveler."

Anas related: "The companions of the Prophet stayed in Ram Hurmuz for 7 months and they shortened their solah." Al-Hasan reported: "I stayed with 'Abdurrahman ibn Samurah for 2 years in Kabul, and he shortened his solah but he did not combine the salah." Ibrahim says: "We resided in Rai for a year or more and in Sijistan for two years . . . [and we prayed qasr]. This is the guidance of the Prophet and his companions.

Therefore, one should not have the audacity to say this as a wrong thing to do or a misguidance, since it implies blaming the Companions or taking them as misguided people. This was what the Companions understood from the teaching of the Messenger shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam.

Anas radhiyallahu'anhu narrated:

, خرجنا مع رسول الله من المدينة إلى مكة فكان يصلي ركعتين ركعتين حتى رجعنا إلى المدينة -

We went out travelling with the Messenger shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam from Madinah to Mekkah and he shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam continuously prayed (Qasar) 2 raka‘ats, 2 raka‘ats until we return to Madinah.” [1]

Ibn ‘Abbas radhiyallahu'anhu related:

, أقام النبي تِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ يَوْما يَقْصُرُ - و في لفظ : , بِمَكَّةَ تسعة عشر يوما - رواه البخاري

و في رواية لأبي داود: , سَبْعَ عشرة - و في أخرى , خَمْسَ عَشْرَة - و له عن عمران بن حصين:
, ثَمانِيَ عَشْرَةَ - و له عن جابر: , أَقام بِتَبُوكَ عِشْرينَ يوما يَقْصُر الصلاةَ -

“The Prophet shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam stayed 19 days continuously performing Qasar” in another narration: “…in Mekkah for 19 days…” narrated by al-Bukhariy, whereas Abu Dawud narrated: “…17 days…” in another version: “…15 days…” and in his narration from ‘Imran bin al-Husayn radhiyallahu'anhu: “…18 days…” as well as from Jabir radhiyallahu'anhu: “He shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam stayed in Tabuk for 20 days continuously performing Qasar” [2]

The first narration from Anas indicates clearly that only when one returns to his homeland then he stops performing Qasar and no longer considered a traveller. As long as he has not set his foot on his homeland[3], he is still a traveller. Wallahu a‘lam.

Another opinion is the opinion of the Majority of scholars. They limit the status of a traveller (musafir) at his destination (other than his homeland - mustawtin) for 3 days. Meaning, on the 4th day of his stay at his destination, his status has changed to that of a resident (muqiem).

They correlated this issue, muqiem (resident) or musafir (traveller), to those ahaadeets which the Messenger mentioned about the status of a traveller. Among them are these ahaadeets:
Aliy radhiyallahu'anhu said: The Messenger shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam permitted the wiping on shoes (al-mas-hu ‘ala al-khuff), 3 days and 3 nights for a musafir (traveller) and a day and night for a muqiem (resident)”[4].

, لَا تُسَافِرُ المْرَأَةُ ثلاثة أيام إِلَّا مَعَ ذِي مَحْرَمٍ -
A woman will not travel a journey of 3 days unless she is accompanied by her mahram (a next of kin – e.g.her father/brother).[5]

They also cited as their basis the words of Imam Ahmad, he said: "If a person intends to stay for four days, he has to offer the complete solah (al-Itmam – the opposite of Qasar) and he may continue to offer Qasar if his intention is for less than that. This is based on an interpretation of the reports from the Prophet and his companions [i.e., they never intended to stay for longer than that and would always say: 'We will leave tomorrow,' and so on]

What Imam Ahmad was referring to is this statement by Ibn ‘Abbas: In Sahih al-Bukhari, it is recorded that Ibn 'Abbas said: "The Prophet stayed, during some of his journeys, for nineteen days and he prayed Qasar. So if we are travelling and stay in a place for nineteen days, we would do the prayer in the Qasar way. However, if we stay longer than that, we would perform the Itmam manner."[6]

Malik and asy-Syafi‘ie said: "If one intends to stay for more than four days, he should perform the solah in the Itmam way, and if he intends to stay for less than that, he is to offer Qasar."

Abu Haniefah stated: "If one intends to stay for fifteen days, he should do the Qasar. If he intends to stay for less than that, he should not do Qasar." This is also the opinion of al-Laits ibn Sa'd, and it has also been narrated from three companions: 'Umar, ibn 'Umar, and Ibn 'Abbas.

Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib is of the opinion that: "If you stay for 4 days, you pray four rak'at." A statement similar to that of Abu Hanifah's has also been related from him. 'Ali ibn Abi Talib said that if one stays for 10 days, he is to perform Itmam, and the same has been reported from Ibn ' Abbas. al-Hasan said: "One who does not get to his destination or (city of residence) may shorten the prayer." 'A-isyah said: "One who does not put down his provision is to shorten the solat."

We can conclude that this issue is somewhat similar to the issue of what determines a traveller and distinguishes him/her from a non-traveller.

In conclusion, we take the following statements from the scholars of ahlu at-Tahqieq as they reconciled and resolved these differences in opinions:

Syeikhul Islam said: A traveller has the right to perform the Qasar Prayer and not fast (the month of Ramadan) as long as he does not intend to stay as a temporary or a permanent resident. As for deferentiating a traveller to a resident by means of niyyah/intention based on the number of days of one’s stay, then it is a thing unknown (disregarded) in Syari‘ah and not even ‘Urf (of the people – norms of society) ”.

asy-Syeikh Muhammad bin Ibrahiem Ali asy-Syeikh said: Staying as a resident out of coincidence (due to circumstances) for a traveller, without having the qasad (intention) to stay except for a few days, whereby his stay can be considered as due to circumstances/need, such that he is uncertain when the need subsides and he has the intention to continue his journey or to return to his homeland once he has fulfilled his needs for his stay, this is one of the circumstances in which he is permitted to take up the rukhsah of Qasar and others (other rukhsahs) while travelling, through out his stay, regardless of whether it is a short or a long stay.

Therefore, the best and most righteous opinion, implementing all the teachings of the ahadeets and the interpretations of the scholars, a traveller is to continue performing Qasar, as well as Jama‘ (when there is a need) as long as he doesn’t intend to stay as a resident, whether for a short or long while, as long as he does not intend to stay as a resident and has not stop himself from his continuous journey of travelling[7].

Fiqh Issues: 

1. If a traveling person comes upon a congregation praying, and he does not know if: 
(a) the imam (prayer leader) is a traveler, meaning that he should join the prayer with the intention of qasr (shortening prayer), or
(b) if he is resident, and thus should pray the complete prayer, what should he do?
The answer that is apparent is: he acts based on what is clear to him from the signs of travel on the imam from clothes or travel gear. If it appears to him that the imam is resident, then he should pray the complete prayer.
The evidence: what Imam Ahmad authenticated and narrated that Ibn Abbas was asked: "What is reason that the traveler prays two rakaat (Qasar prayer) if he is alone and four rakaat if he is led in [a full] prayer by a resident? So he said, that is the sunnah (tradition of the Prophet shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam), and in another narration "That is the sunnah of Abi Al-Qasim shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam."[8]

2. It is mustahabb (recommended) to perform the Qasar prayer in congregation behind an imam who is a traveler as Qasar is rukhsah (allowance), a gift from Allah, and Allah loves his gifts to be received by his slaves, as described by the prophet shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam: Allah likes that His Rukhsah be used, just as He dislikes that disobedience to Him is committed[9].

Whenever possible, a traveller should try not to pray behind an imam who is a muqiem, with the exception of these 3 places; Al-Masjid al-Harām, Masjid an-Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque) and Al-Aqsa Mosque because of the significance of these 3 mosques. Thus, when one is in Mecca, Medina or Jerusalem, do perform the congregational prayers with the Imam of the above mentioned mosques. Besides, people from all over the world travel to these Most Sacred Masjids, to perform prayers. If it is discouraged for them to pray in these Masjids to allow them to perform Qasar, especially during the Hajj pilgirmage, very few will be praying at al-Masjidil Haram and thus defeat the purpose of their journey to these masjids.


[1] NB al-Bukhariy and Muslim and this is al-Bukhariy’s wording.
[2] All these ahadeets are Sahih. It has also been narrated by Imam Ahmad. an-Nawawi said: It is a Sahih hadeets meeting the conditions set by al-Bukhariy and Muslim.
[3] Could also mean: touch down/landed/disembark/arrival/return to his homeland.
[4] NB Muslim (276)
[5] NB al-Bukhari: 1086 and 1087.
[6] NB al-Bukhari: 1080
[7] i.e as long as he has not reached his homeland or if he intends to migrate, arrived at his land of migration, or to reside as a permanent resident or even a temporary resident, as his intention to stay is very clear and he has stopped travelling. The best example is the Prophet who was a resident of Mekkah, and after Hijrah (Migration) he became a resident of Madinah and he would take up the rukhsah only when he left Madinah and he continuously took the rukhsah while in Mekkah.
[8] Hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad (no: 1765). Mentioned by asy-Syeikh al- Albaniy: Sahih Hadith narrated by Ahmad (1/216), as-Siraj (al- Musnad (manuskrip): 1/120, at-Tabaraniy (al-Mujam al-Awsat: 1/278/1 copy from University Of Islam Madinah), Abu Awanah (al-Musnad: 2/340) and Abu al-Qasim is the nickname of our beloved Prophet, as he used to have a son named al-Qasim, who passed away in his chilhood.
[9] Narrated by Imam Ahmad (2/108) and Imam Ibn Hibban (2742) by IbnUmar with a Sahih chain of narrators.
 
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