What is the significance of offering reduced Obligatory prayers.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
What is the significance of offering reduced Obligatory prayers (Salat Kasr) when travelling. Please tell the conditions for offering the Kasr prayer i.e. the length of time that a person is away from his home and the distance from his home where he should offer his Kasr Prayer. If a person`s work place is far from his home and he has to travel daily, should he offer his normal prayers or reduced prayer?
Arbab Masood Ahmad.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Qasr shortened prayers
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 101-102:
101 When ye travel through the earth there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers.
Dear and Beloved Sister in Islam, to make the observance of the deen easy, the Lord Most Merciful has permitted the believers, men and women, to shorten their prayers when they are on travel as stated in the above Verse of Surah Nisaa.
There are several authentic narrations that the Messenger of Allah (saws) would shorten his prayers whenever he (saws) was on a journey. According to authentic tradition the Prophet (saws) did not stay out of Madinah for a period longer than 20 days at any one stretch where he (saws) did indeed shorten his prayers, the eminent scholars and jurists in Islam have differed on exactly how many days one may offer shortened prayers when one is on a journey, depending on which hadith they use as their evidence for their opinion.
Some of the scholars have said four days, while others have allowed ten, fourteen, nineteen or twenty days, while others have said even said six months and others have said that regardless of the time, as long as one has no intention to settle down in that place, he may shorten his prayers as long as he does not return to his place of residence! Each of the eminent scholars have given their evidence from the Sunnah or tradition of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and of his noble companions, thus regardless of which school or thought one prefers over the other, as long as one has evidence from the Sunnah, it would be deemed acceptable in Shariah.
Aishah says: "One who does not put down his provision is to shorten the salah."
Ibn al-Mundhir states in his Ishraf: "The people of knowledge are in agreement that a traveler may perform qasr (shortened) prayers as long as he does not intend to stay (permanently) in a place.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.112
Hafs ibn 'Ubaidullah says: "Hadrat Anas
ibn Malik (r.a.) stayed in ash-Sham for two years and he prayed the salah of a
traveler (Qasr). Hadrat Anas (r.a.)
relates: "The companions of the Prophet (saws) stayed in Ram Hurmuz for
seven months and they shortened their salah." Al-Hassan reports: "I stayed with
'Abdurrahman ibn Samurah (r.a.) for two years in
Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.110
Topic: The distance one must travel before shortening one's prayer
The conclusion from the Qur'anic verse is that any traveling, be it long or short, which falls within the linguistic definition of the word "travel" would suffice to shorten one's salah.
There are several reports in the authentic and established Sunnah that if the Messenger of Allah (saws) traveled a distance of only three miles, he (saws) would shorten his prayers; while other reports attributed to the Companions of the Prophet (saws) of the stature of Ibn Abbas (r.a.) and Ibn Umar (r.a.) are of the opinion that one is to shorten their prayers if their journey is beyond two or three camel days ride, or approximately 85-90 miles.
Yahya ibn Yazid said: "I asked Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) about shortening the prayer, and he said: 'The Messenger of Allah (saws) would pray two rakat (shortened prayer) if he (saws) had traveled a distance of one farshakh) (or appx three miles)."'
Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, and al-Baihaqi.
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (r.a.) said: "If the Prophet (r.a.) traveled a distance of one farsakh (appx three miles), he (saws) would shorten his prayer."
Related by Sa'id ibn Mansur, and by al-Hafiz ibn Hajar.
Because the modes and forms of travel has evolved since the time of the Prophet (saws), the vast majority of the scholars today are of the opinion that one may shorten their prayers anytime one falls within the linguistic definition of the term travel or journey, or where one intends to travel beyond the city or town one normally resides in. And Allah Alone Knows Best.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,