Shortening & Combining Prayers at Hajj

Answered by Sidi Mostafa Azzam

In the Shafi’i school, should non-traveling resident pilgrims (from close places such as Jeddah shorten one’s prayer on the 8th and 9th of Dhul Hijjah? Should these same pilgrims also combine dhur and asr prayers and then the maghrib and isha prayers on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah? Is there a difference in this ruling between travelers and residents (who would not be considered travelers such as those coming from Jeddah)

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

As Imam Nawawi mentions in his book on hajj, al-Idah, and Ibn Hajar in his hashiyah on it, shortening and combining prayers while on hajj only apply to a traveler (musafir) a long distance (approximately 80 km), and not a resident (muqim) or a traveler a short distance (less than 80 km).

A resident is someone that intends to stay in a town for 4 full days (96 hours) from the fajr or maghrib after his entering that town. Note that someone that remains in Mecca for 4 days may not then shorten and combine at Arafat or Muzdelifah, which are less than the shortening distance (approximately 80 km) away from the town in which he has become a resident (namely, Mecca). Note that this impermissibility of shortening and combining applies to many of the hajjis, since many remain in Mecca for more than 4 days, though virtually everyone shortens and combines. And Allah knows best.

Mostafa Azzam