Q. I am a student studying at the Rhodes university in the Eastern Cape. I travel from my hometown, Durban to Rhodes University and I stay for 2 weeks at a time there. Every two weeks – after 12 days, I travel back to Durban for the weekend to see my parents and family. Am I a Musaafir at Rhodes University whilst there?
Whenever I explain to others that I am a Musaafir, they keep arguing that I’m making things up and some of the other boys parents tell them to read full Namaaz and stop “cheating the system”. Is this correct?
A. In the enquired case, you would be considered a Musaafir (Shari’ traveler) and you must perform short Salaah at your destination (Rhodes University). This is because your travel distance from Durban to PE is more than 78 kilometers (over 900KM) and you intend to stay at your destination for less than 15 days (12 days) which are the requirements for you to be considered a Musaafir.
However, if you intend to stay at your destination for 15 days or more, then you will not be considered a Musaafir and you will perform full Salaah at your destination.
The performance of short Salaah whilst travelling is not ‘cheating the system’ if one fulfills the requirements to be considered a Musaafir. This is in fact termed as Sadaqah (charity) of Allah upon his creation and a mercy upon them which must be accepted.
Sayyiduna Ya’la Bin Umayyah Radhiyallahu Anhu reports: “I asked ‘Umar bin Khattab: ‘Allah says: “And when you travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten the Salaah if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you), verily, the disbelievers are ever to you open enemies,’ [4:101] but now there is security and people are safe.” He said: “I found it strange just as you do, so I asked Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam about that, and he said: ‘It is charity that Allah has bestowed upon you, so accept His charity.’” (Tirmidhi)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.