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Shortening & Combining Prayers When Travelling

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Sidi Moustafa Elqabbany

I am going to Canada for a total of 23 days. While I am there should I shorten my prayer or pray the full prayer? Also should I combine prayers or not? What happens if I stay in one city then go to the next, how should I pray my prayers then?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

How Long Can I Shorten & Combine Prayers?

1. If you intend to stay in a city for four days or fewer, then you can shorten and combine your prayers.

2. If you intend to stay more than four days, you cannot shorten or combine your prayers.

3. If you’re not sure whether or not you’ll stay more than four days and you plan to leave as soon as something happens (such as arrival of a person or shipment), you can shorten and combine your prayers for up to eighteen days.

What About Travel Within My Travel?

A resident is anyone who intends to stay in the same city for more than four days and four nights. A traveller is anyone who intends to stay in a city for four days and four nights or fewer. If, for example, your itinerary is as follows:

· Stay in Toronto for five days;

· Visit Montreal for one day;

· Visit Toronto for four days;

· Stay in Vancouver for thirteen days;

then you are a traveller during your visit to Montreal and and your second visit to Toronto. During the initial stay in Toronto and the stay in Vancouver, you are a resident. As a traveller, you can shorten and combine your prayers. As a resident, you must offer each prayer completely and during its specific time.

How Do I Count the Days?

The basic idea is to count all days and nights you’ll be at the location while excluding the day or night of arrival and the day or night of departure.

1. If you arrive during the day, start counting at sunset.

2. If you arrive at night, start counting when fajr enters.

3. If you will depart during the day, count up to and including the night before it (that ends at the start of fajr), but not the actual day of departure.

4. If you will depart during the night, count up to and including the day before it (that ends at sunset), but not the actual night of departure.

5. Count the number of days and nights you’ll stay. If they total to four days and four nights or fewer, then you are a traveller. Otherwise, you’re a resident. Be sure to subtract the day or night of arrival and departure before counting your stay.

Allah the Exalted knows best.

References

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shafii/message/593

Moustafa Elqabbany
Metro Vancouver, Canada

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