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Length of Journey for Travel Dispensations

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher

I understand that one can take travel dispensations if the distance is at 81 km and more. But if the distance is 80 km, can travel dispensations be taken? Is there a certain deviation that is allowed, such as +/- 5 km?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

There are two kinds of travel dispensations

(1) dispensations that may only be taken on long journeys and
(2) dispensations that may be taken on any journey, regardless of its length.

Examples of (1) are: joining and shortening prayers, wiping over footgear for three days and three nights, and being excused from the obligation of fasting.

Examples of (2) are: being excused from facing the qibla in non-obligatory prayers performed while riding and being excused from the obligation of performing the Friday prayer. (Bughyat al-Mustarshidin, 74)

Dispensations that require long journeys must be at least 81 km. long, one-way. The required length of the journey is an exact length, not an approximate one. This means that if one is short of the required length even by a single kilometer (or even less than that), the dispensations may not be taken. (Fath al-Wahhab in the margins of Hashiyat al-Jamal, 1.598).

Note that travel within city limits is not considered a journey at all–neither long nor short. A trip is only considered a journey if it takes one outside the city limits.

And Allah knows best.


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