Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The prayer of the traveler

The distance that makes one a traveler

  • The travelling by which rules change (fasting Ramadan, prayer subset numbers, permissability of female travel, duty of Friday and Eid prayers, duty of slaughtering in Eid, the period for which one may wipe the khuff) is the one for which one intends (i.e. starts travelling wanting) to travel the distance of 3 complete days and nights at the average pace of a person on foot or riding a camel. Today this is estimated by about 98 kilometers.
  • Travel by sea is not estimated according to travel by land. Instead, one estimates according to normal conditions of travel by sea.
  • The sinful and the obedient (to Allah) in his traveling is the same with regards to its license.

The description of the travelers prayer

  • The obligatory prayers of the traveller with 4 subsets are reduced to 2 subsets ONLY (not optional).
  • If a traveller prayed 4 subsets and sat (the time it takes to say the tashahhud) after the first pair, then the first pair become the obligatory prayer and the second an optional prayer. However, he has done something bad by delaying the salaam of the obligatory prayer.
  • If a traveller prayed 4 subsets and did not sit (the time it takes to say the tashahhud) after the first pair, then his obligatory prayer is invalid. This is because he effectively entered an optional prayer before he completed the obligation.
  • The one who missed a prayer while traveling, and makes it up after settling, prays it by 2 subsets. The one who missed a prayer while settled, and makes it up while traveling, prays in 4 subsets.

Group prayer with travelers

  • If a traveller entered as a follower behind a settled person in a 4 subset prayer, in the time of that prayer, then he competes 4 subsets.
  • If a traveller entered (note that it is the time of entry that matters) behind a settled person in a 4 subset prayer, after the time of the prayer has expired, then his prayer is invalid. This is because it is now making up a prayer for him and he is supposed to make up 2 subsets, not 4.
  • If a traveller leads settlers, then he says the salaam after 2 subsets while the others complete 4. They complete the 3rd and 4th subsets without reciting, but must recite in any subsets that they did not catch.
  • It is a virtue for the leader who is a traveller to say "complete your prayers, because we are travellers!" after having said the salaam.

Start- and end-points of being a traveler

  • If the traveller went beyond the buildings of his place of settlement, then he starts praying 2 subsets.
  • After exiting the town, he remains a traveller until he intends to settle in a town or village for 15 days or more. If he intended less, he will remain a traveller.
  • Settlement in the middle of the desert is not valid for ending the state of being a traveller.
  • If the traveller entered a town with the firm intention of leaving "tomorrow or after tomorrow", and never intended to stay for 15 days, then he shortens his prayer, even if years pass by.
  • If the muslim troops entered the warzone (non-muslim land) and intended to settle, they still shorten their prayer, even if they besieged a town or a fortress. This is because they are in the state between victory thus settlement and defeat thus retreat, so their place is not a place for settlement yet. The same is the case if they besieged (muslim) rebels against the Khaliifah in muslim lands outside the cities or at sea.
  • The intention of settlment for herders living in tents is valid, and is not invalidated merely by moving from one pasture to another.
  • If the traveller enters his home town, then he must complete all 4 subsets, even if he did not intend to stay.
  • Whoever had a hometown but emigrated to another town, remains a traveller if he should travel through his original hometown. This is provided that it is not also his hometown. The basic rule is that one's original hometown is invalidated as a "hometown" by taking another place as ones home, but not by mere travelling or settling in another town.
  • The place of settling is invalidated by settling somewhere else (because the new place is its equal) or by travelling (because it is contradictory to settling) or by reaching one's hometown.
  • If the traveller intended to settle in "Makkah and Mina" for 15 days, then he keeps shortening his prayer. Exempted here is if he intended to stay all nights in one of them, because settlement has to do with were you stay at night, so in this case he becomes a settler by entering the place he intends to stay at night.