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Aqeedah and Fiqh

Yasir Qadhi | The Definition of “Travel” (safar) According to Islamic Law | Part 1


Part 1 |  Part 2 |  Part 3

One of the five main principles upon which Islamic law is based (i.e., the Legal Maxims, or al-Qawāʿid al-Fiqhiyya) is: “Difficulty begets ease” (al-mashaqqa tajlib al-taysīr). This principle is manifested throughout all of the rules of fiqh, and in particular that of travel (safar). A traveler may shorten the prayers (qasr), combine them (jamʿ), and be legally permitted to break the fast of Ramadan (fiṭr).

There are explicit evidences from the Quran, the Sunnah, and unanimous consensus of the scholars of Islam that allow a traveler to shorten his or her prayers.

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The Quran says, “And if you travel in the land, there is no sin on you that you shorten your prayers (taqṣurū min al-ṣalāt) if you fear that the unbelievers may harm you.” [Sūra al-Nisāʾ:101].

The verse seems to suggest that ‘fear’ is a necessary condition, along with travel, in order to shorten the prayer. However, even though the verse mentions ‘fear’ as a condition, it is no longer a requirement.  ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb was asked how it was still permissible to shorten prayers even though there was no ‘fear’ remaining. He replied, “I asked the Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhī wa sallam the exact same question, and he said, ‘This is a charity that Allah has given to you, so accept His charity’” [Reported by Muslim]. In other words, Allah has graciously lifted the condition mentioned and allowed Muslims to shorten even if there is no fear of impending attack by enemy forces.

It is narrated in numerous traditions that the Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhī wa sallam would shorten every four-unit prayer to two-units whenever he was traveling – in fact, he never prayed any four-unit prayer while in a state of travel.[1]

Hence, there is unanimous consensus amongst all the scholars of Islam that a traveler who is undertaking a legitimate journey may shorten the four-unit prayers to two.[2] [Note that the issue of combining (jamʿ) is a separate one, and there is a difference of opinion regarding the permissibility of combining prayers while traveling].

The question that arises, however, is: when does one legally become a ‘traveler’? And for how long may one continue to shorten the prayer?

To answer this question, we will divide this article into two sections. Firstly, we shall discuss the opinions of scholars regarding the distance that constitutes ‘travel’. This will also require us to go into a tangent and convert the distances narrated in the classical and medieval textbooks into modern measurements. Secondly, we shall discuss the opinions of the scholars regarding the time-duration that is required for the status of a traveler to change into a resident once he arrives at some destination.

1. The Distance that Constitutes ‘Travel’

The distance that constitutes ‘travel’ is one of the most highly contested issues amongst the early scholars of Islamic law, so much so that Ibn al-Mundhir (d. 310/922) mentioned close to twenty opinions on this matter. For the purposes of our article, we shall concentrate on the four most famous opinions.

1.1 First Opinion: A three-day journey

What is meant by a ‘three-day journey’ is the distance that a traveler on a camel of average speed would traverse in three complete days.

This is the position of the Companion Ibn Masʿūd, some of the famous scholars of Kufa such as al-Shaʿbī (d. 105/723) and al-Nakhaʿī (d. 96/714), and the standard position of the Ḥanafī school of law.

They based this figure on the famous hadith in which the Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhī wa sallam said, “It is not allowed for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day that she travel for a distance of three days without her father, son, husband, brother or any maḥram” [Reported by Muslim]. They reasoned from this hadith that the Prophet called the distance of ‘three days’ a ‘travel’, hence this can be taken as a definition for what constitutes traveling.

Another evidence that they used was the hadith pertaining to wiping over the socks, in which the Prophet “…allowed a traveler to wipe over his socks for a period of three days and nights” [Reported by Muslim]. The Ḥanafīs reasoned that since the Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhī wa sallam set a particular time limit in place, this demonstrates that anyone traveling a distance less than a three-day journey would not be allowed to wipe over his socks, which would then imply that he would not be a traveler.

1.2 Second Opinion: A two-day journey

This is the famous opinion of the Ḥanbalīs, Shāfʿīs and Mālikīs (note that even within these schools there are other opinions as well, as shall be pointed out in the next section). This opinion has also been reported from Ibn ʿAbbās, Ibn ʿUmar, Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhrī (d. 129/746), and others. From amongst the modern scholars, this is the opinion of Ibn Baz (d. 1999) and the fatwa of the Permanent Committee of Scholars of Saudi Arabia. It is claimed that this is the majority opinion of the classical scholars of Islam.

Their evidence is the fact that the Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhī wa sallam said, “It is not allowed for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day that she travels for a distance of two days without a maḥram” [Reported by Muslim]. They also used the action of Ibn ʿUmar as an evidence, for it is reported that he would shorten his prayers if he traveled the distance of four barīds (i.e., two days, as we shall discuss later in this article) [Reported by Imam Malik in his Muwaṭṭa].

1.3 Third Opinion: A one-day journey

This was the opinion of Imam al-Bukharī (d. 256/869) which he explicitly mentions in hisṢaḥīḥ. It has also been attributed as a second opinion within the three schools of the last opinion (viz., the Ḥanbalīs, Shāfʿīs and Mālikīs). [It will be explained later why this second opinion for these three schools is not in essence different from their first one].

The famous scholar of Syria, al-Awzāʿī (d. 151/768), said, “This is the opinion of the majority of scholars, and we hold it as well.” Amongst the modern scholars, this is the opinion of our teacher Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Mukhtār al-Shanqīṭī.

Their evidence for this is the fact that the Prophet salla Allahu ʿalayhī wa sallam said, “It is not allowed for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day that she travels for a distance of one day without a maḥram” [Reported by al-Bukhārī]. Al-Bukhārī commented on this hadith by saying, “So it is clear that the Prophet called [the traveling of] one day and night a ‘travel.’”

They also use as evidence the statement of Ibn ʿAbbās, when he was asked by a person residing in Makkah, “Should I shorten when I go to Mina or Arafat?” He said, “No! But if you go to Taif, or Jeddah, or travel an entire day’s journey, then do so. But if you travel less than that, then do not shorten.”[3] Therefore, he expressed ‘an entire day’s journey’ as being the minimal limit for shortening the prayers.

1.4 Fourth Opinion: It is not defined by distance but by experience

What is meant by this opinion is that a journey is not defined by how much one has traveled but by what one does and how one prepares for it. According to this opinion, a ‘journey’ is not a particular distance as much as it is a physical and psychological experience.

This is the opinion of Ibn Ḥazm (d. 456/1064) (although he placed a minimum of ‘one mile’), Ibn Qudama (d. 610/1213), Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/1327), Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 756/1355), al-Ṣanʿānī (d. 1182/1768), al-Shawkanī (d. 1250/1834), and others. It has been interpreted to be the opinion of Ibn Masʿūd, ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān, and Ibn Sirīn. In fact, there is an explicit statement from Ibn Sirīn which shows that this opinion might have been more prevalent in the past, for he states, “They used to say that a travel in which one may shorten the prayer is a journey in which one takes provisions and baggage.”[4] Amongst the modern scholars, it is the opinion of Ibn ʿUthaymīn (d. 2000) and Ibn Jibrīn (d. 2010).

Their evidence is the lack of any Scriptural evidence that defines ‘travel’, and hence the necessity of resorting to what is culturally understood to be ‘travel’.

Ibn Taymiyya was perhaps the most vocal proponent of this opinion. He disagreed with any specific distance that other scholars sought to derive. According to him, there is no explicit evidence from the Quran, Sunnah, language or custom of that generation that would be binding on later Muslims. He views the distances that the legal schools and other scholars adopted as having been resorted to because these scholars did not find anything more explicit to demarcate the distance required to be considered a ‘traveler’. In fact, all three of the previous opinions use the same basic hadith that prevents women from traveling without a male companion – yet, as is obvious, each hadith uses a different limit. This in itself shows that the intention of the hadith is not to define the distance of what constitutes ‘travel’.

Ibn Taymiyya writes,[5]

So demarcating a specific distance does not have any basis in the Shariah, or in the language, or in the intellect. Most people, in fact, do not know the distance of the earth, so it is not allowed to link something that the average Muslim is in need of (i.e., when to shorten the prayer) with something that he does not know (i.e., how much he has traveled). No one measured the earth during the time of the Prophet, nor did the Prophet himself put limits, neither inmīls nor in farāsikh (units of measurement). And a person might leave his village to go to the desert in order to collect wood, and he leaves for two or three days, and he will be a traveler, even though the distance might be less than a mile! In contrast to this, another person might go [a longer distance] and come back the same day, and he will not be a traveler. This is because the first person will take provision for the journey, and bags [with his necessities], whereas the second person will not. Therefore, even a near distance can be considered a ‘travel’ if someone stays for a period of time, and a longer distance will not be considered a travel if a person stays for a short period. A ‘travel’ is therefore defined by the actions that are required in order for that journey to be called ‘traveling’… and this is a matter that people recognize by their own customs.

Ibn Taymiyya did, however, place a condition that such a travel be considered a travel according to one’s custom, such that a person would prepare for a journey and travel into the wilderness (meaning, an uninhabited area). Hence, if a person visited an outlying district of a city (in Ibn Taymiyya’s explicit example, if a person living in Damascus visited a small population outside of Damascus), even if this distance was considered large, this would not constitute travel, as this is not considered ‘traveling’ for a person in this situation.

Therefore, according to Ibn Taymiyya, a ‘travel’ is not merely a distance but also a frame of mind. Someone who leaves his house, intending to return the same evening, is not a traveler, even if (as in our times) he travels to another country and then returns. Ibn ʿUthaymīn also holds the same position.[6]

Ibn Taymiyya also pointed out that this interpretation was in accordance with the very wordsafar in Arabic, because this word indicates ‘exposure’. Thus, a woman who exposes her face is called sāfira. Therefore, a safar’ would be a journey in which a person ‘exposes’ himself/herself to the wilderness by abandoning the cities and towns and journeying into an uninhabited area.


To be continued…

Part Two deals with converting these measurements into modern units.

[1] Ibn Taymiyya, Majmūʾ al-Fatāwā, 24/8.

[2] Ibn Hubayra, al-Ifṣā, 2/55There is some disagreement regarding someone who travels for an impermissible purpose, such as a businessman who travels to engage in an impermissible transaction; that tangent will not be discussed in our article.

[3] ʿAbd al-Razzāq, al-Muṣannaf, # 4296.

[4] Ibn Abī Shaybah, al-Muṣannaf, # 8153. Also see Ibn Taymiyya, Majmūʾ al-Fatāwāʼ,24/86-7.

[5] Majmūʾ al-Fatāwā, 24/15.

[6] Ibn ʿUthaymīn, Majmūʾ Fatāwa, 15/255.

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Sh. Dr. Yasir Qadhi is someone that believes that one's life should be judged by more than just academic degrees and scholastic accomplishments. Friends and foe alike acknowledge that one of his main weaknesses is ice-cream, which he seems to enjoy with a rather sinister passion. The highlight of his day is twirling his little girl (a.k.a. "my little princess") round and round in the air and watching her squeal with joy. A few tid-bits from his mundane life: Sh. Yasir has a Bachelors in Hadith and a Masters in Theology from Islamic University of Madinah, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Yale University. He is an instructor and Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib, and the Resident Scholar of the Memphis Islamic Center.



  1. Arif Kabir

    July 1, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    JazaakumAllahu Khayran for posting this, ya Ustadhi. I remember we were discussing how there were particular people within my locale who would shorten prayers practically everyday when heading to work. This article definitely helped me to see the various legitimate opinions.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  2. Massoud

    July 1, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    A very-well researched article by the Sheikh. Pleasure to always read your writings!

  3. Michael Scott

    July 1, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    can never get enough of Qadhi.

    Keep writing Sheikh, this is your JIHAD OF THE PEN!

    • A

      July 18, 2011 at 3:17 AM

      this post, and more importantly this comment deserves a thumbs up!

      (bring back the thumbs up/thumbs down button!!!!!!)

  4. Amy

    July 1, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    As-salaamu alaykum

    I’m interested in this subject because I spend a lot of time traveling and really appreciate the ease of Islam when it comes to the prayers of the traveler. Traveling a great distance, even in a short period of time, might mean a drastic change in the times of prayers. Alhamdulillah we have apps that can tell us the qiblah and prayer time even in the desert but without this technology I imagine it might be difficult to keep up with the difference between dhuhr and asr while traveling, or maghrib and isha, or even to know when fajr has come in. Many times traveling leaves us without an adhan, and clouds can compound the problem of finding the time while away from home.

    It’s not that it would be impossible to find the time, but what a mercy to not have to be burdened by it.

    I’d love to know about the scenario of a full day’s travel away from home, with a day’s provision, but returning at night.

    • Yasir Qadhi

      July 1, 2011 at 1:23 PM


      There is of course a grey area in this. So, for example, I live in Memphis. Suppose I were to travel to Nashville by plane (30 minutes) for a business meeting and I planned to be home for lunch. I would not prepare any luggage, would only be dressed in the very clothes for that meeting, would drive to the airport, and maybe four hours later find myself driving back home. According to the understanding of Ibn Taymiyya’s fatwa (and this is also the explicit fatwa of our Shaykh Ibn Uthaymin), this is not quite a ‘travel’ because even my frame of mind did not consider it a ‘journey’.
      Many other scholars (in fact, the majority) would, of course, disagree with this interpretation.

      Allah knows best…for this one issue (viz., a long journey undertaken in a short period of time) I myself am contemplating both sides of the matter and haven’t as of yet reached a decisive opinion.


  5. salih

    July 1, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum.

    Thank you for such a beneficial paper. Barakallahu fik.

  6. quadri anwar ahmed

    July 1, 2011 at 6:42 AM

    Their evidence is the lack of any Scriptural evidence that defines ‘travel’, and hence the necessity of resorting to what is culturally understood to be ‘travel’.

  7. Hassan

    July 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Although it is perhaps not the topic of this article, but since all ahadiths that are used is related to woman and traveling, how come modern/contemporary scholars have allowed women to travel far distances? I am not sure if there was any relaxation in first 3 centuries by scholars.

    Does 1 day travel means “time” or 1 day travel means “distance” ? because that changes the whole game perhaps.

  8. M.M.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Assalamu Alaikom Sheikh Yasir,

    Can you clarify what is meant by a ‘legitimate journey’? Especially in Ramadan for example.

    Jazaka Allah Khair

    • Yasir Qadhi

      July 1, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      Salam Alaikum

      See footnote [2].

      Any journey that is permissible (regardless of whether it is a religious journey, such as going for Hajj, or a worldly-related matter, such as traveling for job or business) is one in which the prayer may be shortened and combined.

      For some scholars (e.g., the Hanbali school), a journey that is ‘sinful’ is not one in which one may shorten prayers. So, for example, if a businessman is traveling to engage in an impermissible transaction (or a thief is traveling to commit a crime in another village!), according to that school he would not be allowed to shorten the prayer.

      (One wonders if someone who is so unscrupulous as to travel for the sake of haram actually cares what the scholars say about his combining of the prayers – but that is a separate point!!)


      • Khader Ali Khan

        July 1, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        Ya Sheikh, Sometimes I travel to play sports… does that comes into “legitimate journey” category?

        • Yasir Qadhi

          July 1, 2011 at 3:44 PM




          • Uz

            July 6, 2011 at 6:42 AM

            I read a very convincing fatwa that it is haraam to travel to non-Muslim lands for the purpose of enjoyment.

            Three main points were:
            •waste of time
            •waste of your own money, and the voluntarily spent money is used to spread false religions and wage war against Islamic countries.
            •Sitting in places where sins are committed (drinking alcohol, gambling, promiscuity) and not condemning those who do that. This is doing a haraam action, funding the haraam action and failing to do an obligatory action.
            •Loss of modesty because the immoral conduct and animalistic behaviour that one sees in those countries.

            Seeing as we are already in these lands, where does this place us? Are we required to leave? I know Muslims close to me who have left Islam. I know non-Muslims close to me who have entered Islam. Is it a wise move to stay in the west when we cannot even guarantee the Islam of the next generation?

      • M.M.

        July 1, 2011 at 4:25 PM

        Jazaka Allah khair Sheikh, what about travelling for a short vacation, i.e. fun? Is it considered to be a legitimate reason to shorten the prayers?

      • Salaf

        July 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        As-salamu alaykum,

        Jazakum Allah khair.

        What is the evidence that shortening the prayer in sinful travels is not allowed? I know that Ibn Taymiyah, Ibn Hazm and Abu Hanifah holds a strong opinion that it is obligatory to shorten the prayer in every travel (obligatory, sunnah, mubah and haram travels).

        Jazak Allah khair,


      • Jason

        November 13, 2015 at 8:23 PM

        I’m curious about the Traveller when it is appropriate to jihad and how soon to pray when engaged in a jihad war. What if engaged in a very long period in just interested for general knowledge because a friend ask how it goes for curiosity also and doesn’t it tell when and who a jihad can be against such as other religions. I’m not interested in a debate just an answer! Thank you!

  9. Mahmoud Sabha

    July 1, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Cant wait for part two…especially since I will be living soon on a small island that isn’t even 15 miles long! It does have many mountains though so it could take hours to get to the other side…

  10. hendersoncnc

    July 1, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    mashallah these are the type of articles I’ve been waiting for.

  11. Mohammad

    July 1, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Assalamu alaikum. Could you please clarify – traveling for sight seeing is a legitimate journey or not? Jzk.

  12. Kamal

    July 1, 2011 at 10:49 PM


    Can you also cover in thwe next article the duration of the time spent outside one’s home. I’ve heard about difference of opinions on loosing one’s traveller’s status if you spend more than 4 days in the place where you go. (Like are you a traveller when you go to another city to teach an al Maghrib class and spend 2 to 3 weeks in that city?)

  13. Ibn Masood

    July 2, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    Finally, Muslimmatters returns.

    BarakAllahu feek Sheikh Yasir for this piece.

    I have a question about an issue we encountered in Saudi Arabia. We traveled regularly on the weekends between Riyadh and Makkah, and would prefer to minimize our stops as much as possible. Sometimes we would stop by a gas station and the adhaan would be called. As per the ahadeeth of responding to the adhaan, should we respond to that adhaan even if we are traveling?

  14. Abez

    July 2, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    JazakAllahuKheitan! I’m really looking forward to the next two installments. My husband and I have held differing views on travelling prayers for a while now, and while we’re content to agree to disagree, I recognise that we both need to learn more about opinions other than our own. :)

  15. Amir Yunas

    July 2, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    A juicy article indeed on a common fiqh issue. I would love to read some fiqh books written by you Sh. Yasir. Because I have noticed that your style in presenting fiqh makes a rather boring topic into one that keeps you on the edge of your seat. At least this is how I feel, but jazzakAllah Khair at any rate, and keep on publishing these juicy fiqh issues.

  16. Abu Ibrahim Ismail

    July 2, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Jazakallah Khair,

    This very situation came up recently when my wife visited another city that was about 150 miles from where we live. It was very frustrating trying to figure out if we were sinning by allowing her to travel on her on.

    Islamic Learning Materials

  17. Weekly Traveler

    July 3, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum Shaykh Yasir,

    I travel every week for my job, and I was wondering when I can begin to shorten and combine my prayers?

    My travel is such that when I am at the airport dhur is just about to end, and when I land in the new time zone and arrive at my destination Maghrib has started.

    Is it permissible to shorten and combine before I leave for the airport? Or should I only pray and shorten Asr on the plane (praying on the plane, even while sitting, is always a little awkward, which is why I was wondering if I could shorten before I leave so that it is easier to maintain full concentration).

    Jazakallah khair

    • Yasir Qadhi

      July 6, 2011 at 4:52 PM


      In your case it would be permissible and better to combine the two prayers at the airport and pray standing instead of praying sitting in the plane. However, according to the majority you cannot shorten as you don’t actually begin traveling until you leave the city of your residence.

      You will be combining based on necessity, not because you are traveling.


  18. Zain Ul Islam

    July 3, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Jazakummullahu Khairan Brother!!

  19. Ayesha

    July 3, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    JazakAllahukhairan for the post…!!

  20. ibnabeeomar

    July 3, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    another important question: what about business travelers who travel mon-fri, or mon-thurs to different locations? or maybe sometimes the same city for 6months to 2 years? you live out of a hotel during that time, but sometimes you technically spend more time there than at home during a given week

  21. umm.esa

    July 3, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    So glad to read an informative article. wish there could more of these. jazakAllahu khayran sh. yasir qadhi

  22. MuslimNoise

    July 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Much needed article which I’m sure will clear up many issues that people may have. I have always inclined to the fourth opinion and have been taught that the definition of ‘travel’ depends on what the custom is. But it’s good to know about the full-scale of the difference of opinion between the classical and contemporary scholars.

  23. Umm Reem

    July 4, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    JazakAllah khiar shaikh

    1. Can a person have more than one home? And what would be the criteria for that. Can i consider my mother’s house in Houston as my home and not shorten my prayers there.

    2. What about when a person travels for a prolong period of time, like I am in Egypt for 2 months, though I have an apartment here I do feel like a traveler. (wasn’t it IT who also said that a student traveling to seek knowledge may continue to shorten his/her prayers for as long as he/she is away from home or something along the lines)

    • Yasir Qadhi

      July 6, 2011 at 4:56 PM


      Yes a person can have more than one place that s/he considers as a ‘residence’.

      The second question will be answered in Part 3.


  24. UmmH

    July 4, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    This is a really important issue, especially for women whose parents live over 49 miles away (or however long 3 days is).

    What I find really surprising is that the fear factor is not taken into account (in relation to women and travelling). I can’t understand that if the Prophet SAW allowed women to travel on their own for three days and three night, when in those times it was pitch black at night, extremely dangerous, in total wilderness, why wouldn’t he permit women in this age to travel 100 miles away from their homes? Travelling has never been safer in many places around the world.

    Also, it would be interesting to know why there was a need to change it from days to distance. Who was the person who converted three days and three nights into miles.

  25. Mu'adh

    July 5, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    Salaam ‘alaykum,

    Awesome article, I love stuff like this, very practical, and well-written so it does not become dry.

    I see I’m not alone, as everyone seems to want to have other issues of travel addressed, and I hate to add to it, but this has much to do with modern travel. I hope Sh. Yasir notices this post.

    How do we deal with traveling across time zones? I know when I fly to Paki across the Atlantic, the day is sped up, I’m not sure what’s going on, isn’t salah by the position of the Sun, etc. etc?

    • Yasir Qadhi

      July 6, 2011 at 4:55 PM


      You pray according to where you currently are (in your case, where the plane is). Look out the window – when the sun sets, you pray Maghrib, and so forth.


  26. Aaminah Abdiqadir

    July 5, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    Baarakalaahu feek SHeikh Yassir, I’m looking forward to the the second segment.
    Indeed this is most educational and it cleared some fog from our minds

  27. Madeeha

    July 5, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    JazakAllah khiar for this informative article. I have a question. What if one is under circumstances where they cannot perform their shortened prayer on time. However, when they get to a place where they can pray, they are already home. Does one perform the shortened prayer (because the prayer time occurred while the person was travelling) or does he/she perform the normal prayer.

    • Yasir Qadhi

      July 6, 2011 at 4:54 PM


      If one returns home after a travel and delayed the prayers (e.g., arrives home at 10 PM without praying Maghrib and Isha), there is no sin in this. However, because this traveler has now arrived, s/he must pray the full four units for Isha.


      • Rayhana

        January 19, 2016 at 2:03 PM

        Salaam ‘alaykum,

        I travel 5 days a week 51km to 55Km one way to work and it’s on the highway. The highways I take (401 hyw in Canada/Toronto) is always jam packed and it takes my more then an hour an a half to two hours depending on the traffic to get home. My dilemma is that I often miss my prayers because I finish work at 4 and Asar starts. In summer time I usually don’t miss any prayers due to my travelling but in winter I miss Asar. I have been praying salatain at work and I hope its accepted by Allah.

        Also Can I pray safer salaat when I am at work since I am traveling 100km both ways.

        Please get back to me.

        Thank you.

  28. Sabeen H

    July 5, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Asalam ALekum
    Question asked by Br, Hassan(July 1st) is very interesting.
    Today Muslim women travel almost everywhere alone,are we doing something prohibited in Islam?
    waiting for the answer.

    • Yasir Qadhi

      July 6, 2011 at 4:54 PM


      I’m afraid this is an altogether different talk and not the scope of this article – perhaps one day I’ll write an article on that issue!


  29. Abdullah

    July 6, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    Shaykh, If you have heard of Bayyinah’s Dream program, do you think that students coming from afar should shorten their prayers when not praying in the masajid?

  30. Abu Ayyoob

    July 6, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu ya Shaykh

    What would the ruling be on the prayer of a traveller who travels a short distance from home yet packs for a day or two(for stay at an inn/guesthouse)? By short distance I mean less than or around 100 km.

  31. 'Uthmaan

    July 7, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    Great article! JazakAllah Khayr. The question of what exactly consitutes travel is something I’ve been precisely wondering about for a while now. I look forward to the future parts.

    Btw any plans to finish the series of articles on salvific exclusivity? And what about the article you said you were going to write on the obligation or otherwise of Hijrah from Non-Muslim lands and other related issues?

  32. 'Uthmaan

    July 7, 2011 at 5:34 AM


    1. You mentioned that the legal maxims is one of the five main principles upon which Islamic Law is based. Could you please briefly just list what the other four are? I know it’s not entirely relevant but I’m really curious.

    2. May I know which position from the ones mentioned in the article, that you personally take, if any?

    3. How do we renconile the meaning of the hadeeths which prevent women from travelling without a male companion, when they appear so contradictory? All three of them mention different periods of time! How does such a contradiction arise?

  33. Student

    July 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    AsSalaamu ‘Alaykum Sh Yasir,

    JazakAllahu khayr for the article, I always appreciated your articles that dealt with issues like this and academic approaches to various issues.

    I’ve heard and some groups even practice, that the Hanafii Fiqh actually has the travel time of two weeks, yet here you listed their opinion is only of 3 days? What’s their reasoning behind two weeks then? I do remember some brothers who practiced the two week opinion at the first IlmSummit as well, I’m a bit confused about this?

    Secondly, I’ve read another opinion that if you pray 20 fard salah or less in your destination, it constitutes travel. Meaning if you arrive somewhere by Maghrib, and leave before Maghrib 4 days later, you are traveling, but if after, then its considered not, which makes sense one the 4 days opinion. Do you know the proofs behind this and reasoning? I assume its a legit opinion because of where its found…

    JazakAllahu Khayr

  34. Abu Ibrahim

    July 7, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Assalam Alaykum Shaykh,
    If you move to a different state for the practice of studying for university, with intent to go back when school is over, should one shorten their prayers if one does this or are they considered a an inhabitant of that land?

  35. Pingback: Yasir Qadhi | The Definition of ‘Travel’ (safar) According to Islamic Law | Part 2 |

  36. Pingback: Yasir Qadhi | The Definition of ‘Travel’ (safar) According to Islamic Law | Part 3 |

  37. Pingback: Yasir Qadhi | The Definition of ‘Travel’ (safar) According to Islamic Law | Part 3 | ISLAMIC SPOTLIGHT: ISLAMIC NEWS, STORIES, HADITH, DOCUMENTARIES, LECTURES, NASHEED AND MORE DEEN RELATED ARTICLES

  38. AbdulAleem Khan

    September 10, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Therefore, according to Ibn Taymiyya, a ‘travel’ is not merely a distance but also a frame of mind. Someone who leaves his house, intending to return the same evening, is not a traveler, even if (as in our times) he travels to another country and then returns. Ibn ʿUthaymīn also holds the same position.

    so if a person leaves home in the morning for a business trip to a place atleast 600 miles from home and returns the same day (by air of course), is he not a traveller?

  39. Pingback: MM Treasures | Yasir Qadhi | The Definition of “Travel” (safar) According to Islamic Law | Part 3 -

  40. Talha

    March 5, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Asalamu alaykom ya Sheikh,

    Masha’Allah tabaruk’Allah beautifull written wallah…. So nicely explained… I am most definately far too late expecting a reply but nevertheless i shall try bithnillah…. Me a seeker of knowledge i firmly believe the opinion you follow seems to be th strongest, but as a weak individual practically i feel my nafs will affect me when i need to distinguist i enter the frame of a mind of a traveller, so is it permissible for me to follow the safer opinion of 48miles?

    Jazak’Allah Khayr


  41. Dawud

    March 7, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Assalam alaikum. I have a bit of a problem. I moved away from my old city because I hate living in big cities, I like small towns it is so much more peaceful. So I have moved far away from Auckland (15 hours drive) to a town of about 30,000 people. I have been here 3 weeks now, since then I have tried to find the room for juma on friday. There are some egyptians here and I have tried to contact them but they seldom get back to me. I finnaly found the prayer room yesterday, so I went their today for juma and was waiting about half an hour and nobody showed up! What do I do in this situation as I do not want to go back to Auckland (at this stage, but I intend to later on in the year inshALLAH)? Not only that but I have just paid 5000 dollars for studies and If I walk out I will not get my money back. Also I have other problems too. When I was living in Auckland many of the brothers treated me like crap (im a revert) and I used to feel very lonely most of the time, and people hardley spoke to me. As soon as Ieave auckland about 1 week later one of the brothers at the masjid calls me and starts speaking to me as if he is suspicious of me and pretty much told me in a nice way that if I dont come back to live in the city then I am like a munafiq. My question is, is islam only for people who live in the city??? Because ever since I have left brothers are now backbiting against me and accusing me of even worse things which they have no right to. Not only that but I do not want to ask the sheik up their about any fatwas on this issue because if their are many halal options he will pretty much just pick one of them (he will pick the most difficult option) and make it wajib on me. I feel as though people do not trust me, when I talk to brothers up there now they respond to me in strange ways. I am really sick of it and it is making me not want to go back to auckland at all now. I do not see why we cannot be muslim anywhere we go, why do they treat me like an apostate just because I am living in a town with few muslims, I mean at least I show up for juma, I go to the masjid hoping that brothers will be there but sofar none have showed up, so it is not as if I am trying to avoid my obligations. Also I have missed 3 jumas so far (although I intended to b there. the first 2 I missed because I was trying to find muslims in the town(I even followed one muslim family in a car for a while but the traffic was heavy and I lost them so did not get the chance to speak to them) and the other juma I missed was today I showed up but nobody was there! I heard a fatwa that if you miss 3 juma in a row you are kufar or munafic. The thing is I am still praying 5 times, i am still reading quran and hadiths and I still feel like a muslim but yet according to some people I am kufar???? Even though I am a believer and I intend to remain a beleiver??? Can you please give me some wisdom here sheik because I cannot understand why people are acting like this towards me???

    • Abdullah

      July 10, 2016 at 8:37 AM

      Ah, :( so sorry to hear that,I know its been years since u wrote that comment,hopefully everything is fine by now.May Allah help u in ur problems

  42. ibnukheir

    March 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Assalam Alaikum Sheikh.My question is i am a seaman how long do i have to shorten my prayers?

  43. Naveed khan

    June 30, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Dear Sheikh Asalam u aliakum
    Please may I know how long is qasar prayers applicable. I will be away from home for more than a month visiting relatives.

  44. salmaanpar

    October 14, 2014 at 5:33 AM

    Excellent article! Keep them coming

  45. Binta

    August 15, 2015 at 8:17 PM

    Please send me news letter for free

  46. Saba

    September 12, 2015 at 1:20 PM

    As-Salam u alikum Brother,

    I was researching about the rulers of travel prayers and found your article. It is helpful but what I am looking for is what shortening of prayers is constituted for ?
    1. Do we only shorten the faraz or sunat as well?
    2. If we are traveling ex. In a car and not yet reached our destination, do we just only pray two rakat faraz and once we have reached our destination do we pray a full four rakat sunnat and two rakat faraz?
    I am looking for reference which can back up my above two questions.


  47. Mohammed Bakir

    July 1, 2016 at 11:51 PM

    Good article, but my question pertaining to Ibn Taymiyyah’s view is that if one visits a small population outside Damascus and intends to spend more than one night, is that person a traveller? So for one to be considered a travel, they must go to a place outside their city and intend to spend more than one night there?

    Also, if one travels to an area outside but close to New York City (where that person lives) and spends more than one night there, is that person a traveller?

  48. Hocine temmar

    October 5, 2016 at 8:55 PM

    Salam aleykoum,

    When we are travelling ans once we have reached destination. Are we still allowed to combine prayer ? Sometimes I visit my family in Paris and I don’t always pray at the mosque and also combine when I find difficulty to pray on time (not that many mosque in Paris unfortunately).
    I have read that as long as we are traveling, even if we are at destination, we have the right to combine prayers though it is preferable to pray in congregation unless if we hear the adhan. Is this opinion right ?
    Am I committing any sin while visiting my family and combining Salah instead of praying every Salah at the mosque ?

    Barakallah oufik

  49. Zia-e-Taiba

    October 18, 2016 at 2:27 AM

    This is very good Article.

  50. Nasir Memon

    November 8, 2016 at 3:35 AM

    Nice to see an Article about Definition of Travel Safar.

  51. Sajna

    December 2, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Can I pray jam and qasr while I travel to jeddah from Makkah? ( I stay in Makkah)

  52. Richard

    July 31, 2018 at 9:53 AM

    Islam is a religion of progressive revelation. Therefore why is not the date of the hadith taken into account. This makes it much simpler

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