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Dear Mr. Burhan Bhai, Pls advise how is `Qasar` prayers being said? Example, we are being told that if you are in safar (travelling beyond 20 kms) and reach a destination and you donot have a Mehraam person living there then during zohar/asar/magrib & isha you only pray 2 rakaats each only, and not the normal. Whilst, others say that though you have a Mehraam but if you are only staying for few hours and you wouldn`t be able to pray all the five times then still one has to pray 2 rakaats only. Again some say that once you have a Mehraam person living then you can pray full rakaats (full namaaz) even if you are staying for few hours or one day OR you can pray full namaaz without a Mehraam person unless one decides to stay for more than 10 days. Tell me which is correct? and can you pls clearly explain this in detail. Your Brother In Islam, Iqbal Alibhai.

Qasar Prayers

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

The commandment of the ‘qasr’ or shortening of prayer is from the following aayah of the Glorious Quran:

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 101: When you go on a journey, thej re is no harm, if you shorten your salaat,  (especially) when you fear that the disbelievers might harass you, for the disbelievers are openly bent upon enmity against you.

We must also try and comprehend how did the Messenger of Allah (saws) understand the above aayah and how did he follow the commandment of Allah in the Quran.

This is obviously a long subject and various scholars have given various opinions about the ‘qasr’ prayers, each giving evidence from the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (saws).   We will try and break it down into sections for easy reference, Insha Allah.

Which prayers have to be shortened.

Minimum distance to start praying the ‘qasr’ prayers.

How much time one needs to stay in once place to pray ‘qasr’.

What is the role or rule of ‘mehram’ or blood-relative.

Do we have to pray ‘qasr’ or can we pray full prayers.

Ref:  Which prayers have to be shortened.

The Fajr (2 rakahs) and Magrib (3 rakahs) will NOT be shortened.  They are always prayed in full.

The Zuhr, Asr and Isha prayers, when prayed ‘qasr’ or shortened, will be reduced to two rakahs from four rakahs each.

Ref: Minimum distance to start praying the ‘qasr’ prayers.

The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible to shorten one’s salaah when one leaves one’s residence and is outside one’s city.   Some of the scholars are also of the opinion that the minimum distance must be 89 kilometers, and the evidence they give is that some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to pray shortened prayers if the distance they were travelling was the distance of a camel travel for 3-days and 3-nights, and that has been calculated to about 89 kilometers.

Ref: How much time one needs to stay in once place to pray ‘qasr’.

The scholars are of the opinion that if a person intends to stay at one place for more than fifteen days, then he must offer full prayers.   If his intention is to stay less than fifteen days, then the prayers must be shortened.

Ref: What is the role or rule of ‘mehram’ or blood-relative.

The shortened prayer rules have nothing to do with any mehram living in the place of destination or not.  This has nothing to do with the ‘qasr’ or shortened prayers.  The Mehram law applies only to women, as the Messenger of Allah (saws) said in an authentic narration: “No woman, who fears Allah and the Last Day, must travel a distance of a day and a night without a mehram”.   Thus the mehram law does not apply to the ‘qasr’ prayers at all.

Ref: Do we have to pray ‘qasr’ or can we pray full prayers.

It is preferred that one offers ‘qasr’ prayers when travelling for a distance of more than 89 kilometers or another city, or for a time period of less than fifteen days.  

One of the closest companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws) asked the Prophet (saws): “Why should we offer ‘qasr’ prayers, when we are strong and not afraid of the disbelievers attacking us, and we are easily able to offer full prayers?”.   The Messenger of Allah (saws) replied: “Allah Subhanah has given his slaves this gift, thus he should accept the gift from Allah.”  

From the above narration, the scholars are of the opinion, that Allah has been merciful and allowed His slaves the easiness to shorten his prayers.  Thus, a believer should accept this Mercy from Allah, and shorten his prayers whenever he is eligible to do so.

But if the traveler goes to a mosque or joins a prayer which is led in congregation, then it is better that he prays the full prayer behind the ‘imam’, as the imam prays.

And Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

Burhan

 

 


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