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I am travelling to Toronto in 5 days time from now. I urgently seek your answers to the following questions.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

As salaam aleikum brother.

 

I am travelling to Toronto in 5 days time from now. I urgently seek your answers to the following questions.

 

1. Can I pray qasr at the airport from which I am departing(i.e departing from the airport in the city where I live)?

2. How do I pray in the plane? Can I say my prayers sitting and visualising the actions but reciting the suras and duas in the mind?

4. How do I determine the time for prayers in the plane as the plane will be flying over several time zones?

5. After I reach my destination, for how many days can I pray qasr? I plan to stay for 3 weeks in Canada.

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Pray while travelling

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question: Can I pray qasr at the airport from which I am departing(i.e departing from the airport in the city where I live)?

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 101-102:

101 When ye travel through the earth there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers.

 

The majority of the scholars and jurists in Islam are of the opinion that once the person has initiated their travel or journey, they are eligible to offer qasr or shortened prayers. Thus if you live in the city and have initiated your travel and reached the airport, and the time of prayer is due, there is absolutely no harm if you offer your prayers qasr or shortened at the airport.

 


Your Question: How do I pray in the plane? Can I say my prayers sitting and visualising the actions but reciting the suras and duas in the mind?

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.393 Narrated by Jabir

Allah's Messenger (saws) used to pray (optional, non-obligatory prayer) while riding on his mount (Rahila) wherever it turned, and whenever he wanted to pray the obligatory prayer, he (saws) dismounted and prayed facing the Qibla.

 

Dear and beloved brother, it is permissible in Islam to offer ones voluntary (Sunnah or Nafl) prayers whilst moving on a mount or in a vehicle (car, planes, etc.), but when one wishes to offer ones obligatory prayers and has the physical ability and the space to do so, one should offer them facing the Qibla and in a standing position.

 

If one is traveling one a plane and one fears one would not reach their destination before the prayer time elapses, one should strive to seek the permission of the steward and offer their prayers in the galley.

 

Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.67

Allah the Exalted has conferred a special blessing upon this Muslim Ummah - that is, the whole earth has been declared a mosque for it. Therefore, when the time for prayer comes, a Muslim may pray wherever he may be. Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari reports that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Wherever you may be, at the time of salah, you may pray for it [the earth] is all a mosque."

Related by Bukhari and Muslim.

 

If one has tried to the best of ones ability and is still not able to find a place to stand, face the qibla, and offer their obligatory prayers on the plane.then the scholars and jurists in Islam are of the opinion that instead of letting the prayer time elapse, if one has absolutely no other choice, then there is no harm if one offers their prayers in the sitting position on their seats. It is expected that Allah Subhanah will accept their striving and their prayers.

 

When praying in a sitting position, one must make all the actions and movements of prayer which are possible like:

  1. Raise the hands when declaring the takbeer,
  2. Folding the hands when reciting the Surahs
  3. Bending forward when performing the ruku
  4. Bending a little more forward when performing the sajdah, etc.

 

Visualizing the movements in prayer is only for those who are absolutely unable to offer their payers in the standing or sitting position, but due to their disability can only offer their prayers while lying down. If one offers their prayers in a sitting position, one has to make the necessary movements of prayer and it would not be proper or permissible for them to simply visualize the movements required in prayer.

 

Your Question: How do I determine the time for prayers in the plane as the plane will be flying over several time zones?

The times of the prayers in Islam are determined by the movement of the sun; and if one is flying through various time zones, one would offer ones prayers according to the time of the present location of their plane.

 

Your Question: After I reach my destination, for how many days can I pray qasr? I plan to stay for 3 weeks in Canada

There are several authentic narrations that the Messenger of Allah (saws) would shorten his prayers whenever he (saws) was on a journey. According to authentic tradition the Prophet (saws) did not stay out of Madinah for a period longer than 20 days at any one stretch where he (saws) did indeed shorten his prayers, the eminent scholars and jurists in Islam have differed on exactly how many days one may offer shortened prayers when one is on a journey, depending on which hadith they use as their evidence for their opinion.

 

Some of the scholars have said four days, while others have allowed ten, fourteen, nineteen or twenty days, while others have said even six months and others have said that regardless of the time, as long as one has no intention to settle down in that place, he may shorten his prayers as long as he does not return to his place of residence! Each of the eminent scholars have given their evidence from the Sunnah or tradition of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and of his noble companions, thus regardless of which school of thought one prefers over the other, as long as one has evidence from the Sunnah, it would be deemed acceptable in Shariah.

 

Aishah says: "One who does not put down his provision is to shorten the salah."

 

Ibn al-Mundhir states in his Ishraf: "The people of knowledge are in agreement that a traveler may perform qasr (shortened) prayers as long as he does not intend to stay (permanently) in a place.

 

Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.112

Hafs ibn 'Ubaidullah says: "Hadrat Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) stayed in ash-Sham for two years and he prayed the salah of a traveler (Qasr). Hadrat Anas (r.a.) relates: "The companions of the Prophet (saws) stayed in Ram Hurmuz for seven months and they shortened their salah." Al-Hassan reports: "I stayed with 'Abdurrahman ibn Samurah (r.a.) for two years in Kabul, and he shortened his salah but he did not combine the salah." Ibrahim says: "We resided in Rai for a year or more and in Sijistan for two years . . . [and we prayed qasr].

 

As long as one does not intend to live permanently at ones destination, it would be deemed permissible for the person to offer their prayers in the qasr format.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan


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