Islam is a religion full of mercy and because of the hardships and
inconveniences which a person usually undergoes during travels, Allah
(subhanahu wa ta'ala) has made certain concessions to the traveler. One
of these concessions is that traveler may shorten some of the
obligatory prayers. Allah says in the Holy Qur'an: “When ye
travel through the earth there is no blame on you if ye shorten your
prayers” (Qur'an 4:101).
Because of this grant from Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), it is an
established practice that a traveling Muslim may shorten the four (4)
rakaats obligatory prayers into two rakaats only. Thus, the Dhuhr, Asr
and lsha prayers may each be shortened into two rakaats. However, the
Maghrib and the Fajr prayers cannot be shortened and are to be
performed in full.
is also an established practice that the traveler may combine some of
the obligatory prayers. Thus, the Dhuhr prayer may be delayed until the
time of the Asr prayer when both will be performed; or, the Asr prayer
may be brought forward to the time of the Dhuhr prayer when both will
be performed. Likewise, the Isha prayer may be brought forward to the
time of Maghrib prayer; or, the Maghrib prayer may be delayed until the
time of Isha prayer. The Fajr prayer can neither be brought forward or
delayed and has to be performed at its prescribed time.
we may give an example, assuming that a traveler wishes to combine
Dhuhr and Asr prayers by bringing the Asr prayer forward to the time of
the Dhuhr prayer, the person would proceed as follows:
- Each prayer will be performed separately.
- Only one Prayer Call (ADHAN) shall be made for both prayers
but two Second Calls (IQAMAHS) shall be required (i.e. one Second Call
(Iqamah) shall be made separately for each prayer).
- The person would first come up with the Call for prayer
"Adhaan" intending it for both the two prayers.
- The person would then come up with the second call "Iqamah"
for the Dhuhr prayer.
- The person would then perform the Dhuhr prayer shortening it
to two rakaats only.
- After completing the Dhuhr prayer, the person stands up and
makes another second call "Iqamah" for the Asr prayer.
- The person would then perform the Asr prayer also shortened
to two rakaats only.
Note: A traveler may lead the prayer as an "IMAM" of the residents of
the place he is visiting. And in such a case, he (being an Imam), may
perform only two rakaats for the Dhuhr or Asr, and/or Isha prayers
while, the residents he is leading, shall upon his completion continue
to complete the remaining two rakaats of the respective prayers.
However, in such cases, it is desirable that the traveler who may act
as an Imam first gives notice to the congregation regarding his
position and his intention to shorten his prayer so that the
congregation continues to complete the prayer.
On the other hand, if the traveler has to pray behind an Imam who is a
resident of the place he is visiting, then in such case, the traveler
shall pray with the Imam all the four (4) rakaats as usual.