Monday, July 19, 2010

The Jama’ and Qasar Solāh

The Jama’ and Qasar Solāh

What is the difference between combining and shortening of Solāh?

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

The Solāh Qasar

The Solāh Qasar is the shortening the four-raka`at Solāh of Dzuhur, `Asar, and `Isha', turning it to a two raka‘at granted to a musafir when travelling on Allah’s cause. It is not applicable to Solāt of Maghrib and Fajar. Solāh Qasar is granted to the musafir (travellers) regardless of whether or not one encounters any difficulty during the journey. Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “A gift that Allāh has bestowed on you, so accept His gift”.”

Allāh says: “And when you travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Solāh  you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you), verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies” [Al-Nisā’, 4:101]

Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh) recorded that Ya’la bin Umayyah said:  “I asked `Umar bin Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu`anhu) about the verse:There is no sin on you if you shorten the prayer. If you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial,” `Umar said to meAllah granted Muslims safety now, and ‘Umar added: “I wondered about the same thing and asked the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) about it and he said: “A gift that Allāh has bestowed on you, so accept His gift”.” [It is also recorded by Muslim and the collectors of Sunan; At-Tirmidzi said, “Hasan Sahih”. `Ali bin Al-Madini said, ‘his Hadith is Hasan Sahih from the narration of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu‘anhu), and it is not preserved by any other route besides this one, and its narrators are all known.’] 

Anas bin Mālik (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated, who said: “We went out with the Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) from Al-Madinah to Makkah; he used to observe solāh two raka‘at [i.e Qasar] until we went back to Al-Madinah.” When he [Anas] was asked how long they remained in Makkah, he said, “We remained in Makkah for ten days.” [Recorded by al-Bukhari, 1081; Muslim, 693] This was also recorded by the Group.

Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh) recorded that Harithah bin Wahb Al-Khuza`ie (radiyallāhu`anhu) said, “I observed solāh behind the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for the Solāh Dzuhur and ‘Asar in Mina, when the people were numerous and very safe, and he observed solāh of two raka‘ahs [i.e Qasar Solāh].”' This was also recorded by the Group, with the exception of Ibn Mājah. 

Al-Bukhari's narration: “The Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) led us in the solāh at Mina during the peace period by doing two raka`at.”And the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “The Solāh when travelling is a two raka‘at [i.e Qasar Solāh].” [Narrated by al-Nasā`ie, 1420; classified as sahih by al-Albāni in Sahih al-Nasā`ie] The Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Allāh has waived half the solāh for the traveller.” [Narrated by al-Nasā`ie, 2275; classified as hasan by al-Albāni in Sahih al-Nasā`ie]
A Hadith narrated by `Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha), who said: "The solāh was made fardhu in Makkah in sets of two raka`at. When the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) came to Medinah, two raka‘at were added to each solāh except the Solāh Maghrib because it is the witir of the daytime, and the Solāh Fajar due to its lengthy Qur`anic recital. But if he travels, he (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) performs the original solāh [i.e., only two raka`at]."
[Recorded by Ahmad, al-Baihaqi, Ibn Hibban, and Ibn Khuzaimah; the narrators are trustworthy]

Ruling of Sharī`ie

The scholars unanimously held that Qasar solāh is a mustahabb for the musafir than observing it in full form, because Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) observed Qasar solāh during all his journeys, and there is sahih hadith that he approved Aishah (radiyallahu`anha) observed the solāt in full whilst doing ‘umrah. Both are permissible, but it is more worthy to qasar it.

`Aishah (radiyallahu`anha) reported that she travelled with Allāh’s Messenger (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) in Ramadhān to perform `Umrah. He (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) did not fast but she did. Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) qasar the solāh and she performed the whole solāt. Then `Aishah (radiyallahu`anha) asked, “O Messenger of Allāh, you did not fast but I did, and you shortened your Solāh and I completed it.” He (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) replied, “You did well, `Aishah.”

In fact, to qasar the solāh is rukhsah (a legal concession) that one may either do it or not doing it, exactly as is the ruling of with wiping over leather socks in ablution. But it is most worthy of observing it.


`Abdullah Ibn `Umar (radiyallahu`anhu) said: “I accompanied the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) and he did not do more than two raka`at [the four raka`at solāh] whilst travelling, and the same applies to Abu Bakar, `Umar and `Uthman (radiyallahu`anhum)”.[Al-Bukhari (1102)]

The Hanafis are of the view that it is obligatory for the traveller to qasar his solāh. But the correct view is that of the majority: the Hanbalis, Malikis and Shāfi`ie, that Solāh Qasar is a Sunnah Mu‘akkadah (Emphasized Sunnah), and that it is better (mustahabb) than offering the solāt in full form.

[See: al-Ijma’ by Ibn al-Mundhir (27); al-Mughni (1/382); al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (27/274)]

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullah) said:

The reason for qasar of solāh is travelling only, and it is not permissible in situations other than travelling. As for Jama’ the solāh, the basis for it is the necessity and valid situations. So if a person find it necessary and needs it he may jama’, or do both qasar and full-length Solāh whilst travelling, and he may jama’ the Solāh when it is raining and so on, or because of sickness and the like, and for other reasons or necessity, because the purpose behind it is to spare the ummah hardship.

[Majmu’ al-Fatawa (22/293)]

Thus while Solāh Qasar is only granted to a musafir (traveller) travelling on good cause regardless of whether or not one encounters any difficulty,

The Solāh Jama’

It is permissible in shari`ie to  jama’ (combine)  the  Solāh Dzuhur with the Solāh 'Asar and also the Solāh Maghrib with the Solāh 'Isya' during the time of either one of them while on a journey; this is regardless of whether the person is physically traveling or has made a temporary break in his journey.

The combining Solāh Dzuhur and `Asar at Dzuhur, is known as Jama’ Taqdim or at `Asar, known as Jama’ Ta’khir; and Maghrib and Isyā’ at Maghrib or at Isyā’. Solāh Fajar is not applicable.  

Mu`adz bin Jabal (radiyallāhu‘anhu) narrated, who said: “While the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was in Tabuk, the sun had passed its meridian and the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would jama’ the Solāh of Dzuhur and 'Asar before starting his journey. If he (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) started his journey before the sun passed its meridian, he would delay the Solāh Dzuhur until the time when he stopped for the Solāh `Asar. He (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would do likewise for the Solāh Maghrib: If the sun set before he began his journey, he (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would jama’ the Solāh Maghrib and 'Isya' at that time, and if he (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) began it before the sun had set, he would jama’ them at the time of 'Isya'.” [Recorded by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidzi]

Kurayb reported that Ibn `Abbas (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: "Shall I not inform you of the Solāh of the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) during a journey?" We replied: 'Indeed!' He said: 'If the sun passed its meridian while he had stopped, he would jama’ (combine) the Solāh Dzuhur and 'Asar before remounting (i.e., moving on). If the sun had not passed its meridian while he had stopped (i.e., before breaking camp), he would travel until the time of the Solāh 'Asar and would jama’ the Solāh of Dzuhur and `Asar at that time. If the sun set while he had stopped, he would jama’ the Solāh Maghrib and 'Isyā'. If that did not occur while he had stopped, he would ride on until time of `Isyā' and then jama’ them." [Recorded by Ahmad]

Abdullah Ibn `Abbas (radiyallahu`anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) joined Dzuhur and ‘Asar, and Maghrib and ‘Isyā’, in Madinah when there was no fear and no rain”.  [Muslim (705)]

The scope for Solāt Jama’ is broader than Solāh Qasar. The reasons for Jama’ are more numerous. Solāh Jama’ is also granted to the travellers and for the non-travellers if it is too difficult for him to offer every Solāh on time, such as one who is sick, or if there is rain, or he is busy with some work that he cannot delay in order to pray, such as a student taking an exam or a doctor who is doing surgery and other reasons, necessity and circumstances to spare the hardship of the ummah.

Some scholar’s view that it is not permissible to jama’ the solāh anywhere except in the case of the pilgrim in these two places, `Arafah and Muzdalifah. The correct view is that of the majority of scholars, which is that it is permissible to jama’ the solāh if there is a valid circumstances and the necessity for doing so, because it is proven that the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) did it in places other than ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah.

Permissible distance to entitle the Concession

Shari’ah provides a concession of Qasar the solāh is the kind of travels which is customarily regarded as travel. According to the majority of scholars, the distance which avails for a traveler is defined as being two marhalah approximately fifty-six miles or ninety-one kilometers or more on his outward journey
  • It may avail him of the concessions that are granted to travellers, such as wiping over the khuffayn (leather slippers or socks) for three days and nights, jama’ and qasar the solāh, and not fasting in Ramadhān.
  • If the traveller reaches the city he has travelled to and intends to stay there for more than four days, then he cannot avail himself of the concession of travelling, but if he intends to stay for four days or less, then he may avail himself of the concession of travelling.
  • If a musafir is staying in a place and he is uncertain when he will cease his business and he has not set a specific length of time for his stay, he may avail himself of the concessions of travelling even if that goes on for a lengthy period.
Imam Ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullāh) says:

Some scholars deem completing the Solāh in full while travel is better than to Qasar it. Others prefer Qasar but they see no harm in completing the Solāh. Rather, they consider it the apparent ruling and they say that one should not Qasar his Solāh unless he intends to do so. Still others argue that completion form is not permissible, and the Sunnah is to Qasar the Solāh while travelling. According to them, it is reprehensible for a traveller to observe solāh in complete form. These scholars hold that Qasar the Solāh is a permanent Sunnah for the traveller, while jama’ the solāt is a temporary legal concession. In fact, this opinion seems to be the closest one to Sunnah.

[Majmu’ al-Fatawa]

If the traveller has arrived at his destination and is no longer on the road

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullāh) said: 

“The one for whom Allāh has prescribed Qasar Solāh, namely the traveller, is permitted to jama’ the solāh but the two concessions do not necessarily go together. He may qasar the solāh without jama’ them, and it is a better observation not to jama' thesolat  if the traveller has arrived at his destination and is no longer on the road, as the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam)  did in Mina during the Farewell Pilgrimage; he qasar the solāh but did not jama’ them. But he both jama’ and qasar the solāh during the campaign to Tabūk, which indicates that this (concession) is prescribed to make things easy when there is a need for it. And he (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to qasar and jama’ the solāh if he was on the road and was not staying in the place” 

[Majma’ Fatāwa Ibn Bāz, 12/289]

Usually when the traveller is on the road he needs to jama’ the solāh, because that is easier for him, so that he will not have to make a further stop in order to observe the solāh, which may be difficult for him and delay his journey. 

And Allah Almighty knows best.

[Excerpted with modifications from Islam Q&A Fatwa Nos: 48979; 105109; 105844]

See: Solāh al-Jumu`ah is waived for a Traveller.

All About The Solah

4. Al-Wudhu’ ; 5. Tayammum;
22.   Solāh of a Traveler; 23. Solāh Qasar ; 24.  Solāh Jama’
28.   Solāh al-Jumu`ah; 29. The Sanctified Hour of Jumu’ah.

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