Rules Regarding the Watan
Q 678: My birthplace is Tehran but my parents are originally from the city of Mahdishahr. They usually travel to Mahdishahr several times a year, and I go with them. As I do not intend to return to my parents’ town to live there, but have decided to stay in Tehran, what rule is applied to my prayer and fasting?
A: Based on the above assumption, your prayer and fasting in the original watan of your parents will be in accordance with that of a traveler.
Q 679: I live six months in one city during the year, and six months in another which is my birthplace as well as my place of residence and that of my family. However, my stay in the first city is not continuous, but intermittent. For example, I stay there for two weeks, ten days, or less, and then return to my birthplace where my family resides. My question is: Does the rule of a traveler apply to me if I intend to stay in the first city for less than ten days?
A: If that city is not your watan and you do not intend to make it your watan, the rule’s of a traveler will apply to you whenever you intend to stay there for less than ten days unless you frequent to this city for job-related purposes at least once every ten days in which case you should pray in full and fast.
Q 680: An individual decided to reside in a place for years. How long should he intend to reside there so that the ruling of watan applies to it? Is there any difference if he intends just living there, staying for work or both?
A: For such a place to be considered as watan, it is enough to intend living there for seven-eight years. But if he intends to stay there for work or a purpose other than living, it is not ruled as watan.
Q 681: A person’s watan is Tehran. Recently he decided to take up residence in one of the towns near Tehran and make it his watan. But, since his daily business and work is in Tehran, he cannot stay in this city for ten days, let alone six months, so that it may become a watan for him. He goes to his work every day and returns at night to this town. What is the rule of his prayer and fasting in this town?
A: For a place to become one’s new watan, it is not a condition to stay there continuously for six months after deciding to consider it as his/her watan and place of residence. Rather, after selecting a place as a new watan and residing there with this intention — even only at nights — for a while, it becomes his/her watan.
Q 682: My wife and I were born in the city of Kashmar. After my employment in a government office, I moved to the city of Neyshabour, while our parents still live in our birthplace. At the beginning of our move to Neyshabour, we abandoned our original watan (Kashmar) (i.e. we ceased to consider it as our watan anymore), but fifteen years later we changed our mind. Please answer the following questions:
i. What is our duty with respect to our prayers whenever we visit our parents and stay with them for several days?
ii. What is the duty of our children, who were born in our current place of residence (Neyshabour) and now they are ritually mature, during our visit to our parents’ town (Kashmar) and in the course of our several days’ stay in Kashmar?
A: After you abandon your original watan (Kashmar), it is not considered as your watan any more unless you return to live there again and stay there for a period after intending to live there permanently. As far as your children are concerned, the rule of watan does not apply to this city, and the rules of a traveler apply to all of you in that city.
Q 683: Someone has two watans. Therefore, he performs full prayer in both places and fasts. Please answer this question: Do his dependants, i.e. wife and children, have to follow their guardian in this matter, or may they act independently on their own?
A: It is permissible for the wife not to adopt the new watan of her husband as her own, but as for the children, if they are minors and dependent in making decisions and in earning money, or they are subject to their father’s decision with respect to this matter, the new watan of their father will be considered their watan as well.
Q 684: If a mother, to deliver her baby, has to travel for a few days to a maternity hospital located outside the watan of the baby’s father and return after the delivery, where will be the baby’s watan?
A: If the hospital is located in the parents’ watan where they live, the same city will be the baby’s original watan. Otherwise, simply being born in a city is not sufficient to make it its watan. The baby’s watan will be the parents’ watan where it is brought after birth and lives with its parents.
Q 685: Someone has been living in Tehran for several years, but he has not taken it as a second watan. What will be the rule of his prayer and fasting in this city when he leaves Tehran, travels more or less than the shar‘ī distance and returns?
A: After he makes the intent of staying at least for ten days in Tehran and the rule of full prayer becomes established to him through performing at least a single four-rak‘ah prayer, he should make full prayers and fast there as long as he does not leave the city and travel a shar‘ī distance; otherwise, if he travels a distance equal to or more than the shar‘ī one, the traveler’s rule will apply to him.
Q 686: I am an Iraqi and would like to abandon Iraq as my watan. Should I take Iran as a whole as my watan, or one of its areas, and do I have to buy a house so that I might take a watan?
A: For taking a new watan, it is necessary to make the intention of adopting a particular city as watan and to reside there long enough to be considered as one of its residents according to common view. But the possession of a house in that city or anything else is not a condition.
Q 687: A person migrated from his birthplace to another city before being ritually mature, and was not aware of the issue of abandoning ones watan. Having reached the age of maturity now, what is his duty concerning his prayer and fasting in his birthplace?
A: If he migrated from his birthplace following his father, and his father did not intend to return there for living, the watan’s rule will not apply to him in that place.
Q 688: Someone has a watan where he does not live at present, but goes there sometimes with his wife. Should his wife perform full prayer there, like him, if she goes along with him to that place? What rule will apply to her prayer if she goes there alone?
A: The mere fact that a place is the husband’s watan does not entail that it is a watan for the wife as well so that the watan’s rule should apply to her while being there.
Q 689: Does the rule of watan apply to one’s place of work?
A: To work at a place does not make it one’s watan. However, one should perform full prayer and fast there if a shar‘ī distance is traveled back and forth, at least once every ten days, between one’s residence and place of work.
Q 690: What is meant by abandoning one’s watan? If a girl gets married and travels with her husband to the place he wishes, will it amount to abandoning her watan?
A: It means leaving one’s watan with the intention not to return to live there. Her mere going to the husband’s house in another city does not entail abandoning her original watan.
Q 691: Please explain your opinion on the issue of original and second watan.
A: Original watan is the place where one is born, lives for a time, grows up, and flourishes. The second watan is the place a mukallaf intends to live there for seven-eight years.
Q 692: My parents are from Saveh. They both went to Tehran when they were young and took residence there. After marriage they went to Chalus, where my father works. Given that I was born in Tehran but did not live there at all, how should I perform my prayer in Tehran and Saveh?
A: If you did not grow up in Tehran after being born there, Tehran will not be considered your original watan. Therefore, if you did not take Tehran or Saveh as your watan, the rule of watan will not apply to you in the two cities.
Q 693: Without abandoning his watan, someone has been residing in another city for six years. Given that he has kept the taqlīd of the late Imam Khomeini (q), should he perform prayer in full when he returns to his watan?
A: As long as he has not abandoned his previous watan, the watan’s rule remains valid for him, and he should perform full prayers and his fasting is valid there.
Q 694: A university student has rented a house in the city of Tabriz in order to study in a college there for four years. Besides, he intends to stay in Tabriz permanently if possible. At the present, during the blessed month of Ramadan, he sometimes visits his original watan. Are these two considered his watans?
A: If he has not resolved to make the place of his studies a watan, the watan rule will not apply to him there. But his original watan will remain as such as long as he does not abandon it.
Q 695: I was born in Kermanshah but have been living in Tehran for six years. I have not abandoned my original watan, while I intend to adopt Tehran as watan as well. If I move from one locality of Tehran to another every one or two years, what rule will apply to my prayer and fasting while I am here? Since we have been living in the new locality (inside Tehran) for more than six months, does the watan rule apply to us here? How will our prayers and fasting be when we travel between different areas of Tehran during the day?
A: If you make the intention to take the present Tehran, or one of its areas, as watan, it will be your watan as a whole, and the watan rule, namely the obligation to perform prayer in full and validity of fasting, will apply to you in all areas of the present Tehran, and the traveler’s rule will not apply to your traveling around inside present Tehran.
Q 696: Someone belongs to a village but works and lives in Tehran at present. His parents live in the village where they own some land and wells. He travels to the village to visit his parents or to help them, but is not interested at all in returning to live there. Given that he was born in this village, what is the rule of his prayer and fasting there?
A: If he does not want to, rather he has resolved not to, return to that village to live there, the watan rule will not apply to him there.
Q 697: Is one’s birthplace considered their watan even if they do not live there?
A: If they stayed there for a period of time, grew up and flourished there, and did not abandon it, then the watan’s rule will apply to them while being there; otherwise it will not.
Q 698: What rule applies to the prayer and fasting of someone who has been living for a long time (nine years) in a place which is not his watan and is presently forbidden from returning to his watan, but is certain that he will return some day?
A: His rule with respect to his prayer and fasting in the place where he now lives is that of the traveler.
Q 699: I spent six years of my life in a village, and eight years in a city before I came to Mashhad, where I now study. What is the rule of my prayer and fasting in each of these places?
A: The watan rule applies to you, concerning your prayer and fasting, while in the village, which is your birthplace, as long as you do not abandon it. But as for Mashhad, the traveler’s rule will apply to you as long as you do not make the intention of making it your watan. As for the city where you resided for several years, if you took it as your watan, the watan rule will apply to you while being there, as long as you do not abandon it; otherwise your rule there would be that of a traveler.
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