Someone for Whom Traveling Is a Job or a Preliminary for the Job
Q 637: A person travels as a preliminary to his job, should he perform his prayer complete, or does this rule apply only to someone whose job is traveling? What do marji‘s such as Imam Khomeini mean by the phrase "one whose job is traveling". Is there anyone whose job is to travel? This is because the jobs of a shepherd, a driver, a sailor, etc. are to look after the sheep, or to drive, or to sail, respectively. Basically, there is no one whose job is traveling as such.
A: Whoever travels as a preliminary to his job and at least once every ten days goes back and forth between his home and place of work should perform his prayer complete and his fasting is valid. The phrase "one whose job is traveling" in the statements of mujtahids, may Allah be pleased with them, means someone whose job itself involves traveling, like the jobs mentioned in the question.
Q 638: There are people who take residence in a certain city for a period exceeding one year, or the soldiers who have to reside in a city for one or two years in order to complete their military service. Is it obligatory for them to intend to stay there at least for ten days after each travel so that they can perform their prayers in full and fast? What rule applies to their prayers and fasting if they intend to stay for less than ten days?
A: If they are frequenting that place for their job at least once every ten days, they should pray in full and fast except during the first and the second trip. In the first and the second trip if they do not intend to stay for ten days, their rule is the same as that of other travelers namely that prayers are to be shortened and fasting is invalid.
Q 639: What rule applies to prayer and fasting of fighter pilots who, on most days, fly from their air bases and travel a distance much more then the shar‘ī distance and return again?
A: Their rule in this regard is the rule of car drivers, sailors, and pilots, i.e., during their traveling, they pray in full and their fasting is valid.
Q 640: Some tribes live in a winter resort for one or two months and in a summer resort for the rest of the year or vice versa. Are these two places considered their watan? When they are residing in one of them, they may have a trip to the other. How should they pray?
A: If they intend to continue going back and forth permanently between the summer and the winter resorts, spend some days of the year in one and other days in the other one, and choose both places as their permanent settlements, then both places are regarded as their watans. If the distance between the two watans equals or exceeds the shar‘ī distance, while traveling from one watan to the other, their rule is that of other travelers.
Q 641: I am an employee at a government office in the city of Semnan, and the distance between my work place and residence is about 35 km. Everyday I travel this distance to reach my work place. How am I to perform my prayers when I have a special assignment and intend to stay in the city (place of my work) for several nights? Is it obligatory to perform my prayer in full? If, for example, I travel to the city of Semnan on Friday to visit my relatives, is it obligatory to perform my prayer in full or not?
A: If the journey is not for the sake of your job for which you travel daily, the rule of traveling for work will not apply to it. But if the journey is for the sake of the job itself and during it you do other things in the place of your work, such as visiting relatives and friends, and sometimes you stay there for one or more nights, the rule of traveling for work will not change because of this, and you will perform your prayers in full and fast.
Q 642: If I do certain personal work at my place of work after the time of my official assignment for which I have traveled (for example, I do my office work from 7 a.m. till 2 p.m. and do personal work after 2 p.m.), what will be the rule of my prayer and fasting?
A: Doing personal work during travel for official assignment, after completing the office work, does not change the rule of travel for official assignment.
Q 643: What rule applies to the prayers and fasting of the soldiers who know they will stay in a certain location for more than ten days, but have no control over their own affairs and situation? Please clarify Imam Khomeini’s fatwā too.
A: When they are sure that they will stay for ten days or more, it is obligatory for them to perform their prayers in full and fast. This is also the Imam’s fatwā.
Q 644: What rule applies to prayers and fasting of the personnel of the army, or that of the Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps, who stay for more than ten days in garrisons and the same in border areas? Please explain the Imam’s fatwā, also.
A: If they decide to stay more than ten days in a location, or know that they will do so, it will be obligatory for them to perform their prayers in full and to fast. This is the Imam’s fatwā also.
Q 645: It is stated in the risālah of Imam Khomeini (q.), in the chapter on the traveler’s prayer, the seventh condition, "It is obligatory for the driver, except during his first journey, to perform prayer in full. During the first journey, his prayer is shortened even if it takes long."
Does the first journey mean the beginning of travel from the watan till returning to it or it ends when one reaches his destination?
A: If the act of going to the place of work and returning back from it is considered as one trip in the common view — e.g. the teacher who travels to another town for teaching and return to his hometown in the afternoon or on the next day, to go and to return altogether would be considered as one trip. However, in case the common view does not consider them as one trip — like the driver who travels for transporting travelers or goods to another place and then returns to his watan — the first trip ends at the first destination.
Q 646: Does the traveler’s rule apply to persons whose permanent jobs are not driving, but driving has become their duty for a short term, such as soldiers in garrisons etc. who are assigned to drive cars, or is it obligatory for them to perform full prayers and fast?
A: If common people consider driving as their job during this temporary period, they have the same rule as that of other drivers.
Q 647: If a driver’s car breaks down and he travels to another city to buy spare parts to repair his car, should he perform prayer in complete or in shortened during such a trip, considering that he does not take his car with him?
A: If his job during this trip is not driving and this trip is not considered as traveling for work in the common view, his rule will be that of other travelers.
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