The Taqsir of the Traveler and His Iftar
The four cycles in a prayer are shortened to two when travelling whether [the one undertaking the journey] is in [a state of] fear or safety, as per the consensus of the Muslim community. The ruling is unanimous. The Almighty Allah says: "When you travel on earth there is no blame on you if you shorten your prayer if you are scared that those who disbelieve will trouble you" (4:101).
On the authority of Ya'la b. Umayya: He said: "I said to 'Umar b. al-Khattab: 'There is no blame on you if you shorten the prayer if you fear that those who disbelieve will trouble you', but the people are [now] safe.' He said: 'I was wondering about that just as you are wondering so I asked the Prophet of God (P) about it. He (P) said: 'It is a charity which Allah has granted you so accept it.'" Muslim has reported [the hadith] in his Sahih.
From Ibn 'Umar - this has also been reported by Muslim in his Sahih - He said: "I accompanied the Prophet of God (P) on a journey. He did not pray more than two cycles until Allah took him away. And I accompanied Abu Bakr and he did not pray more than two cycles until Allah took him away. And I accompanied 'Umar and he did not pray more than two cycles until Allah took him away. Then I accompanied 'Uthman and he did not pray more than two cycles until Allah took him away." The Almighty God has said: "Indeed, there is an exemplary model for you in the [figure] of the Prophet of God." (33:21)
From Anas b. Malik - according to what the two Sheikhs have reported in their Sahihs - he said: "We travelled from Medina to Mecca with the Prophet (P). He used to offer two cycles until we returned to Medina."
From Ibn 'Abbas - according to what al-Bukhari has reported in his Sahih - he said: "The Prophet (P) stayed in Mecca for 19 [days] and he used to shorten [the prayer]." I say: He used to shorten even though he stayed for 19 days as he had not made the intention to stay [for more than 10 days].
It has been proven from the Prophet of God (P) that he used to lead the people of Mecca in prayer after the emigration. In the prayer of four cycles, he would offer the greetings after finishing the first two cycles. He would tell the people to complete their four cycle prayer [alone], he excused himself and those who had come with him since they were travelers.
Ibn Abi Shayba has narrated with a chain of authority from the Prophet of God (P) that he said: "The best of my community are those who bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Prophet of God and those who, when good is done to them, they rejoice and when evil is done to them they forgive and when they travel they shorten [their prayers]."
From Anas: - according to what Muslim has reported from two sources in his Sahih - he said: "I prayed the zuhr in four cycles in Medina with the Prophet of God (P), then I prayed two cycles of the 'asr with him at Dhu'l-Hulayfa as a traveller." Many authentic traditions clearly indicate that Allah, the most Mighty and Glorious, has legislated the taqsir when travelling.
Adapted from the book: "Questions on Jurisprudence" by: "Abdul Hussein Shareefaldin Al-Musawi"
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