Criterion of travel and the distance that gives a traveler the right to shorten and combine Salah

Q: We are soldiers in a remote area which is 40 km away from the city of Rafha’ where we are assigned a mission for three months. Should we perform Salah (Prayer) in full and the Jumu‘ah (Friday) Prayer? What about the supererogatory Salah, knowing that there is a permanent Masjid (mosque) where we perform the Five Obligatory Daily Prayers? Is it permissible for us to combine ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayer and Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer at the time of the thick dust? Is it permissible for us to wipe over the Khuffs (leather socks) as residents or travelers?

A: The traveling that requires shortening Salah should be a distance of (Part No. 6; Page No. 396) eighty kilometers or more, which is equal to a two-day travel by a camel. Thus, it is not permissible for you to shorten the Salah because the place you travel to does not meet the distance set by the Shari‘ah (Islamic law). Also, it is not permissible for you to combine the two Salahs and you have to perform every Salah fully at its due time. However, you are permitted to wipe over the Khuffs as residents for only one day and one night. It is not permissible for you to perform Jumu‘ah (Friday) Prayer; instead, you should offer it as Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer unless there is a nearby town where Jumu‘ah (Friday) Prayer is offered. In the latter case, you should join them. Moreover, you are permitted to perform Al-Sunan Al-Rawatib (supererogatory prayers that were stressed and regularly performed by the Prophet), Witr (Prayer with an odd number of units) and the like.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.