Criterion of travel and the distance that gives a traveler the right to shorten Salah
Q 4: (A): When I travel from
to visit one (Part No. 6; Page No. 414) of my relatives, I stay there for two or more days. Is it permissible for me to shorten and combine Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer and ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayer together at the time of the earlier one? Note that the time of ‘Asr Prayer becomes due while I am still at my relative’s place.(B): Is it permissible for me to combine Zhuhr and ‘Asr Prayers at the time of the earlier one, offering each of them as a four-Rak‘ah Salah (Prayer consisting of four units) i.e. without shortening them? Please, explain the issue in detail, for I want to circulate it for the benefit of the common people who are unaware of the ruling and may not accept my mere advice. May Allah make it useful!
It is permissible for you to shorten Salah, if you are staying for four days or less and do not intend to stay for a fixed time. However, it is better to offer each Salah at its due time without combining prayers. If you are praying behind an Imam (the one who leads congregational Prayer) who offers Salah in full, you should follow him in prayer. If you are alone, you should offer Salah with the congregation, not individually, and you should offer Salah in full. Indeed, Congregational Salah is Wajib (obligatory) but
shortening Salah for a traveler is Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet). Evidently, the obligatory acts are given priority over acts of Sunnah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.