Offering Salah in airplanes and buses

Q 3: On our way back to KSA while on an airplane, Maghrib (Sunset) and ‘Isha’ (Night) Salahs (Prayers) became due. However, we did not offer them while on the airplane knowing that their time had elapsed and we would pray them when we would reach Saudi Arabia as we know that their time had not yet elapsed in the Kingdom where we would offer them. What is your opinion on this issue?

A: As for Salah whose time becomes due and then elapses while you are on an airplane, if it can be combined with the next-in-time Salah such as Zhuhr (Noon) and ‘Asr (Afternoon) Salahs or Maghrib and ‘Isha’ Salahs, it should be delayed and combined with the following Salah at the time of the latter. This is if the airplane lands before the time of the second Salah elapses. Otherwise, the two Salahs should be offered while on the airplane shortened and combined at the time of any of them. However, if the first Salah is due before taking off, you should offer it combining it with the following Salah at the time of the earlier one before you board the airplane. However, if the Salah whose time becomes due and then elapses while you are on an airplane is Fajr (Dawn) Salah, you have to offer it at its due time while on board and you may not delay it. Q 4: While traveling, the Zhuhr Salah, for example, became due and I intended (Part No. 6; Page No. 455) to combine it with ‘Asr Salah at the time of the latter. I then offered Salah, five minutes, for example, before ‘Asr was due. What is the ruling on this? Have I offered the two Salahs before they were due? Or, have I offered them at the time of Zhuhr? A: If you combine two Salahs before the time of the first Salah elapses, it will be a combination at the time of the earlier Salah, which is permissible if one is traveling for a distance over which it is permissible to shorten Salah. Q 5: Suppose we are about to travel outside the KSA and we went to the airport where we combined Zhuhr and ‘Asr Salahs at the time of Zhuhr to know that the flight was cancelled after sitting on the plane for a while. If we go home, should we re-offer ‘Asr Salah in congregation? Or, have we already offered it? A: If you go to the airport intending to travel and you combined Zhuhr and ‘Asr Salahs at the time of the earlier one to be informed that the flight is cancelled, and so you returned to your homes, your Salah is valid as it meets the conditions, and its validity is not affected by the cancellation of the flight. Q 6: We live in the city of Jeddah. We offer Salah combining and shortening it when traveling abroad. After months, one scholar told us that we should neither combine nor shorten Salahs at the airport as it is within the boundaries of the built-up areas of the city. What should we do? Should we re-offer the Salahs we had performed before, bearing in mind that no one knows (Part No. 6; Page No. 456) the number of Salahs we had performed. What should we do? A: If it is certain that the airport is within the boundaries of the built-up areas of the city of which you are inhabitants, it will be impermissible for you to shorten Salah therein as you will not be considered on a journey. Moreover, those of you who had shortened Salahs have to re-perform them, as their Salah will not be valid. Q 7: Is one exempted from observing (Sawm) fast on the White Days (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijri month) while traveling? Or, is it necessary to observe Sawm on other days of the month in compensation? What is the ruling regarding Salat-ul-Duha (supererogatory Prayer after sunrise)? A: Performing Salat-ul-Duha as well as observing Sawm on the White Days is Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet), which is not obligatory either while traveling or residing. Rather, whoever performs them will receive reward and whoever leaves them will not be sinful whether traveling or resident.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.