All praise is due to Allah Alone. May peace and blessings be upon the Last Prophet!
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has examined the question submitted to the president by His Royal Highness Prince
Khalid ibn Bandar ibn `Abdul-`Aziz,
which was referred to the committee from the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior (Part No. 8; Page No. 154) Scholars, no. 5176 on 13/9/1410 A.H. It reads as follows:I would like to inform Your Eminence and the Permanent Committee for Ifta` that military maneuvers with live ammunition are carried out from time to time by different sectors of the armed forces. All branches of the armed forces hold these exercises during the course of their annual training and all those participating, both officers and soldiers, have to be in a continuous state of alert and emergency, resembling those of battle conditions. The exercises are carried out in places far from the bases and are usually in the desert, which exposes them to the risk of accidents. The period of these exercises may extend to more than twenty days.Is it permissible in this situation to shorten Salah (Prayer) or to shorten and combine them, or do they have to be offered in their due times? We hope that Your Eminence will advise us on this matter. May Allah guide you!
After studying the matter, the committee gave the following answer:
It is not permissible for the soldiers to shorten or to combine Salah in the situation you mentioned, because
if a traveler intends to stay in a place for more than four days, they have to complete their Salah and they are not permitted to shorten or combine Salah, according to the majority of scholars.If going to place where the training is conducted is not considered as traveling, because it is close to the town, then they should not shorten or combine Salah at all. (Part No. 8; Page No. 155) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.