How army officers should offer Salah while being in their posts
Q: Eight months ago, the leadership commanded our military unit (the soldiers) to move from
Khamis Mishit region
in the front lines. We were near the urbanized villages, living in tents and did not lead a stable life. Near us are villages and deserted grounds. We do not know when we will return home. Since then until now, we shorten Salah. (Part No. 6; Page No. 398) First question: Is shortening the four-Rak‘ah Salah (Prayer consisting of four units) in this case permissible? Please, advise.Second question: Are we required to offer Jumu‘ah (Friday) Prayer?Third question: Is a person who brings his family and lives in the nearby villages required to shorten or offer Salah in full?
It is well-known that the basic principle in Shari‘ah (Islamic law) is that the non-traveler must offer the Salah in full, each Salah at its due time. Likewise, the basic principle concerning the traveler is to shorten the Salah. It is also permissible for the traveler to combine two Salah, offering them at the time of the earlier or the later one. For example, combining Zuhr (Noon) and ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayers, and offering them at the time of either one of them; also combining Maghrib (Sunset) and ‘Isha’ Prayers, and offering them at the time of either one of them, whether at the beginning, middle, or end of the due time of Salah, according to what is most convenient for the traveler.Likewise, if the traveler intends to stay for four days or less or stays temporarily in a place and does not know when they will finish their task and leave or how long they will stay, they, like a traveler, may avail of the Rukhsahs (concessions) of traveling, such as shortening the Salah and others.As
for the traveler who intends to stay for more than four days, their case is like that of the resident; they should not avail themselves of any of the Rukhsahs of traveling, like shortening Salah and others, according to the most correct opinion of scholars, (Part No. 6; Page No. 399) following the basic ruling concerning the Salah of the non-traveler, which is to offer Salah in full, and that to be on the safe side.As for Jumu‘ah Prayer, since you mentioned that you are not a resident of this place - and since residency is a condition - you are not required to offer it. So, you should offer Zhuhr Prayer (four-Rak‘ah Salah) instead. However, if any of you enters a Masjid (mosque) where the Jumu‘ah Prayer is offered, he should offer it and it will suffice instead of Zhuhr.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.