Q 1: A discussion raised between me and an Arab colleague in America concerning shortening the Salah (Prayer).
As we may stay here for two years, I have been performing the full Salah, as if I were still in my country. However, my friend has been shortening his as he considers himself to be a traveler, even if we stay for two years. I hope that you will explain the legal ruling on shortening Salah, substantiated with legal evidence.
The basic rule states that only a traveler on a journey is granted the Rukhsah (concession) to shorten the four-Rak`ah Salah (Prayer consisting of four units), because Allah (Exalted be He) says:
And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Salât (the prayer)
Also due to the saying of
Ya`la ibn Umayyah who recited to
`Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) the Ayah (Qur'anic verse) that reads:
...there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Salât (the prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you, etc.)
`Umar said, "I was surprised about what you are surprised, so I asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and he said, 'It is a Sadaqah (voluntary charity) that Allah has granted you, so accept His Charity.'"
(Part No. 8; Page No. 110)
A person is considered to be included under the ruling of a traveler if they travel to a place and stay there for four days and nights, or less. It is authentically reported on the authority of
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) reached
Makkah in the morning of the 4th of Dhul-Hijjah, during the Farewell Hajj. He (peace be upon him) stayed there for the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th, and then performed the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer in
Al-Abtah on the 8th. Up until then the Prophet (peace be upon him) had been shortening his Salah, and had made the intention as he was intending to stay there, as is well-known. So it is permissible for any traveler to shorten their Salah if they have made the intention to travel and stay for the same period as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stayed, or less than it. As to those who travel, intending to stay more than four days, they should offer complete Salah as they are not considered as travelers.Those who travel and stay more than four days due to any compelling reason without previous intention to do so while resolved to return upon fulfilling their need, they take the same rulings of a traveler. For example, those who go out to fight an enemy while resolved to return after the battle and those detained by force, sickness, or a specific need while determined to return upon release, recovery, or fulfilling the need i.e. Finding a runaway slave, selling goods, and the like. (Part No. 8; Page No. 111) In these cases, they are considered travelers, thus it is permissible for them to shorten the four-Rak`ah Salah, even if the period they stay extended. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stayed in
Makkah during the year of the Conquest of Makkah for 19 days, during which he shortened his Salah. He also stayed in
Tabuk for 20 days for Jihad (fighting in the Cause of Allah) against the Christians, and he used to lead his Sahabah (Companions) in a shortened Salah, because he has not intended to stay there. In fact, he had intended to return once his mission was accomplished.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.