Shortening Salah for a traveler going from Riyadh to Al-Kharj

Q: We heard that you issued a Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) whereby a person living in Riyadh and heading for Al-Kharj may combine and shorten Salah. Is this Fatwa true? Is it applied to the present day where the buildings of the two cities draw them closer to each other? Is it permissible to combine the two Salahs when there is no difficulty in travel during this distance? Supposing that combining and shortening Salahs are impermissible, should a person, who did so before knowing this Fatwa, repeat his Salah? Where do the boundaries of Riyadh end? Please, advise. May Allah reward you!

A: The distance that permits a person to shorten Salah is the distance covered by a mount during two days. Approximately, it is eighty kilometers. The beginning and the end of every town is determined by the end of the inhabitable proximate buildings of that town. If the distance between the buildings of Riyadh and that of Al-Kharj now is 80 km, combining and shortening Salah are permissible. If the distance is less than this distance, combining and shortening Salah are impermissible. As for a person who combined and shortened Salah while moving between the two cities and did not notice the short distance between their two boundaries due to his lack of awareness, we are of the opinion that (Part No. 6; Page No. 391) he does not have to repeat Salah, due to his ignorance of the ruling. However, he should not do so again in the future.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.