Shortening Salah for twenty days for a traveler who did not intend to stay for a definite time
I traveled with my family from Saudi Arabia to another Arab country where we stayed for more than 20 days combining and shortening the quatrain Salahs (Prayers),
by offering two Rak‘ahs (units of Prayer) for Zhuhr (Noon) and ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayers, and two Rak‘ahs for ‘Isha’ (Night) together with Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer which I prayed three Rak‘ahs as it is. (Part No. 6; Page No. 420) However, I combined the Salah either at the time of the earlier or later prayer according to the circumstances, thus, I hope that you would provide me whether offering the Salah the way I have previously mentioned is valid or not? If it is not, what should I do?
If you had not intended to stay for a definite time, it is permissible for you to exercise shortening, for in this case the rulings of travel are still applicable to you. But, if you had intended to stay for a specific period that exceeds four days then it is impermissible for you to exercise shortening, for the rulings of travel will not be applicable to you in this case, therefore, you should complete your Salah. However, you should not repeat what you have offered, for you were not aware of the ruling, yet, you should not repeat this in the future for this is impermissible as we have already mentioned. As for combining the Salah, it is permissible for a traveler to exercise it on their way when going fast on the journey. Yet, it is more appropriate for the sojourner, even for a brief period, to offer each Salah on time, for this was the conduct of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during the Farewell Hajj, so what you did of combining the two Salahs while you were temporarily residing was inconsistent with the more appropriate conduct.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.