Fatwa No.: 58
Category: Fatwas about prayer – journey prayer
The Islamic ruling concerning the traveler’s prayer with the congregation
What is the Islamic ruling concerning the traveler’s prayer with the resident congregation?
All praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, prayer and peace be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds and his family, companions and followers until the Day of Resurrection, then after:
When it comes to the traveler’s prayer with the congregation, many scholars see that if the traveler lands at the time of the Jumu’ah (Friday prayer), he is under no obligation to observe the Jumu’ah; however, it is incumbent upon him to observe the congregational prayer in the mosque or elsewhere, because the Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family- did not use to observe the Jumu’ah while he saw on a journey; instead he combined Dhohr (noon prayer) and Asr (afternoon prayer) prayers in advance and in congregation but did not pray the Jumu’ah, and likewise did the Caliphs and those who came after; and according to what Jabir Ibn Yazid Ibn Al-Aswad narrated of his father:
“He (Yazid) prayed Dawn prayer in Mina along with the Messenger of Allah -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- when he was a boy. When the Messenger of Allah –peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- had prayed there were two persons who did not pray. He called for them. They were brought trembling (before him). He asked them: What prevented you from praying along with us? They replied: We have already prayed in our houses. Upon this he said: Do not do that. If any of you prays in his house and finds that the Imam has not prayed, he should pray along with him, and that will be supererogatory prayer”(1)
And in another expression:
“If you had prayed in your houses and afterwards you attended the congregation in a mosque, you should pray with them; it will be a supererogatory prayer for you”(2)
And according to his saying, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family:
“When you travel call the Adhan (call to prayer) and Iqamah (call to announce the beginning of the prayer) and let the eldest of you lead the prayer”(3)
And because Allah commanded the congregational prayer in a state of fear in His saying, Glorified and Exalted be He:
﴿وَإِذَا كُنْتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلاَةَ﴾ [النساء: 102].
﴾When you (O Messenger Muhammad, pbuh) are among them, and lead them in As-Salat (the prayer)﴿ [An-Nissâ': 102].
Then a fortiori in state of security, that is why the Divine Speech referred to the congregation in all cases by orienting and guiding, according to His saying, Glorified and Exalted be He:
﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ارْكَعُوا وَاسْجُدُوا وَاعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَافْعَلُوا الْخَيْرَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ﴾ [الحج: 77].
﴾O you who have believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful﴿ [Al-Hajj: 77].
And His saying, Glorified and Exalted be He:
﴿وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ﴾ [البقرة: 43].
﴾And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, and bow down (or submit yourselves with obedience to Allah) along with Ar-Raki’un(4)﴿ [Al-Baqara: 43].
This been said; however, if the traveler followed the Imam he should complete the prayer and not shorten it, according to his saying, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family:
“The Imam is appointed to be followed, so do not diverge from him”(5)
And according to the hadith of Qatada from Musa Ibn Salamah Al-Hadhli, said: We were with Ibn Abbas in Makkah, and I said:
“If we were with you we would pray four (Raka’at), and when we come back homes we would pray two”, upon this he said: “That is the Sunna (tradition) of Abi Al-Qasim, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him”(6)
And in likewise manner the predecessors used to act and this was held by the four Imams and others among the majority of the scholars. And it has been attested that Ibn Umar –may Allah be pleased with them- stayed in Makkah for ten nights shortening his prayer unless he prays with the Imam, he followed him”(7). However, if he catches up less than a Rak’a with the Imam, he should accordingly shorten the prayer inasmuch as the Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family- made the least with which the congregational prayer should be caught up is one Rak’a. This is held by Az-Zahri, An-Nakha’i and Malik, may Allah bestow mercy upon them.
Nevertheless, if he catches up the two last Raka’at with the Imam or just one Rak’a, he has to choose either restricting to the two Raka’at or complete his prayer according to what is attested in the Athar (sayings or deeds of the scholars after the companions of the prophet) At-Tabi’in (the followers); this view is held by Ibn Hazm. However, the choice does not imply equality. That is why the most appreciated according to me is to complete it in four (Raka’at) consistently with the majority of the scholars. This view was also held by Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with them.
The perfect knowledge belongs to The All-Mighty Allah; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his family and those who followed them in the highest level of deeds and worship until the Day of Resurrection.
(1) Narrated by Ahmad (17479), and by Abu Dawood (575), from the hadith of Yazid Ibn Al-Aswad, may Allah be pleased with him. And the hadith was made well by Al-Haythami in “Majma’ Az-Zawa’id” (8/ 503), and was authenticated by Ibn As-Sakan as in “At-Talkhis Al-Habir” by Ibn Hjar (2/ 64), and by Al-Albani in “Sahih Abi Dawood” (3/ 119).
(2) Narrated by At-Tirmidhi (219), and by An-Nasa’i (858), from the hadith of Yazid Ibn Al-Aswad, may Allah be pleased with him. And the hadith was made well by Haythami in “Majma’ Az-Zawa’id” (8/ 503) and was authenticated by Ibn As-Sakan as in “At-Talkhis Al-Habir” by Ibn Hjar (2/ 64), and by Al-Albani in “Sahih Abi Dawood” (3/ 119).
(3) Narrated by Al-Bukhari (630), and by Muslim (674), and by At-Tirmidhi (205), from the hadith of Malik Ibn Al-Huayrith, may Allah be pleased with him..
(4) Ar-Raki’un: Those who bow down or submit themselves with obedience to Allah with Muhammad -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- as the Muslims have done, i.e., embrace Islam (worshipping none but Allah Alone and doing good with the only intention of seeking Allah’ pleasure)..
(5) Narrated by Al-Bukhari (722), and by Muslim (414), from the hadith of Abi Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him.
(6) Narrated by Ahmad (1862). And the Athar was corrected by Al-Albani in “Al-Irwa’” (3/ 21), and see: “Al-Badr Al-Munir” by Ibn Al-Mulaqqin (4/ 554).
(7) Narrated by Malik (/ 164), and At-Tahawi (1/ 244) on the authority of Nafi’; and see: “As-Silsila As-Sahiha” by Al-Albani (6/ 388)..