Assalamualaikum ustaz, what is meant by 2 marhalah for qasar prayer?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Allah SWT states:
وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ
“And when you travel throughout the land, there is no blame upon you for shortening the prayer,”
Surah al-Nisa’ (101)
The above verse is evidence on the permissibility of qasar prayer (shortening of the 4 rakaat prayer into 2 rakaat prayer) in al-khauf (terrifying) situations such as during war. However, there are Sahih hadiths and ijmak (consensus of scholars) that rule it permissible to qasar (shortening the prayer) in times of peace.
The Prophet PBUH said:
“Ya’la bin Umaiyah RA said to Saidina Umar RA, why are we shortening our prayer when we are in the state of peace? Then, Saidina Umar RA answered, I asked the Prophet PBUH and the Prophet PBUH answered, shortening of prayer is a gift from Allah SWT, thus, accept or receive the gift.”
Sahih Muslim (686)
Scholars agreed on the sanctioning of qasar. (Refer Kitab fiqh Mazahib Arbaa’ Juzuk 1, pg. 362-363)
Qasar is only for the four rakaat prayers (zohor, asar and isyak) shortened into two rakaat on certain conditions.
There are five rulings on travel:
- Wajib (obligatory): Travels to fulfil an obligation such as for obligatory hajj, umrah, seeking knowledge and others.
- Sunnah: Such as visiting the Prophet PBUH and enjoining silaturrahim.
- Permissible: Permissible travels such as business trip.
- Makruh (undesirable): Travels for trade such as to sell burial shrouds or musical instrument and prohibited toys.
- Haram (prohibited): Such as travel without the consent of the husband.
Marhalah literally means a stop for travellers to rest in their travel in a day. Two marhalah is a measurement of distance that makes it permissible for a person to perform qasar and jama’ for prayers. The meaning of 2 marhalah measurement is as the following:
- The distance of two days travel or two nights or a day and a night on a camel that carried a full load of merchandise (heavy). (Refer Kitab Matlak Al-Badrain pg. 92)
- Two days’ or two nights’ or a day and a night’s travel on a full load of camel. (Refer Idaman Penuntut 1/90)
- Two days’ or two nights’ or a day and a night’ travel on a camel. (Refer Zain ATH-Tholib 1/209)
Whereas if referred to the 4th Edition of Kamus Dewan pg.999, marhalah means a distance measurement of approximately 28 miles or 45.06 km.
As for the modern-day approximation of 2 marhalah is between 85 – 90 km or equivalent to 56 miles.
Generally, the measurement is, 1 marhalah = 2 barid = 24 mil hasyimi (8 farsakh). 1 mil = 1000 arm span. 1 arm span = 4 cubit. 1 cubit = 46.656 cm. Which means 1 arm span = 186.624 cm (46.656 X 4). Thus, 1 mil = 6000 arm span or equivalent to 186.624 cm (1866.24 metres or 1.866 km). Thus, 1 marhalah = 24 mil = 44789.76 metres or equivalent to 44.790 km. Then, 2 marhalah = 89580 metres (approximately 89 or 90 km).
While according to Almarhum Sheikh Wahbah al-Zuhaili, 2 marhalah is approximately 88.704 km. (Refer al-Wajiz 1/266)
Syeikh Muhammad ‘Ali al-Shabuni estimated it to be 84 km. (Refer Kitab Al-Fiqh Al-Syarie al-Muyassar pg. 131)
According to Sheikh Hasan bin Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Kaff, 2 marhalah is equivalent to 82 km or more. (Refer Kitab Taqrirat As-Sadidah pg. 315)
To conclude, scholars stated the measurement of distance for 2 marhalah is only in approximation. The distance is more of a taqribi (approximation) and not tahdidi (accuracy), thus, a person is permitted to perform qasar prayer after he has travelled for 2 marhalah (as explained above).
Hopefully, this explanation would give us understanding in this matter.