I’m going to be involved in a module under the order of my employer in a place where I will have to travel to a faraway place. My employer stated that I can return as soon as I’ve completed the module. Is it true that a person is permissible to perform jamak prayer for up to 18 days if the duration of which he will be travelling is not certain?
Waalaikumussalam wrm. wbt.,
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.
Syeikh Muhammad al-Zuhaili said in al-Mu`tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafie (1/473):
“If a person is travelling, and stopped in a certain town, village due to some activity or need while his intention is to leave as soon as his affairs are over, at any given time, or he is held up due to a storm at sea, then it is permissible for him to perform qasar for only up to 18 days according to the asah opinion (stronger opinion in madhhab al-Shafi’e), and in the issue of other qawls and awjuh (opinions of the Ashab) itself reached seven opinions. If he knows that his business would not be completed in four days, excluding the day he arrives and plans to return, such as a muttafaqih (a person who is studying), temporary resident for a huge business deal, waiting for the Friday prayer and others, while between him and the fulfilment of his business is more than four days, then it is impermissible for him to perform qasar for his prayer according to the opinion of the madhhab. The reason is he (is considered) as a resident, who is at peace and far from the characteristics of a traveller, different from a person who expects his affairs could end at any time and he would leave, then he is considered as a person who is experiencing the hardships of travel.”
Refer AL-KAFI #926: THE CALCULATION OF DAYS FOR JAMA’ AND QASAR
This is in accordance with a hadith from Imran bin Husain RA, who said:
غَزَوْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَشَهِدْتُ مَعَهُ الْفَتْحَ فَأَقَامَ بِمَكَّةَ ثَمَانِىَ عَشْرَةَ لَيْلَةً لاَ يُصَلِّى إِلاَّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ
“I went on an expedition with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), and I was present with him at the conquest. He stayed eighteen days in Mecca and prayed only two rak'ahs (at each time of prayer).”
Sunan Abu Daud (1229)
The Prophet PBUH stayed in Mecca during the conquest to fight against the people of Hawazin and the Prophet PBUH perform qasar for his prayers while the Prophet PBUH is uncertain for how long he would have to stay there.
Refer al-Fiqh al-Manhaji (1/187)
Syeikh Hasan al-Kaf stated in al-Taqrirat al-Sadidah Qism Ibadah (pg. 316):
“If a person stayed at a certain place to fulfil a need, of which it is expected to be completed in less than four days, however, it was delayed, then it is permissible for him to take the rukhsah (facilitation eg: prayer by jama’ for traveller) of up to 18 days.”
According to the above facts and statements, we are inclined to state as the following:
- It is permissible for the questioner to take the rukhsah of prayer for traveller, which are jama’ and qasar, when he travels to a faraway place with the purpose of attending a workshop, as long as the purpose is not for any transgressions or sin.
- He is permissible to perform the prayer for traveller for three days, excluding the days he arrives and return, as long as his intention to stay at the workshop for less than four days.
- If after three days have passed and the module isn’t completed and he needs more time, however, his intention is as soon as the module is completed, he would immediately return home, then it is permissible for him to continue his travel prayer for up to 18 days.
- However, if he is certain when he arrives to the workshop that the workshop would take more than three days to complete, then it is impermissible for him to perform the prayer for traveller on his first day, consequently it is only permissible when he is travelling (on the journey). Wallahua’lam.
Hopefully, this explanation would give an answer to the questioner. We pray that Allah SWT bless us and grant us understanding in this religion. Amin.