Office Of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid M.S.Al-Hakeem - Books-Muslims Guide: Guidance and Edicts - Prayers

Books Muslims Guide: Guidance and EdictsPrayers



The prayers are one of the pillars on which Islam is built on. Actually, it is the first of these pillars and the most important one next to belief. It is the foundation of Islam, its pillar and its grandeur. Allah Almighty mentions it and emphasized it in many places of His Holy Book (the Qur'an), and there is no room here to quote all of them. For example, He says, "… Uphold regular prayers, for these prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times” (Qur'an, 4:103) and "Strictly guard your (habit of) prayers, especially the middle prayer, and stand before Allah with devotion” (Qur'an, 2:238).
It is the last testament of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) and that of all other prophets (peace be upon them), and it is the first thing about which one is asked on the Judgment Day, according to reports narrated from the Great Prophet and the Pure Imams (peace be upon them all). Some of these reports tell us that one who neglects to perform his prayers on purpose is dissociated by the Islamic creed; the performance of the prayers forms a link between a servant and his Lord, and serves as a reminder for him of his Lord. For these and other reasons, they must be awarded the attention they deserve, performed habitually with devotion, submission and care. One must perform it unhurriedly, completing the bowings and prostrations, and all other parts and conditions of prayers, for if his prayer is accepted by Allah, everything else is accepted, and if it is rejected, everything else is rejected. Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said, "Our intercession shall never include one who takes prayers lightly."[i]
It is beyond our means here to cite everything said about the merits of prayers. Suffices us, then, to indicate that it erases sins; Allah, the most Praised and Exalted, says, "Establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night; indeed the good deeds remove the evil ones. This is a reminder for the (believers who are) mindful (of their Lord): And be steadfast in patience, for truly Allah will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish” (Qur'an, 11:114-15).
Imam al-Baqir (peace be upon him) quotes the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) as saying this to someone: "If there is a river at your house's door in which you bathe every day five times, will any uncleanness remain?” The man answered in the negative, whereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) went on to say, "Prayers, therefore, are like a flowing river: Whenever one performs a prayer, the sins he committed between this prayer and the previous prayer are forgiven.” Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) is quoted as having said, "One obligatory prayer is better than twenty pilgrimages, and one pilgrimage is better than a house full of gold of which one spends by way of charity until it depletes."[ii]
It is truly depressing to see today how there are so many individuals in the Muslim nation who are now taking this great ritual so lightly, underestimating it; so, "We belong to Allah, and to Him is our return” (Qur'an, 2:156).
We hope the texts in the Holy Qur'an and the sacred traditions, those which we have cited above and those which we have not, all heavily emphasizing it, deter people from taking it lightly and prompt them to uphold this great obligation since "... Remembrance benefits the believers” (Qur'an, 51:55).
This applies to the believing expatriates who live in non-Muslim countries. This great obligation is their symbol which confirms their character, underscores their identity and connects them to their pristine origins and upright creed. It makes them the flags for righteousness and guidance in these societies. The Prophet (peace be upon him and holy progeny) has been quoted as saying, "One who reminds [others of the Almighty] among the indifferent is like a fighter amongst the retreaters."[iii]
It protects their link with their Lord, takes them out of their inattention and safeguards them from sliding into the abyss of crime in any society. The most Praised and Exalted One has said, "… Establish regular prayers, for prayers restrain from shameful and unjust deeds” (Qur'an, 29:45). We have discussed in the fifth chapter of our advices in the Introduction what can beneficial in this subject, so refer to it and contemplate on it. It is only from Allah, Praise and Exaltation belong to Him, that we derive assistance and success; He suffices us, and how Great a reliant He is!
Q1: It is time for prayers, and the Muslim worker is at work. A job is not easy to find in non-Muslim countries. A worker finds it difficult to leave work to pray, and a situation such as this may cause him to lose his job. So, can he make up for his prayers later, or should he pray even if doing so leads to quitting a job which such a worker so badly needs?
A: One must safeguard prayers and must perform them on time, even if it may be near the end of its designated time. It is not permissible to postpone them beyond their time and make them up later at any cost, for prayer is the pillar of the creed and the symbol of Islam. Through them does a Muslim impose his presence, character and respect on others. Through them does one bring about the pleasure of Allah Almighty, His success and blessings, especially since you are living in a land in which the Name of Allah Almighty is not celebrated. We have already indicated that those who remind others amongst the inattentive ones are like those who fight in the cause of Allah Almighty while others flee.
A believer must rely on Allah Almighty, have good faith in Him, trust His promise that He will provide him with sustenance when He said, "Such is the admonition given to one who believes in Allah and the Last Day, and He (always) prepares a way out for those who fear Allah. And He provides for him from (sources which) he can never imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, Allah suffices him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: Truly, Allah has appointed a due proportion for all things” (Qur'an, 65:2-3).
We have mentioned in the fifth, tenth and eleventh chapters in the Introduction texts that are relevant in this regard, so refer to it and ponder on it, and Allah will be with you.
Q2: We live in some Western countries, and sometimes while we are at work the time for prayer arrives. Is it permissible for us to take time from work to perform the prayers, knowing that doing so does not affect our work? And if it does affect work, is doing so permissible? Is such prayer valid? Should we first seek permission of the person in charge?
A: If praying does not affect his work, there is no problem. But if it does affect it, the prayer is valid, except if the owner of the business is a Muslim. Yes, believers must not be known to be undisciplined, violating the laws in effect, and we have stated what is relevant to this in the eleventh chapter of the Introduction.
Q3: How do we perform our obligatory prayer while flying in a plane and we do not know the direction of the Qibla in addition to the lack of physical stillness as required in prayer?
A: One must exert an effort to find out the direction of the Qibla even if it may be by asking others. He must act on whatever information he gathers even if it is only assumption and does not lead to certainty. If he cannot know the direction of the Qibla for sure, nor does he have an assumption, and if he has enough time to wait until he is quite sure about the direction of the Qibla or have an assumption in it, he must wait until then; otherwise, he must pray in any direction which is the most probable in being that of Qibla.
As regarding physical stillness, this is normally obtained to a sufficient degree when flying on a plane, as per what the Sharia requires. However, in circumstances where it is not obtained some of the time, one should wait until such a time when he possesses physical stillness, while there is enough time; if there isn’t enough time to wait, one should commence praying with what he has.
Q4: What is the ruling about one who, due to his ignorance of the law, does not pray facing the direction of Qibla?
A: It is void and must be repeated.
Q5: Is the compass used to determine the direction of Qibla reliable?
A: If the manufacture is trustworthy in their expertise, one can rely on it.
Q6: If prayer time approaches while we are outside our home and cannot determine the direction of the Qibla for sure, and there are no nearby mosques or Islamic centers, is it permissible for us to pray and rely on assumption regarding the direction of the Qibla?
A: If the expected difference is not so much that it defies the conventional direction, such as fifteen centimeters, prayers outside home are valid; otherwise, one should wait to find out its direction.
Q7: Is it permissible to rely on the television in knowing the timings for sunset and sunrise?
A: Certainty of the arrival of the prayer time is necessary to perform the prayer. It can be achieved either from the television, if it is known for its precision of its announcements, or by using it as a guide to find out the approximate time and taking precaution by delaying the prayer by such a time so as to become sure of the arrival of the actual prayer time. Taking such a precaution is especially required since the television reflects the prayer timing of a particular area or city and it does not tell about all other areas. Rather, its timing with respect to other nearby areas is approximate.
Q8: If one believes that if he sleeps he will not wake up for the morning prayers, should he remain awake until the prayers are performed? And if he sleeps and does not wake up for the prayers, will he have committed a sin?
A: He is not permitted to sleep except when there is a possibility to wake up [for prayer] even if it may be by an alarm clock waking him up for the prayer, or he may ask someone to wake him up at the said time.
Q9: How do we determine midnight? Does 12am indicate midnight, as is common now among some people?
A: The aforementioned is not an indication of the midnight as determined by the Sharia. It is, rather, halfway point between sunset and Fajr time.
Q10: In some parts of Norway, night vanishes completely from the [beginning of] July to the middle of August, so there will be 45 days of daytime and no night. What is the ruling, then, with regard to the fast if the month of Ramadan happens to be during those days, and what is the ruling about prayer times?
A: As regarding prayer times, apparently the time to offer the Zuhr and Asr prayers is after the sun passes the highest altitude of the upper half within its circular path. Also, it is an obligatory precaution to perform the other prayers - as it will be explained below - with the hope that it is required [by Almighty Allah].
If what is meant by the vanishing of the night is that the Sun itself does not set, then based on an obligatory precaution, one should perform Maghrib and Isha prayers after the Sun enters the lower half of the circle upon which it traverses; and Fajr prayers should be performed before it leaves the lower half of its circuit.
As regarding the fast, its performance is not required by Sharia in such times, but must be made up as lapsed fasts after that during the times when there is distinction between the night and the day during any of the year's seasons, i.e. when the light wanes after sunset and darkness overwhelms, then light starts appearing before sunrise.
If the vanishing of the night means that the whiteness in the sky (i.e. the twilight) does not disappear – which is sufficient for the occurrence of Fajr while the Sun is below the horizon – then based on an obligatory precaution one should perform the Maghrib and Isha prayers after the setting of the Sun and before it reaches the lowest part of its circuit below the horizon at midnight, and Fajr prayer should be performed before the Sun appears over the horizon, but after the dawn light becomes strong in the eastern sky.
Regarding the fast, based on an obligatory precaution, one should start the fasting when the light is strong in the eastern sky, and continue until sunset; thereafter, the fasts should be made up as lapsed fasts during the rest of the year when the night is clearly distinguished from the day.
In such countries, just as a period passes when there is no night, another period of the year contrasts it when there is no daytime, as the Sun disappears throughout the rotation of the Earth. During such a period, the prayer times do not materialize at all, even the Zuhr and Asr prayers. So, the five daily prayers must be performed according to the intention referred to above and they should be distributed throughout the 24 hour period in accordance to the position of the Sun in relation to the horizon. Determining these timings becomes clear with some thought. As for the fasts, they are not required by Sharia [during such odd times] but they must be made up during the time when there is distinction between the night and the day during the rest of the year.
Q11: If you are in a country and the sun rises for half an hour only every day, how can you arrange the prayer times? And how is fast to be performed?
A: As regarding the Zuhr and Asr prayers, they become obligatory when the sun passes the highest point in the sky during the day which is called the Zawal time, that is, the last 15 minutes of the day in this particular case. Maghrib and Isha prayers become obligatory when the sun sets, and if the twilight in the eastern side disappears after sunset, its time then extends up to midnight, as long as it may be. Fajr prayer becomes obligatory when the twilight appears, and its timing extends until sunrise.
If the said twilight does not disappear during the night, the timing for the Maghrib and Isha prayers extends also to midnight. It is an obligatory precaution not to pray the morning prayers except after the light in the eastern side becomes strong after having been weak. And it is an obligatory precaution in this case to perform both Maghrib and Isha prayers as well as Fajr prayer with the hope that it meets the requirements.
As regarding fasts, in the situation where the twilight disappears after sunset, the fast begins with the appearance of this light, and ends at sunset. Based on a recommended precaution, one should continue to fast until the redness of the eastern sky disappears. In the situation where the twilight does not disappear, the requirement of fasting by Sharia law is problematic, so based on an obligatory precaution, one should begin fasting from the time the brightness in the sky begins to strengthen after it was weak and diffused – if such is possible – and one should end his fast at sunset, while also making up for this fast at some other point during the year, where the day is clearly distinct from the night, meaning that the light disappears after sunset during the night.
Q12: A man entered the state of Janabah before morning prayers, and he woke up before sunrise at a time that was too short to perform the Ghusl and to pray. What is the ruling in this case?
A: It is a recommended precaution for him to hasten in first performing Tayammum and then praying, but he will have to make it up [repeat it] after he has performed his Ghusl.
Q13: How do we perform our prayers while we are on the train or in cars, and should we prostrate on something, or this is not obligatory but it suffices to bow then?
A: There is no harm in praying in them while observing all the conditions of prayer, such as performance of Wudhu or Ghusl, the direction of the Qibla, physical stillness and correct bowing and prostrating on what is fit to be prostrated on, etc. If any of these is not met, one has to wait until the train or car stops at a station. When there is not enough time, one should fulfill what is possible from these conditions, with the exception of Tahara which must be fulfilled, be it with the use of water (i.e. Wudhu or Ghusl) or earth (i.e. Tayammum), as per the rules given in the treatise of practical Islamic laws, . If Tahara, in all its forms, is not possible, one’s prayer without it is insufficient, rather, the prayer will have to be made up after that. However, it is a recommended precaution, in addition to all of this, to perform whatever one can perform of his prayer without Tahara, with the hope that it is required [by Almighty Allah] and without escaping the responsibility to repeat it later.
Q14: Is it right to pray on a concrete block and on mosaics?
A: Yes, it is.
Q15: Is it permissible to prostrate on writing paper or on tissue paper, while we do not know of what material they are made, i.e. whether or not its ingredient can be prostrated on or not?
A: It is not permissible to prostrate on them unless one knows that they are made from material upon which prostration is permissible.
Q16: Companies and big firms in European and other countries have groups of employees, who work at their offices, and they do not know anything about the ownership of the place; what is the ruling with regards to using their water for Wudhu and praying there?
A: Performing Wudhu and praying in them is permissible unless one knows that they were usurped from a Muslim owner.
Q17: What is the ruling about something on one’s skin which is seen after the performance of the prayers on one of the parts included in the Wudhu without prior knowledge of its existence?
A: If there is a possibility that it was not there during the performance of the Wudhu, or there is a possibility that the water was able to make its way through it to the skin, due to abundant water being used, for example, the Wudhu will be valid. But if its existence was known during the Wudhu, and that it prevented water from reaching the skin, the Wudhu and the prayers have to be repeated.
Q18: Is it permissible to wear a belt or a watch strap, to carry a wallet in one’s pocket, or to wear clothes on which there is a leather patch bearing the name of the manufacturer, as is the case with jeans, if all of these things are made of natural leather while there is no sure knowledge about the animal from which it was made, whether it was slaughtered Islamically or not?
A: As an obligatory precaution, one should avoid carrying dead animal's body or a part of it when one performs his prayers even if he does not wear it. Therefore, if the said leather was made in the non-Muslim countries, it is deemed to be animal carcass. But if the leather came from an animal slaughtered in the lands of Islam, it is treated as being Islamically slaughtered, and the prayer is valid wearing it. The same applies if one bought it from a Muslim country while not being sure about its origin.
Q19: Is it permissible to carry a wallet during the prayers if it is made of leather imported from non-Muslim lands?
A: As an obligatory precaution, it must not be carried.
Q20: A believer thinks that the belt he wears is made of artificial leather. Should he take it off before performing the prayers? Also, does the same case apply to the watch strap?
A: It does not have to be taken off unless he knows for sure that it is made of natural leather and he does not know it to be from an Islamically slaughtered animal. And he does not have to investigate whether it is artificial or natural; rather, he can rely on his position of doubt.
Q21: Is the silk necktie or the like which made of silk regarded as being worn or hung or what? What is the ruling of wearing it with respect to its prohibition and permissibility? And also what is the ruling relevant to it the validity of the prayer? What if there is doubt about its being made of pure or mixed silk although it is written on it that it is made of pure silk?
A: Putting on such items is regarded as “wearing” it, and it is permissible to wear it, whether one is praying or not, unless it’s made of pure silk. In this case, based on an obligatory precaution, one should not wear it, whether during the prayers or at any other time. When there is a doubt about it being made of pure silk, one can pray wearing it. But if it is written on it that it is made of pure silk, its manufacturer's writing is regarded as credible proof, i.e. it will be considered as pure silk, if there is no commonly recognized reason to doubt his trustworthiness, for example, if there is a reasonable possibility that he wrote it falsely in order to circulate his merchandise and encourage people to buy them.
Q22: What is the ruling of a coat's or jacket's lining or any other menswear, if it is woven with pure silk or if there’s a doubt whether it is made from pure silk or not, while it is written on it that it is?
A: In both cases, as an obligatory precaution, it must be avoided if it is conventionally regarded as being part of the outfit.
Q23: What is the ruling regarding a handkerchief placed in the upper pocket of a man's coat or jacket by way of decoration if it is made of pure silk or if there’s a doubt whether it is made from pure silk or not (even if it’s written on it that it is)?
A: It is permissible in both cases, as long as it is not regarded as being part of the clothing.
Q24: Although some companies write on their products saying that they are made of natural silk, we doubt it due to their cheap prices; so, are we permitted to wear and perform the prayers while wearing them?
A: If the source of this doubt is that these companies desire to attract the buyers to buy their merchandise (and hence they lie about the material used), they can be worn. However, if one does not have such a doubt in the company, one should consider the statement to be the truth, and the said products must not then be worn.
Q25: If a group non-Shia Muslims prays with us, and they stood in rows so as the connection between the imam of prayers and those who follow him is made through them only, do they thus form a disconnection between the imam and the rest of the followers? And if the sole connection between the imam and a follower is occupied by an individual whose prayer we know is not valid in reality, is the connection with the imam broken?
A: As the case here is that praying with them is with the consideration of bringing Muslims' hearts closer to each other and to keep good company with them which we are ordered to do when we deal with them, therefore, they do not form a disconnection.
Also, one single individual whose prayer is invalid cannot void the prayers of others if the distance between the individuals who are offering the prayer correctly is not greater than one meter and twenty five centimeters (1.25m).
Q26: Some new Muslim circles in some countries suffer from the problem of their births having resulted from friendships between their non-Muslim fathers and mothers, and this status is common in their circles, so much so that it is rare for marriages to take place within any legislative system. Since they give great importance to the congregational prayers, regarding it as a necessary rite which is very difficult to bypass, what should they do? Should they present one of them and pray behind him, bypassing the condition of legitimate birth [of the imam leading the congregational prayers] since they all or mostly do not fulfill it? What is the solution which, in your opinion, would be accepted by the Sharia?
A: There is no solution for this problem as the fact that the condition of the legitimacy of birth is absolute, unless what their parents had done was regarded as marriages according to their traditions and is recognized by the parents' religion even if it is not recognized by the state. The same applies if they mistook their relationship to be marriage and not fornication. But if it was fornication without any doubt, then they cannot pray behind each other.
Q27: A) Refugees are first accommodated in several locations, and one may stay in one place for a period of time which ranges approximately from one to three months until he is finally accepted. During these periods, he may travel to visit his friends who are located at a distance from his place where he stays for few days, perhaps three or seven days, then he returns to his place. The question is: Does he need a new intention of residency after his return, or should he maintain the intention which he had made before?
A: Residency is interrupted by the said trip if it reaches the distance prescribed by Sharia; so, one has to offer the traveler’s prayer i.e. he should shorten his prayers, or make a new intention of residency.
B) If he stays at his place during the first ten days and does not travel, then he goes to see his friends or relatives every week; what is the ruling regarding his prayer after his return to his place every week?
A: Residency is interrupted by the said trip if he had intended to stay [as a resident] during the first ten days. But if he did stay for ten days without such an intention, it is not regarded as being residency in the first place, so the question of such residency being ended or not by the trip does not arise.
Q28: A refugee may be accommodated in a fixed place for months (one, two or three) during which he has to go to an integration school (one that teaches him about the [hosting] government) for two or four weeks. This school is more than 23 kilometers away; so, what is the ruling about his prayers at the school or at his own place?
A: He must perform shortened prayers at the school and also at his place if he did not intend, upon his return to it, that he would stay there for ten days.
Q29: A traveler on a trip abroad is now at some country waiting to return or hoping for an opportunity or a suitable condition to return to his homeland. What is the ruling regarding his prayers if, at every moment, he desires to go home?
A: Suffices for the prayer to be complete (and not shortened) is that there is a temporary settlement in the country where he is staying, such that it is true to consider the said country as his place of residence.
Q30: Someone may leave his country and no longer consider it as his homeland. A year or two later, he ponders and decides to return to it. Does the homeland ruling remain in this regard? Will he have to pray the complete prayers as soon as he reaches his birthplace or that of his parents?
A: When he decides, upon entering his country, that he wishes to take it as his homeland again, he must perform the prayers in full. If he does not make such a decision, that is, his entry is temporary, he must shorten his prayers, and this is not affected by his decision afterwards to consider it as his homeland.
Q31: Please explain the rules in relation to the beginning of the distance required in the travelers’ prayers with respect to large cities, and when should one begin measuring it? Is it from the local area? How can we determine the separation between different localities of one city as far as the general living conditions of the area are concerned? Is it determined by where one does his daily shopping, or by observing all the links between localities, especially since the needs of residents of large cities for each other are complicated? For example, there may not be specialized doctors in a particular locality, or some machinery and cars’ spare parts may not be available, or the social relations may be weakened among the residents of the same big city. So, does this or the like suffice to determine the beginning of the distance, for the purpose of performing travelers’ prayers, to be from the edge of the locality? Please explain the criteria in detail.
A: What is meant by that is the sufficiency of a person by what is in his locality in his general living needs, in such a way that he does not leave it but in exceptional cases such as if he is making a trip. This varies according to individuals: Those who quite often undertake social obligations throughout his large city will consider the whole city as his home city. And if one confines himself in his aforementioned obligations and needs to his residential locality, so he does not need to travel to other parts of the city for any of his affairs, his locality will be his home rather than the city as a whole. And if one quite often visits specialized doctors or places where spare parts are sold, so much so that this becomes his daily routine or almost so, his home will be so much broader. But if one does not do so quite often, going there only exceptionally, his home is his local area. The criteria in determining this is convention and the general understanding of the public. When there is confusion, one has to perform both shortened and complete prayers in the areas that are distant from his local area.
Q32: If the localities and the areas are connected, how can I determine the point where a traveler should begin shortening his prayers, known as Hadd Al-Tarakkhus, when I travel? Should I measure it from my home? Or should I measure it from the end of my area or locality? Or how else should I do it?
A: The Measurement is from the end of the area where you live and you have your day to day affairs and all its surroundings in such a way they are all conventionally considered as your hometown. And it extends to the distance where the Athan is not heard if it is called at your area.
Q33: One intended to stay in Beirut, and he performed his prayers in full. After the end of his stay, he decided to travel back home, so he left from the place of his residency to the airport. Due to the delay in his wait at the airport, he returned to his place of residency. What ruling applies to him until he travels?
A: If the airport is located at least 23 kilometers from his place of residence, he has to break his fast [if he is fasting] and shorten his prayers when he returns to Beirut; otherwise if the airport is not so far away, he should remain praying in full and keeping his fasts.
Q34: If someone's work is such that requires traveling, such as a car's driver, and if he wants to pray on the way, or the noon time approaches him as he is on the road on the day that he is fasting, should he perform shortened prayers and break his fast? Is there a difference if he returns home every day, every week or more?
A: If one’s regular setting involves frequent travelling and travelling is not exceptional in his routine – such that the time he spends travelling is close to the time he is at home or even more than that, such as a car driver and the like – then he should offer the prayers in complete and maintain his fast, and it does not make a difference whether he returns home every day, every week or less frequently.
Q35: If the driver of a car leaves his usual route, or he goes to a destination which is not his regular destination, what ruling applies to him?
A: If his travel outside of his normal route is within his normal job and his accustomed routine, he must pray in full and fast, like if his job was to transport passengers on a particular route, and he left it and went to another route.
However, if he left his normal route for any other purpose which has no relevance to his normal routine, for example if he went to visit an ill person, a doctor, or to repair his car, or to buy spare parts for his car, etc., he must shorten his prayers.
Q36: One works continuously in a city which is not the place of his residence such as administering a commercial shop or working as an accountant, etc. He continuously travels to the place where he works. If he is required to travel to another location on an assignment relevant to his job, such as following up on a transaction for importing goods or the like, should he pray in full during that trip or should he shorten his prayers?
A: He should shorten his prayers during that trip if the distance he travels equals or exceeds the distance set by Sharia in this regard.
Q37: If one goes during his vacation to his work city, what is his obligation regarding his prayers and fast? Is there a difference if this place that he is going to is a place where he resides in as well or a place where he only works?
A: If he resides at his job’s location, he should pray fully and fast if he goes during his vacation days and his vacation is short. But if his vacation is lengthy, it is an obligatory precaution to perform both shortened and complete prayers, as well as both fasting and making up for the fasts at a later time. But if he does not reside at his work location, but he goes home after finishing his job every day or in most days, he has to break his fast and shorten his prayers if he goes there during his vacation.
Q38: Someone travels to another place to work there temporarily for one, two or three months, such as students during the summer vacation. Should these students observe the rulings relevant to those whose jobs require them to always travel, or will the rulings relevant to a traveler apply to them with regard to the performance of the daily prayers and to the fast?
A: If, in this case, he resides at his work city and takes it as his residence during that period, his place of work will not be considered as his home city if the period is a month and the related rules do not apply. Rather, he is a traveler and he must shorten his prayers, unless he intends to stay for ten days. In fact, the same applies even if the period is of two or three months, as an obligatory precaution. So in this case – if he stays there for two or three months – he must either make the intention to reside there or he must perform both shortened and complete prayers.
But if the situation is that he travels quite often to his work city, so he goes there and returns every day or most of the days, then there are three possibilities:
i)                    He travels for one month: he is not considered to be a frequent traveler – which would necessitate performing complete prayers and undertaking his obligatory fast during one’s travel. His obligation will then be to shorten the prayer and not fast.
ii)                  He travels for three months: this period of travel time is sufficient for him to be regarded as a frequent traveler, especially if this occurs every year.
iii)                He travels for two months: the sufficiency of this period for him to be considered as a frequent traveler is not established, especially when these travels occur in one year, without it becoming a yearly routine.
In such a situation, based on an obligatory precaution, he should perform his prayers twice: shortened and complete.
However, if he happens to stay at a place for a period of ten days, even if it was without intention, then he must perform shortened prayers in his first trip to that place, even if the period of his repetitive trips is of three months and this is a yearly custom.

[i]Wasaail Al-Shi'a, Vol. 3, p. 16.
[ii]Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 26.
[iii]Ibid., Vol. 4, p. 1190.


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