Praying The Salats By Shortening Them (Maliki)


How to shorten prayers? How to shorten prayers while travelling?

I. Salats That are Prayed by Shortening Them

Praying the salat by shortening it means praying the four-rakat fardh prayer as just two rakats. The maghrib and fajr prayers can not be shortened.

Praying the salat by shortening it is considered to be a muakkadah sunnah.

When a person is on a journey, when they set out for their journey at the voluntary or necessary waqt of the salat or when their salat is left for qaza while they are on their journey-even if they pray in a normal situation later on-it is considered sunnah for them to pray their salat by shortening it.

II. The Conditions Of Praying The Salats By Shortening Them

The conditions of being able to pray the salats by shortening them while on a journey are:

  • The journey being made in the one go,
  • The journey being one that is mubah,
  • The distance when going should be about 46 mil (about 70 km.),
  • To have the intention of travelling this distance from the very start,
  • To have started the journey.

The journey of the person living in the city starts when he passes residential neighborhoods and joined gardens. But if the residential area has no gardens surrounding it, the journey will then be considered to have started when only the houses of this area are passed. For those people living in deserts, their journey will be considered to have started when they pass the houses-tents of the community with whom they live with.

III. The End of Praying the Salats by Shortening Them

The circumstance of being able to pray the salats by shortening them will end in these circumstances:

  • When the person enters their country (the city where they reside),
  • For the man to enter the location of where his wife, with whom he has consummated his marriage with, is found,
  • For the person to enter a city in where they have previously stayed for more than four days,
  • Having the intention of staying somewhere for exactly four days.

If someone is on a journey but is unsure of when they will return home, they may continue praying their salats by shortening them no matter how long their journey takes.

It is considered makruh for the resident (someone who is not on a journey) to follow the traveller and for the traveller to follow the resident in prayer. If the traveller prays their salat in the way the resident does, they will have prayed their salat completely (without shortening it) just as the resident has prayed.

Source: Fiqh1 (According To The Maliki School Of Islamic Law), Erkam Publications

The Contents of Fiqh as a Science (Maliki)

The Importance of The Science of Fiqh (Shafii)