106921: They are travelling to a European country and there are 15 of them; should they pray Jumu ‘ah?


We have traveled to a European country for leisure for a period of five weeks as already decided (staying in a hotel which is very comfortable, praise be to Allah). There is no mosque in the city we are staying in. What is the ruling on joining and shortening obligatory prayers? Do we have to do offer Jumu‘ah prayer? Please note that the number of people makes that possible (more than 15 people), and among us there is someone who can give the khutbah for Jumu‘ah. Two weeks have already passed and we did not pray Jumu‘ah on the grounds that there is no Jumu‘ah for the traveller.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

In the answer to question number 111934, we have discussed the ruling on travelling to non-Muslim countries for the purpose of tourism and leisure. 

Secondly: 

If the traveller intends to stay in a place for more than four days, then he comes under the same rulings as a resident, so he has to offer the prayers in full from the moment he enters the city; he also has to pray Jumu‘ah where the call for it is given. 

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The well known view from Ahmad is that the period which makes it obligatory for the traveller to offer prayers in full if he intends to stay there is whatever is more than twenty-one prayers. This was narrated by al-Athram and al-Marwadhi and others. And it was narrated from him that if he intends to stay there for four days he should offer the prayers in full, and if he intends to stay there for less than that, then he may shorten the prayers. This is the view of Maalik, al-Shaafa‘i, and Abu Thawr.

End quote from al-Mughni (2/65) 

In Fataawa al-Lajnah it says: Travel in which it is prescribed to avail oneself of the concessions of travel is that which is customarily regarded as travel, and the distance in question is approximately 80 km. If a person is sure he will cover this distance or more, then he may avail himself of the concessions of travel, such as wiping over the socks for three days and nights, joining and shortening prayers, and breaking the fast in Ramadan. If the traveller intends to stay in a place for more than four days, then he should not avail himself of the concessions of travel, but if he intends to stay for four days or less, then he may avail himself of those concessions. If a traveller is staying in a place and he does not know when he will finish his business and he has not set a specific time for his stay, then he may avail himself of the concessions of travel even if he stays there for a long time. There is no differentiation between travel on land and travel by sea. End quote. 

Thus it is known that you have to offer the prayers in full, and it is not permissible for you to shorten them. 

With regard to joining prayers, this is not limited to travel; rather it is prescribed in other cases too, such as when it is raining, if one is sick and in case of hardship. See the answer to question number 39176

The basic principle is that you should offer the prayers on time, and if there is a reason that makes you join the prayers, then it is permissible to join them. 

Thirdly: 

If there are no residents living in this city where you will be staying for whom Jumu‘ah is obligatory, then you do not have to pray Jumu‘ah.

See the answer to question number 11556

If the traveller intends to stay for any length of time which means that he is not permitted to shorten the prayers, then he has to pray Jumu‘ah by joining others, not by setting up Jumu‘ah prayers himself. If there are people living there for whom Jumu‘ah is obligatory, then this traveller has to pray with them. 

See al-Mughni, 3/218; al-Insaaf, 5/169 

And Allah knows best.

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