Fri 25 Jm2 1435 - 25 April 2014
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Taraweeh prayer for one who is travelling

ar
Since the rituals of Ramadaan are very special for every Muslim who becomes obviously religiously active. I would like to ask about a traveler’s taraweeh prayer.

Praise be to Allaah.

Taraweeh prayer in Ramadaan is qiyaam al-layl, and Allaah praises those who do it in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 

“They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allaah) and praying, with fear and hope]”

[al-Dhaariyaat 51:17]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed qiyaam in Ramadaan and at other times, and he did not stop praying qiyaam whether he was travelling or not. 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: He (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) did not stop praying qiyaam whether he was travelling or not. If he was overcome by sleep or pain, he would pray twelve rak’ahs during the day. End quote from Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/311). 

Al-Bukhaari (945) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray qiyaam al-layl atop his camel when he was travelling, no matter what direction it was facing, gesturing to represent the movements of the prayer, apart from the obligatory prayers, and he would pray Witr atop his camel. 

And al-Bukhaari narrated that Saalim ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to pray atop his mount at night when he was travelling, and he did not care what direction it was facing. Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray naafil prayers atop his camel, no matter what direction it was facing, and he would pray Witr like that too, but he did not pray the prescribed prayers like that. 

The naafil prayers that the traveller may omit are the regular Sunnah prayers before and after Zuhr and the regular Sunnah prayers of Maghrib and ‘Isha’ only. As for all other regular Sunnah and naafil prayers, they are prescribed for both travellers and non-travellers. 

Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (1112) that Hafs ibn ‘Aasim ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “I accompanied Ibn ‘Umar on the way to Makkah. He led us in praying two rak’ahs of Zuhr prayer, then he left and we left with him until he came to where his luggage was. He sat down and we sat with him, then he looked towards the place where we had prayed, and he saw some people standing and he asked, ‘What are these people doing?’ I said, ‘They are praying voluntary prayers.’ He said, ‘If I wanted to pray (naafil or Sunnah prayers) after the fard prayer I would have completed my prayer (i.e., not shortened it).’ O son of my brother, I accompanied the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) whilst travelling and he did not add anything to these two rak’ahs until Allaah took him (in death); and I accompanied Abu Bakr and he did not add anything to these two rak’ahs until Allaah took him (in death); and I accompanied ‘Umar and he did not add anything to these two rak’ahs until Allaah took him (in death); and I accompanied ‘Uthmaan and he did not add anything to these two rak’ahs until Allaah took him (in death). And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

‘Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow’

[al-Ahzaab 33:21].” 

The phrase “If I wanted to pray (naafil or Sunnah prayers) after the fard prayer I would have completed my prayer” means: If I had chosen to pray naafil prayers, then completing my obligatory prayer as four rak’ahs would have been dearer to me, but I do not think I should do either, because the Sunnah is to shorten the prayer and omit the regular Sunnah prayers too. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked: 

What is your opinion on travellers – is it better for them to pray Taraweeh in Ramadaan or not? (They are shortening their prayers) 

They replied: 

Praying qiyaam in Ramadaan is Sunnah, and was established by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Hence the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) took that from him and followed him in that, and it has persisted until our own time. It is proven in al-Saheehayn from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed Taraweeh for several nights and they prayed with him, then he stayed home and prayed in his house for the rest of the month, and said: “I was afraid that it might be made obligatory for you and you would not be able to do it.” In al-Bukhaari it is narrated that ‘Umar united the people behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b and he led them in praying Taraweeh. And it is proven in al-Saheehayn from the hadeeth of Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan that he asked ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): How did the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) pray? 

She said: He did not do more in Ramadaan or at any other time than eleven rak’ahs. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) traveled in Ramadaan, including when he travelled to conquer Makkah. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) set out on the tenth of Ramadaan in 8 AH. Ibn al-Qayyim said: He (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) did not stop praying qiyaam whether he was travelling or not. If he was overcome by sleep or pain, he would pray twelve rak’ahs during the day. Thus it is clear that if they pray it whilst travelling they will be following the Sunnah. End quote. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (7/206) 

To sum up: Praying Taraweeh is mustahabb for the traveller as for the non-traveller, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) persisted in praying qiyaam al-layl whether he was travelling or not. 

We ask Allaah to hep us and you to obey Him and attain His pleasure. 

And Allaah knows best.

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