I am going to travel for ‘Umrah for a short time – three days. Do the rulings on travellers apply to me, and can I shorten my prayers during my stay in Makkah?.
The scholars differed concerning the length of time during which, if a traveller stays in a place, he may shorten his prayers. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
This is one of the issues concerning which the scholars differed, and there are more then twenty different scholarly opinions. The reason for that is that there is no definitive evidence that would dispel confusion. Hence the views of the scholars differed. I will mention the views of the main madhhabs:
1 – The view of the Hanbalis (may Allaah have mercy on them) is that if a person intends to stay for more than four days, the ruling on travel no longer applies to him and he must offer the prayers in full.
2 – The view of al-Shaafa’i and Maalik is that if he intends to stay for four days or more, then he must offer the prayers in full, but the day of arrival and the day of departure are not included in that. Based on that, the total number of days during which one may shorten prayers is six days: the day of arrival, the day of departure, and the four days in between.
3 – The view of Abu Haneefah is that if he intends to stay for more than fifteen days he should offer the prayers in full, and if he intends to stay for a shorter time then he may shorten his prayers.
Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/545
So it is clear that the views of the main madhhabs are agreed that it is permissible to shorten one’s prayers if one intends to stay for three days or less.
See al-Majmoo’, 3/171; Bidaayat al-Mujtahid, 1/168.
Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in his commentary on the hadeeth of al-‘Ala’ ibn al-Hadrami, according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Three days for the muhaajir after returning from Mina.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3933 and Muslim, 1352):
What this hadeeth refers to is that staying Makkah was forbidden to one who had migrated therefrom before the Conquest, but it was permitted to those who went there for Hajj or ‘Umrah to stay after completing the rituals (of Hajj or ‘Umrah) for three days and no more. It was understood from this that if a person stays for three days, the rulings on travellers still apply to him.
Fath al-Baari, 7/267.
If your stay is not going to exceed three days, then you can avail yourself of the concession granted to travellers according to the four madhhabs. And Allaah knows best.
See also question no. 21091.