As the world rapidly turns into a global village, the bewildering modes of
transport and the number of people who travel is increasing on a scale
never witnessed before.
Nowadays many Muslims are travelling all over the world for various
reasons. Out of His infinite mercy, Allah Ta`ala has granted certain
concessions to those who are Musafir (travellers) and He desires that
those concessions must be appreciated - Hadith. As such, it is very
important for Muslims to know the basic rules of Safar (travel) in order
to appreciate these concessions and to comply with the Islamic laws of
travel - Ahkam al-Safar.
In order to fulfil this vital need of providing basic knowledge on this
subject, my dear friend, Mawlana Hafiz Fahim Husain has compiled this
booklet, which I have studied carefully and found to be very beneficial.
The masa'il are authentic and fairly comprehensive and the size of the
booklet makes it a very useful 'companion' to have handy on journeys. The
book has appropriately been named 'Anisul-Musafir'. It will make an
appropriate gift for family or friends who intend to travel. May Allah
accept his effort and reward him befittingly and make this first
publication a launching pad on a long journey of authorship that will
produce many useful works for the 'Ummah. Amin. Wa al-Salam
Mufti Zubair Bayat,
The Laws and Method of Tayammum:
In the absence of water, for wudu or ghusl, or in the case where its use
is injurious to one's health the Shari`ah has ordained Tayammum as the
alternative. The following masa'il apply to Tayammum in the absence of
water – a situation that may be encountered by the musafir.
1. When water for wudu or ghusl is not available within a radius of 1.9 km
then Tayammum can be made.
2. If there is strong indication that water is available within this
distance then it has to be searched for.
3. Similarly if there is so little water that it is insufficient for the
four fara'id of wudu (viz. washing the face, hands and feet once and
wiping a quarter of the head then Tayammum will be permissible.
4. If the water available is required for drinking, due to there being a
fear of thirst that may result in illness or death, then Tayammum can be
5. If water is available for sale and the price is reasonable then it will
be necessary to purchase that water and make wudu. If the price is
unreasonably high or the person does not have sufficient money to purchase
that water then he can make Tayammum.
6. If there is hope of obtaining water then it is recommended (mustah¥ab)
to delay the Salah till the end of the recommended (mustah¥ab) time. i.e.
before the makruh time.
7. If Salah is offered with Tayammum and thereafter water is found then
there is no need to repeat the Salah.
Tayammum can be made on all substances that are of the earth
even if they have no sand or dust on them. This includes sand, stone,
clay, bricks and all substances that do not melt nor burn and turn to ash.
The Method of Tayamum:
Firstly the intention (niyyah) of Tayammum to attain purity (taharah) must
Then strike both the palms on the substance upon which Tayammum is being
made and dust or blow off the excess dust.
Then wipe both hands over the entire face ensuring that no part of the
face is omitted.
Strike both the palms again in the same manner and wipe the right forearm
a) Begin by placing the four fingers of the left hand under the fingertips
of the right hand.
b) Thereafter wipe the right hand by pulling these four fingers towards
the elbow of the right hand.
c) Then, beginning from the elbow, wipe the inner of the right hand moving
the left hand towards the palm - resulting in the inner part of the left
thumb passing over the outer part of the right thumb.
FAQID AL-TAHURAYN refers to the person who cannot find water, for
wudu or ghusl, nor sand for Tayammum. (This may occur in an aeroplane.)
The law for such a person is that when the Salah time is about to expire
he must act out the postures of Salah without reciting any Qira'ah. When
water or sand is later found the salah must be repeated.
Wiping (Masah) over Socks (Khuffayn):
Definition of Khuffayn:
Khuffayn refer to a special type of socks that fulfil the following
1. They are waterproof.
2. Walking in them for three miles without the socks tearing is possible.
3. They remain in position, covering the feet, without being tied. Socks
which have elastic sewn into them (to keep them in position) will be
regarded as being tied.
>> Socks that fulfil these conditions are recognized as khuffayn in the
Shari`ah. Hence cotton, woollen and nylon socks are not khuffayn and masah
cannot be made on them. They must be removed and the feet must be washed.
>>It is not permissible to make masah on a khuff that is torn to such
an extent that an area equal to the size of three small toes is exposed.
It is permissible to make masah on the sock if it is torn less than this.
Laws regarding Masah on the Khuffayn:
1. Masahwill be valid on the khuffayn if they are worn after having
attained complete taharah i.e. in the condition of wudu.
2. Masahis permissible for a musafir for a period of 72 hours. The period
for a muqim is 24 hours.
3. This period is calculated from the first time the wudu breaks after
having worn the Khuffayn.
4. Upon expiry of the period the masah breaks. If the person wearing them
was in a condition of wudu prior to that he must simply remove the
khuffayn and wash his feet. It is not necessary to repeat the entire wudu.
5. The period is lengthened from 24 hours to 72 hours for a muqim who
begins a journey before the expiry of 24 hours.
6. Similarly the period is reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours for a musafir
who becomes a muqim.
The Method of making Masah:
Draw the fingers of the hand on the upper surface of the khuff starting
from the toes and ending above the ankle.
The right hand is used for the right khuff and the left hand for the left
Masah is done once on each sock.
It is Fard (Compulsory) to make masah on each sock to the extent of the
full surface area of three fingers.
Factors that Nullify the Masah:
The following factors nullify the masah:
1. All factors that nullify wudu. In this case the masah must be renewed
when the wudu is renewed.
2. Removing both the khuffs or one of them.
If the khuff is lowered to the extent that most of the foot is exposed
then it will be regarded as if the entire khuff was removed and the masah
will be nullified.
3. Water entering the khuff and wetting more than half the foot.
4. Ghusl becoming obligatory.
5. Expiry of the valid masahperiod as stipulated above. (See Page 10)
In the last 4 cases (i.e. 2,3,4 and 5) the khuffs must be removed and the
feet must be washed.
The times of Salah:
Salah must be offered in its appropriate time even whilst on a journey. It
is not permissible to intentionally miss or postpone any Salah till after
its prescribed time.
Combining of two Salahs in one time is not allowed in the Hanafi School.*
If the need arises two salahs can be combined by offering the first in its
latest time and the second in its earliest. Thus an 'apparent combining'
(Al-Jam` Al-Suri) is achieved.
[* The exception to this rule is the combining of the Zuhr and ‛Asr Salah
behind the Imam of Hajj in ‛Arafat in the state of Ihram and the combining
of the Maghrib and ‛Isha Salah in Muzdalifah. In the latter case offering
Salah behind the Imam of Hajj is not a prerequisite for combining the two
1. The Time of Fajr Salah
At the approach of dawn whiteness is first noticed along the length of the
eastern horizon and thereafter across its breadth. This second whiteness
(known as Al-Subh Al-Sadiq or True Dawn) begins to spread rapidly until it
becomes fairly bright. The time of Fajr Salah commences when this second,
broad whiteness becomes visible and it remains until sunrise. The moment
the tip of the sun appears the time of Fajr Salah ends.
2. The Time of Zuhr Salah
The time of Zuhr commences after midday. The method of determining midday
is that as the sun rises the shadows of objects begin to decrease in
length. Exactly at the time this decreasing stops is midday or noon.
Thereafter, when the length of shadows begins to increase noon declines
and the time of Zuhr begins. The time remains until the shadow of any
object becomes twice its length plus the length of its shadow at midday.
Another method of determining midday is to divide the number of daylight
hours by two and add the result to the time of sunrise.
Daylight hours /2 + Sunrise
= (Sunset – Sunrise)/2 + Sunrise
= (17h30 – 6h30) /2 + 6h30
= 11hrs /2 + 6h30
= 5½ hrs + 6h30
= 12h00 is Midday
3. The Time of `Asr Salah
`Asr time commences when Zuhr time ends and remains until sunset. However,
it is abominable (makruh) to offer `Asr Salah when the colour of the sun
changes and its rays appear yellow. If due to some reason one gets delayed
then `Asr Salah has to be offered even in this makruh time. However it is
not permissible to offer any other Salah in this time.
4. The Time of Maghrib Salah
Once the sun sets Maghrib time commences and remains as long as the
redness on the western horizon is visible. However, Maghrib Salah should
not be delayed to the time when many stars begin to appear. (This occurs
about 35 minutes after sunset.)
5. The Time of `Isha' Salah
When the redness on the western horizon disappears (about 1 hour and 20
minutes after sunset) `Isha' time commences and remains until dawn.
However, it is makruh to offer `Isha' Salah after midnight. *
[* On flights extra care should be taken that salah is offered in its
correct time as time zones change quickly when flying in an Easterly
Rules relating to facing the Qiblah:
1. If the direction of the Qiblah is not known, nor is there any
knowledgeable person who could be asked, then the musalli must use his
discretion and offer Salah in the direction that seems correct to him.
This is known as Taharri. If he offers Salah after doing this his Salah is
valid even if he later learns that the direction towards which he had
faced was incorrect.
2. If he offers Salah without exerting his utmost in deducing the Qiblah
direction, his Salah will not be valid. However, in this case, if he later
learns that the direction towards which he had faced was correct then his
Salah will be valid.
3. If there was a person present whom he could have asked but he did not
do so then his Salah will not be valid.
4. If a person is offering Salah facing the wrong direction and during the
Salah he learns of the correct Qiblah direction he should immediately turn
towards the Qiblah in this very Salah. If after learning of the correct
direction he does not turn towards the Qiblah his Salah will not be valid.
5. If the Qiblah direction is not known and Salah is being offered in
congregation then the Imam and each of those following him must act
according to their own discretion. If the conclusion of any follower (muqtadi)
regarding the Qiblah direction is contrary to that of the Imam he cannot
offer Salah behind that Imam. In this case, he must offer Salah on his
The Method of determining the Qiblah:
Scientific instruments, like compasses, can be used for determining
the direction of the Qiblah. In the absence of these a person can use his
reasoning. The following methods can be used to determine North in the
Southern Hemisphere. The direction of Qiblah can then be estimated in
relation to North. In South Africa, Qiblah (which is North-East) will be
slightly towards the right of North.
1. Face the number 12 of a watch towards the sun. To avoid looking
directly into the sun hold a match erect above the 12 and turn the watch
so that the shadow of the match falls upon the 12 and points towards the
6. Halfway between the 12 and the hour hand is North.
2. Another method of roughly determining North is to regard the shadow of
a person at midday to be facing South. North is in the opposite direction.
Rules relating to a Musafir:
Who is a Musafir?
1. The person who sets out with the intention of eventually travelling
three manzils (approx. 77 km) * is regarded as a musafir in the Shari`ah.
[* This is the Fatwa of Mufti Mahmud Gangohi (r.a.) as mentioned, in
detail, in Masa'il-e-Safar of Mawlana Raf‛at Qasmi p 43 and briefly in
Fatawa Mahmudiyya h v 2 p 269 and v 2 p 274. Mufti Rashid Ahmad has also
given Fatwa on 77km in Ahsan al Fatawa v4 p105]
2. The moment he comes out of the boundaries of his town or city he
becomes a musafir. Within the boundaries of his town or city, he will not
be a musafir.
If the airport is within the boundaries of the city (in the sense that the
buildings of the city are linked to it without a considerable break in
between) it will fall under the rule of the city and the person will not
be considered a musafir when he reaches it. If it is outside the
boundaries, then upon reaching it, the person will be regarded as a
PRINCIPLE: A person will not become a musafir until he firmly
intends to travel 77 km from the place he is in.
Thus a person who travels from place to place, intending to travel less
than 77km each time, will not become a musafir – even if he travels the
entire world in this way!
The (Qasr) Salah of a Musafir:
1. When a person qualifies as a musafir according to the Shari`ah he is
required to offer two rak`ahs for the Fard of Zuhr, `Asr and `Isha' Salah.
The other Salahs remain as normal.
2. More than two rak`ahs should not be offered for the Fard of Zuhr, `Asr
and `Isha' Salah. If a person mistakenly offered four raka`at for these
Salahs, and he had sat down for Tashahhud (al-Tahiyyat) in the second
rak`ah, then the first two rak`ahs will be regarded as Fard and the other
two rak`ahs as nafl.
3. In the above case he will have to make sajdah al-sahw. If he did not
make sajdah al-sahw then he must repeat the Salah if its time still
4. If he did not sit in the second rak`ah then all four raka`at will
become nafl and he will have to repeat his Fard Salah.
Becoming a Muqim:
1. A person will remain a musafir and will continue offering two rak`ahs
for the four-raka`at Salahs until he makes the definite intention of
staying at a place for fifteen days or more.
2. The place where he makes this intention is known as his Watan al-Iqamah.
He must offer four raka`at Salah here.
3. If he makes the intention of staying for 15 days whilst in Salah then
he must offer this very Salah as a muqim i.e. 4 raka`at.
PRINCIPLE: A musafir will not become a muqim until he firmly
intends to stay at a place for a period of fifteen days from the time he
makes this intention.
Based on the above principle consider the following two cases:
a) A person stops at a place intending to stay for two or three days. Due
to circumstances every day he makes the intention of leaving the following
day but he still does not leave. In this way fifteen days, twenty days, a
month or even more passes, but he did not, at any point, make the firm
intention of staying there for fifteen days. In this case he will remain a
musafir irrespective of how many days he stays at that place.
b) A person intends to stay at a place for ten days but after seven days
he decides to extend his stay by an additional ten days (which will make
his total stay twenty days.) In this case he will remain a musafir. This
is because after he had decided to stay ten more days there were thirteen
days of his total stay remaining. Hence at no point did he make the
intention to stay for fifteen days. In other words, 'fifteen days' is
considered from the time he changed his intention and not from the
beginning of his stay.
4. The intention of staying fifteen days has to be for staying the full
fifteen days at one place. If he makes an intention of staying for 15 days
at two different places, and the distance between the two places is such
that the adhan of one place cannot be heard at the other, then he will be
a musafir in both those places.
e.g. If a person intends staying for 10 days in Makkah and 5 days in
Mina he will be a musafir both in Makkah and Mina.
Thus a Haji who arrives in Makkah less than fifteen full days before the
morning of the 8th of Dhu al-Hijjah will be a musafir.
If he arrives in Makkah fifteen days or more before the 8th then he will
be a muqim both in Makkah and Mina.
5. If in the above case (i.e. Law 4) he intends spending all the fifteen
nights at one place then he will be a muqim in that place.
6. If both places are so close that each other's adhan can be heard, then
both places will be regarded as one place. He will become a muqim in both
places by intending to stay there for 15 days.
7. After becoming a muqim (by firmly intending to stay at a place for
fifteen days) if he changes his intention and decides to leave before
fifteen days then he will not become a musafir.
8. When he leaves with the intention of eventually travelling to another
place that is at a distance of 77 kilometres or more then only will he
become a musafir. If that place is less than 77 kilometres away, he will
not become a musafir.
Other Salah on a Journey:
1. Sunnah Salah should not be unduly missed during the journey. However if
the musafir is in a hurry then, apart from the Sunnah of Fajr, it will be
permissible for him to omit the other Sunnah Salahs. If he is not in a
hurry nor does he fear his companions leaving him behind then he should
offer all the Sunnah Salahs.
2. There is no reduction in the number of raka`at of Sunnah Salah.
3. Sunnah and Nafl Salah can be offered whilst seated in a moving vehicle
if it is outside the town. The salah must be commenced facing the Qiblah.
Thereafer, if the vehicle turns, resulting in the Qiblah direction
changing, the musalli does not have to turn towards the Qiblah.
4. Witr Salah is wajib. Hence it must be offered whilst on a journey as
well. If it is missed then qada' must be made.
5. Qada' of Salahs missed whilst on a journey will be two rak`ahs for Zuhr,
`Asr and `Isha. This applies even when the qada' is being made at home or
as a muqim in any other place.
6. If any Salah, such as Zuhr, is missed before embarking on a journey
then qada' of it whilst on the journey must be made in full i.e. four
The principle in laws 5 and 6 above is that the condition of a person,
whether musafir or muqim, is considered in the final moments of that Salah.
Accordingly the status of the Qada' Salah (i.e. whether it is two or four
raka`at) will be determined.
The Hometown (Al-Watn Al-Asli):
A person's hometown is the place where he resides with his family and
belongings without having a definite intention of relocating.
1. Immediately upon entering his hometown the musafir will become a muqim
whether he intends staying for fifteen days or not.
2. This also applies when a musafir, during the course of his journey,
passes through his hometown i.e. he will immediately become a muqim. If he
merely bypasses his hometown but doesn't enter its boundaries then he will
remain a musafir.
3. If a person moves to another town and settles there permanently then
this second town becomes his hometown and the first town is no longer his
Rules relating to women:
1. If a woman begins a journey whilst she is in the the state of haid
(menstruation) then the distance she covers in that state is not
considered as part of the Safar distance. Hence, if the haid continues
until she reaches her destination she will not be a musafir.
However if, during the course of the journey, she attains purity from her
haid and there is still a distance of 77 km or more to her destination,
then she will become a musafir.
2. If when she leaves home she was pure and her haid begins during the
course of the journey then she will be a musafir.
3. The hometown of a woman who begins living with her husband after her
marriage will become that of her husband's. Her original hometown (i.e.
the place where she was residing with her parents) will no longer remain
4. It is a major sin for a woman to travel 77 kilometres or more without
her husband or a mature (baligh) male mahram. She should not even travel
less than 77 kilometres without her husband or mahram.
This law also applies to women travelling for Hajj or `Umrah. A woman must
have her husband or a mahram accompanying her in these journeys as well.
5. It is also not permissible for a woman to travel with a mahram who does
not fear Allah Ta`ala and does not abide by the laws of Shari`ah.
6. The Wali (male person accompanying the woman) must be able to fulfil
the role of a competent Wali in guarding the chastity and honour of the
Rules relating to Salan on an Aircarft, Train,
1. Fard Salah has to be offered in a standing posture in a moving ship,
train or aircraft.
2. If a person feels dizzy by offering Salah standing or fears that he
will fall then he is allowed to sit and offer Salah.
3. The musalli must face the Qiblah whilst offering Salah in a moving
4. If the vehicle turns and the direction of the Qiblah changes then he
will also have to turn in his Fard Salah towards the Qiblah.*
5. If a person is offering Salah and the vehicle, which has his belongings
or family, is about to leave then it will be permissible for him to break
his Salah. The Salah must then be offered later.
Salah with Jamah:
1. As far as possible Salah should be offered in jama`ah whilst on a
2. A muqim (i.e. a resident or non-musafir) can follow an imam who is a
musafir whether it is an ada' Salah (i.e. a Salah in its time) or a qada'
3. In the above case, when the musafir imam completes his Salah of 2
rak`ahs and makes salam, the muqim follower (muqtadi) should stand up
without making salam and complete his Salah. He must not recite any
Qira'ah in the 2 rak`ahs he is completing. He should merely remain silent
for the duration of Surah al-Fatihah.
4. When the musafir imam makes salam, it is preferable (mustah࿔ab) for him
to inform his followers that he is a musafir. It is preferable that he
also informs them before commencing the Salah.
5. A musafir can also follow an imam who is a muqim as long as it is
within the time of that Salah. If the time has expired then he can follow
him for the Fajr and Maghrib Salahs and not for the Zuhr, `As࿖r, and `Isha
Fasting of a Musafir:
1. A musafir is permitted to abstain from the fast of Ramadan although it
is meritorious for him to fast if it isn't difficult. The qada' of the
fasts missed will have to be made.
2. If a musafir who was not fasting in Ramadan becomes a muqim, either by
returning home or by intending to stay at a place for fifteen days, then
he has to compulsorily abstain from eating etc. for the rest of the day.
However he still has to make qada' of that day.
3. If he did not eat anything since sehri time then he can make the
intention of fasting if it's before Al-Dahwah Al-Kubra (approximately an
hour before zawal.) In this case the fast will be valid and no qada' is
necessary. After this time (i.e. al-dahwah al-kubra) he cannot make the
intention to fast but he still has to abstain from eating for the
remainder of the day and qada' of that day is necessary.
4. If a muqim who is fasting begins a journey then he must complete that
fast. He cannot break the fast.
1. If a person leaves his home with the intention of travelling 77
kilometres but after travelling a distance less than 77km, he changes his
mind and decides to return home then from the moment he makes the
intention of returning, he will no longer remain a musafir.*
[*Al-Durr al-Mukhtar v 2 p 134]
2. It is preferable (mustahab) to give adhan and sunnah to say the iqamah
whilst on a journey.
3. If a person makes sajdah on something made out of straw or cotton wool
he must press his head down firmly such that he cannot press any further.
If he does not press it down firmly, but merely places his head lightly,
his sajdah will not be valid. The same applies to sajdah on grass.
4. During Salah it is makruh to gather one's clothes to prevent them from
5. Whilst on a journey after reading Surah al-Fatihah, in Salah, any other
Surah can be recited. The Sunnah Qira'ah for the various Salah does not
have to be adhered to.
6. Jumu`ah, `Id and Qurbani are not compulsory upon a traveller. However
there is still more reward if these actions are fulfilled even whilst on a
Etiquette (Adab) of Travelling:
1. Before embarking on a journey the musafir should consult with those
learned and sincere people in whom he has confidence.
2. Istikharah should also be made as to whether he should proceed on this
journey or not. The method of Istikharah can be found in many books on
3. In the case of Fard Hajj he must make Istikharah regarding when to
leave and which route to take rather than Istikharah whether to undertake
the journey or not. This applies to all journeys undertaken to fulfil a
4. When he has firmly decided to embark on the journey he should arrange
all his affairs at home. Debts and other duties pertaining to Huquq Allah
(i.e. Rights of Allah) or Huquq al-`ibad (Rights of Others) should be
5. All trusts and borrowed items should be returned to their rightful
owners. Alternatively, arrangements should be made for their safekeeping
in his absence.
6. Suitable arrangements must be made for the maintenance of all those for
whom the musafir is responsible (viz. his wife, children and other
dependants) until the time of his return.
7. Full preparation for the journey should be made. This includes physical
and spiritual preparation.
8. All travel documents and luggage should be checked. The musafir should
also have his Traveller's Will complete and up-to-date.
9. The general masa'il of travelling and the relevant masa'il specific to
his journey (e.g. the masa'il of Hajj, business etc.) must be learnt. It
is advisable that small booklets containing these masa'il be taken along.
10. The preferable days of beginning a journey are Thursday and Monday.
11. It is permissible to begin a journey on all other days as well.
However on Friday it is best to begin the journey after the Jumu`ah Salah.
After the Jumu`ah adhan it is haram to begin a journey if there is fear of
missing the Jumu`ah Salah.
12. It is best to begin a journey in the early part of the day.
13. It is preferable (mustahab) to offer two rak`ahs of Salah before
departing. After this du`a' should me made for protection and ease during
the journey and for a safe return home.
14. When bidding farewell to relatives and friends their du`as and
forgiveness for any shortcomings in fulfilling their rights should be
sought. The relevant du`a's to be recited at this time are mentioned later
in this booklet. (See Pages 44 and 45)
15. Something should be given in charity before departure as sadaqah wards
off calamities. Sadaqah should also be given regularly throughout the
16. It is best to travel in a group and pious companions should be
selected for this purpose. They will be a source of encouragement and
17. A righteous and intelligent amir (leader) should be appointed whose
decision must be obeyed. The amir, in turn, should carry out his
responsibility conscientiously, seeing to the needs of his companions at
18. Due consideration must be given to fellow travellers - especially when
using public facilities like toilets etc. Their rights must not be
violated and they are not to be inconvenienced in any way. (e.g. smoking
19. If there is no danger it is advisable that a major portion of the
night be used for travelling whilst resting during the day. The journey
becomes shorter during the night. (Hadith)
20. Every spare minute is to be valued. Long journeys are an ideal
opportunity to recite the Qur'an, make Dhikr and offer Nafl Salah. The
time should not be wasted by casting the gaze around recklessly or by
watching the videos usually shown on flights.
21. The du`a's of a musafir are accepted. Hence he should use any
available opportunity to supplicate to Allah Ta`ala.
22. As soon as the object of the journey is realized he should return
23. The family should be informed of his time of return. He should not
24. Two rak`ahs of Salah should be offered in the masjid before entering
Article taken (with Thanks) from Draul- Ihsan Research & Education centre
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