Question: Do the words safari and musafir mean the same thing? How should one perform salat while traveling?
Being a safari or a musafir means being a traveler. If one sets out with the intention of going to a place that is three days’ walk [104 km] from one's home, one becomes a safari as soon as one passes beyond the last houses on both sides on one's way. In big cities, one qualifies a safari when one passes beyond the cemetery, factory, school, or barracks that are close to where one resides.
If one sets out without intending to go to a place that is three days' way, one does not become a safari even if one travels the entire world in this way. An example of this is the case of soldiers in quest of the enemy. If one who has started off with the intention of going to a place that is two days' way intends on the way or after reaching one's destination to go to another place that is two days' way from one's first destination, one does not become a safari when one is on the way to the place that is four days' way.
In the Hanafi Madhhab, it is wajib to perform four-rak'at fard salats as two rak'ats on a journey. It is makruh and a sin to perform them in full. A hadith-i sharif says, "One who performs salat in full during a journey is like the one who performs it incompletely when one is a muqim [resident]." Three-rak'at salats and sunnat salats are not affected.
In the Maliki Madhhab, it is sunnat to perform four-rak'at fard salats as two rak'ats on a legitimate journey. In the Shafi'i Madhhab, it is permissible to perform them as either two rak'ats or four rak'ats on a legitimate journey, but performing them as two rak'ats is preferable. In the Hanbali Madhhab, the rulings of the Shafi'i Madhhab apply.
Hanafi Muslims must perform four-rakat fard salats as two rak'ats on a journey in order to avoid committing a sin. For this reason, Muslims must learn the rulings concerning travel as well. These rulings have been written below according to the Hanafi Madhhab. The place where one is a muqim, that is, where one resides, is called watan (home).
There are three types of watan (home):
1. Watan al-Asli (real home): It is the place where one was born and raised or where one married or where one established one's home with the intention of living there permanently. If one moves to another city with the intention of residing there permanently, then this second city becomes one's watan al-asli.
2. Watan al-Iqamah (temporary home): It is a place where one intends to stay continuously for 15 days or more and then to leave.
3. Watan al-Suqna: It is the temporary transit residence where one intends to stay less than 15 days or where one has lived for years though one may have intended to leave there a day after one’s arrival.
How does one's watan change?
Some examples of how one's watan changes are as follows:
1. The place where one was born is one's watan al-asli, and it does not change unless one marries in another place or moves to another place with the firm intention of living there permanently. If one marries in a place, it cancels one's previous watan al-asli, and this second place becomes one's new watan al-asli. If one moves to another place with the definite intention of living there permanently, then the place where one married is no longer one's watan al-asli. If one moves from there to another place with the intention of living there permanently, one's previous watan al-asli where one settled is cancelled. That is, if one was born, for example, in the city of A, one's watan al-asli is that city. If one marries in the city of B later, one's previous watan al-asli is cancelled, and the city of B becomes one's watan al-asli. If one moves to the city of C with the intention of living there permanently, then the city of B is no longer one's watan al-asli, and the city of C becomes one's watan al-asli. If one stays in one's watan al-asli even for an hour, one must not shorten salats.
2. If a man, after marrying and settling in a city, moves to another city for work with the intention of living there permanently but his wife continues to reside in the former, then he will have two watan al-asli.
3. If a pregnant woman who lives in a town goes to a city to give birth to her baby, the watan al-asli of the baby will be the town where its mother lives because the baby will be raised there. It is not considered that it was born in watan al-sukna where it stayed for a few days.
4. Suppose that one gets on a bus to travel 60 km. If one falls asleep on the bus and travels 150-200 km, one will not become a safari (traveler) because one did not intend to travel that distance. One will not be a safari, either, if one travels to another city that is at a distance of 60 km for work. However, when returning, one will be a safari if one intends to go to the first city. For example, if one commences one's journey in a westerly direction to go to a city that is at a distance of 52 km and stops the journey in a city that is at a distance of 216 km because one fell asleep during the journey, one will perform salats without shortening them because one went to the second city without making intention. If one decides to return to the first city from the second one, then one must shorten salats as soon as one leaves the second city.
Question: How should I intend for salat when I am a safari (traveler)?
You do not have to state the number of rak'ats or the fact that you are a safari. You should intend in the usual way, e.g., "I intend to perform the fard salat of Salat az-Zuhr."
Question: Does one qualify as a safari according to distance or time?
One qualifies as a safari according to distance. The distance of safar (travel) is 104 km.
Question: Should a Hanafi Muslim who also follows the Maliki Madhhab in salat out of necessity apply the rulings of the Maliki Madhhab regarding travel?
He/she must apply the ruling of the Hanafi Madhhab regarding distance and the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab regarding his/her length of stay at somewhere. The reason for this is that when a person follows a second madhhab out of necessity in an act of worship he/she is not considered to have left the first madhhab. He/she must do only the fard elements and avoid the nullifiers that the second madhhab set for that act of worship.
Question: How many rak'ats should I offer for the five daily salats during travel?
Four-rak'at fard salats must be performed as two rak'ats. Three-rak'at salats are not affected. You may omit sunnat salats if you do not have time, but it is better to perform them if there is time.
Question: How is one's watan al-iqamah cancelled?
Watan al-iqamah is cancelled in three cases:
1. When one goes to another watan al-iqamah, one's previous watan al-iqamah is cancelled, even if one did not set out with the intention of traveling and even if the distance between two places is less than three days' way (104 km).
2. One's watan al-iqamah is cancelled when one goes to one's watan al-asli. For example, if one goes to the city of B (that is at a distance of 225 km) in a westerly direction from the city of A, which is one's watan al-asli, with the intention of staying there for a month and then if one goes to the city of C and marries there, one's watan al-asli will be the city of C. The city of B is no longer one's watan al-iqamah, and the city of A is no longer one's watan al-asli.
3. One's watan al-iqamah is cancelled if one departs from it with the intention of travel (safar). That is, when one departs from one's watan al-iqamah with the intention of traveling three days' way (104 km), it is no longer one's watan al-iqamah. If one sets out with the intention of traveling less than three days' way and comes back, one's previous watan al-iqamah is not cancelled. If one departs from one's watan al-iqamah without any intention and then if one, at another place, makes the intention of traveling three days' way and then returns one's previous watan al-iqamah before traveling three days' way, one is no longer a safari, but a muqim (resident), there. If one returns to it after traveling three days' way by making intention, one will not be a muqim there.
Question: If a married person says that he will move to such-and-such city after two years, has that place become his/her watan al-asli?
No, it has not. If one settles in a city and intends to live there permanently, then it becomes one's watan al-asli. In the meantime, if one goes to another city and stays there for a few months or years, one's watan al-asli will not be cancelled. In order for a place to become one's watan al-asli, one must settle there. In order for it to be cancelled, one must move to another city with the intention of living there permanently.
Question: Should a traveler perform four-rak'at fard salats as two rak'ats even if his/her journey is an easy one?
As journeys generally involve difficulties, our religion ordered us to perform four-rak'at fard salats as two rak'ats during a journey. They must be shortened even if the journey is trouble-free. Conversely, one is not allowed to shorten salats when one is a muqim (resident) even if one performs salats in extremely difficult conditions.
Question: Where is the watan al-asli of a person who was born on a mountaintop or on the road and who is now bachelor, sane and pubescent, and has not settled anywhere?
There is no one who does not have any watan al-asli. The place where he/she was brought after birth and was raised is his/her watan al-asli.
Question: Suppose that a man's watan al-iqamah is the town of A. He went to the town of B that is at a distance of 22 km in a westerly direction and stayed there for two days. Then he left the town of B with the intention of going to the city of C that is at a distance of 473 km in an easterly direction and stopped by the town of A on the way to the city of C. Would he qualify as a safari when he stopped by the town of A?
He qualifies as a safari as soon as he sets out from the town of B with the intention of going to the city of C. However, he becomes a muqim when he stops by the town of A on his way. He becomes a safari again when he leaves the town of A. In order for his watan al-iqamah to be cancelled, initially he had to intend to travel 104 km when he left the town of A. If he does not stop by the town of A on his way to the city of C, he does not become a muqim.
Question: If a man marries again after his wife died, will his watan al-asli change? That is, will his first watan al-asli where he married be cancelled, and will the second place where he married again become his watan al-asli?
Yes, it will. However, if he has intended to live permanently in the place he lives, then marriage will not render invalid the place where he intends to live permanently.
Question: A man has married in the town where his summer house is. He stays in his summer house for six months and then stays in his house in the city for six months. Where is his watan al-asli then?
Marriage does not render one's watan al-asli invalid if one resides somewhere with the intention of living there permanently. No matter where he has married, one's permanent residence in the city continues to be his watan al-asli. His watan al-asli will not be cancelled even if he stays in other cities for most of the year or for the entire year, even for years. His watan al-asli will not be rendered invalid unless he adopts a new watan al-asli.
Question: I heard that one becomes a safari the moment one comes out of the boundaries of something like a factory, barracks, or a cemetery close to one's residence when traveling the Shar'i distance (104 km) from one's watan al-asli to another place, but one becomes a safari the moment one leaves one's home when traveling Shar'i distance from one's watan al-iqamah to another place. Is it true?
It is not true. No matter whether one will travel from one's watan al-asli or watan al-iqamah, one becomes a safari the moment one comes out of the boundaries of something like a factory, barracks, or a cemetery close to one's residence.