#109: Friday Prayer for a Person Who Starts His Journey on a Friday

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. Is it true that it is obligatory for a person who starts his journey on a Friday to perform the Friday prayer?

Answer:

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those who follow his footsteps until the Last Day.

Regarding the above issue, there are two opinions as to whether it is obligatory to perform Friday prayer if one starts his travels on a Friday.

First: According to the final opinion in madhhab al-Syafi’e, if a person starts his travel before Subuh on Friday, then the obligation of Friday prayer is abrogated. However, if his planned travels are more than 4 days excluding the day he enters and leaves a certain place, then he must perform Friday prayer because he intended to be a resident. Thus, if the travels are less than 4 days excluding the day he enters and leave the place then the obligation of performing Friday prayer is abrogated. This is the jadid (new) opinion of Imam al-Syafie, the azhar opinion according to Iraq scholars and jumhur scholars. [1]

Second: There is another opinion in madhhab Syafie as cited by Imam al-Nawawi in the book Raudhah al-Talibin (2/38). They are of the opinion that the obligation of Friday prayer is abrogated if he starts his travels after sunrise and before the sun reaches its zenith. This is the qadim (old) opinion of Imam al-Syafie, Syeikh Harmalah and it is cited by al-Syirazi in al-Muhazzab analogically deduced with the permissibility of selling zakat property before reaching its haul.

We are inclined to the second opinion with the following explanation. In recent situations, most travels depend on the bus, train and aeroplane schedules which usually departs after sunrise. If the transport departs at 11.00 a.m., for instance, this would burden a person to exits his hometown before sunrise and waits for a long time. However, the travel must be for mubah/permissible purpose, nit makruh or prohibited.

Hopefully, Allah SWT grants us strength in performing the worship of prayer in any situation. The reason is prayer is an important pillar that should always be performed.

Wallahu a’lam.

 

[1] See al-Mu’tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi’i, 1/496

[2] See al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 4/498-499

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