Dear brothers, we carry on from last weeks khutba about direction of the Qibla to the actual act of travelling.
By travelling, this is not only long travels such as holiday destinations or family visits but travels such as daily commutes to work and trips to the shopping malls.
Dear brothers, we have an obligation as slaves of Allah SWT to make remembrance and worship a part of everything that we do.
Allah SWT has mentioned in Sura Al-Furqan, ayat 62:
“And it is He who has made the night and day in succession for whoever desires to remember or desires gratitude”
This ayat is reminding us that no time can go amiss where we cannot put it towards being mindful and grateful towards Allah SWT.
Dear brother, travelling has evolved in recent times. If you look at public transport these days there is a common image associated with the traveller. That look is normally head down and oblivious to the world around him. Not through remembrance of Allah SWT but through the interaction of the mobile phone.
Most people these days, as soon as the journey begins, bring out their mobile phone and begin social networking or surfing the web. And who can blame them? It’s a powerful distraction away from the mundane task of travelling.
However, those people are forgetting a very important hadith of the prophet SAWS in which he said:
Three duas or supplications will not be rejected (by Allah (SWT)), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler.
In other words, travel is the best time to ask from your Lord according to this hadith so why not take advantage of this blessed time?
For those of us wishing to travel further than our local neighbourhood, Allah SWT has even blessed us with ease in regards to our prayer as mentioned in Sura Nisaa, ayat 101:
“And when you travel throughout the land, there is no blame on you for shortening your prayer”
The specifics of this have variations amongst the scholars but for the sake of this khutba, the most popular opinion of each of the points have been mentioned:
Firstly, the distance travelled before one can offer a shortened prayer is around 48 miles or 77 kilometres.
Secondly, we can shorten the prayer for around 2 weeks if we are travelling. There is even a hadith stating 19 days duration during which time the muslims we considered to be travelling and thus offered shorter prayers.
Thirdly, the journey starts and ends from our point of origin. So, for example if the travel began from our home then it does not end until we reach our home.
And lastly, the prayers that can be shortened are Zuhr, Asr and Isha prayers. These are 4-unit prayers normally and they are shortened to 2-unit prayers.
Optional prayers are not offered during travel and this is also in line with the hadith of the prophet SAWS.
Dear brothers, it is clear to see that we have the potential to seek great reward during travel and we have been blessed with ease during travel. It is our responsibility to ensure we make the most out of each and every journey we embark upon.
May Allah SWT grace us all with safe travel. May Allah SWT accept our travel prayers. And may Allah SWT accept our supplications during travel.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.