Fasting and prayers of a traveler who travel after Zuhr

Question 384: Salam Alaikum! There is someone who lives in Stockholm and they work there too. But they decided during The Month Of Ramadhan to live outside the city, which that city is 50 km aways from Stockholm .But I know they can fast if they travel after Salat Aldhur ; here is the question, will the traveler’s Salat be Qasar or tamam?

My Marja: Ayatollah Al-Udhma Sayed Ali Al-Sistani

Answer 384: If they travel after Dhuhr (noon) their fast is treated as valid. If they have decided to stay in that city for 10 days they would have to offer their prayers tamam and fast till they are there for 10 days. Otherwise, they should offer their prayers Qasr and not to fast other days in this state.

According to Sayyid Sistani (ha), if a fasting person travels after Zuhr, he should, as a precaution, complete his fast. If he travels before Zuhr and had an intention from the previous night to do so, he cannot fast on that day. As a precaution, he cannot fast on that day even if he had no intention to travel from the previous night. In both the cases, he cannot break the fast till he has reached the limit of Tarakkhus. If he does, he will be liable to give Kaffarah.

If a traveller in the month of Ramadhan, regardless of whether he was travelling before Fajr, or was fasting and then undertook the journey, reaches his hometown before Zuhr or a place where he intends to stay for ten days, and if has not committed an act which invalidates a fast, he should fast on that day. But if he has committed such an act, it is not obligatory on him to fast on that day.

If after covering a distance which would add up to make 8 farsakh on return, the traveller abandons the journey, and if he decides to remain at that place, or to return after 10 days, or is undecided about returning or staying there, he should offer full prayers.

If a person abandons the journey after reaching a distance which would add up to make 8 farsakh on return, and decides to return, he should offer shortened prayers even if he wants to stay there for less than 10 days.

For the shar’i distance needed to travel in order for one’s prayer to become shortened, the fuqaha (Jurisprudents) have various rulings. Some say the distance necessary is approximately 22.5 kilometers.[1] Others say that the distance is approximately 21.5 kilometers.[2] Another group says that it is approximately 22 kilometers.[3]

A Farsakh is equal to three miles, while a mile is equal to four thousand cubits, whose length is equal to the breadth of twenty four fingers, and each finger is equal to the width of seven grains of barley, and each barley is equal to the breadth of seven average hair of a Turkish horse (or a pony). If the distance is less than that, even if to a minimal extent, the person on journey shall offer unreduced prayer.[4]

Note: A traveler for whom it is obligatory to shorten a four Rak’ats prayers to two Rak’ats, should not fast. However, a traveler who offers full prayers, like, a person who is a traveler by profession or who goes on a journey for a haram purpose, should fast while travelling.[5]

[1] Imam Khomeini, Ayatullahs Bahjat, Khamenei, Fadhil Lankarani, Safi and Nouri. Tawdhihul-Masa’el (of Marja’s), vol. 1, issue 1272.

[2] Makarem Shirazi, Tawzihul-Masa’el (of Maraji’), vol. 1, pg. 684.

[3] Tabrizi, Sistani and Vahid Khorasani, Minhajul-Salehin, issue 884.

[4] . The Official Website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Prayers of a traveller » Prayers of a traveller (Musafir) & Fasting by a traveler; Tahrir al-Wasila of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Chapter on a Traveler’s Prayers and its Relevant Rules.

[5] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Fasting » Fasting by a traveller.


Rules concerning Janabat during the holy month of Ramadan

Question 394: What is the ruling on Ehtelam in Ramadan? If a person doesn’t perform ghusal before Imsak then what about the Fasting? And if a person is taking a nap afternoon, and something like this (2-3 drops not sperms) happens, what is he supposes to do, is ghusal wajib on him? and what about that fasting, is it makrooh, haram, batil? A friend needs help 🙂 Jurisprudent: Ayatollah Sayed Khamenai or Sistani I guess.

Answer 394: If a person enters the state of Janabat during a night in the month of Ramadhan, and does not take Ghusl intentionally till the time left before Adhan is short, he/she should perform tayammum and observe the fast. However, it is a recommended precaution that its qadha is also given.

If a person in Janabat in the month of Ramadhan forgets to take Ghusl and remembers it after one day, he should observe the qadha of the fast of that day. And if he remembers it after a number of days he should observe the qadha of the fasts of all those days, during which he is certain to have been in Janabat. For example, if he is not sure whether he was in Janabat for three days or four, he should observe the qadha of three days.

If a person who does not have time for Ghusl or performing tayammum in a night of Ramadhan gets into state of Janabat, his fast will be void and it will be obligatory upon him to give qadha of that fast, as well as Kaffarah.

If a person investigates whether or not he has enough time at his disposal, and believing that he has time for Ghusl, goes into state of Janabat and when he learns later that actually the time was short, he performs tayammum, his fast will be in order. And if he presumes without any investigation that he has enough time at his disposal and gets into Janabat and when he learns later that the time was short, keeps the fast with tayammum, he should, as a recommended precaution, observe the qadha of that fast.

If a person investigates whether or not he has enough time at his disposal, and believing that he has time for Ghusl, goes into state of Janabat and when he learns later that actually the time was short, he performs tayammum, his fast will be in order. And if he presumes without any investigation that he has enough time at his disposal and gets into Janabat and when he learns later that the time was short, keeps the fast with tayammum, he should, as a recommended precaution, observe the qadha of that fast.

When a person in Janabat goes to sleep in a night of Ramadhan and then wakes up, the obligatory precaution is that if he is not sure about waking up again, he should not go to sleep before Ghusl, even if he has a faint hope that he might wake up before Fajr if he sleeps again.

If a person in Janabat in the night of Ramadhan feels certain that if he goes to sleep he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers, and is determined to do Ghusl upon waking up, and oversleeps with that determination till the time of Fajr prayers, his fast will be in order. And the same rule applies to a person who, though not absolutely certain, is hopeful about waking up before the time of Fajr prayers.

Ihtilam During Day Time: If a person observing fast becomes Mohtalim during day time, it is not obligatory on him to do Ghusl at once.

When a person wakes up in the month of Ramadhan after the Fajr prayers and finds that he has become Mohtalim his fast is in order, even if he knows that he became Mohtalim before the Fajr prayers.

Note: There are three characteristics of semen as follows: 1) A sticky liquid that smells like dough. 2) Its color is milky with a hint of either green or yellow. 3) It is ejaculated when orgasm is reached, after which the body feels relaxed.

There must exist three characteristics for it to be called semen. They are: Sexual desire, ejaculation, and resultant relaxation of the body. In sick people, however, sexual desire is sufficient. So, if you saw the drops (as you are sure it is not sperm) that has not the above mentioned sings of the three characteristics it would not regarded as sperm and then no need to perform Jinabat ghusl. As a result, your fast is in order.

When one cannot ascertain whether the fluid emitted from one’s body is semen, urine or something else, it will be treated as semen if it is thrown out with lust and if the body is slackened. If all or some of these signs are not present the fluid will not be treated as semen. In the case of illness, the fluid may not come out with sudden swiftness and the body may not slacken; but if the emission takes place with lust, it will be treated as semen.

So, if he becomes sure the drop is semen or any other najas thing the clothes is treated as impure. Otherwise, it is considered as clean. As a result, if it is not semen performing ghusl is not obligatory upon him.[1]

For further information regarding Kaffarah, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

[1] . Official Website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Rules concerning Fasting, Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas till Fajr time;  Ayatollah Khamenei (ha), Ajwabat al-Istiftaat, Q 180; Ibid, Istiftaat, rules concerning Jinaba ghusl, Q 177, Pg. 229.


Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation)

Question 372: what is the kaffarah for one day of not fasting Ramadan? (besides fasting 60 days)

Answer 372: There are nine acts which invalidate fast as follows:  1) Eating and drinking. 2) Sexual intercourse. 3) Masturbation (Istimna) which means self-abuse, resulting in ejaculation. 4) Ascribing false things to Allah, the Almighty or his Prophet or to the successors of the Holy Prophet (pbuth). 5) Swallowing thick dust. 6) Immersing one’s complete head in water. 7) Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas till the Adhan for Fajr prayers. 8) Enema with liquids. 9) Vomiting.

Commission of the things which invalidate fast as mentioned earlier are a cause of expiation in the same way as they make it obligatory to compensate for it, when it is done deliberately and willingly without any coercion, according to the more cautious opinion, as regards lying about Allah, the Exalted, His Prophet, Blessing be on him and his Progeny, and the Imams, Peace be upon them, and dipping in water, and having enema, and according to the stronger opinion, in case of the rest; rather, in case of lying about them, (Peace be upon them) is also not devoid of force. Of course, according to the stronger opinion, vomiting does not make it obligatory.

According to the more cautious opinion, in this respect there is no difference between the person knowing and an ignorant person who is neglectful. As regards an incapable (or interdicted) person who fails to pay heed to make query apparently it is not obligatory on him, though it would be more cautious (in his case too).

Note:  Here are three types of expiations (Kaffarah) for giving up the fast of the month of Ramadãn:

Emancipation of a slave, keeping fast for two months consecutively and feeding sixty indigent persons, whichever is chosen by him, though, it is more cautious to select one of them according to the above order, if possible. It is more cautious to perform all the three types of expiations if a person has broken his fast by something prohibited, such as eating something usurped, drinking wine, or having a prohibited sexual intercourse, or the like.

According to the stronger opinion, expiation is not repeated with the repetition of its cause in a single day, including performance of sexual intercourse, even if the type of its cause differs, but caution must not be given up in case of performance of sexual intercourse.

Conclusion:  The Kaffarah of leaving out a fast of Ramadhan is to: (a) free a slave, or (b) fast for two months or (c) feed sixty poor to their fill or give one mudd (= 3/4 kg.) of food-stuff, like, wheat or barley or bread etc. to each of them. If it is not possible for him to fulfil any of these, he should give Sadaqa according to his means and seek Divine forgiveness. And the obligatory precaution is that he should give Kaffarah as and when he is capable to do so.

A person who intends fasting for two months as a Kaffarah for a fast of Ramadhan, should fast continuously for one month and one day, and it would not matter if he did not maintain continuity for completion of the remaining fasts.

As regards the payment of expiation by feeding the poor it may be done either by feeding them to their full or by giving each of them a Mudd of wheat, barley, flour, rice, bread, or any other foodstuff, though, it is more cautious to give two Mudds. It is not sufficient in a single expiation to feed a single person twice or several time times or giving him two or more Mudds, when sixty poor persons are available, rather it would be indispensable that there should be sixty poor persons. If a person has a family (of several members), it shall be permissible to give him according to one Mudd for each member, provided that there is surety that the person shall feed them or give the food to them. One Mudd is equal to a quarter Sà’, and a Sã’ is equal to 214 ¼ Mithqals.[1]

Other Translation:

نمایه: چیزهایی که روزه را باطل می کند / آنچه که برای روزه دار مکروه است، سوال شماره 37.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael (with annotation of Imam Khomeini), Vol. 1, Pg. 931, Q 1660 & 1661;  Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Pg. 289;  The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah Sistani (ha), rules concerning things which make a Fast void, issue #1582.


The night prayer or Salatul Layl (Tahajjud)

Question 234:  Please let me know about tahajad namaz time and tarika??

Brief answer 234: There are eleven Rak’ats of supererogatory for the night, of which eight Rak’ats are called (mid) night (Tahajjud) then two Rak’ats are called Shaf’ (or couple) and one Rak’at called Vitr (single) prayer which along with the Shaf’ prayer is the preferable prayer, while the two Rak’ats of Morning Prayer are even more preferable than both. It is permissible to confine oneself to Shaf’ and Vitr only; rather particularly to Vitr in case the time is too short, while in case otherwise, it may be offered with the hope (of being desirable to Allah).

The due time for the (mid) night (Tahajjud) prayer is from the mid-night to the actual dawn (Subh-I Sãdiq), while morning (Sahar) is preferable than any other time, the last one-third of the night being entirely morning (Sahar), while its preferable time is one close to the dawn (Fajr), and even more preferable than that is the early morning (Tafriq) as was the practice of the holy Prophet, Allah’s Blessing be on him and his Progeny.[1]

Detailed answer 234: The night prayer or Salat al-Layl is one of the acts of worship and prayers which have been greatly stressed upon and recommended. With this prayer in the middle of the night close to dawn when there is utter silence and the daily uproar and commotion have seized, one gets a very special state of concentration and excitement which is unique and indescribable. That is, the friends of God always choose the pre-dawn moment for invocation and supplication for they are composed and at rest at this time and there is no intention of showing off. At this time, one gets the best of concentration which extraordinarily helps build and revive the spiritual self. That is why the Holy Quran has promised those who offer the night prayer to grant them a position of great glory (maqam mahmood):
“وَمِنَ اللَّیْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّکَ عَسَىٰ أَن یَبْعَثَکَ رَبُّکَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا”


“And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.”[2]

How to offer the Night Prayer: The night prayer consists of eleven rak’ats. Out of the 11 Rak’ats of the night Nafilah, 8 Rak’ats should be offered with the niyyat of the Nafilah, 2 Rak’ats with the niyyat of Shaf’a, and 1 Rak’at with the intention of Witr. All of these eleven rak’ats can be offered in short and long forms.

Short form:  In the short form of the night prayer, one can suffice to reciting only Hamd, the opening chapter (without Surah) in the prayers.

Long form: In this method, in the first initial rak’ats one should recite Hamd followed by a Surah (like Surah al-Kafiroon, Tawhid etc. which have been recommended). Indeed, according to some traditions, the Surah of Tawhid has been recommended to be recited up to ten times.

When it comes to the rak’ats of Shaf’a prayer, it is better to recite Surah Falaq after Surah Hamd in the first rak’at and to recite Surah Naas after Surah Hamd in the second rak’at. There remains one rak’at of witr prayer in which it is better to recite Surah Tawhid thrice after Surah Hamd along with Surah Falaq and Surah Naas. One can suffice to reciting only Surah Tawhid and then perform Qunut.
Qunut: The qunut of witr prayer is one of the highly rewarded mustahab acts and stress has been laid on prolonging it. It has been narrated from the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, that he said: “Whoever prolongs the qunut of his witr prayer in the world, will be at ease at the station of judgment.”[3] In Qunut, first pray for forgiveness of forty or more Mu’mineen who are either dead or living in the following manner. For example, you should say:
“اللهم اغفر لفلان

“Allahumma ighfir li-fulan”.

Instead of ‘fulan’, you should mention the name of the individual whom you want to pray for. Or recite:
اللهم اغفر للمؤمنین و المؤمنات

Allahumma ighfir lil-mo’meneen wal-momeenat.
“استغفر الله ربی و اتوب الیه‌”

Then recite seventy times “astaghfirullah rabbi wa atubu elayh.” Then recite:

“هذا مقام العائذ بک من النار”

Haza maqamul a’eze bika minan nar.

Then say three hundred times:


Al-Afw. Then the following dhikr is recited:

“رب‌ّ اغفرلی و ارحمنی و تب علی‌ّ انک انت التواب الغفور الرحیم‌”

Rabbi ighfirli wa irhamni wa tub ‘alayya innka antat tawwab al-ghafoor al-rahim.

Then you should bend for ruku and go down for prostration (sajda) and salam.

Indeed, there are many mustahab dhikr and supplications which one can recite in all the rak’ats of the night prayer. Should you like to learn more about those recommended dhikr.

Every Nafilahs and all mustahabb prayers in general are two rak’ats. if you dont have enough time to offer all eleven rak’ats, there would be no problem to offer 2 rak’ahs of the shaf’ prayer and 1 rak’ah of the watr prayer. if not you can offer the one rak’ah of the watr prayer, only.

[1] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, rules concerning Preliminaries of Prayer.

[2] . Al-Isra (17): 79.

[3] . Tabatai Yazdi, Muhammad Kazem, Urwat al-Wuthqa, vol.1, p. 544 – 545, Dar al-Tafsir.


How to make up for missed prayers

Question 009: I am 15 years old and when I was younger I recall missing two isha prayers deliberately as I wasn’t bothered about praying all five prayers. I also missed prayers (all fajr prayers apart from Shahr al Ramadan). How do I make these up and is it permissible for me to make them up? I follow the Shafi method. JazakAllah Khair

Answer 009: Imam Baqir (as) says: Prayer is one of the Pillar of Islam.[1] One who is abandoning his prayer deliberately and without any reason is considered as an unbeliever who defies Allah, according to Imam Sadiq (as).[2]

Prayer cannot be skipped under any circumstances and it is one of the rights of Allah (SWT). If one doesn’t pray he/she has committed a capital sin. Regarding Haqqullah repentance would be to make up for the past and saying Istiqfar. If one repents to Allah (SWT) with sincere repentance! Maybe his Lord will absolve him of his misdeeds.[3]

In the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “Say [that Allah declares,]” O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah will forgive all sins. Indeed He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful.”[4]

The Arabic version of this verse of the holy Quran:

قُلْ يا عِبادِيَ الَّذينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلى‏ أَنْفُسِهِمْ لا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَميعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحيم‏

In view of the fact that you did not say Subh prayer for a year and the two Isha prayers, it becomes compulsory on you to perform Subh qada’ for a year and the two Isha prayers.

It is not incumbent on you to immediately make up for the prayers you missed out, as delaying compensatory prayer can be tolerated, provided it is not done out of indifference.[5]

Considering the above mentioned issues, from now on try to offer your prayers on time and then make up for the prayers you missed, gradually. So, if you repent from that sin and make all your missed prayers up as soon as you can, then Allah (swt) will forgive you. Insha’Allah.

[1] . Barqi, Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid, al-Mahasin, Vol. 1, Pg. 44, Qom, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, 1371 A.H.

[2] Sheikh Kuleini, Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 279, Tehran, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, 1407 A.H.

[3] . Surah al-Tahrim, verse 8.

[4] . Surah al-Zumar, verse 53.

[5] . For further information, please refer to the official Website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Dialogue on prayer.