In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Prayer is a form of physical worship assigned to the Muslim five times a day at specified times. The Muslim can perform prayer anywhere; at the mosque, at home, at the farm, at the factory, in the office, on the road while on journey, where ever he happen to be when the time falls due for prayer. .
The afternoon prayer (al- Asr). It is four rakats, its time of choice is from the time at which the shadow of a person becomes the same length of his stature until the yellow appearance of the sun. The time of necessity is from that time until the journey prayer (Salatu-safar) the journey prayer is also an emphatic sunna. It is an advantage enjoyed by the person on a long journey. Since the person on a long journey is expected to suffer during his journey, a certain advantage to make his prayer easy to be performed is enjoyed.
The long journey may be- considered forty-eight miles or more either the journey is by air, by train, by road, by sea, or the like, he may enjoy the advantages. It is not only the journey which causes the suffering, but also preparing for the journey and/or waiting for the transport. It is left to the person himself to estimate how much he is going to suffer. The advantage of shortening the prayer while on journey instituted in the Quran, Surah 4:101. Allaah says; "When you are on a journey there is no blame on you if you Shorten your prayers.
The Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] referred to this advantage as a charity given by God to those persons on a journey and therefore should be accepted. Ibn Abbas [RA] reported that the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him], before he started his journey used to combine the noon prayer (Zuhr) and the afternoon prayer (Asr) when it was time to perform the Noon prayer. When he started his journey before noon he combined the noon prayer and afternoon prayer during the time of the Afternoon prayer (Asr). When he started his journey after sunset he used to combine the sunset prayer (Maghrib). When he started his Journey before sunset, he used to combine the Sunset prayer (Maghrib) with the Night prayer (Isha).
From the above explanation, if I should find myself in this situation, I will refer myself back to the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as earlier discussed above. I may combine the noon prayer and the afternoon prayer when it is time to perform the noon prayer or I may perform my prayer after arriving at my destination.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited