Here are some tips to safeguard your Salaat while travelling. Knowing the rules related to Salaath and Wudhu, and having a few things in the travel bag, will go a long way for a traveler to ensure that they do not miss Salaath while traveling.
There are number of concessions for travelers when it comes to Wudhu and Salaath. Knowing those rules will greatly ease the performance of Salaath on time while traveling. There are minor differences of opinion among the scholars on some of these rules; as such, it is best that you consult a trusted scholar to get a full understanding. The most important of the rules that a traveler needs to know are the following:
1. Conditions pertaining to shortening and combining of prayers. This is probably the most important knowledge to have as a traveler.
2. Rules regarding the requirement to face the Qiblah direction while on a moving train, plane, etc. This is very important, especially if you are traveling by plane and need to perform your Salaath while on board.
3. Rules regarding the performance of Qiyam (standing position), while "seated" for obligatory Salaath. Same Rules for non-obligatory prayers such as Witr.
4. Dispensations regarding Wudhu for travelers. Especially the conditions for Al Masah (wiping over leather socks/shoes) and how to perform it.
5. Rules of wiping over the Turban or Hijab during Wudhu.
6. Conditions that allow for praying with your shoes on.
7. Conditions for performing dry ablution (Tayammum) and how to perform it. Although the chances of one doing this is low, it is good to know.
The following few things will not take much space in a travel bag, but will go a long way to ease the performance of Salaath outside of your home.
8. A travel prayer mat. Now you can get them in sizes that allow you to carry them inside your trouser pockets or handbags. Having one will come in very handy.
9. Prayer timetable. You can download a prayer time calculator on most mobile phones, smart phones, tablets and on notebooks/PCs. Downloading one of them in all your digital devices is a good idea.
10. Qiblah compass. You can either carry a physical compass or download a digital one (if your digital device has the functionality). However, the accuracy of both the digital and the physical compasses in closed environments, like hotel rooms, cannot be fully relied on. If you have internet access, then you can check the Qiblah direction and the prayer times using our tool through your notebook or tablet device.
11. Wear footwear which will allow you to perform Wudhu without much hassle.
12. For Prayer times and Qiblah direction for your flights, use our "Air Travel Prayer Times Calculator" and get a print out and/or email the prayer times and Qiblah dierctions before boarding the plane.
+1. Where there are no proper Wudhu facilities, you need to have some balancing skills to wash your legs! Practicing some gymnastic skills will help!
Knowing the above rules and having the minimum in your Salaath travel kit will make it easier to perform Salaath no matter where you are. As for the rules itself, since there are minor differences among scholars regarding the application of some of those rules, it is best to learn the rulings from a scholar that you prefer/trust/have access to.
We will at some point in time try and cover the rulings, taking into account all the different opinions Insha Allah. May Allah Tha'ala make it easier for us to perform our Salaath under all conditions!
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