Sharhu Sunnah : Lesson 29 : Point 35
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
“And shortening the prayer whilst upon a journey is Sunnah.”
From the rukhas (concessions/allowances), which the legislation came with to make things easier for the servants and to remove difficulty, is shortening the prayer whilst upon a journey and it is shortening the four rak`ah prayer and this is by the text of the Qur’aan, He, the Most High, said:
And if you travel upon the earth …
(Sooratun-Nisaa· (4), aayah 101)
Meaning saafartum; when you go on a journey.
… then there is no sin upon you if you shorten the prayer if you fear that those who disbelieve may put you to trial. (Sooratun-Nisaa (4), aayah 101)
What is apparent from the aayah is then it is not permissible to shorten the prayer except in a state of fear. However, this problem has been removed because Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam was asked:
“Why is it that we still shorten, now that we have become secure?”
So he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“That is a charity which Allaah has given to you so accept from Allaah His charity.” 
And he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam used to shorten the prayer on all of his journeys; he would shorten the four rak`ahs prayer to two rak`ahs. This is the Sunnah, and whoever completes it then that is permissible, however it is in opposition to that which is better.
So shortening (al-qasr) is a concession, whoever wishes he can do it and that is better, whoever wishes, he can leave it and complete it, then there is no harm in that because completing (four rak’ahs) is the asl. And the author mentioned that because accepting the concessions of the legislation is from matters of `aqeedah and that contains a refutation of those who are mutashaddideen (over harsh); those who do not accept the legislated concessions.
 Reported by Muslim (no. 686) from a hadeeth of `Umar ibnul-Khattaab radiyAllaahu `anhu.
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
Listen to the full Audio Series of Sharhu Sunnah
Sharh-us-Sunnah – Shaykh Saalih Fawzaan – Dawood Burbank [Audio|En]
- The Prayer of a Traveler : Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzan
- Prayer of the Traveler – From the book Al-Mulakhas al-Fiqhi – Sheikh Fawzaan – Abu Muhammad al-Maghribee [Audio|En]