Performing Salaah in moving transport and performance of Salaatul Tahajjud

Q: Assalaamu Alaikum

I would like to find out the following: At my Islamic class we were told for Fard Salaah you must pray standing with the exception of a valid excuse. My husband read the hadith in which Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) prayed while in journey on a camel. We would like to know what is the correct thing. Could you pray Fard Salaah in a moving car or plane?

Also I would like to know how to pray Tahajjud, what additional surah do you say after Surah Fatiha, I recite Surah Ikhlaas and with every rakaat I add an additional Ikhlaas, is this correct?

A: Wa Alaikum Assalaam

The incident regarding the Prophet (S.A.W) performing Salaah on a camel is with regards to nafl (optional) Salaah alone. Whenever, he intended to perform the Fard Salaah, he would dismount and perform this on the ground and not on his mount. In this regard, Imam Bhukhari mentioned the tradition of Abdullaah bin Umar (R.A) in which he (Abdullaah bin Umar) (R.A) states: “ The Prophet of Allaah (S.A.W) used to perform Salaah on journey on his mount in whichever direction it turned with him. In this way he will perform Salaah with signs. This was the Salaah of the night (Tahajjud Salaah) but not the Fard Salaah. (Saheeh Al Bhukhari- Book on Chapter of Witr Salaah).

This goes to show that the Prophet (S.A.W) used to perform the compulsory Salaah on the ground and not on his mount camel.

It will not be allowed to perform Salaah in a car while it is moving or standstill. While in a car, a person has the ability to come out and perform Salaah with all its essential conditions which must (all) be fulfilled as long as a person can do these.

Performing Salaah in a plane while moving or standstill will be allowed, because in this case, one does not have the ability to perform Salaah anywhere else. Even in this case, one should not perform Salaah sitting in the seat of the plane with signs. Instead, one must perform Salaah standing in a corner or any other available place of the plane. In this case, it will be very easy to perform Salaah in a manner in which it was prescribed and practiced with all the conditions and essential requirements. If however, standing becomes difficult due to the movements of the plane, then one can sit in the Tashahud posture and perform Salaah like a sitting person by performing Ruku’ and Sajdah in a proper manner. It is also essential that one begins the Salaah by facing the Qiblah. If however, it becomes difficult to find out or to know the direction of the Qiblah (even after asking about it) then one should give due thought and consideration and then perform Salaah in that direction which one believes that the Qiblah might be in. (Jadeed Fiqhi Masaail vol. 1 pg. 65; Kitaabul Fataawa vol. 2 pg. 160)

With respect to the Tahajjud Salaah, this is performed like any other two rakaat Salaah. One should recite Sura Faatiha and any other Surah which is easy for the person, in every rakaat. It is better to recite long Surahs. There is no requirement to recite Surah Ikhlaas in every rakaat, and there is no evidence regarding adding one additional Surah Ikhlaas in every other Rakaat. This is not the manner in which the Prophet (S.A.W) performed his Tahajjud and hence, should not be adopted.

And Allaah knows best,

Mufti Waseem Khan.