Tourists feeding birds beside a body of water.

How to Pray When You're Travelling for Muslim Travellers

Praying while travelling is an important aspect of Islamic practice, and Muslim travellers have certain guidelines to follow to ensure they fulfil their religious obligations while on the move. Here's a guide on how to pray when you're travelling as a Muslim:


1. Understand the Rulings

Familiarise yourself with the rulings regarding shortened and combined prayers during travel. According to Islamic jurisprudence, travellers are allowed to shorten their prayers from four units (rak'ahs) to two units for the mandatory prayers (Dhuhr, Asr, and Isha), excluding the Fajr prayer. Additionally, travellers have the option to combine the Dhuhr and Asr prayers during the time of either one, and the Maghrib and Isha prayers during the time of either one.


2. Maintain Purity

Ensure you maintain purity (taharah) by performing ablution (wudu) before each prayer. If water is scarce during your journey, you can perform tayammum (dry ablution) using clean earth or sand.


3. Find the Qibla

Determine the direction of the Qibla (the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca) before starting your prayer. You can use a compass, a Qibla app on your phone, or ask locals for some assistance.


4. Plan Prayer Times

Be mindful of prayer times and try to perform your prayers within their designated time frames. You can use prayer time apps or Islamic calendars to stay updated on prayer timings, especially if you're travelling across different time zones.



5. Performing the Prayer

When it's time for prayer, find a clean and quiet place where you can perform your Salah without disturbance. If you're on a plane or a train, try to find a corner or a designated prayer area if available. If you're travelling by car, pull over at a safe location to perform your prayers. Choosing a travel prayer mat is a convenient way of keeping a prayer mat close to you when you’re travelling.


6. Shortened Prayer Format

For the mandatory prayers (Dhuhr, Asr, and Isha), you can perform only two units (rak'ahs) instead of the usual four. The format of each unit remains the same, including the recitation of Al-Fatiha and an additional portion of the Quran, bowing (ruku), prostration (sujood), and sitting.


7. Combining Prayers

If you're unable to perform each prayer individually due to travel constraints, you have the option to combine the Dhuhr and Asr prayers during the time of either one, and the Maghrib and Isha prayers during the time of either one. However, it's preferable to perform each prayer separately whenever possible.


8. Supplications and Duas

Utilise the opportunity of travel to make additional supplications (duas) and seek blessings from Allah for your journey's safety, guidance, and success.


9. Stay Flexible and Mindful

While it's important to adhere to the guidelines for praying while travelling, also remember that Islam is a flexible and accommodating religion. If circumstances make it difficult to perform your prayers in the usual manner, prioritise maintaining your connection with Allah and strive to fulfil your religious obligations to the best of your ability.


Ocean wave at sunset.


By following these guidelines, Muslim travellers can fulfil their religious duties while on the move and experience the blessings of Salah even during their journeys. Praying while travelling is not only a religious obligation for Muslims but also an opportunity to deepen one's spiritual connection with Allah, even amidst the hustle and bustle of a journey. By understanding the guidelines for shortened and combined prayers, maintaining purity, and being mindful of prayer times, Muslim travellers can ensure they fulfil their religious duties with ease and devotion. Remember that while adhering to these guidelines is important, flexibility and sincerity in intention are equally crucial. 

Whether you find yourself praying in a bustling airport, a serene park, or a cramped train compartment, know that Allah appreciates your efforts and understands your circumstances. So, wherever your travels take you, may your prayers be a source of peace, guidance, and spiritual nourishment on your journey.

Are you going on your travels? Browse our collection of travel prayer mats, perfect for those on the go.

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