In our era of hustle and bustle, the following sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) is quite pertinent and appropriate:
Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) would perform (nafl) salah on his conveyance while he was out of the town. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1096 & Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1608, 1616).
The Fuqaha (Jurists) have mentioned that this practice (of offering nafl salah in one’s conveyance) is Mustahab (encouraged).
This has also been the practice of our Seniors.
While offering nafl salah in one’s vehicle the following should be borne in mind:
1. This salah can be offered while sitting in a vehicle as soon as a person is out of any town/locality. (Shami, 2/38-39
2. It is not necessary for the person who intends performing this salah to be a Musaafir (undertaking a journey of 77 Kms or more) (Shami, 2/38-39 & Tahtawi, pg.221)
3. It is not necessary to face the qiblah when performing nafl salah in the vehicle. (Sahih Bukhari,1096 & Shami, 2/39)
4. This salah can be offered with shoes as long as there is no impurity on them. (Shami, 2/39)
5. The ruku’ and sajdah can be made by lowering the head. (it should be lower in sajdah than in ruku’) (Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith:1220)
One should not make ruku’ or sajdah by placing the head on anything. (‘Alamgiri, 1/143)
6. The driver can also perform this salah as long as he does not endanger his life or the lives of his passengers. (Shami, 2/39 & ‘Alamgiri, 1/143)
i.e, the salah will remain correct despite him manoeuvring his vehicle.
7. One who wishes to observe this salah must be in the state of wudhu
8. One may only offer nafl (optional) salah in the above manner.
The renowned commentator of Sahih Bukhari; Hafidh Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) writes: “The secret behind this relaxation in the rules is: that through the mercy of Allah upon the ummah they are now able to increase their nawaafil (optional) prayers and thereby earn huge rewards from Allah. (Fathul Bari 2/743 Hadith:1099)
Most people spend some time or the other in traffic on a daily or weekly basis. Let’s take advantage of the above sunnah of our Beloved (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam).