Shortening the prayer and breaking of fast while traveling in Ramadan
It is well known that shortening of prayer is one of the things permitted for a traveler as Allah SWA says: (And when you strike out in the land, then there shall be no blame on you if you shorten the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve will cause you harm…) [Al-Nisa: 101].
A traveler is also allowed to break his fast as Allah says in the verse: (But if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number should be made up for days later...) [Al-Baqarah: 185].
Abu Dawood narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: Allah has waived for a traveler fasting, and half of the prayer. This should be in compliance with all the rulings and regulations set down by the scholars for the enjoyment of this privilege.
Travelling may be categorized into; temporary and permanent. Permanent travel has two meanings: the first being that a traveler has his family and everything he needs with him, and the second is that he does not have his family with him but he travels a lot, or his job requires travelling, such as pilots, train conductors and captains of ships. Permanent travel gives a traveler the privilege of shortening the prayer and breaking the fast.
As for the one who is continuously travelling and has his family and everything he needs with him and he is like a resident, then it is not permissible for him to shorten the prayer or break the fast in Ramadan, except if fasting will be difficult for him in a way that may cause serious health problem or endangers his life, then he may break his fast.
Ibn Qudama mentions in (Vol. 2 page 14) al-Mughni that in the Hanbali Jurisprudence Al Athram said: I heard Ahmad bin Hanbal- when he was asked whether the navigator of a ship should shorten his prayer and break his fast on the ship, and he replied: If the ship is his home then he should complete and continue his fast. He was asked: And how can it be his home? He said: When he doesn’t have a home other than it, and he has his family on it and he is a permanent resident of the ship. This opinion was also reported from ‘Ataa.
It is stated in the explanation of Al-Sharqawi of “Al-Tahreer” (Vol. 1 Page 441) in the Shafi’i Jurisprudence, that it is not permissible for a person who is continuously travelling to break his fast, because it will lead to leaving out an obligatory act completely, except if he can make them up on other days during his travels
As for the one who travels a lot due to his job, and he does not have his family with him, then he is allowed to shorten the prayer and break the fast, because there will be days where he will be at home where he can make up the fasts. Meanwhile, shortening of the prayer is an enforced ruling according to Hanafis. As a result, whoever performs the complete prayer while traveling, it is not permissible for him to combine between two prayers.