Farsakh (Arabic: الفرسخ) is an old measure of length which is equal to about 5 to 5.5 kilometers. In addition to this measure which is known as Shar'i Farsakh, there are other types of Farsakh which were common once such as the Hindi Farsakh which was about twelve km and Farsakh of the time of Qajar and Pahlavi which were about 6 km. Sometimes, Farsakh has also been called Parasang.
Length of Farsakh
Every Shar'i Farsakh equals three miles and every mile (according to jurists) equals 4000 Dhira' and the length of every Dhira' is twenty four fingers or two hand-spans of a person. Thus, Farsakh is about twelve thousand Dhira', about 5 to 5.5 kilometers.
Farsakh has had other different measures as well such as Hindi Farsakh which was about twelve km and Farsakh common at Qajar and Pahlavi times which was about six km and the Khurasani Farsakh which is twice as big as the common Shar'i Farsakh.
Eight Farsakhs or the Shar'i Distance for a Passenger
Regarding different opinions of jurists about the approximate equivalent of Farsakh in kilometer, eight Farsakhs which is the Shar'i distance for travel is also different according to their views from forty to forty five km: forty km, forty three km, forty four km and forty five km.
There are rulings related with this measure in issues such as prayer, Hajj, and commerce. In some cases, Farsakh is used for determining the distance, some examples of which are mentioned as below:
- Traveling which causes performing Qasr Prayer and breaking the fast: passing eight Farsakhs is the way a passenger is considered on travel and with certain conditions causes Qasr of prayer and breaking the fast.
- The distance necessary between holding two separate congregations of Friday prayers: holding Friday prayers in a distance less than one Farsakh from another place where Friday prayer is performed is not permitted.
- Obligation of Friday prayer: providing the obligation of Friday prayer, such as the time of presence of infallible Imam (a) and the power of the Imam (a), Friday prayer is not obligatory on people whose distance with the place of Friday prayer is more than two Farsakhs.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from فرسخ شرعی in Farsi WikiShia.