Kathir al-Safar

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Kathīr al-Safar (Arabic:کثیرالسفر) (frequent traveler) is a jurisprudential term applied to one who travels for his work or have to travel a lot in a way that there are less that 10 days between his journyes. According to many Shi'a jurists the rulings about traveler are not applied to Kathir al-Safar (frequent traveler) and Da'im al-Safar (constant traveler), so they have to fast and perform their prayer completely while traveling. With increase of traveling for work and education, the rulings of Kathir al-Safar have become one of the most frequently asked questions in jurisprudence.


The term "Kathir al-Safar" (frequent traveler) or "Da'im al-Safar" (constant traveler) along with terms like "Man Shughluhu al-Safar" (one whose work is traveling) or "Man Shughluhu fi l-Safar" (one whose work requires traveling) are used in the chapter of traveler prayer in jurisprudential books. The origin of these terms are hadiths from Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a), which explain the duty of people who travel frequently - such as: camel driver, messenger and merchant - towards the prayers and fasting. [1] According to some scholars the term Kathir al-Safar is not used in hadiths nor in jurisprudential book before Shaykh al-Mufid and he is the one who coined this term based on the implications of hadiths.[2] It is noteworthy that some scholars used the phrase "one whose travel is more than his stay" instead of the above-mentioned terms in this chapter.[3]

Occupational and Non-Occupational Travel

According to some Shi'a jurists, the criterion for ruling about those who travel frequently is not basically the number of journeys; rather, it is whether the journeys are related to their work or not. They say that non-occupational journeys - no matter how frequent - do not change the ruling of Musafir (traveler).

Those whose works are related to traveling are divided into two:

  • traveling is prerequisite of their work, like someone who travels to another city for his work.
  • their works are traveling, for example a flight attendant or a trucker.

According to many Shi'a jurists these two groups are no different in the ruling of Kathir al-Safar. They have to fast and perform their prayers completely, while traveling.[4] However, some have differentiated between these two groups and said that the first group are not Kathir al-Safar and the rulings of Musafir are applied to them.[5] According to some Shi'a jurists, even if someone's non-occupational journeys, such as those for Ziyara or recreation, are as frequent as the traveler is called Kathir al-Safar (frequent traveler), the ruling of Musafir is no longer applied to him and he must fast and perform his prayers completely.

Criterion of Frequency

Majority of Shi'a jurists count the judgment of common people as the criterion for recognizing Kathir al-Safar. However, sometimes in answer to the questions on this topic they defined various criteria for Kathir al-Safar and the fact that how much of traveling makes someone Kathir al-Safar.

  • Those whose works are traveling, such as: flight attendants, train crew and trucker.[6]
  • One who travels at least three days a week and for at least two months in row.[7]
  • One who travels to Shar'i distance at least once, in less than ten days and continue doing that for at least two months.[8]
  • One who travels to Shar'i distance at least once, in less than ten days and has the intention to do that for at least four months.[9]
  • One who travels four times a month with less than ten days in between.[10]
  • One who travels once a week for at least two months.[11]

See Also


  1. See: Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 9, p. 483-491.
  2. Masʿūdī, "Ḥukm man ʿamaluh al-safar", p. 98.
  3. Masʿūdī, Ḥukm man ʿamaluh al-safar, p. 98-105.
  4. Yazdī, al-ʿUrwa al-wuthqā, vol. 3, p. 453.
  5. Khomeini, Taḥrīr al-wasīla, vol. 1, p. 255.
  6. Markaz-i millī-yi pāsukhgūyī (Aḥkām-i musafir), p. 16.
  7. Markaz-i millī-yi pāsukhgūyī (Aḥkām-i musafir), p. 27.
  8. Markaz-i millī-yi pāsukhgūyī (Aḥkām-i musafir), p. 42.
  9. Markaz-i millī-yi pāsukhgūyī (Aḥkām-i musafir), p. 34.
  10. Markaz-i millī-yi pāsukhgūyī (Aḥkām-i musafir), p. 58.
  11. Markaz-i millī-yi pāsukhgūyī (Aḥkām-i musafir), p. 50.


  • Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa. qom: Muʾassisat Āl al-Bayt, 1409 AH.
  • Khomeini, Ruḥullāh. Taḥrīr al-wasīla. Qom: Dār al-ʿIlm, [n.d].
  • Markaz-i millī-yi pāsukhgūyī bi masāʾil-i dīnī (Aḥkām-i musafir). Second edition. Qom: Nashr-i Frākāmā, 1391 Sh.
  • Masʿūdī, ʿAbd al-Hādī. 1429 AH. "Ḥukm man ʿamaluh al-safar". Majala-yi Fiqh-i Ahl al-Bayt 49: (97-118).
  • Yazdī, Sayyid Muḥammad Kāẓim al-. Al-ʿUrwa al-wuthqā. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Nashr al-Islāmī, 1420 AH.