Rules Regarding the Watan | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei
Rules Regarding the Watan
Q 680: My birthplace is Tehran but my parents are originally from the city of Mahdishahr. They usually travel to Mahdishahr several times a year, and I go with them. As I do not intend to return to my parents town to live there, but have decided to stay in Tehran, what rule is applied to my prayer and fasting?
A: Based on the above assumption, your prayer and fasting in the original watan of your parents will be in accordance with that of a traveler.
Q 681: I live six months in one city during the year, and six months in another which is my birthplace as well as my place of residence and that of my family. However, my stay in the first city is not continuous, but intermittent. For example, I stay there for two weeks, ten days, or less, and then return to my birthplace where my family resides. My question is: Does the rule of a traveler apply to me if I intend to stay in the first city for less than ten days?
A: If you live there for a period of time so that you are not considered –according to common view - as a traveler there, your prayer there is full and your fast is valid.
Q 682: Someone wants to stay in a place temporarily, how long should he intend to be there so that his prayer is full and his fast is valid?
A: If he is to live there for one or two years at least, his prayer is full and his fast is valid.
Q 683: A persons watan is Tehran. Recently he decided to take up residence in one of the towns near Tehran and make it his watan. But, since his daily business and work is in Tehran, he cannot stay in this city for ten days, let alone six months, so that it may become a watan for him. He goes to his work every day and returns at night to this town. What is the rule of his prayer and fasting in this town?
A: For a place to become ones new watan, it is not a condition to stay there continuously after deciding to consider it as his/her watan and place of residence. Rather, after selecting a place as a new watan and residing there with this intention — even only at nights — for a while, it becomes his/her watan.
Also, if he does the acts that normally one does so when he wants to make it as his watan, like preparing a house and choosing a place for work/business, it is considered as his watan even before staying there for a while.
Q 684: My wife and I were born in the city of Kashmar. After my employment in a government office, I moved to the city of Neyshabour, while our parents still live in our birthplace. At the beginning of our move to Neyshabour, we abandoned our original watan (Kashmar) (i.e. we ceased to consider it as our watan anymore), but fifteen years later we changed our mind. Please answer the following questions:
i. What is our duty with respect to our prayers whenever we visit our parents and stay with them for several days?
ii. What is the duty of our children, who were born in our current place of residence (Neyshabour) and now they are ritually mature, during our visit to our parents town (Kashmar) and in the course of our several days stay in Kashmar?
A: After you abandon your original watan (Kashmar), it is not considered as your watan any more unless you return to live there again and stay there for a period after intending to live there permanently. As far as your children are concerned, the rule of watan does not apply to this city, and the rules of a traveler apply to all of you in that city.
Q 685: Someone has two watans. Therefore, he performs full prayer in both places and fasts. Please answer this question: Do his dependants, i.e. wife and children, have to follow their guardian in this matter, or may they act independently on their own?
A: It is permissible for the wife not to adopt the new watan of her husband as her own, but as for the children, if they are minors and dependent in making decisions and in earning money, or they are subject to their fathers decision with respect to this matter, the new watan of their father will be considered their watan as well.
Q 686: If a mother, to deliver her baby, has to travel for a few days to a maternity hospital located outside the watan of the babys father and return after the delivery, where will be the babys watan?
A: Simply being born in a city is not sufficient to make it its watan. The babys watan will be the parents watan where it is brought after birth, lives in with its parents and grows up.
Q 687: Someone has been living in Tehran for several years, but he has not taken it as a second watan. What will be the rule of his prayer and fasting in this city when he leaves Tehran, travels more or less than the shari distance and returns?
A: In the given case that he is not considered as a traveler as per common view, he should make full prayers and fast there.
Q 688: I am an Iraqi and would like to abandon Iraq as my watan. Should I take Iran as a whole as my watan, or one of its areas, and do I have to buy a house so that I might take a watan?
A: For taking a new watan, it is necessary to make the intention of adopting a particular city as watan and to reside there long enough to be considered as one of its residents according to common view. But the possession of a house in that city or anything else is not a condition.
Q 689: A person migrated from his birthplace to another city before being ritually mature, and was not aware of the issue of abandoning ones watan. Having reached the age of maturity now, what is his duty concerning his prayer and fasting in his birthplace?
A: If he migrated from his birthplace following his father, and his father intended not to return there for living, the watans rule will not apply to him in that place.
Q 690: Someone has a watan where he does not live at present, but goes there sometimes with his wife. Should his wife perform full prayer there, like him, if she goes along with him to that place? What rule will apply to her prayer if she goes there alone?
A: The mere fact that a place is the husbands watan does not entail that it is a watan for the wife as well so that the watans rule should apply to her while being there.
Q 691: Does the rule of watan apply to ones place of work?
A: To work at a place does not make it ones watan. However, one is not ruled as a traveler and he should perform full prayer and fast there if one resides there and is to stay there for one/two years.
Q 692: What is meant by abandoning ones watan? If a girl gets married and travels with her husband to the place he wishes, will it amount to abandoning her watan?
A: It is materialized by leaving ones watan with the intention not to return to it or if he knows/is confident that it is not possible to return. Her mere going to the husbands house in another city does not entail abandoning her original watan.
Q 693: Please explain your opinion on the issue of original and second watan.
A: Original watan is the place where one grew up and flourished at the beginning of his life (i.e. during childhood and adolescence). The second watan is the place a mukallaf decides to live in as his permanent residence although several months per year or for a long time like forty/fifty years.
Q 694: Without abandoning his watan, someone has been residing in another city for six years. Given that he has kept the taqlid of the late Imam Khomeini (q), should he perform prayer in full when he returns to his watan?
A: As long as he has not abandoned his previous watan, the watans rule remains valid for him, and he should perform full prayers and his fasting is valid there.
Q 695: I was born in Kermanshah but have been living in Tehran for six years. I have not abandoned my original watan, while I intend to adopt Tehran as watan as well. If I move from one locality of Tehran to another every one or two years, what rule will apply to my prayer and fasting while I am here? Since we have been living in the new locality (inside Tehran) for more than six months, does the watan rule apply to us here? How will our prayers and fasting be when we travel between different areas of Tehran during the day?
A: If you make the intention to take the present Tehran, or one of its areas, as watan, it will be your watan as a whole, and the watan rule, namely the obligation to perform prayer in full and validity of fasting, will apply to you in all areas of the present Tehran, and the travelers rule will not apply to your traveling around inside present Tehran.
Q 696: Someone belongs to a village but works and lives in Tehran at present. His parents live in the village where they own some land and wells. He travels to the village to visit his parents or to help them, but is not interested at all in returning to live there. Given that he was born in this village, what is the rule of his prayer and fasting there?
A: If he does not want to, rather he has resolved not to, return to that village to live there, the watan rule will not apply to him there.
Q 697: Is ones birthplace considered their watan even if they do not live there?
A: If they stayed there for a period of time (i.e. during childhood and adolescence), grew up and flourished there, and did not abandon it, then the watans rule will apply to it; otherwise, it will not.
Q 698: What rule applies to the prayer and fasting of someone who has been living for a long time (nine years) in a place which is not his watan and is presently forbidden from returning to his watan, but is certain that he will return some day?
A: In the given case, he is not ruled as a traveler and he should say full prayer and fast there.
Q 699: I spent six years of my life in a village, and eight years in a city before I came to Mashhad, where I now study. What is the rule of my prayer and fasting in each of these places?
A: You should say full prayer and fast in the village of your birth if it is considered as your original watan as per the common view. If there is doubt regading its being considered as your watan, you should observe caution. If you were not born there and doubt regading its being considered as your watan, the rules of watan are not applicable.
As for the city where you resided for several years, if you took it as your watan, the watan rule will apply to it while you are there, as long as you do not abandon it.
But as for Mashhad, the travelers rule will apply to you as long as you do not make the intention of making it your watan. However if you are to reside there for at least one/two year(s), you should say full prayer and fast there.