Shortening Prayers (Hadith No. 885)


Assalamu`alaykum,
Bismillah.

Book of Shortening the Prayers (at-Taqseer) starts today.. 

I warn you beforehand, there'll be lots of opinions and rulings on it. It's simple, yet we've made it so complicated. Anyway, I hope, that with Allah's mercy, we'll be able to understand this concept fully by the end of this "book", and find it easy to apply the rulings in our daily lives. Stay tuned. Allah-ul-Musta`aan!
One post been done on it already.

Volume 2, Book 20, Number 186:
Narrated Ibn Abbas :
The Prophet once stayed for nineteen days and prayed shortened prayers. So when we travel led (and stayed) for nineteen days, we used to shorten the prayer but if we travelled (and stayed) for a longer period we used to offer the full prayer.
The meaning of shortening prayers is that the four-rak’ah prayers become two rak’ahs when travelling. [IslamQA]
With regard to shortening prayers when travelling, this is a confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah mu’akkadah) which should not be forsaken. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) shortened prayers during all his journeys, and it is not proven that he offered the prayers in full whilst travelling.

Shar`i Ruling

The scholars are unanimously agreed that shortening the prayers is better for the traveller than offering them in full, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) shortened prayers during all his journeys, and there is no saheeh report that he offered the prayers in full whilst travelling. 
Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I accompanied the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he did not do more than two rak’ahs whilst travelling, and the same applies to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with them). Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1102). 
The Hanafis are of the view that it is obligatory for the traveller to shorten his prayers, but the correct view is that of the majority, that shortening the prayers is sunnah mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah), and that it is better than offering the prayers in full. 
See: al-Ijmaa’ by Ibn al-Mundhir (27); al-Mughni (1/382); al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (27/274).

Reasons which make it permissible to shorten prayers:

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (22/293): 
The reason for shortening prayers is travelling only, and it is not permissible in situations other than travelling. As for joining prayers, the reason for it is need and excuses, so if a person needs to he may join both shortened and full-length prayers whilst travelling, and he may join prayers when it is raining and so on, or because of sickness and the like, and for other reasons, because the purpose behind it is to spare the ummah hardship. End quote.
Wassalam.