We are a group of doctors who have been working in a complex of private clinics for six months during which – praise be to Allaah – we used to offer prayers in congregation in the mosque, because we worked, and most of us lived, in one building that was opposite a mosque and it was easy for us to go and pray there. We would do wudoo’ in the building and go down to the mosque just before the iqaamah, and go back to the building quickly after the prayer was over, and we would pray Sunnah in the building, as we were keen not to miss too much time at work.
Praise be to Allaah, during these six months there was no problem due to our praying in the mosque, but then the administration of the building began trying to force the workers to offer the obligatory prayers in the building, even though there is no place set aside for prayer, rather we have to put down prayer mats in the foyer at the time of prayer, then the iqaamah for prayer is given with no adhaan. Please note that the distance between the mosque and the clinic building is less than fourteen metres.
We refused to pray in the building without a shar’i fatwa from a scholar who fears Allaah. We looked for a fatwa from Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) on this issue, and this fatwa is published on your website in question no. 21345. We showed this fatwa to the manager but he insisted on his view, saying that our jobs require us to be present in the building throughout our working hours, so as to be prepared to deal with any emergency. Please note that staff are not present 24 hours a day, rather doctors are on call for emergencies outside of regular working hours which means that in such cases a doctor will be delayed between fifteen and twenty minutes at least, if he happens to be home when he is called.
Does the boss or manager have the right to oblige us to pray in the building and not pray with the congregation in the mosque?
If we have to stay in the workplace in obedience to the administration’s orders, and not pray in the mosque, then should we leave this job, even though some of us are in great need of the money? Or will we be excused for not attending prayer in congregation in this case?.
Praise be to Allaah.
What you did by praying with the congregation in the mosque is the right thing, and it is what is required of you and of everyone in the building except those who have a legitimate shar’i excuse such as sickness and the like. The saheeh evidence indicates that it is obligatory to pray with the congregation in the mosque when the call to prayer is given. For more information on the evidence please see question no. 8918. The boss has no right to force the employees to stay away from praying in congregation in the mosque, because this is forcing you to abandon a shar’i duty. Rather he should help them and encourage them to go to the mosque, in obedience to the command of Allaah, may He be exalted, and the command of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). In that there are goodness and blessings many times greater than the loss of work that he imagines. This will also remind visitors to the clinic and others of the importance of prayer, which is so important that work should stop for it and employees should be given time off for it, for it is indeed so important. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) even thought of burning down the houses of those who stayed away from prayer in congregation, even though they may have been praying in their houses, whether in congregation or individually. And he ordered the blind man to come to the mosque, and he did not grant him a concession allowing him to pray in his house. This indicates that it is obligatory to pray in the mosque. This is clearly stated in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever hears the call to prayer and does not come, there is no prayer for him, unless he has an excuse.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah (793) from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.
Think about this great hadeeth and the stern warning that it contains for the one who stays away from prayer in congregation and does not come to the mosque when he hears the call, and states that there is no prayer for him unless he has an excuse. Would any Muslim agree to among those for whom there is no prayer, whether that means that it is not accepted at all or that the reward is reduced? No wise man who is keen to please his Lord would accept that. Continue reading