Their boss does not let them offer prayer in congregation in the mosque

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.

Firstly:

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

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He works as an accountant and does not pray in congregation occasionally because of that

I work as an accountant and when the time for prayer comes I cannot pray in congregation sometimes, until my colleague comes and replaces me. Please note that outside of work I offer all the prayers regularly in the mosque.

Praise be to Allaah.

Prayer in congregation is obligatory for men who are able to do it, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, based on a great deal of evidence that has been explained in the answer to question no. 8918.

An exception from that is made for the one whose work cannot be left because obvious harm would result from that, such as those who guard important places or doctors doing surgery and the like; they may stay away from prayer in congregation.

As for working as an accountant, there does not seem to be any reason for not praying in congregation because of it, because you can close the books, computers and offices in order to go and pray. The boss has no right to stop employees from praying in congregation. This has been discussed in the answer to question no. 72895.

We advise you to try to pray in congregation and to do things that will help you to do that, and to advise your bosses at work, because prayer is the most important pillar of Islam after the Shahaadatayn, and it is the cause of success and prosperity in this world and in the Hereafter.

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

He is tired after work and does not want to pray in congregation

What is the ruling on a person who comes home from work tired and has something to eat, then he waits for the adhaan for ‘Asr and prays at home on his own, and does not go to perform the prayer with the congregation, then he goes to sleep?

Praise be to Allaah.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked a similar question and he replied:

What you mention is not a valid shar’i excuse for you to delay praying with the congregation. Rather what you must do is hasten to pray with your Muslim brothers in the houses of Allaah (the mosques), then rest and eat after that, because Allaah has made it obligatory for you to pray on time with your Muslim brothers in congregation. What you mention is not a legitimate shar’i excuse to delay it. Rather that is a trick of the Shaytaan and of the (human) self which is inclined towards evil; it is a sign of weak faith and a lack of fear of Allaah. So beware of your whims and desires and your shaytaan (devil), and your (human) self which is inclined towards evil; if you do that the consequences will be good and you will attain salvation and happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. May Allaah protect you from the evil of your own self and help you to avoid the traps of the Shaytaan. Continue reading

If a person does not know how to read or write, how can he pray?

There is a woman who does not know how to read or write, and she wants to pray. What should she do?.

Praise be to Allaah.

You should note, may Allaah guide you, that this religion is a religion of ease, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but if you cannot be perfect, then try to be near to perfection and receive the glad tidings that you will be rewarded; and what helps you to persist in worship is to do it at times when you have most energy, such as at the beginning of the day, after the sun has passed its zenith and at the end of the night.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh, no. 39).

If a person cannot read and write, then he has to learn what he should say in his prayer, and how to pray. The fact that he cannot read or write does not mean that he is unable to do that, because that is easy, praise be to Allaah. Most of the Sahaabah could not read or write, but they were able to pray well.

But if a person says, someone may be new in Islam, and if he wants to learn what he should say in his prayer, he needs time; the same applies if he is unable to memorize al-Faatihah. So how should he pray?

The answer is: He should pray, and when he comes to the place where Qur’aan is to be recited, he should glorify Allaah, praise Him, magnify Him and proclaim His Oneness, i.e., he should say Subhaan Allaah, wa’l-hamdulillah wa Allaahu akbar wa laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (Glory be to Allaah, praise be to Allaah, Allaah is Most Great and there is no god but Allaah).

The evidence for that is the saheeh hadeeth narrated from Rafaa’ah ibn Raafi’ – the hadeeth about the one who did not pray properly – according to which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him: “If you have memorized some Qur’aan, then recite it, otherwise praise Allaah, glorify Him and proclaim His Oneness).” (Narrated and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, al-Jaami’, no. 302. Also narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, no. 858; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani, see Saheeh Abi Dawood, no. 767).

And Allaah knows best.

See Subul al-Salaam, 1/255-256. Continue reading

Leading the prayers by one who does not do rukoo’ properly

If a brother who has better tajweed than the rest of the Congregation, however does not make Ruku (bowing) in prayer correctly, can he be made or allowed to be imam?

Praise be to Allaah.The one who is most entitled to lead the prayers is the one who has most knowledge of the Book of Allaah and who has most knowledge of the fiqh of prayer and is most keen to ensure that his prayer is correct. That includes doing the essential parts and obligations of the prayer in the required manner. But if he does not do the prayer or one of its essential parts, such as rukoo’, properly, then the matter is subject to further discussion: 

–         If he is unable to stand or bow or prostrate for a valid reason such as sickness etc., then there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. The most correct view is that his leading the prayers is valid because of the general meaning of the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “The people should be led in prayer by the one who has most knowledge of the Book of Allaah.” This is the madhhab of al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him), as it says in al-Majmoo’, 4/264, and this was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) as was narrated from him in al-Insaaf, 4/374.

If the reason is ignorance or stubbornness, then his mistake should be pointed out to him. If he responds, all well and good, otherwise it is not permissible for him to lead the people in prayer, even if he is hafiz, because his prayer is invalid due to his failing to do one of the essential parts of prayer. See Question no. 1875. Continue reading

Does there have to be one imaam and does he have to be the khateeb?

I have lived in United States about 7 years and all of those years been in Las Vegas,NV. Every Friday Khutba that I go to we have a different Imam, What my question is With a community of 6000 and growing is it okay to have different Imams every week or should our Masjid Hire a permenant Imam? This way if anyone has any questions they dont have to go very far to get a answer, and especially if the Masjid can efford a permenant Imam. May Allah reward you for your Service.

Praise be to Allaah.

1- If the mosque can be taken care of by one imaam, and is not one of the large mosques that need the cooperation of more than one imaam, or there is a person who can work full-time as an imaam and you have the financial resources to meet his needs (i.e., pay him a salary), or there is someone who can do this voluntarily, then appointing one imaam and khateeb for the mosque will bring a number of benefits, such as:

(i) A regular khateeb will be more able to get to know the problems faced by the people, and thus will be able to play a part in solving them. He will be a point of reference and a leader for the people of the mosque. If the people know that he will be coming back again, this will encourage them to discuss issues and problems with him.
(ii) People will be able to listen to useful things that need to be spoken about in a series of khutbahs, e.g., the tafseer of Soorat al-Faatihah, or the Signs of the Hour, or the battles (of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)), or teaching the salaah (prayer). Such series can usually only be done by one imaam, which is not the case when the khateeb is different each week.
(iii) The people will be able to listen to something new each week, because a regular khateeb will not repeat the same topics too soon, lest he bore the people. He will come up with something new each week, unlike what happens with different imaams who tell the people similar things time and time again, which wastes time that otherwise could be put to good use.
(iv) If the khateeb is also the imaam, this is better, because he will know all the matters and problems concerning the people of the mosque. Things may happen during the week to the people of the neighbourhood or those who attend the mosque, which requires the comments of the imaam, or he may refer to them in the Jumu’ah khutbah.
(v) This is also in accordance with the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the khaleefahs who succeeded him, where the imaam and regular khateeb were one and the same.

2. You must be very careful to make sure that the imaam is one of the Ahl al-Sunnah and that he follows their ‘aqeedah. This is what will benefit you in your religion; anyone else who is a follower of bid’ah will only cause you harm and lead you astray.

3. In addition to his having a sound ‘aqeedah, he must also be knowledgeable, so that you will hear something useful in his lessons and khutbahs.

4. There is no reason why you should not form a committee, including some knowledgeable brothers, to choose an imaam and khateeb, because people’s emotions may prevent them from distinguishing between what is beneficial and what is harmful (i.e., they may not make the right choice of imaam).

5. It is not essential for the person to be able to be both imaam and khateeb. Many famous qaari’s (readers of Qur’aan) know nothing about the rulings of sharee’ah, and many eloquent khateebs are unsure of the rulings on sujood al-sahw (prostration of forgetfulness), and many knowledgeable people cannot give khutbahs and address the people.

If it is necessary to have an imaam who is different from the khateeb, there is nothing wrong with that. If the circumstances of the community do not permit one person to be a full-time imaam and khateeb because of study and work commitments, then it is OK to appoint a group of people who are qualified to act as imaams and khateebs, and to draw up a roster so that the mosque will be able to fulfil its responsibilities and not falter in its work. We ask Allaah to help us and you to do that which is good. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Continue reading

His job is in one country and his home is in another. Where does he avail himself of dispensations (in prayer etc.)?

There is a pilot whose job is based in Saudi Arabia and he has iqaamah (residence permit) there, but he has a home in another country where his wife and children live, and he travels to visit them from time to time. How should he pray when he is there?

Praise be to Allaah.

To be on the safe side, he should not avail himself of the dispensations allowed to travellers, either in Saudi Arabia or in his own country. It is as if he has two homes, so we say to him, do not avail yourself of the dispensations either in your place of work or in the place where your family live. Continue reading

When does a journey count as travelling?

When does a journey count as travelling [safar, i.e., a journey which allows the traveller dispensations regarding prayers such as shortening and combining prayers, etc.]?

Praise be to Allaah.

Some of the scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) think that travelling is defined by a distance between 81 and 83 km or more. Some think that travelling is defined by ‘urf (local custom), so that whatever is customarily regarded as travelling is travelling, even if it is to a place that is close, and whatever is not regarded as travelling – i.e. it is not called travelling – is not travelling. This was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him), and it is more correct from the point of view of the evidence (daleel), but it is difficult to apply, because one person may regard a trip as travelling whilst another does not. The definition based on distance is more precise and is clearer to people. If it is agreed that a trip counts as travelling based on both distance and ‘urf, there is no need for debate.  If there is a difference between distance and ‘urf, then a person should act in accordance whatever is on the safe side. Continue reading

Does a woman who miscarries and discharges blood pray

If a woman has a miscarriage and has discharge of blood, does she pray?

This case depends on the type of blood. Is the blood what is known as child-birth bleeding nifas or vaginal bleeding istihada (but not part of her regular period)? The scholars have declared the regulation in this matter. They said: “If she sees the blood after the abortion of a formed human being, then it is nifas; if she sees blood after the abortion of a clot, then it is not nifas.”1 In the latter case, she is considered to be mustahada so she performs wudu’ for every salaat when the time for it is due and she prays. Whereas if the aborted object is a fetus or has human-formed organs like an arm or a leg or a head, then it is considered nifas. For the case where the aborted object is disposed of in the hospital before the woman saw it, the scholars have mentioned that the least amount of time human form starts to take place is eighty one days after pregnancy.2 This is based on what came in Abdullah Bin Masoud’s hadith (may Allah be pleased with him), in which he said the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke to us, and he is the truthful and believed one, and said: “Each one of you, human creation, forms in his mother’s womb forty days, then he is a hanging clot for the same amount of time, then he is a mudgha (the size of a morsel) for the same amount of time, then Allah sends an Angel who is commanded with four things: he is told to write his deeds, his livelihood and sustenance, whether he is happy or distressed …”3 Ladies in this case should spend the effort to find out from the doctors’ estimations until her situation is clear to her.

As for the blood that is discharged just prior to a normal delivery, if it is accompanied with the pains of contraction then it is nifas, and if not, then it is not. Sheikh ul-Islam Ibn Taimiyya, may the mercy of Allah be upon him, said: “What she sees when the contractions commence is nifas. What is referred to here is contractions after which follows delivery; otherwise it is not nifas.”4

From the book What Should You Do in the Following Situations… ?

1 al-Mughni ma’ al-Sharh il-Kabeer 1/361
2 Majmooa Fatawi ibn Uthaimeen 4/292 Dar al-Qutni printing.
3 Sahih al-Buhari 6/303, Dar al-Fikr printing
4 Majmooa Fatawi Ibn Uthaimeen 4/327, Dar al-Fikr printing. Continue reading

When a pregnant woman feels contractions, should she stop praying, and does she have to makeup the missed prayers?

When does a woman in labour (for childbirth) stop performing the salah? Does she still perform the salah if she is having contractions but no fluid has come from her body yet?

Praise be to Allaah.

We put the following question to Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah preserve him:

If a woman whose pregnancy has reached full term passes blood and has pains, but she does not know whether these are the contractions that will lead to childbirth or contractions that will later ease off [“practice” contractions, also known as Braxton-Hicks contractions], should she pray or not?

He answered, may Allaah preserve him:

Of course, there are two things we may assume here:

The first is that the pregnancy will continue without contractions.

The second is that the apparent case is that these are contractions, so she should stop praying.

If this is what usually happens to her, and she may carry on having contractions for four or five days without giving birth, then in this case she should still pray.

Question:

If she acts upon the second assumption, then the contractions ease off, should we tell her to make up the prayers she has missed?

Answer:

It is preferable to make them up, because she took her decision on the basis of an assumption.

In summary, then:

If this woman usually has contractions for a number of days – more than two or three – then this is not nifaas and she should pray. If that is not what usually happens, then we assume that it is nifaas in the sense that she should stop praying. If she stops praying, then it turns out that it was not nifaas, then in this case we say that if she makes up the prayers she has missed, this is good, and if she does not make them up, there is nothing wrong with that because she acted on an assumption.

And Allâh knows best. Continue reading