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JAMA' (COMBINING PRAYERS)
For example, you should make intention during Ẓuhur that you will combine the prayers with ʿAṣar prayers later. Likewise, if you know that you will be bringing forward a later prayer in the combination, you should make the intention to combine it with the earlier prayer. For example, when you know that you will be bringing forward ʿAṣar prayers, you should make intention to combine prayers during Ẓuhur time, and proceed to pray Ẓuhur and ʿAṣar.
For example, you have prayed Ẓuhur, and then realizing during ʿAṣar time that you will be missing ʿAṣar prayer. You should hence make intention to qaḍāʾ your ʿAṣar prayer. But please bear in mind that this should be used only as a last recourse – you should plan for jama’ if you are not able to pray in time.
Prayers at five stipulated times daily are obligatory and Muslims must perform this obligation – even a completely immobile person is obligated to pray. Hence, you should first try to discuss with your reporting officers. Understand their concerns and try to address it such that your work is not affected while still performing your prayers. If the concern is due to the fact that your position cannot be left void, then discuss with your colleague if it is possible for him to cover your duty for a short period. You should also make sure to return your colleague’s favor at other opportunities.
If this is possible, you may consider the tips shared in Table A, so as to minimize time away from work as far as possible.
If you have exhausted all possible options and there is no opportunity for you to pray, then you may perform the jamaʿ (combining) prayers without shortening them (qaṣar). However, if you have missed the opportunity to perform jamaʿ, you then have no choice but to perform qaḍāʾ (expiation) for the prayers you have missed. This however should be your last option.
Scholars such various schools of law, including from the Mālikī school of thought, Ibn Munẓir from Shāfi‛ī, Ibn Sīrīn and Ibn Shabramah have said: “Jamaʿ is permissible as long as it does not become a routine or is normalized”.
Reminder! This only becomes an option if you have exhausted all other means to perform the prayer on time. In other words, it should not become a habit but only practised under exceptional circumstances as discussed above.
In such circumstances, we recommend to perform only the essentials of wuḍūʾ and prayers (Table A) so as to minimize time away from the meeting. Completeness of a prayer is in the fulfilling of essentials. There are the supererogatory actions that would bring us much reward and further enhance our prayers, and we should always strive to perform them under normal circumstances. Otherwise, performing the essentials would suffice as well.
However, if it is not possible for you to leave, then you may perform jamaʿ (combining) or qaḍāʾ prayers (please refer to table B for differences between jamaʿ and qaḍāʾ prayers).
On days when you really cannot leave your job to perform Friday prayers, then you may perform Ẓuhur prayers instead. Jurists have allowed leaving Friday prayer for a valid excuse. In his book Mukhtaṣar, Imām Khalīl from the Malikī school of thought explained: “Excuses for missing it [the Friday prayer] include: extreme mud, heavy rain, leprosy, illness, having to care for the weak/ill or being confined in a place for whatsoever reasons etc.” Hence, when you are confined to your work due to an unavoidable issue, then it falls under the reasons stated.
When you are put in this situation, discuss with your reporting officers, and seek to assure them that your working hours and productivity will not be compromised even if you attend Friday prayers. Maybe you can offer to either come earlier for work or go back later to make up for time. If this is possible, then practise amānah (trustworthiness) and honour the trust by only performing Friday prayers.
If you really have a very tight schedule and are unable to attend Friday prayers on time, then you may consider joining halfway during the khuṭbah (sermon) or even during the prayer itself.
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من أدرك من صلاة الجمعة ركعة فقد أدرك.
The Prophet s.a.w. said: Whoever [joins in late in such a way that he] completes a rakaʿah of the Friday prayers, he would then be considered as having offered his Friday prayers with the congregation. (Nasā’ī, no. 1425)
The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. cautioned against leaving the Friday prayers without a valid excuse. He stated that one who has abandoned three Friday prayers, “Allah will seal his heart” (Reported by Ibn Mājah).
Clearly, Friday prayers are important. However, what did the Prophet s.a.w. mean by a “valid excuse”?
In another hadīth by the Prophet s.a.w. (reported by Abū Dāwud), he explained that ‘a valid excuse’ is fear and sickness. The scholar Ibn Qudāmah r.a. in his book al-Mughnī explained that fear is of three types: fear for one’s self, fear for one’s wealth or property, and fear for one’s family.
Hence, if your job does not allow you to pray Friday prayers as long as you are in the job, and you are unable to find another job in order to provide daily sustenance for you and your dependents, then fiqh awlāwiyāt or fiqh of priority applies. You should prioritise obligations that affect not just the individual, but the immediate dependents or the community at large, over obligations that impact only the individual. And these obligations serve as valid excuses for him until he manages to find a different job. This is also the opinion of a contemporary jurist Shaykh ʿAbdullah Bin Bayyah, and Dār al-Iftā’ of Egypt.
You should also continue accessing the spiritual messages and reminders on Friday by listening to the sermon or reading its text from the MUIS website.
You should also continue to be a positive representative of Islam with the hope that those around you would be able to understand that a Muslim is one whose acts of rituals and spirituality do not affect his productivity at work. In fact, performing these rituals has a positive impact on him and his work ethics – it is a constant reminder for him to strive for excellence in all aspects of his life, including his professional life.
When you’re in this situation, one of the key tips is for you to find opportunities to pray as soon as you are able to do so. For example, you should quickly find an opportunity during break time, or during field exercises when you are not on guard duty. Do not forget to always inform your buddy or reporting officer so that he is aware that you’re taking a short break.
You may also consider following the tips we shared in Table A. In fact, you may also consider performing ‘masḥu al-khuf’ to further facilitate the process. This means that you do not have to take off your boots when taking wuḍūʾ – you just have to wipe over your footgear with water. There are a few conditions for this action:
You must have performed your wuḍūʾ before you put on the boots. In other words, you must be in a state of ritual purity when you put on the boots.
- It can only be performed for purifying yourself from minor impurity (e.g. after you have passed wind, urinated or defecated), but not if you are in major impurity (e.g. in a state of janābah after having a wet dream).
- The boots/or the shoes you are wearing must cover at least up to your ankles.
- You must not take off the shoes. Once you take it off, you can no longer perform masḥu al-khuf. Hence, you do not take off your shoes even when you are praying.
- If you have stepped on impurities (najis), you should wash off the impurities before performing your wuḍūʾ.
- If you are in local vicinity you can only perform masḥu al-khuf within a period of 24 hours. If you are travelling and you are a musāfir, you can still perform masḥu al-khuf within 3 days, as long as you fulfill the previous conditions.
It was recorded in a hadīth by Imām Muslim:
“The Prophet s.a.w. stated one day and one night for the one who is not travelling, and three days and three nights for the one who is travelling, i.e. for wiping over the khufūf”.
That is an incorrect and misguided view. First and foremost, you need to understand what is an unlawful innovation in Islam. Imām Shāfiʿī stated that there are two kinds of innovation.
i) Acts that do not go in harmony with the Qurʾan, Sunnah, traceable tradition (Athār) and the consensus (Ijmāʿ) of Muslim scholars.
ii) Innovations that bring about goodness and kindness. These innovations are permissible.
As a result, things that are new and unprecedented, but are in line with the spirit of Islam and do not contradict its basics, are not considered as impermissible innovations. The Prophet s.a.w. used to pray only 8 rakaʿah in congregation, and prayed the remaining rakaʿah on his own. It was reported that ʿUmar r.a. had differed from this tradition as he gathered people to perform all 20 rakaʿah in congregation instead of only performing 8 rakaʿah.
The same can be observed in Makkah al-Mukarramah where 20 rakaʿah of Tarāwih prayers are perform in congregation. We also see the practices of completing the recitation of 30 Juz in Tarāwih throughout Ramadan and the recitation of khatam Al-Qurʾan prayers on the 27th night of Ramadan. All these were never performed by the Prophet s.a.w. in the manner that it is currently practised. Hence, on that basis, it is also permissible to perform any kind of supererogatory prayers (Sunnah) in congregation.
The scholar of the Shāfiʿī School, Imām Khāṭib Shirbinī r.a., stated in his book Mughnī al-Muḥtāj:
“It is not from the Sunnah that the supererogatory prayers are offered in congregation. However, if one did offer them in congregation, it will be permissible without it being makrūh (disliked).”
Praying is obligatory and is one of the pillars of Islam. Covering of one’s ʿawrah is also an obligation that one should try to observe as far as possible. However, not being able to fulfil one act does not nullify the other, as these are separate obligatory acts.
It is not up to humankind to decide if one’s acts of rituals, faith and goodwill are futile or otherwise. Everyone has their own struggles they need to work on in order to become better Muslims. Let’s hence focus on ourselves, and leave matters beyond us to God, the All-Knowing.
There are differences in opinion amongst the scholars on this issue. The first one allows for Muslims working under such circumstances to break their fast when they could no longer endure it. However, this opinion requires that the Muslim must begin his day fasting, and to continue fasting to the point that he feels immense hunger and thirst, and he worries that it could pose a threat to his health or endanger himself. Once he reaches that stage, he may then break his fast for that day. In fact, if the threat to his health is no longer a worry but a certainty, then it is compulsory upon him to break his fast. This is the opinion held by Shaykh Wahbah al-Zuḥaylī and this is also credited to scholars of the Ḥanafī, Malikī, Shāfiʿī and Ḥanbalī schools of laws.
The second opinion is reflected in a fatwa by Dār al-Iftāʾ of Egypt. It takes the view that for those who are most certain that their strenuous work will cause them hardship if they were to fast, they are allowed to begin the day without fasting.
The third opinion posits that workers in such situations are allowed to not fast at all if the work is their form of livelihood. This is the opinion of some contemporary scholars such as Professor Quraysh Shihāb.
Workers who had to miss their fast must make up for it on another day after the Ramadan period.
In the extreme instance that there is no one day in which the worker is able to take a break from his work even after Ramadan period, then there is no sin upon him for not being able to make up his fast. It is thus sufficient that he pays the fidyah only as long as they continue to work in such conditions, and are not able to find a time which would permit them to make up their fast without endangering their health or life. This is the opinion of some Hanafite scholars, as recorded in Ḥāshiyah Ibn ʿĀbidīn (2/420).
In summary, we would like to advise Muslims who are working in strenuous conditions to assess their own health conditions. If they are unable to fast without falling sick and putting their lives at risk, then they should not fast. Fasting is obligatory, but the preservation of life is a priority. They should remain in good health so that they may continue with their work and support themselves and their dependents, which is also a very important responsibility. God is Most Forgiving, and He would not punish them for something in which they are not capable of performing.
On this matter, the Qurʾan provides the following principle:
“And Allah does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with anyone who has not fought you for your faith or driven you out of your homes. God loves the just”
There is hence no reason as to why one cannot break fast at the house of a friend of a different faith, or invite them over, as this is in line with the spirit of neighbourliness andfriendship taught in the Qurʾan.
In fact, to turn down the invitation of your friend of another faith, who has generously extended the invitation to you to celebrate and honor the Muslims’ special occasion, would be inappropriate.
You can always inform your host politely of your dietary requirements or even offer to contribute to the dinner by bringing your own food if you do not want to inconvenience them.
For further elaborations on dietary requirements using the utensils that have been used to eat non-halal food, please refer to the topic on food and dining.
Composting is a process of recycling food? as fertilisers, rather than disposing them. It is a natural function that happens with or without human intervention.
Kitchen and garden refuse will be tossed onto a pile in the garden. This pile is then left for a year and turned in with the existing soil. This produces a rich, non-contaminated soil.
The question of doubtfulness on the purity of the crop should not surface as the source of compost does not affect the purity and permissibility of consuming the crop.
Islam permits one to attend or join an invitation from friends of other faiths as long as it does not require participation in any religious rites or involves actions that clearly contradict Islamic teachings. It is important not to exclude ourselves from such gatherings in the spirit of camaraderie and being part of a bigger team.
If one is given the choice to choose the venue, then one should always choose the halal-certified options. This advisory is meant for those who do not have such a choice.
When dining at non-halal establishments, one can observe the following tips:
Ø Choosing either seafood or vegetarian options
Ø Request for no alcohol or animal fat to be used in the cooking.
If there is fear of the utensils being mixed with utensils used for non-halal dishes, one may consider to follow the opinions of other schools of laws as highlighted in the beginning of this chapter.
However, if you are uncomfortable, you may choose to just consume a halal beverage.
Muslims are prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages. They are also to avoid working in jobs which principally involve alcoholic beverages. However, in situations such as there are no available jobs apart from one that requires you to deal with alcohol beverages, but that is not the primary job scope, this is allowed, as its sole purpose is to support oneself and one’s family.
For example, if you are working at a supermarket where you would need to handle the packaging of either alcoholic beverages or other non-halal items, this would not be considered as your primary duty. A view within the Ḥanafī school of law has allowed for such a concession to be made especially in a country where a majority of its population are not Muslims. The Ḥanafī scholar, Imām Al-Zaylaʿī in Rad al-Muḥtār ʿala al-Dur al-Mukhtār, held the view that the wages of one who is hired to transport wine, or to herd pigs are halal according to Imam Abū Ḥanīfah.