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What do employees in non-muslim organizations do about Salaat during working times?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

In most of the hadith and in the Quran, we hear references to “Tijarah” or “business” as the occupation. When one owns one’s own business, he/she is in general control of his/her time, and therfore it is generally easy for the person to leave work so he/she can pray the Salat on time — since the person is not obligated to anyone for his/her time. However, what about people in today’s high-stress jobs in non-Muslim organizations? In most of these places, there are no places to pray (or even do wudhu) at work and important meetings are held during Salat times. In general, the employee is not the master of his/her time — so he/she cannot easily leave work at his/her discretion to attend prayer upto 3 times a day (Johr/Asr/Maghrib) during the working hours — matter of fact it may not be looked upon kindly by their non-muslim bosses. For example, I have long work hours in an Indian company and every time I step out for prayer in the mosque and back, it takes me at least half an hour — that’s upto 1.5 hrs/day for prayers during work hours. What is the recommendation for people in these situations? Read qadha? Regularly walk out of boss’s meetings when Adhan is heard and irk the boss? Quit the job and hunt for jobs in muslim organizations which are difficult to find in India? Thanks for your reply

Answer

It is true that Muslim employees in non-Muslim organisations may not enjoy the religious freedom of Salaat, etc. Ideally, a Muslim should seek employment where he is granted his religious freedom to perform Salaat, etc. If that is not possible, then Muslim employees in non-Muslim organisations should not take the liberty of time and perform Salaat on their own, etc. without prior arrangements and consent from the management.

That is also the time of employment for which one is being remunerated. The employer has a right over that time. It is, therefore, important for Muslim employees to make prior arrangements with their management. That will avoid unpleasant circumstances and irking the boss. Furthermore, Muslim employees should be considerate and not take advantage of the consent given to them. One and half hours for three Salaats is too much. Half an hour to 45 minutes should be sufficient. The Muslim employee should offer to continue working lunch time to cover up his lost time due to Salaat. Such an honest and upright approach will win the confidence of the non-Muslim employer for further religious freedom consideration.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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