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When does fear count? 

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I often have to travel to smaller towns and have to pray in public (at a gas station or restaurant parking lot). in light of 9/11 and the fear of attack on Muslims, are there any dispensations if one generally fears harm during the prayer as regards to praying sitting in a car or making the prayer qadaa?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

In general, “fear” is only given Shariah consideration if, as Ibn Abidin mentions, it is based on one of three things:
a) Past experience (of resulting harm);
b) Clear and manifest signs (that anyone would acknowledge);
c) Being informed by an expert, outwardly upright Muslim doctor in the case of the fear of sickness or physical harm.

This also applies to fear for one’s health as related to fasting, the validity of tayammum for the sick person, wiping over bandages, and many other things as well.

General fears, however, are generally unfounded. If you pray sitting or delay your prayer without one of the 3 above bases for reasonable fear, then your prayer would not be valid, you would be sinful, and would need to repent (which includes the determination not to do that again) and repeat the prayer.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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