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Can I Pray at Home If I Fear Harm on the Way to the Mosque?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra


There is a group of Muslim teenagers on the street who gather at a place which is on the way to the mosque from my home. They stare at me every time I pass by as if I should fear them. Their language is filthy; they’re probably all illiterate. One guy said to his friend that he would beat me up if he (his friend) teased me. I don’t know if it was targeted at me, but from their behavior, I can say it was.

In such a case, can I pray my prayer at home? I can, of course, fight if they’re alone, but as they’re a gang and can get the support of 10 to 20 guys easily, while I have no one and I am physically weak, what should I do?


In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Menacing the streets and making others feel unsafe when walking around is a grave sin in Islam. No one should impede someone else’s free travel in public or make them feel unsafe, let alone block their way to visit the House of Allah for prayer. If you genuinely fear harm to yourself or property, you can pray at home, and if your intention was to pray in the mosque if you were able, you would still get the reward of the congregation. It is still superior to pray with another family member at home in this case, such as any of the womenfolk or even a child. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi]

While it is scary when groups of teenagers hang around the block and stare at other youngsters to intimidate them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will cause harm to everyone, unless provoked. Sometimes, going about one’s business with purpose, maturity, and resolve, while not showing fear but neither showing arrogance, often makes them focus on a different target to intimidate. Also, as they are Muslims, showing your religious side often gains the sympathy of even youth. Also, do you ever say a prayer for these brothers of yours?

If you ever do interact with them, smile warmly, give salam, consider even sharing a treat. Giving respect with confidence can change hearts, but you are not responsible to change them – that is Allah’s mercy and will alone.

Say your duas for leaving the home and protection (see the link below for the Arabic, English and transliteration). [Tirmidhi, Sunan]
Duas When Leaving Home with translation | IslamicFinder

Finally, sometimes walking with someone else, or joining a crowd, helps to pass through these places undisturbed. Take a different route sometimes, travel in a vehicle, and avoid walking alone after nightfall if you fear harm. You need to assess whether the risk is an actual danger or if it is just fear. Even if it is just fear, you can pray at home to avoid that, but if you can find strategies to still attend when able without disturbance, hardship, or intimidation, this would be better for you.

[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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