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Ruling on Friday Prayer for Individuals who cannot Leave Work Place

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
Is it permissible for individuals who can`t leave their work place, such as doctors, police officers and civil defense personnel, not to join the congregation for Friday prayer {Jumu`ah}?

Answer:
All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Friday prayer is obligatory and it is forbidden to leave it save for a legitimate excuse. Ibn 'Umar and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:We heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying (while delivering Khutbah on his wooden pulpit), "Either some people (i.e., hypocrites) stop neglecting the Friday prayers, or Allah will seal their hearts and they will be among the heedless."

[Muslim].The Prophet (PBUH) also said:"He who leaves the Friday prayer (continuously) for three Fridays on account of slackness, Allah will print a stamp on his heart."[Tirmithi].

As for jobs whose nature dictate that a person remains at work, if the place of work isn`t the same as the place of residence, then there is no sin on him to stay in his place of work and pray Zuhr. This is because the conditions of a traveler apply on him.

However, personnel whose jobs don`t require that they remain at work are obliged to attend the Jumu`ah. Therefore, they should seek the permission of their boss to allow them to do so. Nonetheless, doctors or police officers who can`t leave their stations because there is nobody to fill in or there is no alternative may keep their stations and pray Zuhr. This is because attending to the needs of the sick, as clarified by the jurists, or fearing for life and wealth are amongst the legitimate excuses for waiving Jumu`ah.

"Legitimate excuses for waiving Jumu`ah and other congregational prayers……..Leaving Jumu`ah isn`t permissible save for a legitimate excuse, such as …..attending to the needs of the sick who has no one to care for, even if the latter wasn`t amongst the relatives of the attender, or he had someone attending to his needs, but that someone was busy buying medications for him……….Moreover, fearing for a person`s life, honor, wealth are also amongst the legitimate excuses."{Bushra Al-Kareem, 1/331}. And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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