As salamu `alaykum,
This issue is not one that I am familiar with, as I am presently living in a Muslim-majority country. Nonetheless, to me, this is an issue that should be brought to the attention of the school by the parents of the Muslim students, who should express their concerns in a conciliatory way to the school heads to allow 15 minutes or so (it can be anytime within the period allowed for Dhuhr prayer remember, not only when Dhuhr enters) for the Muslim students to go and pray. If there is a lunch period during that time, then students should use that time to pray.
To me, this is an issue of working together with the school leadership to arrive at a compromise that will allow the students to make Dhuhr prayer while not disrupting the students’ academic day too much. As prayer is a must for Muslims, Allah has also blessed us with ample time to make the prayer – depending on where we live – in the neighborhood of three hours (up until the time of `Asr prayer ).
We should do our best to be steadfast yet flexible in attempting to meet our obligations to Allah in regard to the prayer and I would urge the Muslim parents and students as a group to arrange a meeting with the school leadership so that the issue can be addressed in a cooperative manner.
The parents have to be clear to the school officials as to the importance for Muslims to pray every day, as well as the fact that Islam does allow flexibility in meeting the obligation, i.e. within the given time period. A bit of education, wise and courteous negotiation and compromise should, in sha’ Allah, solve the matter…
May Allah grant you success in your efforts…
From Counselor Abdullah abdur Rahman
It is quite encouraging to know that you are concerned about fulfilling your prayer obligations. Are you the only Muslim in the school? If not, then, we suggest you gather the other Muslims in the school and write a letter to the administration stating your request to be able to pray during class time. You will have to explain to the administration that daily prayers are obligatory just like the Friday prayer is obligatory. Be polite in your approach and do your best to offer more information should they require it.
You can also seek the help of your local Imam, an Islamically knowledgeable person or if there is a college, the Muslim Student’s Association chapter closest to you. The idea is to have additional people explain to the administration why it is imperative that you be allowed to pray during the school day. But make sure to choose the people wisely so that they will strengthen your case not affect it adversely.
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