Prayer Times Conflict with Class Schedule: What Should I Do?

03 February, 2019
Q Salaamu Alaikum. I go to public school in NYC and am currently trying to start a Muslim student association at my school. Part of our goals is to establish a prayer room for students to pray. We have had a difficult time trying to do this. And even if we do, I would not be able to pray since my lunch is before Zhuhr. Also I finish class at 2:50 which is after Asr and most of the time I have clubs/after school activities that result in me returning home after 5 sometimes meaning that I also miss Maghrib at times. I have no breaks after my lunch and was unsure about what to do about this situation. Jazakum Allahu Khairan


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

You may combine Zhuhr and Asr in this case; however, you should not defer them to the time of Maghrib. You can also combine  Maghrib and Isha

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In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

I can very well understand your difficulties in reconciling your class schedule with the prayer times. As long as you have no choice, you may combine Zhuhr and Asr in this case.

However, you should not defer them to the time of Maghrib. This procedure is known as jam`. Combining prayers in exceptional circumstances is allowed in Islam.

 Allah says:

{Prayer is indeed an obligatory duty prescribed on the believers at fixed times.} (An-Nisaa’ 4:103)

Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has ordained five daily prayers on the faithful. Whoever observes them diligently, they would act as a source of light, evidence (of faith), and means of salvation for him on the Day of resurrection.” (Ibn Hibban)

It is, therefore, essential for us to pray at the appointed times. We must never be slack in observing them, accordingly. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Pray as you have seen me praying.”

Now we come to the issue of your challenges. As you see the prayer conflicting with your classes or other important academic activities – which you cannot compromise- you are allowed to resort to certain concessions. In other words, because of your circumstances over which you have no control, you may combine Zhuhr and Asr or Maghrib and Isha.

The acceptable method of doing this is you may postpone your Zhuhr to pray with Asr before the time of Asr expires. Likewise, you may defer Maghrib and pray it with Isha.

You are not allowed to pray Zhuhr and Asr or either one of them at the time of Maghrib.

Since your class finishes at 2.20, you may pray Zhuhr first followed by Asr at that time.

As for Maghrib and Isha, if you are in a similar situation, you may pray them both one after the time at the time of Isha. Preferred time of Isha extends up to midnight.

I pray to Allah to bless you in your studies and give you success in all of your endeavors to serve His cause.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Source: www.askthescholar.com