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:
As for compulsory prayers, you have to pray them on time. Whatever busy you are, you can have a very short break as if you are going to eat a sandwich, drink tea, or go to the toilet. Moreover, there is a long period of time for each prayer during which you can perform it.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
Since we cannot pray before the arrival of time, you cannot do that, although in the case of Zhuhr and Asr as well as Maghrib and Isha you are allowed to combine two prayers: for instance, you may combine Zhuhr and Asr by praying them both at the time of either one; likewise, you may do the same with Maghrib and Isha. However, we are not allowed to combine Isha with Fajr or Fajr with Zhuhr.
What you should do in this circumstance; take a five minute break and pray. There is no reason why you won’t be able to do this; no matter how busy you are, for everyone is allowed to take breaks for answering the call of nature. All that you need to do in this case is simply to pray your fard; as for the sunnah, you may-if you wish-make up when you return home.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.