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Law Preventing Friday Prayer at Islamic School: What to Do?

06 September, 2019
Q As-salamu `alaykum. In my country, there is a law that implies secularism between religion and school. It hadn’t been implied until recently when our school forbade us from praying Friday Prayer (Jumu`ah). All Muslim students stopped praying because they were afraid of the school board. They didn't even ask why they were forbidden, but I collected signatures of students asking to pray and presented it to the academic principal. He answered me politely that this is beyond his capability because it's the law and if he breaks it, he will face consequences from the government. What should I do? I have applied for this year national exam under this school and can't change to another school that is Islamic school (the rule allows only religious schools to practice their religion in school) until I take this exam. (There are about 3 months left for exam). What should we do?


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:

Friday Prayer is waived in your case if you have done all what you can to offer it. If you are not able to do that, then there is nothing wrong with him praying it as Zhuhr.

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In his response to the question, Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, the prominent Saudi Islamic lecturer and author, states:

Indeed, the country you living in is violating all the well-established and stated rights by all constitutions all around the world.

From your part, you have taken a right and a courageous step. As long as we are concerned, you and your Muslim colleagues can take a further step directly resorting to the highest authorized person in the school board.

What is required of the Muslim is to regularly offer the Prayers at the proper times, and to keep away from schools that do not allow him to do that, so as to protect his religious commitment, because Prayer is the foundation of Islam and anything that distracts from doing it is not permissible.

Based on that, whoever is able to move to another school where he can pray Zhuhr and Friday prayer, he must do that.

Whoever is not able to move, he should strive to offer Zhuhr prayer at the proper time even if he prays on his own. However, if he is not able to do that, then he may put it together with Asr Prayer.

Similarly, in the case of Friday Prayer, it is waived in his case if he has done all he can to offer it. If he is not able to do that, then there is nothing wrong with him praying it as Zhuhr.

The scholars have stated that one of the excuses for not praying Friday prayer or offering Prayers in congregation is fear of harm from an unjust ruler or of a negative impact on his livelihood.

Imam Ash-Shafi`i (may Allah have mercy on him) said,

“If one is afraid that in case of going out for Friday prayer, the ruler may detain him unlawfully, then he may stay away from Friday prayer.” (Al-Umm, 1/218)

Imam Al-Mirdawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said,

“One of the valid excuses for not praying Friday prayer or offering prayers in congregation is fear of a negative impact on one’s livelihood that he needs or if he is hired to guard some property (and cannot leave it).” (Al-Insaaf, 2/301)

And Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.