I live in the city of Belfast and work in Portadown a town 27 miles away. I work shifts. One week from Monday to Friday I work from 7am till 3pm the next week I work from 3.pm till 11pm this then rotates weekly. The issue is I miss the prayer on the 7am to 3pm shift. I have a dispensation at work for praying in the plant but this does not go as far as leaving work to go to the Masjid. There is a Musalla near Portadown in which I pray Jumu’ah on the 3pm to 11pm just before I start my shift. There is a chance that I may be put on a 3 way shift which will mean another shift from 11pm to 7am which will mean I will miss the prayer every 3rd week instead of every 2nd. What should I do in this situation?
Friday prayer is personally obligatory (Fard Ayn). It has been established from the Qur’an, Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah. It is one of the most important features of Islam. The one who rejects it is a Kafir and the one who misses it without a valid excuse is a Fasiq.
Allah Almighty says:
“O you who believe! When the call for Friday prayer is made, hasten towards the remembrance of Allah (Prayer and Khutba) and leave all transactions. This is best for you if you know.” (Surah al-Jumu’ah, V.9)
The importance of the Friday prayer is evident from the abovementioned. A Muslim should therefore, never attempt to miss it.
The solution to your problem is that, firstly, you should try your utmost best to get some time off to perform the Friday prayer. If all efforts fail in convincing the boss to allocate you some time, then you should leave the job and find another, where you are able to perform your Salat in time.
However, if you are not reasonably able (in the long run) to find another job, then you may perform Zuhr and regret not being able to get to Jumu’ah.
It should be remembered that one must take all reasonable and possible means to get to Jumu’ah, whether by getting allowed on their present job, or by finding a job that allows them to do so.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK