I am working in a Multi National Company in Northern Part of India. We, Muslims, are very less in this company. For last six months, we have been offering congregational prayers of Dhuhr, Asr & Maghrib in the canteen area. We are not using anything that belongs to the company, except water for Wudu. My boss called me last week and told that he had received complaints from some people as to people are wasting their work time in offering Namaz. He asked about the suggestions from me. I spoke to the fellow Muslims and came to the solution that we would not take break time which is permissible for 40 minutes, to compensate the Namaz time. When I suggested this to my boss, he told me that people have objections on this too; their main objection is as to why people offer Namaz in Company premises. This issue is still unsolved. We are offering Namaz as usual. Kindly tell us what is the best solution? We can leave the job immediately if our company restricts us from offering Namaz.
Offering prayer (salat) on its appropriate time is the most important thing for a Muslim. Hence, a Muslim can never compromise his Salat for anything in return.
As such, whilst working, you have a right to offer your prayers. However, one must ensure not to spend more time than typically required for offering Salat. The jurists (fuqaha) mention that whilst working, one is only allowed to offer one’s obligatory (fard & wajib) and confirmed Sunnah prayers. It will not be permitted for one to engage in optional (nafl) prayers, unless it is in one’s personal time. (See: al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 4/416-417)
Therefore, you need to inform your boss that offering Salat is your primary consideration. If he is willing to accept this by coming to any solution, such as: reducing your pay to the amount of time spent in offering the prayers, or you compensating the time by working in the break, etc, then fine, otherwise Muslims working in this company will have to look for a job elsewhere.
In conclusion, discuss the matter with the boss and also other workers. Explain to them the importance of praying for a Muslim, and that this will not in any way impinge on your work and the job of other workers. If you are still refused permission to pray, then look for another job. May Allah Most High make matters easy for you, Ameen.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK