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Topic initiated on Wednesday, November 5, 2003  -  8:35 PM Reply with quote


I am not muslim but really interested. In fact, I am reading the Qur'an and basics to understand this path.
Reading about prayers, I came across with a doubt and I couldn't find any question in this regard, so I would like a comment from anyone if it's possible:
I am a teacher. I am not able neither to stop my work until I finish nor leave my students alone in the classroom. Since I work from 8:30 AM to almost 4 PM it would be almost impossible to perform Zuhr in a daily basis (Monday through Friday) with few exceptions during Holidays or things like that. Usually school has lots of "unexpected" problems and reality is I get home around 4:30 or 5:00.
How a muslim can deal with situations like that? Specially that happens on a daily basis.
Before taking a step foward, I would like to have a better picture of all obligations I would assume.
Thank you in advance for any answer!
Jhangeer Hanif

Posted - Thursday, November 6, 2003  -  2:16 PM Reply with quote
The Holy Qur'an says that after professing faith, the believer is supposed to carry out all the virtuous deeds and exhort others to the right path and exhort others to demonstrate patience.
These specific claims on the part of the believers have compactly been described in Surah Asr. This Surah reads:

Time bears witness to the fact that this man shall indeed suffer losses except for those who profess faith, do good deeds and exhort one another to follow the right path and exhort one another to demonstrate patience. (103)

It should be appreciated that man has not been born blind as far as the knowledge of right and wrong is concerned. He does have an idea what good deeds are. He does not need to be informed that helping an old lady cross a road is a good act or taking a wounded person to a hospital is a desirable act or being honest while dealing people is very desirable. He has received this knowledge as progeny of Adam (pbuh) and Eve (pbuh) who received guidance directly from Allah. In a nutshell, a believer is supposed to become a good person in general of which he does have an idea.

However, there are also certain obligations that have been prescribed by Islam. Again, It should be appreciated that roots of these obligatory requirements are found in every person. Allah has just specified a certain form and boundaries for them, which make them appropriate and feasible for humans. For instance, the sentiments of worship are found in virtually every person. In order to regulate these sentiments and avoid extremes, Allah has promulgated fives prayers for everyone to say in a day. The fundamental of these obligations can be summarized as:

1) Saying five prayers in a day
2) Paying Zakah (spending in the way of Allah)
3) Fasting during the month of Ramadan
4) Pilgrimage to the House of the Lord (Hajj)

Every believer is supposed to say prayers during the ordained timings as regards which you also have mentioned your concerns. Zakah is liable to be paid by those people who fulfill a certain criteria. Every believer is also supposed to fast during the month of Ramadan. He who has got resources should perform Hajj, that is, to pay a visit to the House of Lord in the last month of calendar based on the lunar movements and perform certain rituals there—a commemoration of the great Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and Ishmael (pbuh).

As you can see, there is no financial restriction in offering prayers and fasting. Therefore, it is imperative for almost all Muslims, who are adult and of course, not sick, to perform these two duties.

I understand your problem. We also face problems of these sorts sometimes. For instance, three days ago, I was attending a Seminar on Employers Expectations at a grand hotel, where, ironically (not that much, I could expect this at such GRAND places of materialism), no timing arrangement was made for the Asr prayer. As the time passed by, I became restless and at last, I left in the middle of the lecture, got to the attendant and asked him about some place where I could say my prayer. Luckily, they had set us a place in the adjacent hall where two other fellows like me, were offering their prayers. I said mine and then got to the Seminar hall again. I remember my days at college where I would say my prayer in between the two classes—as there would be almost a gap of almost five to ten minutes before the next class would start in full after recapitulating the points of the previous lecture. You know, it takes only five to eight minutes to say one prayer—not a big demand. What I am trying to communicate is that you should not expect that circumstances will always be favorable for performing the duties. You should see to it; you should arrange, sacrifice what you can and do what you think is more important.

Having said that, I do not know exactly what the circumstance must be at your school. If a person sincerely feels that it is not possible to say a prayer during the prescribed time, he can say it before he offers the next prayer at his home or any other place. Allah surely understands and He would not hold him responsible for circumstances that are beyond his control. You should rest assured that you would have the same reward. It is however only you who can decide about the circumstances and what you can do in a given situation.

As believers, we should continue to seek knowledge. This is the only way which will help us understand what other obligations our religion places on us.
Razi Allah

Posted - Thursday, November 6, 2003  -  2:54 PM Reply with quote
It should be appreciated that the 'prescribed time' for each of the five daily prayers is not limited to a point in time but covers a period of time. Thus the time of Zuhr prayers, for instance, is not 1:00 PM after which it expires. The 'prescribed time' for Zuhr prayers starts immediately after noon and extends for anytime between 3 to 5 hours, depending upon one's geographical location and time of the year. A Muslim can offer his/her prayers at any point between the range of time prescribed for each prayer.

The time for Zuhr prayers is: from immediately after midday (the descent of the sun) till midway between midday and sunset

I am quite certain that you are granted a luncheon break during which period you can say your Zuhr prayers without it being really taxing on your eating schedule. Five to ten minutes are easily affordable.

Your effort to understand Islam and to think through what it entails before making a conscious decision deserves both respect and admiration. I hope and pray that the Almighty grant you the courage and wisdom to arrive at the truth and to accept it wholeheartedly.

You are always welcome to post any queries you may have during your journey to discovering Islam.

Posted - Thursday, November 6, 2003  -  7:49 PM Reply with quote
Thank you, Brothers for your responses. I really appreciate your wise and powerful advises.
Yes, I am trying to get into the path of Islam, trying to make the process.
And believe me, it is really hard. All my knowledge has been always "christian-fashioned", and of course, western too. I am an ignorant about not only Islam in general, but also never read the Holy Qur'an and never knew nothing about prayers or duties.
Well, at this point you may think... what is this guy doing here though?? Well, I don't know. I was looking for the Truth, I was in great need to fill out my spiritual needs, to discover God.
And all of a sudden, I came across with Islam in my University (where I am doing my masters)...
Thank you for your prayers, I am sure that the Almighty will guide me to the Light.
Thank you! and Peace!

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