What do the scholars and muftis of the noble Shari’ah say regarding the following matter; sometimes, we must offer salah (the ritual prayer) while on duty and we have less time to do so. Can we leave the sunnah prayers of Zuhr, ‘Asr and Maghrib (the noon, afternoon and evening prayers respectively) in these situations? Kindly explain the ruling regarding leaving these (sunnah) prayers? 

Questioner: Ilyas from the UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

The four rak’ah (units) before the fard (obligatory) salah of Zuhr and the two rak’ah after it, as well as the two rak’ah after the fard salah of Maghrib are sunan mu’akkadah (emphasised sunnahs). The ruling regarding leaving them is that leaving them even once without any reason is blameworthy. Forming a habit to leave them makes one a fasiq (sinner), mardud al-shahadah (one whose testimony is not accepted), and deserving of the hellfire. Certain Imams state: “He shall be deemed deviant and he is a sinner, even though his sin is less than the abandoning of a wajib (compulsory) act.” This ruling is mentioned in Bahar-e Shari’at and can be found in common books of fiqh (jurisprudence). Therefore, it is necessary to offer sunnah mu’akkadah prayers.

As far as my knowledge goes, in the amount of time given to offer prayers in the UK, a person can easily offer fard as well as sunnah mu’akadah prayers.

The sunnah prayers before and after the fard of Zuhr have a special excellence. Sayyidah Umm Habibah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ stated:

مَنْ رَكَعَ أَرْبَعَ رَكَعَاتٍ قَبْلَ الظُّهْرِ وَأَرْبَعًا بَعْدَهَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَحْمَهُ عَلَى النَّارِ

Translation: “Whoever prays four rak’ahs before Zuhr and four after, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will forbid him from the Fire.” [Sunan al-Nasa’i, hadith no. 1813]

However, if the company gives very less time to offer salah, during which only fard prayers can be offered, then offer only fard prayers and leave the sunnahs. In such a situation, it is permissible to leave the sunan mu’akkadah.

Sunnah ghair mu’akkadah (non-emphasised sunnah) prayers like the four rak’ahs before ‘Asr have a ruling like that of nafl (voluntary) prayers. There is reward in offering them and no sin in leaving them.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath Team

Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0434] Can I skip the Sunnah prayers of Zuhr, Asr and Maghrib whilst at work?

Also see:

[Q-ID0769] I don’t have time to pray Zuhr, Asr & Maghrib at work, is it okay if I pray them when I get home?

[Q-ID0591] I don’t have a long break at work, can I just pray the Fard and leave the Sunnah/Nafl prayer?

[Q-ID0214] What is the method to pray the 4 Sunnahs of Asr and Isha?

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