What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Sometimes we don’t have time to pray sunnah and nafl salāh whilst at work. Are we permitted to just pray our fard and leave our sunnah and nafl; what is it that we are permitted to leave out?

Questioner: Brother from UK


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

Due to there being less time, one is permitted to leave the sunnah ghayr mu’akkadah [non-emphasised] (referring to the initial four rak’ah sunnah prayer of ‘Asr and ‘Ishā’), and the nafl of every salāh. The four preceding sunnahs of Zuhr as well as the two after it, the two after Maghrib, and the two after ‘Ishā’ are among the sunnah mu’akkadah [emphasised]. The ruling for leaving these is that by doing so once, one is definitely seriously to blame, and if doing so is a habit, then a fāsiq [sinner], witnessing being rejected, deserving of Hell. Some Imāms have stated that such a person will be regarded as misguided and sinful, even though his sin is less than that of leaving a wājib, just as it is mentioned in Bahar-e-Sharī’at and the general books of Fiqh.

There has been a Hadīth mentioned regarding the sunnahs of Zuhr, just as Imām Ahmad, Imām Abū Dāwūd, Imām Tirmidhī, Imām Nasā’ī and Imām Ibn Mājah have reported on the authority of Umm al-Mu’minīn [the Mother of the believers] Umm Habībah, may Allāh ﷻ be pleased with her, that the Noble Prophet ﷺ stated that,

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

“Whomsoever prays four rak’ahs before Zuhr and four after, Allāh ﷻ will forbid Hell for his flesh.”

[Sunan Nasā’ī, pg 310, Hadīth no 1813]

However, if the employers only give such a short amount of time that one is only able to fulfil the fard and one is unable to find another job straight away in which there would be enough time to pray salāh in full, then one should pray the fard and leave the sunnah. In this case, it is permissible to leave sunnah mu’akkadah, as there is a valid excuse here. However, one should instead find a job elsewhere, as soon as possible, in which one can pray salāh in full.

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 Haider Ali

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

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-ID0434] Can I skip the Sunnah prayers of Zuhr, Asr and Maghrib whilst at work?

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