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Can't Pray on Time! What Should I Do?

All praise be to Allaah.

It sometimes happens that a person is in a situation where he is unable to pray on the prescribed time. Suppose say an exam or a meeting. An unavoidable situation or circumstance. Or no praying place around where a person can offer salah. What should a person do in such a case?

The answer to this is simple. Even if you get 10 minutes of time in between your tight schedule, it is enough to pray the farz salah. Moreover you don't need a prayer room or such, you just need a clean place to pray, because the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “…the earth has been made pure, a means of purification and a place of prostration, so wherever a man is when the time for prayer comes, let him pray.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (335) and Muslim (521).

If however there is no such time and a difficulty is posed in praying on time then it is permissible for you to join two prayers, so join ‘Asr with Zuhr at the time of Zuhr, and join Maghrib with ‘Isha’ at the time of ‘Isha’.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Sometimes the time for classes at school comes before the time m prayer, i.e. at twelve for Zuhr and at four-thirty for ‘Asr, and I cannot pray at school because there is no place that is suitable for prayer. Thus I am forced to offer a number of obligatory prayers together at the same time, and sometimes it is more than three obligatory prayers at once. What is the ruling on my prayer? Please advise me, may Allaah reward you with good.
He replied: With regard to joining two prayers that may be joined, there is nothing wrong with that in this case, because it is necessary, such as joining Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’. As for joining ‘Asr and Maghrib, for example, that is not permissible because it is not permissible to delay a prayer beyond its time under any circumstances. Based on that, in this case, if she is afraid that the time for the present prayer that cannot be joined with the following prayer will end, then she should pray it in whatever way she can. So if, for example, she is going to school at the time of ‘Asr, and she cannot pray ‘Asr there, then she should join it with Zuhr at the time of Zuhr, then go to school having done what is required of her. To sum up, it is not permissible for a woman or anyone else to join two prayers that it is not permitted to join, rather one may only join two prayers that it is permitted to join, such as joining Zuhr and ‘Asr, at the time of the earlier or later prayer, and joining Maghrib and ‘Isha’ at the time of the earlier or later prayer, when there is a need for that. End quote fromFataawa Noor al-Darb.

We ask Allaah to help you to do all that is good.

And Allaah knows best.

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