I am a Muslim student living in Germany. To afford tuition fees, I have to work. Due to office hours and with no mosques available around, I regularly miss Friday prayers. What should I do? Is it permissible to pray the four units (rak’at) of noon prayer at my workplace?
Friday prayer is obligatory upon every adult sane able Muslim according to primary texts, Quran and Sunnah. God the Almighty says, “O you who have believed, when the call to prayer is made for Jumu’ah [Friday prayer], then proceed to the remembrance of God and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew” (Al-Jumu’ah: 9).
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) cautioned leaving the Friday Prayers (without a valid excuse) stating that the one who abandons three Friday prayers, “God will seal his/her heart.” This makes it clear that observing the Friday prayer is an obligatory action.
However, considering the case in question, the inquirer is unable to observe Friday prayers due to office hours and since work is a necessity for earning his living in this non-Muslim country, it is likely that he is excused for missing it. Moreover, having no mosques around makes it more difficult to go for Friday prayer.
Jurists have allowed leaving Friday prayer if there is a valid excuse. In his Mukhtasar, Imam Khalil al-Maliki explained: “Excuses for missing it [the Friday prayer] include: extreme mud, rain, leprosy, the sick and the one engaged in nursing the weak/ill, or the one confined in a place for whatsoever reasons etc.” This issue in question falls under these categories.