Can I Delay Prayers During Emergency Situations?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible for one to become a fireman or a paramedic? I would like to pursue one of these careers but what concerns me is not being able to pray on-time due to emergency situations. Is there a ruling that deals with this?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

These are very noble professions, as one is assisting people in distress.

Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him)  said, “A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He should not wrong him nor let them down. Allah will take care of the needs of anyone who takes care of the needs of his brother. On the Day of Rising Allah will dispel the anxiety of anyone who dispels the anxiety of another Muslim. On the Day of Rising Allah will veil anyone who veils another Muslim.” [Agreed upon] In such hadiths, “Muslim” is used incidentally–the scholars mention that they apply to assisting both Muslims and non-Muslims.

As for praying on time, in genuine emergencies–such as when one is saving another’s life or limb–one could delay the prayer, though one should take reasonable means to strive to pray on time.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani