Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
I am currently in a course, and my classes are rigorous, and the lunch break that we have doesn’t coincide with the time for the Jumu‘a prayer at the masjid nearby.
Leaving the class to go and pray would mean that I will have to be gone for an hour.
Can you please advise what I should do regarding Friday prayer?
The Friday prayer is an obligation upon every able Muslim man. In the same way one is not permitted to miss the Dhuhr prayer, one cannot miss the Friday prayer with its additional conditions. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “People must cease abandoning the Friday prayers, or Allah will seal their hearts, and then they will be among the negligent.” [Muslim]
Given the above, explore the following options in order:
1. In the Hanafi school, the Jumu‘a prayer may be performed by three people. If there are three or more male Muslims in the course or college, then arrange to perform the Jumu‘a prayer on-site. Please refer to this brief answer and this detailed answer.
2. If there are not three or more Muslim males on site, then consider asking Muslims in the local vicinity, such as shops.
3. Find out if the course is run at other times, such as evenings and weekends.
4. Speak to the course instructors or classmates and discuss your options. Perhaps you could attend the Jumu’a at the mosque and have another diligent student take notes and go through the parts you missed at the end of the day with you.
5. If none of the above are options, then it leaves you in a difficult situation. The general ruling is if a job or training is necessary, there is no way to attend the Friday prayer, and to leave it to attend the prayer would result in much hardship, then there is some scope for missing the Friday prayer until the issue is resolved. However, given that your course is 15 weeks, and it is not clear if it is essential for you to take, the situation is problematic.
Regarding the Necessity
If the course is not essential for your livelihood, then I would explore other similar courses which permit you to attend the Friday prayer.
If the course is essential for your livelihood and no other option exists, then there may be some leeway to miss the Friday prayer and perform the Dhuhr prayer instead. This is akin to having to sit a crucial exam during the time of the Friday prayer. Some of our esteemed teachers stated it would be permitted to miss the prayer for this reason, as an extended analogy to what the fiqh books mention in regards missing the prayer due to fear of one’s food burning in the oven, or even due to some even milder excuses. However, one should do their upmost to explore other alternatives. And Allah Most High knows best.
Please pray Salatul Haja (The Prayer of Need) and something will open up for you insha’Allah. May Allah make things easy for you.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. He traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years privately studying a range of Islamic sciences under the foremost scholars and muftis from the Ribat Tarim, specializating in Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies under many of Amman’s most prominent scholars, in a range of Islamic sciences, including Islamic theology, logic, legal principles and precepts, hadith studies, grammar and rhetoric, seerah, Quranic studies and tafsir. He is also an experienced homeopath.