Question: I work in logistics and transportation. Am I obliged to pray Jumuah every week without exception?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
Praying the Friday Prayer is very, very important, and takes precedence over earning money. Allah Most High says:
O believers! When the call to prayer is made on Friday, then proceed diligently to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business. That is best for you, if only you knew.
Once the prayer is over, disperse throughout the land and seek the bounty of Allah. And remember Allah often so you may be successful.
When they saw the fanfare along with the caravan, they ˹almost all˺ flocked to it, leaving you [O Prophet] standing [on the pulpit]. Say, ‘What is with Allah is far better than amusement and merchandise. And Allah is the Best Provider.
(Qur’an, 62: 9-11)
At the same time, Allah does not ask us to starve or beg from other people. If it really is the case that the only way one can earn money for one’s basic needs is to work on a Friday, and at a time when one would miss the Friday Prayer, then one is excused from attending (Kashaf al Qina, Bahuti). This would apply whether or not one was physically close to the mosque.
No one has to be very, very careful here. Just because it is awkward, impractical, annoying, or “not done” to go to prayer while at work, that does not mean that one is excused. Rather it means that the company one works for flat out refuses and only gives the option of skipping the Friday Prayer or losing one’s job. Similarly, it could be the very nature of the task, such as a surgery that has to happen at that very time that no one else could do. Normally, where there is a will, there is a way, and people (particularly in the West) are considerate about personal religious obligations.
When working in transport and delivery etc., there is a separate dispensation that applies. If one is driving a long distance from one’s city (more than 50 miles), then one is not obliged to pray the Friday Prayer, to begin with.
This is assuming one left one’s city before Fajr on Friday, and that one does not intend to stay at the destination for four full days (Bushra al Karim, Ba Ishn).
If one leaves after Fajr, then one is still obliged to pray the Friday Prayer, either in one’s town or somewhere else. The only excuse would be if the nature of the work wouldn’t allow one to do so, as mentioned above.
In summary, while traveling for work, one is either excused to pray to begin with or when one’s sole source of essential income could not possibly be earned if one were to attend the Friday Prayer.
Please also see:
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language