Can I Pray Sitting in My Car Due to Inclimate Weather Condtions?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

I was driving and thought I could pray when I got home, but with traffic, I eventually realized I won’t make it home in time. It was raining outside, and there was no mosque nearby for me to pray at. Would it be okay to pray while sitting in my car?

What about freezing weather, snow, and other climate conditions?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

It is not permissible to pray an obligatory prayer sitting in the car unless there is a legally recognized excuse, such as the following:

a) The weather is so bad that one’s face would be completely covered in mud, water, snow, or the like… when prostrating. Or one fears becoming ill or their illness being exacerbated. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Light rain or snow is not an excuse.

b) The traveling companions will leave one behind due to exiting the vehicle to pray (such as on a bus trip). [Ibid.]

c) One is physically unable to alight from their vehicle unassisted due to physical impairment (the same applies if they are also unable to re-board unassisted). [Ibid.]

The above excuses assume that there is no other place where one can pray, such as a mosque or any public place where one is sheltered from the weather (under any public space with a roof). [Ibid.]

So, in your case, if you could exit the vehicle and pray under shelter, it is not permissible to pray in the car. The place of prayer does not need to be a mosque but rather any public area that is pure (or a private area with permission). [Ibid.]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.