Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra
I work in food delivery, and I am in the car at all times in traffic, working 13 hours a day.
Is it okay if I pray during those times without making the rak‘ats (movements) since I drive and go from door to door and have no space to do so? Would Allah accept my prayers that way?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
May Allah reward you for trying to come closer to Him and fulfilling your five daily prayers. This is a sign that Allah loves you and wants good for you.
As for the obligatory prayers, they must be prayed standing up and with full motions within their time. Any prayers that are missed in this way cannot be done while sitting in a car driving. Missed prayers should be made up in the closest available time, though to miss the prayers without a valid excuse is sinful. But making them up is still a great act of devotion and a gift from Allah to make it right again. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
Your Struggle Isn’t in Vain
Always know that Allah Most Merciful sees your situation and knows what you are going through. He sees your struggle, appreciates your efforts, and rewards you for them. Still, He wants you to do better for your own sake, not His. The daily prayers are a way of taking a break from the world and connecting to our Lord.
Be Prepared and Take a Break
In a long shift, we naturally have to take breaks for the bathroom or eat. Prayer can be done in a few short minutes in the same break. Carry a prayer mat in the car, and wear thick socks to wipe over to make your wudu easier. Try to think ahead of where you might be, and either time your breaks around a quick prayer or find quiet spots to park and pray beside your vehicle if weather permits. Many cities have mosques in different places you can try to time. Prayer times have a window so that you can be flexible. Whatever is genuinely missed, make it up next prayer time.
The Prayer as a Divine Gift
Finally, although it seems challenging at first, the sweetness that comes in your heart of praying this way will be immeasurable. It is also a great break from stress and worldliness to complete those movements and devotions. Remember that prayer is a gift to those whom Allah loves. May Allah Most High bless you and keep you ascending in your piety and righteousness.
[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.