Is Work Pressure an Excuse to Miss the Congregational Prayer?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


Due to study/work pressure (mostly during exam time), I sometimes miss prayer in the congregation in the mosque, and I prayed alone in the masjid without doing Qada‘. Is it wrong to miss congregation because of school/work pressure?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Study/Work pressure is not a valid excuse to miss the congregational prayer. This means that, by praying alone, you are missing the reward of praying in congregation. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

A valid excuse to miss the congregational prayer, such as being paralyzed, would have granted you the reward of praying in the congregation despite praying alone.

The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) is reported as having said that “Praying in congregation is twenty-seven times better than praying alone.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

According to the Hanafi school, it is not obligatory but an emphasized sunna for men with no excuse to pray in a congregation. [Taqrirat al-Rafi’i on Hashiyat Ibn ’Abidin]

To get used to missing the congregational prayer is sinful. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

The sunna is fulfilled even by praying in a congregation outside the mosque, even though it is better to perform it in the mosque. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

Failing to pray in a congregation after trying your best to do so is of course, excused.

Allah Most High says, “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear: each gains whatever good it has done, and suffers its bad(…).” [Quran, 2:286]

And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found. Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others. He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.