Is It Permissible to Make People Wait Longer than Needed?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question

Is it okay to prolong your prayer when people are waiting for you? For example, you know that your parents are waiting for you to go somewhere and you make them wait 30 mins to 1h because you have to pray.

Answer

I pray you are well.

Being Considerate Of Others Is a Sunna

Deliberately wasting people’s time would be inappropriate behavior. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was always very considerate of people. We should try to be like him.

He always chose the easiest of two choices – as long as it wasn’t a sin – in order to make things easy for those who were with him. [Bukhari] When he went home after the dawn prayer and found there was nothing to eat, he simply fasted that day. If vinegar was the only condiment available to dip his bread he gladly accepted it. All to make things easy for others. [Tirmidhi, Shama’il]

Even when people led the prayer he commanded them to be considerate: “Whoever of you leads people in [the prayer] let him be brief, because amongst them there are the young, the elderly, the weak, and those with needs [to take care of]. When he prays himself let him pray however he wants.“ [Bukhari]

The prayer has its due, but even the dhuhr or ‘isha prayers should not take a person that long to perform. Try to pray it at a normal pace in such times, and you can extend it as long as you want when there are no expectations on your time.

Gratitude To Parents

Also, in Islam, we are taught to treat our parents well. Making them wait for such a long time unnecessarily would be blameworthy. In matters that are halal and not detrimental to one’s din and dunya, every effort should be taken to accommodate one’s parents.

Allah commanded us saying “Be grateful to Me and to your parents.” [Quran, 31:14] Making them wait that long without a good reason is not an expression of gratitude.

Based on all this, one should do his best to not waste other people’s time. After all, we are nothing but the moments we live in, and when they go so does a part of us.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani 

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.