Is a Lecture a Valid Excuse to Delay the Prayer?

Shaykh Farid Dingle is asked if college lectures are a valid excuse for delaying the prayer until the time of necessity in the Maliki school.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

This is a question regarding a previous answer that was asked by someone else titled: What Are the Valid Excuses to Delay the Prayer Until the Necessary Time in the Maliki School?

Is a college lecture a valid excuse? For example, I have a lecture which begins before the time of Maghrib enters and ends after the time of Isha has already entered.


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

It is not permissible to delay any prayer intentionally delay any prayer to it “time of necessity” (waqt darura) unless one is actually unable to pray in the normal time.

Excuses to Delay until “Time of Necessity”

The excuses to pray are “being in menses or lochia, having had just entered Islam, having had just reached puberty, having had just regained sanity, having had just regained consciousness, or having been asleep, or having had forgotten to pray.” (Sharh Abi al-Hasan)

Al-Adawi comments on the excuse of sleep and forgetfulness saying, ‘That is to say that when someone who is asleep wakes up, or someone who forgot remembers during the ‘necessary time’ they are not considered sinful. (Hashiya al-Adawi)

Sleeping through a prayer or forgetting to pray

It goes without saying that what is meant by someone who is asleep is someone who is genuinely asleep and not just intentionally going back to sleep; so too, someone who forgot is someone who genuinely forgot, and not someone who is just too busy or lazy to pray.

As has come in the Prophetic Tradition, “The is not shortcoming in sleep: shortcoming is only in not praying until the next prayer time comes in.” (Muslim) That is to say it is sinful to miss a prayer, but not if one genuinely slept through it after having taken the means to wake up on time.

The concept of “Necessary Time”

The concept of “necessary time” not to do with sin or the lack thereof, rather it is just a way of categorizing such prayers in terms of being make-ups or not. It is also a way to judge whether or not the previous prayer (say Dhuhr) has to be prayed in the “necessary time.”

For example, if you sleep through Fajr, the prayer is a make-up, while if you sleep through Dhuhr, and pray it in Asr time, it is not a make-up. Neither can be intentionally missed or intentionally slept through, but they just fall into different categories.

Similarly, if one stopped menstruating in Isha, one would pray Maghrib and Isha, because Isha is a “necessary time” for Maghrib; whereas if you stopped in Fajr, you wouldn’t pray Isha, because Isha’s “necessary time” finishes at the beginning of Fajr.

The reason why “necessary time” extends in Dhuhr and Maghrib into the pray times that follow then is because Dhuhr and Maghrib can be joined with Asr and Isha respectively in the circumstances that allow joining. For this reason, the three schools that allow joining prayers under certain circumstances also have this same general breakdown of prayer times.


It is not permissible to delay any prayer until “time of necessity” (waqt darura) due to being in a lecture. One should just make sure to have wudu beforehand, and ask to be excused for five minutes while you pray.

Under more pressing scenarios, there may be case for joining prayers, but that is a different discussion and doesn’t apply to this scenario.

I pray this helps.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Persmissible to Delay Prayers Due to Work and Heavy Traffic?

Answered by  Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Question: Assalam aleykum

Someone works in the transportation sector (driving), and does not pray on time, due to heavy traffic. And there are no mosques near him since he lives in a Western country. So he makes up all the prayers he missed as soon as he reaches home. What is your opinion regarding this?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

Prayer is the Emblem of Faith

You must remind this brother of the tremendousness of the prayer, and the magnitude of its stature in the religion of Allah, and before Allah, Blessed and Exalted. You must remind him that it is the pillar of the Religion, and that Allah threatened the ones who delay the prayer outside of its time in His book, saying:

“Woe to those worshippers, who are neglectful of their prayer” [al Ma’un 107:4]

In this way, you will bring forth from his conscience and soul the veneration for this emblem of faith, this tremendous obligation, the greatest pillar of Islam after the testimony of faith – the Establishment of the Prayer.

Permissibility of Combining, Impermissibility of Delay

You should also inform him that it is permissible for him during travel to combine Dhuhr and Asr in either of their times, and likewise Maghrib and Isha. However, no delay or advance of the prayer times is permissible beyond this. Rather he must pray where he is, and it is not necessary for him to pray in a mosque. He should find the direction of prayer (qibla) and pray towards it.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and his folk) said,

“The whole earth has been made a place of prayer for me. So whenever one of my followers finds himself in the time of prayer, let him pray, wherever he may be.”

Translated by Abdullah Alrajhy

Habib Umar bin Hafiz  is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Photo: Dmitry

Link to the original answer

شخص يعمل في النقل و بسبب الزحمة لا يصلي الصلاة الحاضرة, و لا يوجد مسجد قريب منه إذ يعيش في بلد غربية, فلذلك يقضي ما فاته أول ما يصل البيت فما رأيكم بذلك ؟

يجب عليك أن تذكر هذا الأخ بعظمة الصلاة وبعظم موقعها في دين الله وعند الله تبارك وتعالى وأنها عماد الدين وأن الله في كتابه هدد من يؤخر الصلاة عن وقتها في قوله ( فويلٌ للمصلين الذين هم عن صلاتهم ساهون ) فتستبعث من ضميره وباطنه تعظيم هذه الشعيرة والفريضة العظمى أعظم أركان الإسلام بعد الشهادتين وهي إقامة الصلاة، وتخبره أنه يجوز له وقت السفر أن يقدم العصر مع الظهر أو يؤخر الظهر مع العصر أو أن يقدم العشاء مع المغرب أو أن يؤخر المغرب مع العشاء.. أما ما عدا ذلك فلا يجوز له تقديم ولا تأخير، فعليه أن يصلي حيث كان ولا يشترط أن يوجد جامع بل مهما عرف جهة القبلة فليصل إليها، قال صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ( وجُعِلَتْ لي الأرض مسجداً فأيما رجل أدركته الصلاة من أمتي فليصل حيث كان)

Is It Sinful to Delay a Prayer to Its Later Time and Then Miss It Due to Unforseen Circumstances?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum.

Would I be sinful to miss the Dhuhr prayer due to unforseen circumstances after delaying it to its later time despite having the opportunity to pray it in its earleir time?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah,

The basis is that the obligatory (fard) prayer needs to be performed with all of its conditions and integrals.

However, in the unlikely event that you are driving and are unable to stop due to being stuck in slow moving traffic on a highway, for instance, the prayer would remain binding upon you. As such, you would pray with head movements in the direction of travel, if unable to face the qibla. Note that you should avoid major movements, contrary to those which would be deemed slight, such as checking your mirrors.

This is in the case of absolute necessity given that (1) there is nowhere reasonably possible to legally stop, and (2) it is due to an unforeseen circumstance. Not praying is not an option, nor is missing the prayer altogether, as is understood from the words of the jurists. Moreover, some contemporary scholars advise that prayers prayed whilst seated in a vehicle should be made up later.

If travelling, another option would have been to combine prayers, namely, by praying one prayer at the end of its time and the other at its start. Otherwise, you could have actually combined by following a position from another school, ensuring to fulfil all of its required conditions and integrals of both the purification and prayer.

In general, the proper thing to do is to always plan where and how you are going to pray, and then take all reasonable means to ensure that it happens. Then, if something occurs, a torrential downpour in muddy terrain, for example, you would respond in the aforementioned manner as this is what the Lawgiver expects from you. Allah Most High says, “Prayer is obligatory for the believers at prescribed times.” [4.103]

[Shurunbulali, Ghunyat Dhawi al-Ahkam; Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]

Please also see: Can a Hanafi Follow the Shafi’i Opinion on Joining Prayers When Traveling? and: Is My Prayer Valid if I Finish Praying Outside its Respective Prayer Time? and: When Can Someone Pray Sitting in a Car?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.


[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Can I Pray While Sitting and Nursing so as to Not Miss the Prayer Time?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Sometimes when I am nursing my daughter she nurses from before the start of prayer through to the passing of the prayer time. It is hard to unlatch her as she will cry inconsolably.

Can I pray while sitting and nursing so as not to miss the prayer time?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

The basis is that the prayer cannot be delayed passed its time except by way of a genuine excuse which has been affirmed and validated by the jurists (fuqaha). [Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq (2.85)]

Having said that, there are texts in the Hanafi School which would appear to permit the nursing woman to delay the prayer if her child would: (a) cry from hunger and (b) actually suffer real and serious harm from the delay. Harm would be that which is established through expert medical opinion, past relevant experience or clear signs, confirmed with living jurists (not just a local Imam or religious person) who attest to the soundness of the conclusions made. [Zahidi, Qunyat al-Munya (57), as quoted by Lacknawi in his Naf` al-Mufti wa al-Sa’il (181)]

As a matter of fact, Imam Lacknawi lists over ten cases in which the jurists have deemed delaying the prayer as valid, permissible and not sinful, but obviously with the proviso that it is done so soundly and with all of its requisite conditions. [Lacknawi, Naf` al-Mufti wa al-Sa’il (178-182)]

However, the reality is that the prayer need not take more than a few minutes at any given time, and in the vast majority of cases, the child is not going to suffer any medical harm if their feed is delayed for some moments, particularly if they have fed for an extended period of time already. As such, I’d advise striving to pray at the first of the time, asking Allah Most High for facilitation and ease, and then feed, remaining conscious of the prayer times (with alarms, if necessary), so that you can organise and feed around them. I’d also recommend seeking some medical assistance to ensure everything is going as it should.

Please also see: Can I Delay Prayers During Emergency Situations? and: Attending Juma, Praying and Fasting While Training to be a Firefighter

And Allah alone knows best.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

في البحر الرايق: وَيَجُوزُ تَأْخِيرُ الصَّلَاةِ عَنْ وَقْتِهَا لِعُذْرٍ كَمَا قَالَ الْوَلْوَالِجِيُّ فِي فَتَاوِيهِ الْقَابلَةِ إذَا اشْتَغَلْت بِالصَّلَاةِ تَخَافُ أَنْ يَمُوتَ الْوَلَدُ لَا بَأْسَ بِأَنْ تُؤَخِّرَ الصَّلَاةَ وَتُقْبِلَ عَلَى الْوَلَدِ لِأَنَّ تَأْخِيرَ الصَّلَاةِ عَنْ الْوَقْتِ يَجُوزُ بِعُذْرٍ ا هـ .
وفي نفع المفتي والسائل: فلو كانت امرأة اشتغلت بالصلاة يبكي ولدها بالجوع ويضرّ عليه ضررا غالبا وإن أرضعته يفوت الوقت جاز لها أن ترضعه وتؤخّر الصلاة … كذا في القنية ا هـ .
وفي القنية: لو اشتغلت بالصلاة يبكي ولدها وإن أرضعته يفوت الوقت ترضعه إذا خافت عليه ضررا غالبا ا هـ .

Delaying Isha Until Shortly Before Fajr

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Lately, Isha prayers have been starting really late, for example at 11 pm and Fajr is at around 4 am. As I go to school, I have to wake up at 6.30 am and this means I won’t get much sleep. I also have health problems when I don’t get enough sleep. I still want to pray Isha, but I have to go to sleep before the Adhan for Isha is given.

Now, my question is: Until when can I pray Isha? I heard Isha is still valid up until Fajr Namaz. It is makruh and disliked but the prayer is still valid (from what I’ve heard). This would mean that I could wake up (e.g. 30 or 40 minutes) before Fajr Namaz and pray Isha and then wait for the Fajr Adhan and go pray Fajr as well.

Is it okay for me to pray Isha that late and will my prayer still be valid if I do so? I follow the Hanafi Madhhab, and from what I know it is not allowed to combine prayers but is this what I just said combining prayers? I believe not, because every Salah is prayed in its given timing, right?




Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

It is somewhat disliked (makruh tanzihan) to delay isha past half the night, yet is still considered to be ‘on-time’ (ada’) as long as performed before the break of dawn (fajr). [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

It is best to pray isha before one sleeps, and in general disliked to sleep after maghrib prayers. Yet if there is undue hardship in this, one may perform isha any time in the night, as long as it is done before fajr. One should also be aware of the different ways of calculating fajr: the 18 degree method is the earlier one and closer in accuracy than the 15 degree.

As long as each prayer is performed in its respective time, then it is not considered ‘combining prayers’, which is not allowed in the Hanafi school (aside from two cases on hajj).

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

What Happens If the Current Prayer Time Exits While I Am Praying?


Can I Delay Prayers During Emergency Situations?

What Happens If the Current Prayer Time Exits While I Am Praying?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: If an obligatory prayer is considerably delayed to an extent that upon completing the prayer (or in the final rak’aa), the time for the next prayer arrives, is the former prayer accepted as being prayed on time? In other words, when one commences the delayed prayer, he is on time (i.e. with 3 or 4 minutes left before the next salah) but when the prayer is finished, the next salah time has already arrived (e.g. in the 4th rak’aa of Asr prayer, the time of maghrib has commenced), is his Asr prayer considered “on time”? or is it a “make up prayer”? I know praying on time is important, but what if a person experiences the above situation (like I did) for the 1st time in my life?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

It is obligatory to begin and end each obligatory prayer within its time. However, only Fajr is invalidated by the exiting of its time. Asr, Maghrib, and Isha prayers are  sinful to delay to their disliked time without genuine excuse.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that “Prayer at its time,” is the best of actions after belief (iman) itself, so one should take the means to perform it at the right time.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Related answers:

Riyad al-Salihin: On the Virtues of Prayer

Prayer: It is Disliked to pray the Sunna of Wudu & Other Non-Obligatory Prayers During These Times

Prayer: Cannot Pray the Sunna of Wudu During the Disliked Times

It is Disliked to Pray the Sunna of Wudu & Other Non-Obligatory Prayers During the Disliked

Greeting the Mosque During Disliked Times

Prayer at adhan time and leaving the masjid after the adhan

Prostration of Recitation During Disliked Prayer Times

Make ups in disliked times

Can I Delay Prayers During Emergency Situations?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible for one to become a fireman or a paramedic? I would like to pursue one of these careers but what concerns me is not being able to pray on-time due to emergency situations. Is there a ruling that deals with this?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

These are very noble professions, as one is assisting people in distress.

Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him)  said, “A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He should not wrong him nor let them down. Allah will take care of the needs of anyone who takes care of the needs of his brother. On the Day of Rising Allah will dispel the anxiety of anyone who dispels the anxiety of another Muslim. On the Day of Rising Allah will veil anyone who veils another Muslim.” [Agreed upon] In such hadiths, “Muslim” is used incidentally–the scholars mention that they apply to assisting both Muslims and non-Muslims.

As for praying on time, in genuine emergencies–such as when one is saving another’s life or limb–one could delay the prayer, though one should take reasonable means to strive to pray on time.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani