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Can I Pray in Public With a Man Who Is Not Related to Me?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: As a woman, is it permissible to pray with a non-mahram man when it is just the two of us and we are in a public area (not secluded) but relatively empty?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The basis is that such a prayer would be valid and permitted in light of it being in a public place provided the interaction between the two individuals is appropriate and adheres to Islamic norms of gender interaction. [Ibn Abidin, Hashiya (1:381)]

With this said, it may still be best to avoid this unless there are other factors involved, such as concern for safety in public when praying alone or the like.

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Photo: Heather Anne Campbell

Can a Woman Pray in a Sitting Position When in Public?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum.

Sometimes me and my wife have to pray in a public place. Can she sit and pray to avoid to bend over in front of people?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

No, being shy or embarrassed is not a sufficient excuse to miss an obligatory action of the prayer. In general, we strive to take the means to be able to fulfil our duties soundly, and in a way which indicates our religious concern.

As such, suggest that she keeps a longer item of clothing with her when out and about such that her body is more concealed during the prayer. To facilitate this further, you could stand behind her so that others cannot see her movements from behind.

With that, try to plan your day so that you can pray somewhere without such concerns, and ask Allah Most High for facilitation. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Watch out for Allah, and He will watch out for you.” [Tirmidhi]

And Allah alone knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani