Falling asleep before a prayer's time and therefore missing it
Fatwa No: 63842

Question

I am a young man who works as a nurse. On Thursdays my work starts at 8:00 PM and lasts until 10:00 AM. Afterwards, I go to sleep and miss the Jumu‘ah (Friday) prayer which is at 12:50 PM. Taking into consideration that all my efforts to wake up were in vain, am I excused by the Sharee'ah for not attending it?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

You are permitted to sleep before the advent of the Jumu‘ah prayer's time since you are not required to perform it at that moment. In Al-Ashbah wan-Natha‘ir, As-Suyooti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"If one wants to sleep before the advent of a prayer's time, but he suspects that he will not wake up, except after the expiry of its time; he is allowed to do so, as performing the prayer is not obligatory at this moment. This is supported by an incident where a woman complained to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that her husband did not pray Fajr (dawn) except after sunrise. Her husband then argued: "This is known of our family (we sleep from night until after the sun has risen)." "Pray when you wake up," responded the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam." [Abu Daawood and Ibn Hibban; Al-Albani: authentic]

The Maaliki scholar Ad-Dardeer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "One is blameless for sleeping before the advent of a prayer's time even if he realizes that he will not wake up before the expiry of its time. When the time advents, however, it is impermissible for him to sleep without praying if he thinks that he will not wake up before the end of its time."

Consequently, you are guiltless for sleeping before the advent of the Jumu‘ah prayer, even if this causes you to miss the prayer. However, you should utilize the available means to wake up, such as asking someone to wake you up, using an alarm clock, etc.   

Allaah Knows best.

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