Misses Friday Prayers because the Mosque is Very Far from Him
Fatwa No: 83356

Question

I live alone with no Muslims working with me or nearby. I work in a place with no mosques around me. The nearest mosque is at least half an hour away from work (so 30 minutes to go and 30 minutes to return 1 hour). I only have 1 hour for lunch. How do I pray the Jumaah on Friday? I read a Hadith saying that if you miss 3 you aren't a Muslim any more. Now I was forced to miss more than 3 till now. What do I do? Am I still a Muslim I still say "La ilaaha illa Allah" and I try my best to be as good as I can.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The distance that makes Friday prayer obligatory on the person is three miles. So if the person is within three miles of the mosque where the Friday prayer is performed, he must pray there. This is the preponderant opinion of the Muslim scholars. The evidence for this is the Hadeeth of the blind man who came to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) asking him permission to give up praying in the mosque. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said to him: “Do you hear the Athaan (call to prayer)?” When the man replied positively, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) told him to answer the call (i.e. to come to the mosque). Generally, the call with a normal voice –without loudspeakers –is heard for about three miles. As a result, anybody who lives in a place where there is no mosque in which Friday prayer is performed and the closest mosque to him is more than half an hour by car is not obliged to pray Friday prayer, especially if going to it could cause him some harm.

But if there is no harm in going to the mosque, no matter how far it is –then attending the Friday prayer with the Muslims brings many benefits to the person and has a great reward.

The Hadeeth you referred to is a sound Hadeeth. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Those who are not attending the Friday prayer should change their ways; otherwise, Allah, the Exalted, will seal their hearts and they will be reckoned the heedless.” [Muslim]

We think that this Hadeeth does not refer to your case. We believe, however, that you should look for an Islamic environment where you can perform your Islamic duties in the best way, and the land of the non-Muslim is definitely not that environment.

Allah knows best.

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