His job on an oil rig conflicts with his religious duties
Fatwa No: 90242

  • Fatwa Date:28-6-2005 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 22, 1426
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Question

I work in the oil field industry and can't perform the Jum'ah' prayer due to lack of number of Muslims on the rig. I also stay there sometimes for more than 1 month and therefore missing more than 3 Jum'ah prayers. Please advice me of what I should do in terms of the Shariah?

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

Muslims being few in number doesn't justify abandoning the Friday prayer, because the most predominant opinion of the Muslim scholars is that the least number of people who are considered as a congregation, and thus can perform the Friday prayer, is two people or more.

The Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said addressing two men, “If it is time for the prayer, one of you should call the Athaan and the oldest of you should lead the prayer.” This Hadeeth was reported by Al-Bukhari who put it under the heading “Two people and more are a congregation.

Besides, the Friday prayer is just like any other prayer. The Hanafi school views that the Friday prayer can be held in the presence of only one person in addition to the Imaam. This view is the adopted view in the Fiqh encyclopaedia.

So, if your place of work is set up in a suitable manner for workers to live there for the duration of their stay, and one or more Muslims were with you in this place, then it is obligatory on you to perform the Friday prayer even if you are few in number because you are considered to be a congregation.

Therefore, the one who abandons the Friday prayer intentionally, though he knows that it is required, is committing a grave major sin that requires repentance.

Hence, we advise you, dear brother, to urge your Muslim brethren who live with you in the place of work to establish the Friday prayer and you will be rewarded, Allaah willing, and you should not worry about your small number.

Allaah Knows best.

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