Q&A: Zuhr Salah & Business


Saturday, 10 November 2007 11:12

My business is within walking-distance from the Musjid. Among the staff there are several Muslims as well. While staff are given off for lunch in shifts, the business operates continuously for the entire day. It often happens that some Muslim staff cannot make it to the Musjid for Zuhr. Almost daily some management staff have to perform their Zuhr alone after the Jamaat Salaah is over in the Musjid. Is this procedure acceptable?
In order to understand the answer to this question in its proper perspective, there are several aspects to bear in mind. These aspects are first listed as questions hereunder, to provide some food for thought:
1. Who created you?
2. Who provides rizq (sustenance) for you?
3. Who made the business an apparent means for your sustenance? Does He also have the power to take it away?
4. How important is it to perform Salaah in the Musjid?

           The answers to these questions are well known by every true Mu’min (Believer). Allah Ta’ala has created us and He alone grants us rizq. Allah Ta’ala has out of His sheer grace and bounty granted whatever apparent means of livelihood we may have. Indeed, He has complete power to take it away whenever He wishes to do so. May Allah Ta’ala save us from trials and tribulations and grant us safety from all calamities and hardships. Aameen.        

Nevertheless, while Allah Ta’ala has showered His countless blessings upon us, He has created us for a purpose — to recognise and worship Him. Among the most important acts of worship is Salaah. It is also waajib for males to perform their fardh Salaah with Jama’ah. If the Musjid is not far away, it is necessary to perform the Fardh Salaah with Jama’ah in the Musjid. Consider the following Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam):  “There is no Salaah for the neighbour of the Musjid except in the Musjid” (Mishkaat). “Neighbour” here means one who lives in the neighbourhood of the Musjid. While the Fuqahaa (jurists) have declared that such a person who performed his Salaah without the Jama’ah of the Musjid is absolved of the obligation, however, in the light of the above Hadith he will receive a very diminished reward. In another Hadith Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have expressed his desire to burn down the homes of those who refrain from coming to perform Salaah in the Musjid without any valid reason.

           Hazrath Abdullah bin Masood (R.A.) once declared that among the acts of guidance taught by Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is to perform the Salaah in the Musjid. He then declared: “If you leave the way of your Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), you will go astray.”

        Thus it is clear that to perform Salaah with Jama’ah in the Musjid for those who are not very far away is extremely important. Thus all necessary arrangements must be made so that you and your Muslim staff can all perform Salaah with Jama’ah in the Musjid.

         Making the necessary arrangements may entail making some sacrifices. However, these sacrifices do not go in vain. Allah Ta’ala is most appreciative of the sacrifices that are made to establish His command. As a result of these sacrifices Allah Ta’ala protects one from losses through theft, pilferage, damages, etc. Even if comparatively less is earned, there will be greater barakah in it. If one has to close the business for a while so that Salaah could be performed with Jama’ah in the Musjid, Allah Ta’ala will grant barakah in one’s time due to which one will complete more work in less time. The customers that are decreed to buy from your store can never go anywhere else.

      The bottom line is that one resorts to business as a means of acquiring sustenance. Allah Ta’ala has promised sustenance upon the establishing of Salaah i.e. performing it regularly, on time, with Jama’ah (for males) and observing all the Sunnats and etiquettes. If the business becomes an obstacle to establishing Salaah, it is in reality becoming an obstacle to gain rizq from Allah Ta’ala. Thus one’s earnings are devoid of any barakah and rather than bringing happiness and enjoyment, it becomes a means of torment and grief.