In Islam a Muslim has the obligation to pray five times a day. The timing for these prayers to be performed are the first one in the day is to be between dawn and sunrise, the second midday to late afternoon, the third late afternoon to before sunset, the fourth sunset to dusk and the fifth after dusk. Muslims need to wash their hands, mouth, nose, face, arms and feet before prayer. When Muslims pray they stand, bow and prostrate themselves as they recite from the Quran or pray other prayers. Prayer should be performed in a dry clean private place. While praying one will not respond to anyone. Generally the time needed for prayer is about 20 minutes which will include the wash up.
Practice In Malaysian Workplace
The official religion in Malaysia is Islam. Freedom of religion is stipulated in the Malaysian constitution and one is free to practice one’s beliefs in peace and harmony. The Human Resources Ministry (JTKSM) together with Islamic Religious Authority of Malaysia (JAKIM) has drawn up some guidelines on the performance of prayer by Muslims in the workplace. The guideline can be downloaded from the ministry’s website www.mohr.gov.my. The document is entitled GPSolat.pdf
Performance of Solat during Working Hours
Solat is the performance of prayers (5 times a day) by Muslims. The guideline advises the employer to allow Muslim staff to perform the solat for 20 minutes for each solat time and 1.5 hours for Friday solat. On Fridays, it is mandatory for Muslim males to attend a nearby mosque to worship and listen to a sermon. A prayer time range is included in the guideline to help employers plan towards releasing the staff for the solat prayers. Employers can adjust the employees break time so that they could perform the solat during the break time.
Guideline On Amenities for Solat in Malaysia
The guideline also advises the employer to provide a clean, covered space close or within the office premises for the performance of solat. It would be ideal if separate spaces are provided for male and female employees. A facility nearby to wash up would be helpful. Employers will also need to place a qilba direction or the direction towards Mecca as certified by the local mufti.
Can solat prayer be missed or performed later in extenuating circumstances?
Some Islamic scholars have commented that there could be extenuating circumstances where the solat prayer could be missed or performed later. They point to a hadith or a story where Prophet Muhammad prayered the midday and afternoon prayer together. This was nicely addressed in an article titled “Work-time prayer a struggle for US Muslims?” in Religious News Service.
Work is Worship
“In Islam, work is worship.
So, you should do nothing in your work, which you will not do in your worship.
For, the same God is watching you in both places: your place of worship as well as your place of work.”
– Dr. Pasha on Islam, Muslims and the World http://www.islamicsolutions.com/work-and-worship-in-islam/
In Islam work is given special importance to the extent that it is considered as an act of worship in itself. Therefore, Islam is a religion of worshiping the Creator, with an essential part of that worship being working for survival. God tells us in the Qur’an to traverse the universe and make use of all the abundant resources that have been created for us. Islam is a religion that orders its followers to be part and parcel of a working and productive society. The Prophet Muhammad himself, who is considered a paragon of virtues in Islam, used to pray seeking God’s refuge from laziness or idleness. Even before he was chosen as a messenger of God, he was a hardworking person. This earned him the respect of his employer, Khadijah, who later proposed marriage to him because of all the merits and virtues she saw in him. Also, in exhorting Muslims on the importance of work, the Prophet Muhammad made it clear that getting one’s sustenance from one’s work is one of the praiseworthy acts of worship. It is recorded in his traditions how he turned a man who came to him begging into a productive member of the society by teaching him how to work and provide for himself.https://archive.islamonline.net/?p=17625
Work as opposed to just praying
An extremely anxious and perplexed man visited Hazrat Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (‘a), and begged him to pray that Allah would increase his sustenance and relieve him of all financial stress.
The Imam (‘a) answered, ‘I shall certainly not pray for you.’
The poor man sighed and asked, ‘But why not? What have I done?’
The Imam (‘a) replied, ‘You know perfectly well that Allah has devised means and ways of attaining prosperity. He has ordered you to leave your house and earn a living through hard work. You refuse to obey the law and foolishly hope praying for you will bring you prosperity.’
You work while I pray
A number of pilgrims were narrating their experiences of Hajj to Imam Jafar al- Sadiq (‘a), and recounting their views about their fellow pilgrims. One person was immensely impressed by a fellow pilgrim and said, ‘He was truly pious and an indefatigable worshipper of Allah. Whenever we broke journey to rest for the night, he retired to a secluded place, spread out his prayer mat and got engrossed in the worship of Allah.’
The Imam (‘a) enquired, ‘Who looked after the rest of his affairs? Who tended his camel?’
He replied, ‘Obviously, we performed all those duties for Allah’s pleasure. He remained absorbed in the holy acts, and had no time for such menial chores.’
The Imam (‘a) replied, ‘No wonder you achieved more than he did with all his piety and worship.