For a professional Muslim, this can be a problem. How do you plan your day around Salah when your job won’t wait around for you?
It’s easier said than done right? Wrong. It’s actually easier done than said!
Think about it. We fret so much over how to incorporate Salah into our daily work schedule, and the implications this will have on (1) our work, and (2) our ability to create the perfect balance between Deen and Dunya.
We try so hard to convince ourselves that “Oh, work is important… it’s my daily bread. I’ll pray whenever I can. Allah SWT is Forgiving, He will understand”.
When the reality is if we were to make Salah our top-priority over work and just START praying, Allah SWT will take care of all our matters for us. Rizq (sustenance) is from Allah, and your job is just a means through which Allah provides you with that rizq.
“And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.”
Now I know what you might be thinking, “Farhan, it’s probably easier for you to plan your day around salah, you might be living in an Islamic country or working from home.” Not at all! I live in a very western country. As of 2018, the total Muslim population in New Zealand was only 1.2%. New Zealand is faaaaaaar from being an Islamic state. On top of that, most of the population here actually work from an office where a dedicated Islamic prayer room is hardly offered. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way! 🙂
Jabir reported: The Prophet SAW said, “Verily, between a man and idolatry and unbelief is abandoning the prayer.” [Sahih Muslim]
Undoubtedly, Salah HAS to be an integral part of every Muslim’s life. So then why is it the last thing on our mind?
Sadly because most of us UNDERESTIMATE the importance of the 5 prayers.
The five daily prayers act as a beautiful framework for us to plan our entire day. We know with certainty that Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha need to be prayed at their specific times. So the way to go about this is by allotting the time in between these prayers to our daily tasks. It’s really that simple.
Btw, there’s a brand new FREE Live Masterclass on “How to Create a Dream Balance between All Your Roles, Responsibilities, and Goals as a Working Muslim Professional.” Click on the image below to sign up and save your spot in the masterclass!
Praying at Work
How to plan your day around the five prayers
I’ll use my average day as an example of how I plan my day around Salah.
I wake up for Fajr, complete my Ibadah, and then prepare for work (e.g., have breakfast, make my bed, get ready, etc.). I have a job that operates around normal business hours (the usual 9-5 kinda thing) so I’m always able to pray Fajr outside of work.
I usually like to get most of my heavy/intense tasks done during the morning. The last thing you want to do is leave all of your important tasks for the end of the day when you will most likely end up (a) rushing and delivering incomplete results, or (2) working overtime which could potentially lead to you working through the Asr Salah, and maybe even Maghrib. And that’s something we want to AVOID at all costs.
I usually pray my Dhuhr Salah during my lunch break as it gives me the perfect opportunity to pause, relax, and reflect on what I’ve done so far as well as prepare for what I’ve got planned ahead.
Asr (in winter) is usually during my work-hours – so I use my Salah to take an afternoon break and connect with Allah SWT. This way I can once again boost my productivity and accomplish much more in the final hour(s) at work.
In most cases, depending on where you live, Maghreb may fall outside of your work-hours which is why you can pray Maghreb in the comfort of your home or better yet- in the Masjid. But there might be a problem… the commute back home.
For example, you might finish work at 5 pm and your commute back home takes 30 mins. But Maghreb is at 5:14 pm. So what do you do? In this situation, you can do two things:
- Stay at work for a few more minutes until it’s time for Maghreb. Then you can pray your Maghreb Salah on time.
- An alternative would be to look for an Islamic centre or Masjid on your way home where you can perform your salah.
Point is- do whatever works best for you and your situation, but don’t compromise with your salah.
Planning your day around Salah also involves planning for salah. There are plenty of things you can do to make sure you’re ready for prayer and are fully equipped with whatever is necessary.
Planning for Salah beforehand so you don’t miss any prayer at work
1) Ask your workplace about the prayer area and a place for wudhu
Salah is YOUR priority, but it might not be on their ‘top-priority list’. So you might have to make the effort to educate them about Salah, why it’s important to you, and that you can’t compromise praying your Salah on time.
Most workplaces will be very understanding of your situation and some may even go out of their way to ensure that you’ve been completely accommodated for.
If they are not accommodating, be firm in your standing and confident. Remember- you have Allah SWT as your support system, helping you in this. No boss stands a chance against Allah SWT. Period.
When it comes to performing wudhu, if your workplace has a shower or a disabled toilet which includes a hand basin – perfect! If not, speak to your workplace to discuss options.
2) Use your lunch break as efficiently as possible
Try and use your break in a way which accommodates your Salah. For example, if you’ve got a 30 min break, spend 20 mins for Dhuhr and lunch, and then spend the remainder of your break to pray when the time for Asr comes.
If you’ve got a 1 hour break, then you can easily spend 15 mins on Dhuhr, 20-30 mins having your lunch, and save the remainder of your break for when it’s time for Asr.
3) Note the Masjids/ Islamic CentERs close to your work
In the event you can’t pray at work because it’s super noisy, or all of the rooms are occupied, your closest center will be the next best place for you.
Also, for all of my brothers, if there’s a Masjid really close by you can try to pray all the prayers that come during the work-hours in the Masjid, especially Jummah.
Identifying which mosque is closest to your work is easy. Simply google, “Mosques near me” and boom- an entire list with options will pop up (I hope, In Shaa Allah). If you have no luck, look for other Muslims from within your workplace or close to your workplace and they’ll definitely be able to help you out.
4) Carry a prayer Mat and a Qibla Compass with you
If you are praying at work, you never know the state of the carpet you’re praying on. Normally, you don’t take your shoes off at work so it’s safe to say that the carpets are probably filthy. But if you’ve got your prayer mat with you, problem solved!
Also, there are many mobile apps available for free that can help you identify which way to face during Salah. Another problem solved!
Finally, prepare for all kinds of odd situations such as having a busy day at work, or being out of the office on a site visit. In any case, if you follow the above tips, you’ll be well-prepared to pray Salah no matter what the circumstance is!
And let’s wrap it up with that!
So that wasn’t too difficult was it? 🙂 Planning your day around Salah is not as difficult as we think it is (yes, even for working Muslims living in a western country). If you make sure you keep Salah number 1 on your list and always stay prepared for all kinds of situations, Allah SWT makes a way out for you every time!
And if you are hesitant about praying at work because you’re not sure about the environment, don’t forget that this entire world was created by Allah, so it doesn’t matter where we worship Him as long as we do worship Him.
Abu Saeed Al-Khudri, RA, narrates, that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, SAW, said:
“The entire earth has been made a masjid, except for the graveyard and the washroom” (Jami’ al-Tirmidhi)
And if you’re worried about people at your workplace talking about you and judging you – LET THEM. The opinion of non-practicing Muslims/ non-Muslims is not heavier than the opinion of Allah SWT. So it’s definitely not worth it to miss your prayers because of what other people will think of you.
Salah is the first thing we’ll be questioned about on the day of judgement, so don’t make it the last thing on your list of things to do.
“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [Hasan]
I pray Allah SWT helps all of us become steadfast in Salah, Ameen.
Remember to register for the new FREE Live Masterclass especially created for the Working Muslim Professionals.
In the masterclass you’ll learn:
- How to get BIG things done even if you are a procrastinator.
- The 3-part framework of consistency that’ll help you stay consistent in new habits and routines as well as find Istiqamah in Ibadah.
- How simple and easy it is to create a healthy balance between your responsibilities, Deen and career with a few real-life examples from other Muslim professionals
- And much more!
Click on the image below to sign up and save your spot in the masterclass >>
Salaam, I’m Farhan 🙂 I dedicate a portion of my time to the MYP along with my full-time job not only to create a stronger foundation for the perfect balance between Deen and Dunya, but also to achieve my Deen-related goals. Together with Aimen and the amazing MYP team, I’m here to help you incorporate Islam into your daily life while maintaining a healthy balance with the dunya. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.