I Keep Missing Dhuhr Because of School...?

>> Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I've read all your posts on salah, but my problem doesn't seem to be there. By the time my school day ends, it's time for the asr prayer. That means, I miss dhuhr every school day. I pray it right when I get home, but I was recently told that we can't make up missed prayers. Is that right? and if so, what am I supposed to do? 

AsSalaamuAlaikum sister

What a brilliant question! I’m sure all of us at one time or another have asked ourselves this. We’re at school or work or outside with no suitable place to pray and we think “Hmm, what do I do? ... I’ll pray when I get home.” But, by the time you get home it’s time for the next prayer! Is it worth praying the one you had missed or should you just pray the next one that has now arrived?

We should always strive to pray on time and if you think about it, the timings of each prayer are very generous in comparison to the time needed to actually perform it. Prayer is such an important and fundamental part of our deen – it’s spiritually uplifting and teaches us to remember and be thankful of His blessings and helps us improve and strengthen our relationship with Allah (SWT). It’s also the most regularly performed obligation.
Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I asked the Messenger of Allah (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam): "Which act is the best?'' He (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) said, "As-Salat at their fixed times.'' I asked, "What next?'' He (PBUH) said, "Being dutiful to parents.'' I asked, "What next?'' He (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) said, "Striving (Jihad) in the way of Allah.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
On the authority of Hadrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) said: The first of his actions for which a servant of Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted) will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayers. If they are in order, then he will have prospered and succeeded; and if they are wanting, then he will have failed and lost. If there is something defective in his obligatory prayers, the Lord (The Glorified and the Exalted) will say: See if My servant has any optional prayers with which may be completed that which was defective in his obligatory prayers. Then the rest of his actions will be judged in like fashion. (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, an-Nasai, Ibn Majah and Ahmad). (Hadith Qudsi)

Your problem is that you’re at school during dhuhr prayer and by the time you get home it’s time for asr...

Have you ever considered praying at school? The great thing about dhuhr is that it usually falls during times when you’ll be on a lunch break! I’m not saying you should skip lunch to pray (girls got to eat, right?) but if you organise your time effectively you’ll find there’s time to do both. 

Of course there’s then the issue of where to pray. Some schools have prayer and wash facilities specifically catered for such acts. I went to a very multiculturally diverse school packed full of kids from all different religions and our school worked hard to meet all our needs. We had rooms assigned to pray, a stack of prayer mats and the bathroom had been re-modelled with sinks that were practical for making wudu. 

We were very blessed because I know a looooot of people who don’t have such facilities at their own schools and if you’re one of those people then try talking to your school to see whether these can be made available. If not, don’t worry, I have a few suggestions!

Did you know Muslims can pray anywhere? As long as there’s clean water, or failing that, clean dirt, to make wudu then the prayer can be performed wherever you are – in the office, in a classroom, outside in the park. Check out this previous post for pictures of examples of people praying on the streets, by trains and even under-water! http://dearlittleauntie.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/heya-ala-as-salahcome-to-prayer.html

I understand some people can feel a little weird/uncomfortable praying somewhere that isn’t home or a mosque. Not everyone has the confidence to pray outside in full view of passer-bys and I’m sure you would probably prefer not to attract the attention of your fellow classmates... Try to find somewhere quite and empty where you can concentrate and not feel worried or rushed. Ask your teachers whether they would mind if you prayed in their empty classroom – it can be a daunting task at first but you might surprise yourself when you find just how many wouldn’t mind! (Of course, this would be even better if you're also a really good student. Hint, hint ;)). You can make it easier, too, by having another Muslim friend/colleague come and ask with you :) Failing that, every school has a quiet, secluded corner that’s rarely visited by others – at my school it was the entrance by the unfinished school gym – find yours and determine whether it would be an ok place to pray. 

And if you can, enlist the help of a friend to keep watch while you pray in that quiet area :) 

Ok. We’ve found a location!! Now, before you can pray you have to perform wudu. Unfortunately the facilities for this are limited and really there’s only one place – yep, the girls’ bathroom. I’ll be honest, you might get a few weird looks with this one, especially when you roll up your sleeves and stick your foot in the sink. But, remember why you’re doing this. Nothing and no one else comes before Allah (Subhanoo wa' Tala) and sure people might find it a bit weird and you’ll cause a few eyebrows to be raised but that’s nothing compared to what Allah (SWT) thinks of you. What’s more important? Never be embarrassed about doing something for Allah (SWT), hold your head up high and if anyone asks any questions, then great! Explain to them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. An opportunity for dawah – kill two birds with one stone ;)

There's also the possibility of wiping on your socks instead of sticking your feet in the sink. (The way to do this little trick is to make sure you do wudu early in the morning, before you leave school. Once you do your wudu, put your socks on. This now gives you the right to wipe over your socks for your next wudu :D You can read the link for more info.)

Alternatively, you could always perform wudu at home before you leave for school :)

Wudu – check. 

Location – check.

What’s next? Now, while we can pray anywhere, there’s only ONE direction that we can pray in. Yes, towards the Kaba! Make note of which direction you have to face in and position yourself accordingly. It’s easy to determine this when you’re at home or in the mosque but not so easy when you’re praying somewhere you’re not used to. Carry a ‘Qibla compass’ with you if you can so you don’t have to play a guessing game. 

[2:150] And from wherever you go out [for prayer], turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] may be, turn your faces toward it in order that the people will not have any argument against you, except for those of them who commit wrong; so fear them not but fear Me. And [it is] so I may complete My favor upon you and that you may be guided.

Another useful thing to carry with you would be a prayer mat. There are some made specifically for travel if you can’t fit a normal sized one into your bag along with your school books.

So, you’ve performed wudu, found a quiet place, located the right direction and rolled out your prayer mat. Now, all that’s left to do is pray! :)

You see, the important thing is to exhaust every possible solution to pray :) IF your teachers arn't willing to let you pray, you can get your parents to talk to the administration and explain that it is a religious duty for you to pray. You can take it up with the big people. Talk to the administration/principal about being allowed to pray in a secluded are. Write up a proposal for your school and have ALL the Muslims in it sign it...with their parents. I'm 99% sure that would work with any school :)

Remember, when you're at school, you're studying to pass the dunya tests....but you don't want to do it at the expense of the aakhira test =D


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