Missing the Friday prayer due to office hours
I am a Muslim student living in Germany. I have to work to be able to pay my tuition fees. However, I regularly miss the Friday prayer due to office hours and the unavailability of nearby mosques. What should I do? Is it permissible to pray the four cycles of noon prayer at my workplace instead?
It is established in the Quran and Sunnah that the Friday prayer is obligatory upon every adult sane Muslim. God Almighty says, “O you who have believed, when the call to prayer is made for Jumu'ah [Friday prayer], then proceed to the remembrance of God and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew” (Quran 62: 9).
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) cautioned against neglecting the Friday prayer (without a valid excuse) stating that God Almighty will seal the heart of whoever neglects to observe the Friday prayer three times in a row. This demonstrates the obligatory nature of the Friday prayer.
However, considering the case in question, the inquirer is unable to observe the Friday prayer due to office hours. Since work is necessary for earning his living in this non-Muslim country, it is likely that he is excused for missing it. Moreover, having no mosques around makes it more difficult for him to attend the Friday prayer.
Jurists have allowed leaving the Friday prayer if there is a valid excuse. In his Mukhtasar, Imam Khalil al-Maliki explained, “Excuses for missing it [the Friday prayer] include: extreme mud, rain, leprosy, the sick and the one engaged in caring for the weak/ill, or the one confined in a place for whatsoever reasons etc.” This issue in question falls under these categories.
Based on the above, you are excused for missing the Friday prayer due to your office hours. You are therefore obliged to perform the four cycles of noon prayer at your workplace. God never burdens a soul beyond its capacity. God Almighty says, “He (God) has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in the religion.”
And God Almighty knows best