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Prayers in unusual circumstances

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Burhan,

Please hilighten us on the subject of "Namaz & Islam" in circumstances out of understanding?. Suppose a Doctor has to operate on a patient at such a time that is prayer time of "Magrib" the operation cannot wait or the patient will die, operation goes till long hours, long until morning when it is "Fagr" prayers time and the patient comes back to senses after 3 days.

Q1.What should the Doctor do to make up for the lost prayers?

Q2. And what should the patient do for his lost prayers of 3 days?.

Q3. And what Islam says about those people who do not pray regularly but

are better in everyway then many who pray five times a day?

Q4.And what Islam says about those people who are not muslims but are better in everyway then many muslims?

Best Regards


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Prayers in unusual circumstances

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Your comment: What should the Doctor do to make up for the lost prayers?

If the doctor can spare a couple of minutes from the operation, then he must pray at the appointed times; even if he prays while standing, sitting, or moving around. But in case of an absolute emergency, where he cannot even spare a couple of minutes, and the matter is concerning life and death; then he must pray the obligatory prayers as soon as he gets free from the operation at hand. Allah knows absolutely everything, including our inner most-secrets and the intentions of our hearts. And if the doctor could indeed not even spare a couple of minutes to perform his prayers on time, and prays the salaat later, he will Insha Allah find Allah Forgiving and Merciful.


Your comment:And what should the patient do for his lost prayers of 3 days?.

The prayers are obligatory on a person, only if he is conscious. Thus if the person is conscious and awake, then he must pray at the appointed times. If the patient has been put on anesthesia and loses consciousness for a couple of prayers, then he must repeat the missed prayers when he regains consciousness. If he is immobile, then he can pray lying down with the actions of his eyes!

But lets say that the patient goes into a coma and only regains consciousness after one, three or more days. Most of the scholars in Islam are of the opinion, that in these sort of cases, where a person is anxiousness for a period of five consecutive prayers or more, then it would not be obligatory for the person to repeat the missed prayers as qada prayers. Allah will Insha Allah not hold him accountable for these prayers. But if the person does pray the missed prayers as qada after he regains consciousness, there is no harm; and it will be a source and means for earning extra reward from Allah Subhanah.


Your comment:And what Islam says about those people who do not pray regularly but are better in everyway then many who pray five times a day?

Allah and His Messenger (saws) have made the five fard salaats obligatory on every believer. Unless a person is faced with an absolute emergency (like the one quoted above), he/she must strive to pray the salaats on their appointed times.


The Messenger of Allah (saws) said in an authentic narration that amongst the first things to be questioned on the Day of Judgment, will be the prayers. And whoever does not pass this test, will fail and deserve Allah Anger and Wrath.


The Messenger of Allah (saws) said in an authentic narration that the difference between Islam and Kufr is prayers. Thus whoever intentionally does not offer his prayers, will leave the fold of Islam in the sight of Allah.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 74 Surah Muddaththir verses 40-43:They (the people) will ask the culprits, What has brought you into Hell?. They (the culprits) will reply, We were not of those who offered the Salaat.

Allah has prescribed the obligatory prayers for every believer, to help and enable him to remember Allah and fulfill the other duties and responsibilities as a muslim.


Allow me to relate a couple of examples to see how important are the prayers in Islam.

Example 1: The objective of the army is to defend the country, and whoever joins the army must obey the orders, and if one of the conditions is that he must report to training everyday, then the soldier must report to training. But if one soldier says that he does not require the training and will turn up in the army to defend his country, it will not be accepted; and the chances are that he will be removed from the army. Similarly, if one does not pray, in light of the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (saws), the person would leave the fold of Islam.


Example 2: In any curriculum, there are some obligatory subjects, and some voluntary subjects. Lets say in one school English Language and Maths are the declared obligatory subjects, and the other subjects like arts, sports, typing, photography, etc. are voluntary subjects. If a student fails in one of the obligatory subjects, it does not matter if he has taken full marks in all the voluntary subjects; he will fail the course.


It cannot be expected from the one who does not obey this crucial command of prayers from his Lord and Creator, that he/she will do the other good deeds according to the guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws). He might do the other good deeds for a number of reasons, like making a name for himself or earning the respect and gratitude of the community; and Allah might reward him likewise in this worldly life, but in the life Hereafter, he will be amongst the losers.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verse 18:Whoever desires the immediate gains (of this worldly life), We give him here whatever We will. Then We will condemn such a one to Hell wherein he will burn; accursed and deprived of mercy.


Your comment: And what Islam says about those people who are not muslims but are better in everyway then many muslims?

In light of the guidance of the Holy Quran, it is evident that only those who followed and implemented the syllabus and guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws) in their lives, will be successful.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Al Maidah verse 3:Today I (Allah) have perfected your religion for you and completed My blessing on you, and have approved Islam as the way of life for you.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imran verse 85:And whoever adopts any deen other than Islam, that way shall not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he shall be among the losers!

Thus only those who believe and worship Allah alone, associating no partners with Him, follow His Last Messenger, Mohamed (saws), follow the teachings of His Last Book, Al Quran, does righteous deeds, and is God Fearing, Allah has promised him His Mercy and Paradise.


Allah says in Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imran verse 131-137:And guard yourselves against that Fire which has been prepared for the disbeliveers, and obey Allah and His Messenger: it is expected that you will be shown mercy. Hasten to follow the path that leads to forgiveness from your Lord, and to the Garden, which is as vast as the heavens and the earth, and has been prepared for the God-Fearing people. They are those who spend their wealth freely in the way of Allah, alike in prosperity and in adversity; who control their rage and forgive other people. Allah likes such good people very much, who, if ever they commit a base deed, or wrong their own souls by the commission of a sin, remember Allah instantly and ask for forgiveness from Him for their shortcomings, for who, but Allah, can forgive sins? (The God Fearing people are) those, who do not knowingly persist in the wrongs they did. These will be rewarded with forgiveness from Allah and with Gardens in Paradise beneath which canals flow, and they will reside therein for ever: and how excellent is the reward of those who do good deeds!


As muslims, we must always remember that Allah is the All-Just. If someone is a disbeliever in Allah and the Last Day, it cannot be expected that he does good deeds for the Pleasure of Allah. He might be doing good deeds to make a name for himself, or earn respect and gratitude from the community, or for any other worldly reason. Whatever his reasons and intentions are, Allah might reward him for his intentions and his deeds in this world; but in light of the Holy Quran, Allah will not assign their deeds any weight in the hereafter and they will be amongst the losers.


For the ones who completely disbelieve in their Creator (Kufr), and the ones who associate other gods with Allah (Shirk); no matter what deeds they do, they will be condemned to the everlasting punishment of Hell. For the ones who do not practice Kufr and Shirk, their case is with Allah; and Allah will not wrong anyone on the Day of Judgement!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 72:Whoever commits shirk (invoking anything with Allah), Allah shall forbid for him Paradise, and Hell shall be his abode. And for such wrong doers there will be no one to help.


Allah says in the Quran: Chapter 4 Surah An-Nisa Verse 48:Shirk (associating other deities with Allah) is the only sin that Allah does not forgive, and He forgives, whomsoever He pleases, sins other than this, for whosoever associates any other partner with Allah, does indeed forge a big lie and commits the most heinous sin.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.



Your Brother in Islam,






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