Question 100 : Assalaamu ‘alaykum Dear Shaikhs,
A muslim brother who is lecturer at uni asked this question:
At uni I teach two classes. Both start at 6 pm. Given that Maghreb now starts around 6 pm, if I pray and then go to the class, I will be late. The students will have been kept waiting too.
I don’t know what I should do in this situation.
Would you please suggest in light of fikh?
Answer : Walaikumussalam Br Ismail Ibn Ahmed
Allah appointed times for prayers that they must be offered in that duration. And these 5 daily prayers are one of the five pillars of Islam and thus so important to pray them and to pray them on time as they are not accepted before or after the time. This obligatory nature is learnt from Surah Nisah (4) verse 103.
Given this, I suggest that on days when Maghrib prayer starts a few minutes before the lecture of 6pm, the lecturer brother be prepared with wudu and at a near by room to the lecture theatre offer the fard rakah of Maghrib and then attend the lecture on time.
But on days when Maghrib starts too late to pray on before the lecture, then I suggest he first thinks of suitable empty room near the lecture theatre, do wudu, do the lecture, and finish on time at 6:50pm, then pray at a near by room immediately since in Brisbane the time for Maghrib will remain for about 30 minutes after that.
If on a rare week the lecturer was delayed despite trying, then I suggest to do the intention during the lecture to combine the Maghrib and isha prayer after wards, praying full and not shortened and then after the lecture pray three rakah and then four rakah combined since Ibn Abbas (r.a) reported and Abu Hurairah (r.a) confirmed, as reported in Sahih Muslim (hadith numbers 705 d, e, f, and g), that the Prophet (s.a.w) on combined Maghrib and isha praying full 3 and 4 while resident in Medinah and that was not out of fear or rain. Some scholars pointed out that this was on rare occasions. Ibn Abbas (r.a.) said in the hadith number 705d that this was so as to “not make it very difficult for the Ummah).”
This is the best I can think for this situation and Allah knows best.