Whether you’re a recent revert, a Muslim just starting out in the workforce or someone who just needs help fitting in their five obligatory prayers then you may be asking, how do I pray at work? Where do I find time to pray and how can I pray at work without getting into trouble?
I personally work in a busy office environment and it can be difficult with meetings all day to find time to pray. So here are my tips on how to pray at work, in order to fulfil your Salah in Islam.
In today’s world, we all understand that prayer should come first and that is true but we have to balance this with our day jobs. So let’s discuss some practical advice for making this happen. Sadly for many people, spirituality has taken a back seat and sometimes we have not very understanding managers. So here are my top tips for making sure you don’t miss your daily prayers while still keeping up with a hectic work schedule.
Tip Number 1 – Put prayers into your work calendar
Work out how much time it takes you to get to a suitable area or the nearest mosque plus if it’s possible, create a block for that time. That way you don’t accidentally book a meeting when you need to pray and you can schedule around the prayer times.
If your manager also sometimes books meetings or you have meetings out of your control, then not to worry just pray as soon as you finish. As long as you pray within the allotted time there isn’t a sin but you should not unnecessarily delay prayer because of work. Remind yourself it only take a few minutes and is essential for your mental health.
Forgetting sometimes happens when you’re super busy and Alhamdulillah that Allah is most forgiving that you can make them up but knowing you have to pray and saying you don’t have time is not permissible. So put them in your calendar whenever you can.
Tip Number 2 – Go to work earlier if possible
Many workplaces now offer flexible working hours so come in earlier after Fajr. This way you can finish earlier in time for Maghrib and Isha and maybe even Asr. Keep your lunch break roughly the same time so you can do Dhuhr. This will be a lot easier. Also for shift work, see if it’s possible to work the earlier shifts.
Tip Number 3 – Download a prayer reminder app
This is especially handy if you’re running around and not in your office always. Personally, my favourite is Muslim Pro for iPhone & Andriod. This app makes it super easy for remembering prayers, checking prayer times and logging when you’ve completed prayer. It also has handy little Quran quotes and some beautiful images with sayings you can share. Giving easy little ways to remember Allah and fit in daily reading of the Quran.
Tip Number 4 – Use toilets breaks
If you prefer not to make it obvious when you pray or work isn’t the easiest for taking breaks, then just use the bathroom as an easy excuse. You may feel like it seems like you’re gone for a long time or like people will notice and therefore you may use this as an excuse to put off praying. Actually, you’ll be surprised that they don’t notice and when you later explain you always pray they’ll probably go “Oh really? I never noticed.”
Tip Number 5 – Explore your building and nearby to find a quiet space
I’ve seen people recommend to use a stairwell but as this isn’t quiet and can get in the way of others, I wouldn’t advise using stairwells unless there really isn’t anywhere else. A lot of countries now have “Multi-faith prayer rooms” and even a dressing room in a clothes shop can be the perfect place to pray. Unused meeting rooms are also a great option. Even a quiet corner in the office. Use a movable whiteboard as a screen if you want more privacy, don’t be afraid to be a little creative if you need. Last but not least, speak to other Muslims and find out where they go.
Tip Number 6 – Be prepared
You can buy travel items and prayer dresses which will help make it easier. Have a bag with everything in it such as a prayer mat and suitable clothes. You can then carry this around with you or keep it in your car. Planning where you will pray, look at the times ahead of your daily schedule and have the items necessary. This will make it a lot easier.
In addition, try timing your total time taken for prayer in order to plan around it. I’ve timed mine from beginning to finish a few times. It takes me around 15 minutes by the time I’ve made my way to the prayer room, done my wudu, prayed and then made my way back to the office. You may be able to do this quicker if your wudu is still valid but remember that you should be focused and not rush your prayer. *Also our building lifts are quite slow so sometimes I run down the stairs to try and save time.
Tip Number 7 – Make prayer a priority
Definitely, your mentality will be the biggest part which will help you. See it as a necessity which calms you, helps you focus, be more productive while also connecting you to Allah. Also try to see the positives, staying a little later at work or stopping by the mosque/masjid means you might miss the majority of the traffic to or from work.
Maghrib can be the trickiest for workers because it has a very short window and sometimes you think you can make it home in time but end up delayed or in traffic. If you’re close to Maghrib time and it’s almost time to finish, then simply stay a little later at work and pray there. If you have a very long commute after work, complete your wudu at work before you leave so you can easily pray at the way home. This will make it more simple to find somewhere quiet to pray or to pull over without needing to find a bathroom. Use google maps and find a Mosque/Masjid on the way home. Technology can really help us in ways which weren’t possible before. As the saying goes; “where there’s a will, there’s a way!”
Hope these practical tips help on how to pray at work and inshallah you can do your salah every day at the prescribed time. Let me know what you think in the comments. Finally, a few people have been requested my revert story and inshallah I shall do this for you soon. In the meantime, you can find out a little more about me here.