Are you a recent convert, a Muslim new to the workforce or someone struggling to fit their obligatory prayers into their work hours? You might be asking yourself how and where to pray at work without getting into trouble.
This guide will give you the best tips I’ve learnt over the years and help you create a peaceful environment for prayer, eliminating distractions and maximising spiritual focus during your prayers at work.
I’ve personally worked in many busy office environments and I know how it can be difficult with meetings all day to find time to pray. So here are my tips on how to make sure your Salah in Islam is fulfilled.
In today’s world, we know that prayer should come first however working with none Muslim colleagues or having very demanding jobs may make the practicality more of a challenge! Sadly people may even have not very understanding managers. So we’ve taken all of these into account to help you inshallah!
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 if it’s possible and 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 try not unnecessarily delay prayer because of work. Remind yourself it only takes a few minutes and is essential for your mental health.
If you have a boss who isn’t very accommodating, explaining it works really well for mental health and taking small breaks is known to increase productivity. Like the Pomodoro method.
Forgetting sometimes happens when you’re super busy and Alhamdulillah that Allah is most forgiving that you can make them up but having them in your calendar really helps you to plan around your prayers rather than trying to plan them in.
2 – Start and end your work time 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. If you do shift work, see if it’s possible to work the earlier shifts.
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, check prayer times and log when you’ve completed the 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.
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.
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.” This has happened to me many times!
5 – Explore your building and nearby to find a quiet space
I’ve seen people recommend using 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.
6 – Be prepared for salah
You can buy travel prayer mats and prayer dresses which will make it easier to pray no matter where you are. Some mats even have a built-in mini qibla compass. Keep everything in a handy bag. 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. *Though our lifts are slow in our building and sometimes I run down the stairs to save time!
You may be able to do this quicker if your wudu is still valid so keeping it valid is another way to make praying easier and be prepared. After any bathroom break, take a couple of extra minutes to redo your wudu afterwards.
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, and 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 on 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. Though you can pray anywhere if you need to. 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.