Women working in jobs and performing Salaah sitting


السلام عليكم و رحمة الله وبركاته

At the very outset, we would like to advise you that the Shari’ah does not approve of women leaving their homes unnecessarily. Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’aan:

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى } {

{And (O women), remain in your homes, and do not do not make an exhibition (of yourselves and your beauty) as it used to be displayed in the days of ignorance}. (Surah Al-Ahzaab, Aayah 33)

We must always remember that Shaitaan is the enemy of mankind and has vowed to mislead man by adopting every possible method. The accursed Shaitaan utilizes women and their attractiveness as one of his greatest methods to lead mankind astray.

Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) said:

“Woman is an object of concealment. Thus, when she emerges (from her home) Shaitaan surreptitiously pursues her”. (And he lies in wait to create mischief & fitnah by leading her astray and others astray through her). (Tirmizi)

In another Hadîth, Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said:

“Women should not emerge from their homes except in the cases of necessity”. (Tabraani)            

From the above Âyat and Hadîth it is clear that women should remain within the environment of their homes and should not leave unnecessarily. These laws of Islam might seem difficult but they are for our own good. Islam advocates and respects the honour and chastity of women and has never allowed their integrity to be dampened. Women are special creations of Allah Ta’ala meant to be honoured, concealed and taken care of and not left as objects of attraction for men. Allowing them to loiter and linger around in public is in reality a dishonour to them.

The rights that Islam has given to women are much more superior to any religion and culture. In fact a woman enjoys the most rights in Islam. Until she gets married, she is fully supported by her father and brothers and then after marriage, she remains the queen of her home while her husband must earn to support and take full care of her.

Unfortunately, the act of women going out to work has earned the status of mere routine and custom. The secular and western norms have influenced the Muslim community to such an extent that their concept and ways of life have taken the position of being ‘the way of life of the modern age’. Islamic culture is now defined as the lifestyle of the ancient ages. Muslims themselves, leave alone adhering to the teachings of Islam, rebuke and refute the divine and auspicious injunctions of the Almighty Allah and his beloved Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam). How can blessings and tranquillity ever enter our lives and homes?! One of the reasons why we have lost all harmony and peace is the so called ‘freedom’ given to women whereby they leave the precincts of their homes and become an attraction and amusement or rather showpieces for one and all to glance at.

It is not permissible for a woman to leave the confines of her home on the pretext that she wishes to go to work unnecessarily. The concept of ladies working merely for economic independency has no basis in the Shari’ah.

However, if circumstances do compel her to work, for example, there is no one to provide for her or no financial support is available to her, then it would be permissible.

Her first option should be to consider some form of home industry that will not require her leaving her home, and protect her from intermingling with men. If this is not possible, then she can leave the precincts of her home for work provided that she adheres strictly and completely to the laws of Hijaab and making sure that:

  1. She is dressed according to the Shar’ee requirements (complete hijab, including covering the face).
  2. She ensures that she is not alone in privacy with any males such as in the office, room, or vehicle when dealing or travelling with them.
  3. Any type of communication with males is only to the extent of necessity, and not more (i.e. no joking and laughing or socializing is permitted in any form).
  4. She works to the extent of necessity and not more.

After clarifying Shari’ah’s stance regarding women leaving their homes and going out to work, we now proceed to answer your query. Let me apprise you first of all of the fact that Qiyaam (standing for Salaah) is Fardh (an obligatory part of Salaah).

((هداية 1/46 (فرائض الصلاة سنةٌ: التحريمة..، والقيام..، والقراءة..، والركوع، والسجود..، والقعدة الأخيرة مقدار التشهد)

Therefore, if a person is capable of standing for Salaah but performs it sitting then that Salaah is incomplete and unaccepted. (Ahsanul-Fatawa v.3 p.31). (Working in an office where there are Ghair Mahram men is not an acceptable excuse. You should look for a private or isolated area to pray, or pray with your Hijaab on). If however there is some handicap due to which you want to sit to perform your Salaah then the Ulamâ-e-Kirâm (May Allah Ta’aala bless them and give us the ability to follow them) have mentioned that:

  • One who is capable of standing, despite the fact that it may be for a short while or with the support of a stick or a similar object (and he can also perform full and normal Rukû and Sajdah), will not be permitted to perform his Salaah sitting down. (Standing for the duration of time which one can bear to stand will be necessary and thereafter sitting down will be permissible).

(Reference: Fatawa-Rahimiyyah v.9 p.94-98; Ahsanul-Fatawa v.4 p.51; Shâmi v.4 p.536.)

  • It is incorrect for a person who is incapable of standing but who is capable of performing Sajdah whilst seated on the ground, to perform his Salaah sitting on a chair. Rather, he should perform his Salaah sitting on the ground, so that he makes proper Sajdah on the ground and does not have to make Sajdah with gestures whilst seated on the chair.

(Reference: Ahsanul-Fatawa v.4 p.51; Qâdhikhân v.1 p.171; Kifâyatul Mufti vol.3 pg. 377; Deoband Monthly (Urdu)-June 2011 edition.)

  • When one cannot perform proper Sajdah, neither from the standing position, nor from the sitting position, then (even though he has the ability to stand), it is preferable for him to perform Salaah sitting on the ground. Rukû and Sajdah will then be performed with gestures. This is because sitting on the ground offers more of a resemblance to Sajdah (as one is closer to the ground). Therefore, one should refrain from sitting on a chair without a valid excuse. Yes, if there is a valid excuse (for example if he is unable or it is difficult for him to sit on the ground), then he may sit on a chair and perform his Rukû and Sajdah with gestures.

(Reference: Shâmi v.4 p.536; Bahr v.1 p.128; Deoband Monthly (Urdu)-June 2011 edition.)

After reading the above, if your excuse and handicap is such that you must perform your Salaah sitting on a chair (cannot stand nor sit on the floor), then yes you may perform your Salaah while sitting in a stationary car and facing the Qibla.

(Reference: Ahsanul-Fatawa v.4 p.88; Qâdhikhân v.1 p.83; Shâmi v.2 p.41.)

And Allah Ta’ala knows best

Mufti Khaleel Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net