The time of Dhuhr is a time when one may be busy, whether it be housework, errands or being at the workplace. Invariably the hours of salah will be encountered during the times of business and work – and this is the real test of iman.
As discussed in the previous article of this series, salah is the most important act of worship for a Muslim. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an, “Surely, the salah prohibits immorality and wrongdoing.” (Al-’Ankaboot:45).
Read Part 1 here: The Power of Prayer – Fajr
Sadly, most people find that during the day, performing salah in its prescribed time can be a bit of challenge, especially with the hectic lifestyles of today. This shouldn’t be the case as our schedules should be tailored to fit around salah and not the other way around.
Dhuhr is our second daily salah, which is prayed in the afternoon. The time of Dhuhr is a time when one may be busy, whether it be housework, errands or being at the workplace. Invariably the hours of salah will be encountered during the times of business and work – and this is the real test of iman.
It is really a sign of true iman when a Muslim suspends his or her work to answer the call of Allah (SWT). Once, the companion Abdullah bin Umar (RA) was in the market place. It was time for salah and people stood up, closed their shops and proceeded to the Masjid. Ibn Umar (RA) was delighted at seeing this and remarked, “These are the people regarding whom this ayah (in Surah an-Noor) was revealed: ‘(Real) men whom neither trade nor merchandise distracts from the remembrance of Allah.’ (An-Noor:37)
The Dhuhr salah comprises of four Fardh rak’at of prayer, as well as six sunnah rak’at; four sunnah rak’at can be prayed before the Fardh rak’at and two after. As far as the reward is concerned, the Fardh prayer of Dhuhr carries the same reward as every other Fardh prayer. However, as far as the Sunnah of Dhuhr are concerned, it was narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever prays twelve rak’at during the night and day, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four before Dhuhr and two after, two rak’at after Maghrib, two rak’at after ‘Isha’ and two rak’at before Fajr prayer.” (Tirmidhi)
This hadith makes it all the more clear that to offer the Sunnah prayer before and after the Dhuhr prayer is an important protection from the Hellfire, insha Allah.
In another hadith, Muhammad (SAW) said pertaining to the Dhuhr prayer: “This is an hour at which the gates of heaven are opened, and I like that my good deeds should rise to heaven at that time.” (Tirmidhi).
From the hadith we can see that Dhuhr is a time when the account of a person is taken to the heavens, therefore, it is more than imperative that the account for the day be closed with good deeds. What good deed can be better than offering the obligatory prayer along with the additional Sunnah prayer?
The time of Dhuhr also stands as a time when we are in the middle of our hectic daily routines. Therefore, taking a break from our routine and using that time to remember Allah (SWT) definitely revives the spirit and gives a person more energy and vigour to go through the rest of the day in a healthy manner. Besides being an obligation, offering Dhuhr prayer is also a means of reviving and replenishing the spirit for the rest of the day. When you perform ablution after working hard, you are liberated from tiredness. Performing the prayer then supplies you with spiritual nourishment.
Tips for performing Dhuhr salah on time
• Firstly, intention is important. A sincere determination should be shown to perform the Dhuhr salah on time. Insha Allah, Allah (SWT) will help you to fulfil your intention. It is preferable to perform it promptly, as soon as the adhan for Dhuhr is finished.
• If you are working, the best and ideal time to perform Dhuhr is during your lunch break. A good idea is to carry a small prayer mat and suitable clothing with you. It might also be useful to have a small towel on hand so that it’s easier for you to dry off after making wudhu. Pocket sized prayer mats are usually available at some Islamic stores which are not too bulky to carry in your bag.
• Download apps that remind you when salah is due.
• Use a Qiblah locator app on your phone or carry a small compass to help you determine the direction for prayer. This is especially useful if you’re out and about during the day or if you’re at work and not sure which direction to face.
• If you have Muslim colleagues at work, encourage each other to perform Dhuhr. Use a small empty office to pray inr during your lunch break or take some time out to go to a masjid if there’s one close by.
• If you’re at home, try to get your cooking and other errands done either before or after the Dhuhr adhan so that you can have enough time to perform your prayer without rushing through it.
May Allah (SWT) grant us the tawfeeq (ability) to perform our Dhuhr salah punctually and with sincerity, ameen.
Rafeeah Laher is a South African freelance writer and IT administrator from Johannesburg. She’s included some of her own tips based on her recent experiences with starting a new job on how to perform Dhuhr salah on time at the workplace, hoping this article helps other working Muslimahs too, insha Allah.