All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his family and Companions.The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' examined the question sent to the Secretary General by the Manager of the Agricultural Bank in Al-Zilfa. The question was registered as no. 1363 on 17/10/1400 A.H. The question reads as follows:Would you please advise us on the ruling on
offering Salah (prayer) inside the premises of (Part No. 8; Page No. 48) the Agricultural Bank
in Al-Zilfa? When the time for the Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer becomes due, a reliable reciter, who is of good character, calls the Iqamah (call to start the prayer). We then gather behind him and he leads us in Salah in a separate and furnished place that we prepared especially for this purpose. The farmers and auditors who have come to the bank also join in the congregation with us. There are Masjids (mosques) nearby, but we might miss the Salah there, as may many of the auditors and employees, who might not pray in a Masjid by claiming that they offer Salah in other places or when they return to their farms, and other similar excuses.However, by praying in the bank we all gather - the farmers, employees, and auditors - and offer the Salah in congregation. We are hoping to benefit from your ruling on this matter, and are waiting expectantly for your reply. Thanks for your effort.
The Committee gave the following answer:
If the reality is as you mentioned, that there are Masjids near to the bank, it is obligatory on you to go out to one of them and offer the Salah with the people. There are general evidence on the obligation of offering Salah in congregation in the Masjids. There are also different reports of the threats made to those who abandon offering their Salah in Masjids. It is not a valid excuse to offer Salah in a workplace on the pretext that it is beneficial for the work and it keeps the employees in the bank during the time of the Zhuhr Prayer. (Part No. 8; Page No. 49) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.