Firemen offering Salah
All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the last Messenger.The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has read the letter that was sent to His Eminence the President by the Director of Religious Affairs at the Civil Defense. The concerned letter was transferred to the Committee by the secretariat-general of the Council of Senior Scholars under the number 3319 and dated 24/06/1410 A. H. The concerned question reads as follows:1- If firemen go out on a fire fighting operation for example before Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer and such an operation continues until the start of the time of (Part No. 8; Page No. 51) `Isha' (Night) Prayer; what do the firemen who participate in the operation in question have to do? Do they all have to pray on time? Do they have to divide into two groups that pray alternately? Or do they have to delay the Prayer (Salah) until they finish their fire fighting operation even if the Maghrib time expires and `Isha' time starts? May Allah reward you with the best.2- If a fire at any place is reported to firemen and their officials while they are performing Salah or if they are told that a person has to be rescued while they are in the same condition, should they continue performing Salah or should they discontinue Salah and go to deal with the accident? If they are to discontinue Salah and go to fire fighting operation, when should they perform the Salah? It may be worth mentioning that the time of the concerned Salah may expire before they finish their work. What should they do in such a case? May Allah reward you with the best.3- If some firemen or their officials feel that it is difficult to continue their fasting day in Ramadan while they are taking part in a fire fighting operation, do they have to continue their Sawm (Fast) and endure the hardship or can they break their Sawm and make it up after the end of Ramadan? What else could they do? May Allah reward you with the best.
After the Committee has studied the question, it answers as follows:
If an accident happens during the time of Salah that may be combined with another (Part No. 8; Page No. 52) such as Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer with `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer or Maghrib Prayer with `Isha' Prayer, it is permissible to delay it and pray it with the Salah that it may be combined with. Thus Zhuhr Prayer may be delayed and prayed with `Asr Prayer and Maghrib Prayer may be delayed and prayed with `Isha' Prayer. However, if the accident happens at the time of Fajr (Dawn) Prayer, `Asr Prayer, or `Isha' Prayer; the Salah may be partially delayed to be performed before the time of the next Salah but it should not be delayed until its time expires. Rather, it has to be performed in its time even on an alternate basis. Thus a group of firemen has to pray while the other is working and vice versa.
If such an accident notification is serious and confirmed, it is permissible to discontinue the Salah and go to the place of the accident. The Salah is to be made up as explained in the first paragraph.
If the firemen find unbearable difficulty in continuing their Sawm on a day of Ramadan, it is permissible for them to eat the amount of food that removes their difficulty then they have to abstain from eating and drinking until sunset. They also have to make up the Sawm of that day after Ramadan.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.