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Q: A person works for an official body such as the armed forces and time for performing Salah (Prayer) becomes due while they are performing guard duty. Are they thus allowed to finish their task then perform Salah or do they have to leave their guard duty to perform Salah? It may be worth mentioning that disturbing such guard duty leads to different liabilities.

A: Performing the five congregational Salahs (Prayers) is Wajib (obligatory) on every free male Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions) as long as he is able to do so. Even if people are travelling and suffer from severe fear; they have to conform to such an obligation. There are authentic proofs for the foregoing. However, there are proofs for the permission of not joining the congregation if a valid excuse is involved. Some examples of valid excuses are diseases and fear of losing personal money or money that a person keeps as a (Part No. 8; Page No. 56) trust etc. To get to the point, the case which is mentioned in the question represents a valid excuse for not joining the congregational Salah. The questioner is thus allowed to complete his guarding task then he has to perform Salah before the expiry of its time. However, if he fears that the time for Salah may expire before he finishes his guarding task; it will be Wajib on him to perform Salah, even individually, at the place of his duty. Proof for the foregoing is an Ayah (Qur'anic verse) in which Allah (Glorified be He) says: So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can Also, the Prophet (peace be upon him) says: When I command you to do anything, do of it as much as you possibly can. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.