Q: I am an employee at the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals. I would like to inquire about congregational Salah (Prayer). We have a large Musalla (a place for Prayer) on the ground floor of our building, and there are no Masjids (mosques) around the Ministry.The times of Adhan (call to Prayer) differ throughout the days of the year according to the difference in the times of sunrise and sunset. The Adhan in Sha`ban is early, at 11: 37 A.M., and it is delayed gradually until it reaches 12: 07 P.M. In (Part No. 5; Page No. 99) Dhul-Qi`dah. Accordingly, the times of Iqamah (call to start the Prayer) differ throughout the year. There is no microphone to announce Iqamah among the employees, so we frequently miss the congregational Salah with the first and the second congregation. There might be a third or even a fourth congregation. We heard that some ministries and universities, such as
the Islamic University of Imam Muhammad ibn Su`ud
and others, fixed the time of Iqamah throughout the year, so that all the employees abide by it. Is there any harm in
fixing the time of Iqamah to 12:15 throughout the year,
so that all the employees know that it is fixed and there is only one congregation?Please advise, may Allah support you and guide you to the benefit of Islam and the Muslims.
If the situation is as you have mentioned, there is no harm in fixing the time of the Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer, whether in summer or in winter, to 12: 15 P.M., as long as Salah is offered on time, as this entails ease for the people, helps them offer Salah behind the regular Imam and increases the number of the congregation. (Part No. 5; Page No. 100) However, the people responsible for this governmental institution should try to get a microphone for this Musalla, as this entails showing one of the rituals of Islam, reminding the forgetful people, and urging them to offer Salah immediately after the Adhan. Thus, they perform many good deeds, such as the Sunnah Qabliyyah (supererogatory Prayer performed before an obligatory Prayer) performed on a regular basis; repeating after the Mu'adhin (caller to Prayer); saying what was reported after the Adhan; offering Salah in the first row; getting closer to Allah through different forms of worship, such as Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah), Du`a' (supplication) and reciting the Qur'an; being considered in Salah as long as they are waiting to offer Salah; and the angels ask Allah to forgive them while they are in the Musalla according to what was reported in the Sahih (authentic) Hadiths. This is a great reward not attained by those who come to the Masjid after Iqamah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.