Bismillah irrahmanirraheem Peace and blessings be to Rasoolallah (saw). Salam warahmatullah wabarakatuhu Sheikh Hisham and all attendees. I have received a job in a place where there are no mosques. I feel that I want to turn down this job because I will not be reading jumma for one year, which is what I can’t do. My job is a 1 year placement. Please, I need your advice, jazakallah.
wa `alaykum salam,
Prayer in congregation is obligatory for every adult male who can hear the call.
What is meant by hearing the call is that a person can hear the adhan given in a regular voice without amplification of the sound, if the muezzin raises his voice and there is no wind or other noise that could affect hearing it.
Based on this, you are not obliged to attend prayers in congregation in the mosque if it is far away from you.
This has to do with the five daily prayers in congregation. With regard to Jumu`ah (Friday prayer), that is a different matter. It is obligatory for everyone who is in the city or town in which Jumu`ah prayers are held regularly, whether he can hear the adhan or not, not matter how spread out the city is. This is according to scholarly consensus.
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: al-Shafi`i and the companions said: If there are forty or more mature people in the city, then Jum`ah is obligatory for everyone in the city, even if the city is widely spaced out and whether they can hear the adhaan or not. There is consensus on this point.
You should also join the efforts to build a mosque, and cooperate with others for that purpose.
You should also be keen to establish prayer in congregation at least in the home, with your neighbors, if there is no mosque where you are to live. Among the means of achieving that is striving to bring Muslim families to live close to one another, when all of them will be keen to offer the Jum`ah prayer in congregation.
If you are unable to do any of the above than you are excused to live temporarily in the town where there is no mosque continually seeking a new job allowing you to live where there is a well-established Muslim community.
We ask Allah to increase you in faith, guidance and piety, and to help you to carry and spread the message of Islam.
And Allah knows best.
Imam Senad Agic
The Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago