Q. What is the ruling on reading Jummah when you're at work because depending on your job/employer it’s not always possible to read Jummah Salah in this country? So what should one do?
A. In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent and Merciful.
Jummah prayer is only an obligation if it fits the following six qualifiers:
- An Islamic State or ruler (sultan) has allowed the Jummah to be prayed.
- It has to be a city or town where the Jummah is to be prayed (i.e. not a village).
- It must be prayed during Dhuhr time on a Friday.
- It must be prayed in congregation with a minimum of 1 Imam and 3 followers. (According to the Shafi'i Madhab it must be 40 followers as a minimum.)
- 2 Khutbas (sermons) must be read before the prayer. It is Makrooh to read the Jummah Khutba in any other language except Arabic as it would go against the Sunnah.
- It must be open for all. All people must have access to pray the Jummah prayer - i.e. it cannot be in private premises where outside Muslims cannot attend.
[Hidaya, Radd ul Muhtar etc]
From the above, the first condition would mean that Jummah in countries not governed by an Islamic state would therefore not qualify, i.e. the UK. However, some contemporary scholars have stated that if a non-Muslim state allows you to freely observe Jummah then this is acceptable.
In Islamic states Jummah is a weekend, which means all can attend and therefore no one has the excuse of missing the Jummah prayer. However, this cannot be said in this country and hence the reason for the wisdom of an Islamic state.
All scholars are therefore unanimous that where there is difficulty in reaching a Mosque for Jummah prayers then one should observe Dhuhr prayers. So this ruling would apply to the situation outlined in the question.
Of course Allah knows best.