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Is it Okay to Pray in the Church When There is No Mosque Around? - In some pagan states, it is difficult to find place to pray. What mostly found is church. Is it okay for Muslims to pray in the church?

Fatwa of Syaikh Prof. DR. Khalid Al-Muslih hafizhahullah


Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatuh, what is the law of praying in the church if there is no mosque or proper place to pray? Is it sinful to pray there? Is our pray will be accepted?


Quoted from the ijma of the scholars that people who pray in the church at the sacred place (there is no excrement) so the law of it is allowed and the pray is licit. This ijma is quoted by Ibn Abdil Barr in the book of At Tamhid (5/229). However the truth is there is errancy (no ijma) in three opinions:

First opinion : it is makrooh to pray in the church because there are statues in it.

This opinion is quoted from Umar and Ibn Abbas and and the opinion from some Hanafiyyah scholars, Imam Malik, madhhab Syafi’iyyah, Hambali. The reason is there are statues inside the church (or pictures of living things).

Second opinion : it is allowed to pray in church.

This is an opinion from Al-Hasan, Umar bin Abdul Aziz, Ast-Sya’bi. It is a madhhab of Hanabilah. With a term that there is no statue (or the ppictures of living things) inside of it.

Third opinion : it is prohibited to pray in the church because it is the place of the satans.
Doing shalah in the church is a form of honor to them. This is an opinion from some scholars of Hanafiyyah.

And the stronger opinion is that it is makrooh to pray in the church if the statues exist. If there are no statues then the law is mubah. However, people may not leave pray in the mosque for praying in the church, because it is not allowed. The mandatory is if we find a mosque then it is suggested to pray there and do not turn away to somewhere else.

Allah ta’ala said,
فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ
“Such niches are in mosques which Allah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein, exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings” (QS. Annur:36)

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