I am asking about a girl who embraced Islam recently and she lives with her family. The problem is that her family does not want her to become a Muslim and she is hiding the fact that she actually embraced Islam from them as she is still young and she lives with them. She is not yet stable (financially independent).
She finds it difficult to perform the prayer at its prescribed fixed time. The only prayer she can perform on time is Fajr as all the other members of her family are sleeping at this time. She endeavours to perform other prayers on time but she interrupts her prayer when some one enters her room. Now she travelled with her family to her relatives who are 120 km away. She is facing the same problem and the only prayer she can perform on time is Fajr whereas she performs other prayers altogether at night when everyone is sleeping because during the day all the rooms are busy by other members of the family.
I advised her to pray in any way she can and advised her to shorten and combine the prayers as she is a traveller (she will stay there for 15 days). Is she permitted to shorten and combine the prayers in this case? I advised her in light of my limited knowledge, but without being in seclusion with her, was I wrong?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
First of all, all perfect praise be to Allaah, Who guided this girl to Islam and we ask Him to make her firm and steadfast on His Religion until the day she meets Him.
You may show her this present Fatwa and advise her to seek religious knowledge and benefit from our site.
As regards the prayer, it is not correct to say that she is permitted to combine and shorten the prayers; rather, she should endeavour to perform all the prayers at their prescribed fixed times according to her ability. Then, if she needs to combine the prayers, she may do so with (Thuhr and 'Asr), and (Maghreb and 'Ishaa'). She may either perform them at their beginning times (Thuhr or Maghreb) or at their ending times ('Asr or 'Ishaa') because of the hardship, even if she is residing in her town. In cases of necessity, she may perform the prayer inside the toilets if there is no impurity in it. However, according to the view of the majority of scholars, she is not permitted to shorten the prayer, as she intended to stay more than 4 days and she does not need to shorten the prayer because this will not solve the problem to her.
It could be that disclosing her conversion to Islam -as long this is possible for her –may remove the hardship she is facing. If she decides to disclose her state of Islam, then she should be patient regarding the harm she may face. However, if she expects to face a harm that she cannot bear or be forced to apostate, then she should conceal her becoming a Muslim until Allaah makes a way out to her. If she is able to migrate to another place where she will be more secure amidst the Muslim community, then she should do so. She may well find a pious man who will marry her and help her regarding her religion. She has a good example in the Prophet and his companions who left their families, homes and wealth in order to please their Lord.
Allaah knows best.