Q: Many workers delay Zuhr and ‘Asr prayers until night-time, giving the excuse that they are too busy at work or that their clothes are najis (impure) or not clean. What advice can you give them?
A: Praise be to Allaah.
It is not permissible for a Muslim man or woman to delay an obligatory prayer beyond the proper time, rather every accountable Muslim man and woman is obliged to perform the prayers on time as much as they can.
Work is not an excuse for delaying prayer, neither is impurity on clothes or clothes being dirty. None of these are acceptable excuses.
People should be excused from work at prayer times; at the time of prayer a worker has to wash the impurity from his clothes, or change into clean clothes. As for regular dirt (as opposed to impurities), this does not prevent one from praying in those clothes, so long as that dirt is not impure and does not have an offensive smell that would bother other worshippers. But if the dirt or its smell will bother others, then he has to wash it before praying, or change into clean clothes so that he can pray in congregation.
It is permissible for those who have legitimate shar’i excuses, such as those who are sick or are travelling, to combine Zuhr and ‘Asr at the time of either of them, and to combine Maghrib and ‘Isha’ at the time of either of them.
This was narrated in the saheeh Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It is also permissible to join prayers when there is heavy rain or mud, which cause difficulty for people.