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I am currently on a sleeping medication, prescribed by my doctor, to aid my insomnia. The problem is that when I take it straight after isha to sleep it is impossible to wake for fajr, as the effects of the medication are very strong.

While I am aware that one doesn't have to fast, for example, if one is on medication, I am also aware of the importance of prayer and do not want to miss fajr in this way.

Is there any particular ruling or advice which can be given on an issue such as this? For example, might it be more prudent to sleep before isha and miss that one instead of fajr, is either more important? Should I simply stop taking the medication, despite the enormously negative impact this would have on my life, and be against my doctor's recommendation?

Thank you!

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Obviously, missing any of the five daily prayers when one can avoid doing so isn't a good idea. However, if you do have to decide between them, the fajr would probably be more important based on the hadith of the prophet wherein he said "...if you can avoid missing a prayer before the rising of the sun (Fajr) and before its setting (`Asr) you must do so."

The optimal solution would be to find a way to perform both prayers in their proper time. It would be worth discussing the issue and your concerns with your doctor, as there may be alternate medications he can prescribe.

Otherwise, the majority opinion among scholars is that combining the Maghrib and Isha prayers (that is to say, perform both prayers together during the time of Maghrib) is permissible when not doing so would cause hardship. While I don't know of any rulings on this particular situation, given that the alternative would be to either put your own health at risk, or miss the Isha and/or Fajr prayer outright, the general meaning of avoiding hardship would seem to apply.

  • What do you mean by "when not doing so would cause hardship"? – Noah Sep 12 '13 at 6:47
  • And can one combine two prayers without any pressing need— in normal circumstances? – Noah Sep 12 '13 at 8:10

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