It is common knowledge that it is required by law for all businesses to shut their doors for the duration of the appropriate salah breaks. This, at times can be inconvenient if you’re trying to get your errands sorted out and find yourself stuck on the wrong side of the doors every time. It is possible to make the most of prayer breaks, after you fulfil your prayer commitments, of course. ‘Athan’ is a good app to download to check prayer breaks and manage your time usefully. Here are a couple of tips on navigating yourself around the salah break timings:
If you can get into the supermarket 15 minutes before prayer time you can get your shopping done quickly as the aisles are empty. If possible, get your fresh produce labelled with the price tag – this helps you finish checkout quickly as soon as they are open after prayer. Or, if you finish your grocery shopping, get to the checkout 10 minutes before prayer break, else you have to wait until after prayer break.
Plan your coffee outings 10 minutes before short prayer breaks and 30 minutes before for dinner for long prayer breaks. Most cafés/restaurants allow you to stay in during prayer breaks and if your order your food well before prayer time, you can enjoy a meal during the prayer break, or else you have to wait as the kitchen is closed during the break.
When shops close down for long prayer breaks, instead of waiting outside, find the nearest beauty parlour in the area. Yes, they are definitely closed for prayer breaks, but if you get in earlier, then it is a bonus. Usually, the entrance is behind a wall and you simply have to ring a bell. The entry is scrutinised as men are not allowed to enter. You can continue shopping later.
Prayer breaks mean less traffic on the road. You can organise to finish running your errands/shopping and leave for home during prayer breaks. On occasion, local taxis may also work out cheaper, as well as Careem as there is limited traffic.
Jarir Bookstore on Sari Street:
If you manage to get in just before the prayer break – you can go to the first floor as they have reading areas with tables and chairs where you can relax and catch up with your browsing and reading. They do not allow you to do check outs or walk around in any other areas during prayer break as the men pray at that time.