I am a young man who works in an independent store selling pottery pieces to foreign tourists. Is it permissible for me to pray the obligatory prayers in the store, knowing that it is impossible for tourists to come in with alcohol in their hands?.
Selling pottery pieces is permissible for both Muslims and kuffaar, but if these pieces are in the form of statues and images of animate beings, then it is not permissible to sell them or deal in them unless the heads are removed.
The scholars of the Standing Committee said:
It is not permissible for a Muslim to sell statues or deal in them, because of the saheeh ahaadeeth which state that it is haraam to make images of animate beings or erect statues of animate beings in general terms, or to keep them. Undoubtedly dealing in statues makes images more easily available and helps them to be set up in homes and clubs, etc.
As that is haraam, the income from making and selling them is also haraam. It is not permissible for a Muslim to live on this money or buy food and clothing with it, etc. Based on this, if a person has done this he has to get rid of that money and repent to Allaah, that He may accept his repentance. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)”
We have issued a fatwa stating that images of animate beings are haraam, whether they are three-dimensional or otherwise, whether they are produced by carving, engraving, dyeing or by means of modern equipment.
Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/521.
In the answer to question no. 7222 there are more details about making images and the prohibition on this action.
With regard to praying, it is obligatory to pray in congregation in the mosque. See question no. 120. If the mosque is close enough to you that you can hear the adhaan without loudspeakers, then you have to attend the congregational prayer in the mosque.
If the mosque is far away and you cannot hear the adhaan except with loudspeakers, then you can pray in the store, but it is better for you to set aside a place in the store where you can pray in congregation.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
Is there a definition of the distance between a person’s house and the mosque?
There is no shar’i definition of the distance, rather it is defined by custom (‘urf) and the distance at which the adhaan can be heard without loudspeakers.
As’ilat al-Baab al-Maftooh, question no. 700.
See also question no. 20655.
And Allaah knows best.