The Friday Prayer – صَلَاةُ اَلْجُمُعَةِ
The Friday prayer is singled out as it is a distinct and of the most important prayers of the week. This is why the Prophet ﷺ warned those who missed Jumuah without a valid excuse. Abdullah bin Umar and Abu Hurairah said that they heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ say on the planks of his pulpit:
لَيَنْتَهِيَنَّ أَقْوَامٌ عَنْ وَدْعِهِمُ الْجُمُعَاتِ أَوْ لَيَخْتِمَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ ثُمَّ لَيَكُونُنَّ مِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ
People must cease to neglect the Friday prayer or Allah will seal their hearts and then they will be among the negligent. [Muslim]
تَلْزَمُ اَلْجُمُعَةُ كُلَّ مُسْلِمٍ مُكَلَّف ٍذَكَرٍ حُرٍّ مُسْتَوْطِنٍ بِبِنَاءٍ
Friday Prayer is required of every Muslim who is responsible, male, free, and resident in a place with built structures.
Jumuah is compulsory and obligatory upon every Musim who is accountable and this is someone who has reached the age of puberty and has sound intellect. It is not obligatory upon the women, slave or a traveller.
The مُسْتَوْطِنٍ or resident is the one who lives and has a home in the place.
The مقيم is one who lives there temporarily but more than the time period of a مسافر or traveller which is 4 days as per the Hanabilah.
A person can be a musafir while travelling and then becomes a muqeem if more than 4 days. The muqeem doesn’t necessarily have to attend, but if he is present during Jumuah then it becomes obligatory upon him to attend. A traveller is allowed to miss even if he can hear the khutbah.
وَمَنْ صَلَّى اَلظُّهْرَ مِمَّنْ عَلَيْهِ اَلْجُمُعَةُ قَبْلَ اَلْإِمَامِ لَمْ تَصِحَّ, وَإِلَّا صَحَّت ْ وَالْأَفْضَلُ بَعْدَهُ,
وَحَرُمَ سَفَرُ مَنْ تَلْزَمُهُ بَعْدَ اَلزَّوَال ِوَكُرِهَ قَبْلَهُ مَا لَمْ يَأْتِ بِهَا فِي طَرِيقِهِ أَوْ يَخَفْ فَوْتَ رُفْقَةٍ
It is not valid if someone who must pray the Friday prayer prays the Noon prayer before the Imam prays. But if one’s attendance is not obligatory, it is valid to pray it before the Imam’s prayer, though afterwards is best.
It is not lawful for someone who is required to attend the Friday prayers to travel after the sun passes its zenith (until after he prays). It is offensive to travel before when one does not pray it along the way or does not fear missing his travelling companions.
The term ‘Imam’ in books of Fiqh is generally used for the Islamic leader unless explicitly indicated that it means the Imam of the Salah. In recent times, as we do not have an Islamic leader, the same ruling can be given to the Central Masjid of the city etc.
It is impermissible to pray Dhuhr before the Jumuah prayer is conducted and the prayer is invalid with the person incurring a sin without a valid excuse. Women, children or travellers are allowed to pray as soon as the time of Dhuhr enters but it is better to wait till the Jumuah prayer is conducted in the masjid.
It is impermissible to travel when the time of Dhuhr enters as it ceases the obligation of Jumuah upon a person. This is to prevent and avoid people from abusing the rukhsa provided to the traveller of missing Jumuah. However, if there is no other option but to travel then here the person has a valid excuse. Allah says:
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. [Surah al-Baqarah]
But if they have a scope of choice then they can choose to travel before the time enters, but it is better to choose the one after the time of Jumuah. It is disliked to travel before Jumuah unless the person performs the Jumuah prayer on the way, or has the fear of missing out on his travel companions.
وَشُرِطَ لِصِحَّتِهَا اَلْوَقْتُ, وَهُوَ أَوَّلُ وَقْتِ اَلْعِيد ِ إِلَى آخِرِ وَقْتِ اَلظُّهْرِ,
فَإِنْ خَرَجَ قَبْلَ التحريمةِ صَلَّوْا ظُهْرًا وَإِلَّا جُمُعَةً,
وَحُضُورُ أَرْبَعِينَ بِالْإِمَامِ مِنْ أَهْلِ وُجُوبِهَا فَإِنْ نَقَصُوا قَبْلَ إِتْمَامِهَا اِسْتَأْنَفُوا جُمُعَةً إِنْ أَمْكَن َوَإِلَّا ظُهْرًا,
وَمَنْ أَدْرَكَ مَعَ اَلْإِمَامِ رَكْعَةً أَتَمَّهَا جُمُعَةً.
Conditions for its validity include its time, which is from the start of the time of Eid (the sun rising a spear’s length above the horizon) until the end of Dhuhr prayer. If the time exists before making the initial takbeer, they pray Dhuhr prayer. Otherwise they pray Friday prayer.
The condition for its validity include the attendance of forty (including the Imam) who are required to attend. If they fall short before finishing it, they continue it as Friday prayer if possible. Otherwise, they finish it as Dhuhr prayer.
Whoever prays one prayer cycle with the Imam finishes it as Friday prayer. Otherwise he prays it as Dhuhr prayer if its time has entered.
Time is a condition for the validity of Jumuah. Its time is from the beginning of the time of Eid prayer till the end of Dhuhr time. Eid time is after the prohibited time to pray after sunrise. Contemporary scholars measure that to be around 15 minutes after sunrise. It is from the Mufradat of the Hanabila is to pray Jumuah 15 minutes or so after sunrise. They back it as a relied upon position among the sahaba. This is the Mu’tamad of the Madhab.
It is better to pray after the time of Dhuhr enters to be on the safer side since there is a difference of opinion. Also, many people are not aware of this and may cause a lot of confusion. This opinion will be helpful for those in conditions where they would miss Jumuah had they waited for the time of Dhuhr to enter. Jumuah can be repeated later on also for those who didn’t attend the earlier congregation.
If the time of Jumuah has ended before the opening takbeer, then they will have to pray it as Dhuhr instead. There is no qadha’ of Jumuah. If the time of Asr enters while Jumuah is going on then they continue and the prayer is counted as Jumuah. This is prohibited if done intentionally. Even though the prayer is valid from a legal point of view, the person still incurs a sin if the prayer is delayed without a valid excuse as it has to be prayed in full before the time enters.
The Hanabila are of the most strict with the numbers of the congregation. For Jumuah to be valid ,the congregation must have 40 people on whom the salah is obligated including the Imam. The Hanabila look at Jumuah with the objectives of it being a local, community, congregational and a stable matter. They go as far as to restrict only one Jumuah congregation in an area. If the number is reduced from 40 before Jumuah prayer is completed, then it needs to be restarted and prayed as Dhuhr.
Praying Jumuah while travelling would be invalid as per the Hanabila. Ex: 50 travellers deciding to pray Jumuah would be invalid.
Imam Ibn Muflih (student of Sheikhul Islam) in al-Furu’ has gathered the evidences that support this from Imam Ahmad. (Imam al-Mardawi, the verifier of the Madhab heavy relies on al-Furu’. A layman can follow the opinions of Imam Ibn Muflih to seek fatwa.)
One opinion from Imam Ahmad even records 50 people, as well as,12, 7, 4, 5, and 3 people for a valid Jumuah. 3 was the number chosen by Ibn Taymiyyah as well as by Ibn Badran in his hashiyah of Akhsar al-Mukhtasarat. Imam Ibn Badran says that there is no valid evidence to fix a number for the congregation. The evidences used by the Hanabila are instances of the congregations from the Seerah.
Ex: Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah: While we were praying (Jumua Khutba and prayer) with the Prophet, some camels loaded with food, arrived (from Sham). The people diverted their attention towards the camels (and left the mosque), and only twelve persons remained with the Prophet ﷺ. So this verse was revealed:
وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا قُلْ مَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, [O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, “What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers.” [Surah al-Jumuah, Ayah 11] [Bukhari]
The Hanabila say that there is no reason that says that the people didn’t return for the prayer.
Other madhaib do allow the travellers to pray Jumuah and even give the khutbah. As Imam Ahmad says,”Don’t force your madhab upon the people.“
The madhab is not Qati’ (definitive evidence). In the same madhab, 2 different scholars can differ over the statements of Imam Ahmad.
The Madhaib are valid interpretations of the Shariah but they are not binding interpretations.
If a person catches the Imam in at-least one rakah, then he continues it as Jumuah. If one catches the Imam in tashahhud, then the person stands and prays Dhuhr.
وَتَقْدِيمُ خُطْبَتَيْنِ مِنْ شَرْطِهِمَا: اَلْوَقْتُ, وَحَمْدُ اَللَّهِ, وَالصَّلَاةُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ -عَلَيْهِ اَلسَّلَامُ-, وَقِرَاءَةُ آيَةٍ, وَحُضُورُ اَلْعَدَدِ اَلْمُعْتَبَرِ, وَرَفْعُ اَلصَّوْتِ بِقَدْرِ إِسْمَاعِهِ, وَالنِّيَّةُ, وَالْوَصِيَّةُ بِتَقْوَى اَللَّهِ, وَلَا يَتَعَيَّنُ لَفْظُهَا,
وَأَنْ تَكُونَا مِمَّنْ يَصِحُّ أَنْ يَؤُمَّ فِيهَا لَا مِمَّنْ يَتَوَلَّى اَلصَّلَاةَ.
The conditions for its validity include it being preceded by two sermons. The conditions of the sermon include: the time, praising Allah (with the phrase “Alhamdulilah”); prayers upon the Messenger of Allah; reciting an ayah of the Quran; the significant number attending; raising the voice so it is heard by the required number; intention; advising fear of Allah – and its phrase is not specified; being delivered by someone who could lead a valid Jumuah prayer – though not necessarily the one who leads the prayer.
Of the conditions of Jumuah is to have 2 sermons before the prayer. The conditions for these sermons are: to be done in the right time, praising Allah, sending salutations upon the Prophet ﷺ, reciting an ayah, attendance of required attendance and to raise the voice so those attending can hear, intention to deliver the sermon and to remind people to have taqwa of Allah. Different words or phrases can be used to drive home the point about taqwa.
It is also required that the one who leads the sermon is someone whose Imamah is valid. Khutbah of a woman and child based on this would be invalid. Why can’t a child give khutbah? Jumuah is an obligation and for that the child needs to have reached the age of puberty. In supererogatory prayers, a child can lead if he is above the age of 7 etc. The one leading can be different from the one who delivers the sermon.
These conditions are to be met for both the sermons. The main objective as seen from these conditions is to remind people about Allah. Allah called Jumuah prayer as ‘Dhikr’.
Can the Khutbah can be delivered in other than Arabic?
The Hanabila don’t delve too much in this topic even though the sermon being in Arabic is a condition mentioned by Sheikh Mari’ bin Yusuf al-Karmi in his Ghayat al-Muntaha. What one can do is to fulfill these conditions as mentioned by the Hanabila in Arabic and then continue the rest of the sermon in the other language. The ayat and ahadith should be quoted in Arabic for it is the language of the Shariah. Doing so well motivate people to learn Arabic. Even though there is scope in the matter, more research is required in this field for an answer from a Fiqh perspective.
وَتُسَنُّ اَلْخُطْبَةُ عَلَى مِنْبَرٍ أَوْ مَوْضِعٍ عَالٍ, وَسَلَامُ خَطِيبٍ إِذَا خَرَجَ,
وَإِذَا أَقْبَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَجُلُوسُهُ إِلَى فَرَاغِ اَلْأذَانِ,
وَبَيْنَهُمَا قَلِيلاً, وَالْخُطْبَةُ قَائِمًا مُعْتَمِدًا عَلَى سَيْفٍ أَوْ عَصًا قَاصِدًا تِلْقَاءَهُ, وَتَقْصِيرُهُمَا, وَالثَّانِيَةُ أَقْصَرُ, وَالدُّعَاءُ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ, وَأُبِيحَ لِمُعَيَّنٍ كَالسُّلْطَانِ.
It is recommended for the sermon to be from the minbar or a platform; to say “As-Salaamu Alaykum” going out to the congregants and when he faces them; to sit until the Adhan is finished; to sit shortly between the two sermons; to deliver the sermon standing while leaning upon a sword or a staff; to make eye contact; to keep the sermon brief – with the second shorter than the first; to supplicate for Muslims in general – with it being permissible to supplicate for a specific individual, like the governor.
The sermon is recommended to be delivered from a raised platform. Standing on the floor is also valid but it is better to be in an elevated place.
The khateeb should greet the people when he is walking in towards the minbar. When he stands on the minbar then he gives a general salam to all. It is recommended for him to sit down while the adhan is being made and also in the middle of 2 sermons. How long is the duration of sitting? As per the Hanabila, mentioned in al-Muntaha etc, it should be long enough to recited Surah al-Ikhlas or ‘Astaghfirullah’ 3 times.
It is recommended to give the sermon standing while leaning on a staff or sword whilst facing the people straight ahead. It is recommended to keep the sermon short and to the point. Long sermons doesn’t necessarily mean a good sermon. Ammar bin Yasir reported: I heard Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying,
إن طول صلاة الرجل، وقصر خطبته، مئنة من فقهه، فأطيلوا الصلاة، وأقصروا الخطبة
“Prolonging prayer and shortening the sermon indicate the religious knowledge of the person. Make your prayer long and your sermon short.” [Muslim] 10-15 minutes is more than enough on an estimate. It is recommended for the second sermon to be shorter than the first one. The khateeb should make dua for the Muslims and it is permissible to make dua for the leaders and specific people as long as the dua is valid.
وَهِيَ رَكْعَتَانِ يَقْرَأُ فِي اَلْأُولَى بَعْدَ اَلْفَاتِحَةِ اَلْجُمُعَةَ وَالثَّانِيَةِ اَلْمُنَافِقِينَ .
وَحَرُمَ إِقَامَتُهَا وَعِيدٍ فِي أَكْثَرَ مِنْ مَوْضِعٍ بِبَلَدٍ إِلَّا لِحَاجَة ٍ
The Friday prayer is two prayer cycles. After Al-Fatihah [Q1], in the first prayer cycle, it is recommended that one reads Al-Jumuah [Q62], and in the second Al-Munafiqun [Q63].
It is unlawful to hold Friday and Eid prayers in multiple locations within a single land unless there is a need to do so. Ex: Due to the mosque being too small, distance, fear of dicord (fitnah).
Jumuah prayer is 2 rakahs in which it is recommended to recite al-Fatiha and al-Jumuah in the first rakah and al-Munafiqun in the second. Other recommended suwar are Surah al-A’laa and Surah al-Ghashiyah.
It is prohibited to establish more than one Eid or Jumuah salah in a particular place unless there is a need like lack of space, large population etc. According to Qadhi Abu Ya’la and Imam Abu al-Wafa Ali Ibn Aqil it is permissible to conduct more than one Jumuah even if there is no specific need. Making more than one Jumuah prayer Haram would mean that the prayer in another masjid would be invalid.
We should work together to build masajid of quality instead of masajid in quantity.
وَأَقَلُّ اَلسُّنَّةِ بَعْدَهَا رَكْعَتَانِ وَأَكْثَرُهَا سِتٌّ.
وَسُنَّ قَبْلَهَا أَرْبَعٌ غَيْرُ رَاتِبَةٍ, وَقِرَاءَةُ اَلْكَهْفِ فِي يَوْمِهَا وَلَيْلَتِهَا,
The minimum recommended prayer after it is two prayer cycles; the maximum is six.
It is recommended to pray four prayer cycles before it – although they are not associated with it [ratibah]; and to recite Al-Kahf [Q18] during its night and also during its day.
The minimum units to be prayed is 2 and at most 6. It is recommended to pray 4 before the Jumuah but it is not from the established rawatib. It is also recommended to recite Surah al-Kahf on Friday or the night of Friday.
The night of Friday is a controversial topic in the Hanbali madhab. According to Ghayat al-Muntaha, al-Iqna’ and al-Wajeez, it is recommended to recite the Surah on Friday morning or Thursday night. According to al-Muntaha and al-Muqni’, only the day of Friday is mentioned. Reciting after Fajr is best. But if you know that you will get occupied on Friday morning then you can recite it after Maghrib on Thursday.
وَكَثْرَةُ دُعَاءٍ وَصَلَاةٍ على اَلنَّبِيِّ ﷺ وَغُسْلٌ وَتنظفٌ وَتَطَيّبٌ وَلبسُ بَيْضَاءَ وَتَبْكِيْرٌ إِلَيهَا مَاشِيًا وَدنوٌّ مِنَ الإِمَامِ.
It is recommended to supplicate abundantly; to make numerous prayers upon the Prophet; to wash; cleanse, use scent, water, and wear white; to go early, walking; and to be close to the Imam.
It is recommended to send salutations upon the Prophet ﷺ the whole day, and not just at a specific part of it.
وَكُرِهَ لِغَيْرِهِ تَخَطِّي اَلرِّقَابِ إِلَّا لِفُرْجَة ٍ لَا يَصِلُ إِلَيْهَا إِلَّا بِهِ, وَإِيثَارٌ بِمَكَانٍ أَفْضَلَ لَا قَبُولٌ.
وَحَرُمَ أَنْ يُقِيمَ غَيْرَ صَبِيٍّ مِنْ مَكَانِهِ فَيَجْلِسُ فِيهِ, وَالْكَلَامُ حَالَ اَلْخُطْبَةِ عَلَى غَيْرِ خَطِيبٍ, وَمَنْ كَلَّمَهُ لِحَاجَةٍ, وَمَنْ دَخَلَ -وَالْإِمَامُ يَخْطُبُ- صَلَّى اَلتَّحِيَّةَ خَفِيفَةً.
It is offensive for someone other than the Imam to step over others – unless to reach an empty spot unreachable without stepping over them.
It is offensive to offer a superior place to someone else (though it is not offensive to accept it).
It is unlawful to move someone who is not a child to sit in his spot; for someone other than the khateeb to speak during the sermon; or for someone to speak to the khateeb out of need.
Whoever enters while the khateeb is delivering the sermon prays only the greeting prayer,briefly.
It is disliked for other than the Imam to step over or step past people to reach the front rows unless there is a clear space empty which others are not filling. It was narrated from Abu Az-Zahiriyah about ‘Abdullah bin Busr, he said: “I was sitting beside him on Friday and he said: ‘A man came, stepping over people’s necks, and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
أَىِ اجْلِسْ فَقَدْ آذَيْتَ
‘Sit down, you are disturbing people.” [Sunan Nasai]
It is disliked to give the front rows to others. People should be competing in doing good. Giving it away without a need is like belittling and a lack of interest shown towards the Sunnah. Taking their spot has no harm.
It is prohibited to move a person from their space to sit there instead. No one owns the masjid and there is no God given spot for a person till the Day of Judgement. This is completely incorrect and a false sense of entitlement. Even a child (not reached age of puberty) shouldn’t be moved unless it is a child who is so young that they won’t even stand still. Children need to be nurtured to love the prayer and the masjid. The only exception would be if it is right behind the Imam as this place is reserved for a knowledgeable person (Ulul Ahlam) to stand to correct the Imam.
It is prohibited to speak during the khutbah to the extent that even telling a person to keep quite is not allowed. Even taking notes of the khutbah, making dhikr using beads, reading Quran, texting etc is not allowed. Speaking to the khateeb is allowed if there is a need or to reply to the khateeb if addressed. The one who walks in while the sermon is being prayed should pray Tahiyatul Masjid and keep them light. A person should not pray anything else and should focus on the khutbah. In reality, this is an exception to the rule as even reading the Quran is not allowed. Some other madhaib like the Ahnaf and Malikiyyah don’t even allow that as they consider the narrations to be specific.
Jabir reported that Sulaik Ghatafani came on Friday (for prayer) while the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was sitting on the pulpit. Sulaik also sat down before observing prayer. The Apostle of Allah ﷺ said:
Have you observed two rakahs? He said: No. He (the Holy Prophet) said:
Stand and observe them. [Muslim]
The command is observed clearly so one does not need to resort to qiyas. This is if the sermon is in the Masjid. But if it is in a hall or some other area, then Imam Musa al-Hajjawi clearly mentions that the greeting prayer is not needed and one sits down to listen to the khateeb directly.