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Salatul Jum’a [Friday Prayer]

 

The Friday mid-day prayer is a categorical imperative [fardh ain]. Allah declares:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِي لِلصَّلاةِ مِنْ يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (الجمعة : 9)

(Translation of meaning) “O ye who believe! When the call is heard for the prayer of the day of congregation, haste unto remembrance of Allah and leave your trading. That is better for you if ye did but know.” (Al-Jum’a: 9).

The Friday Prayer is assigned great virtue. As narrated by Hadrat Abu Hurairah, RadhiAllahu Anhu, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said that:

«خَيْرُ يَوْمٍ طَلَعَتْ عَلَيْهِ الشَّمْسُ يَوْمُ الْجُمُعَةِ، فِيهِ خُلِقَ آدَمُ، وَفِيهِ أُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ، وَفِيهِ أُخْرِجَ مِنْهَا»

All days Friday is the best day, as Adam was created this day, he was admitted to Paradise this day as well as thrown out on this day and this will be the Day of Resurrection (Bukhari and Muslim).

Friday Prayer is obligatory for every sane, adult, freeman, male and resident Muslim. Insane persons, minor children, slaves, women, travellers, sick persons and those who are in danger are exempted from it.

The Pillars of Friday Prayer

Of the two pillars of Friday Prayer one is delivery of the Friday sermon [khutbah] in two parts before the commencement of the salat and the other is the salat itself consisting of two cycles [raka’t] in which the imam will recite from Quran loudly.

The Conditions of the Friday Prayer

Time: The timing of the Friday Prayer is coterminous with that of the Zohr salat. Performance of Friday Prayer in times other than this will not be valid. There is no Qa’dha [compensatory] salat for missed Friday Prayer. Anybody who misses it shall have to perform the zohr salat. If one joined the Friday Prayer in its second cycle he will be deemed to have accessed it and he will have to perform the second raka’t alone.  If, however, somebody joins the congregation in the last sajdah or qa’dah he will have to complete four cycles [raka’ts] afterwards which will be deemed to be the zohr salat. This is because Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) clearly said that anyone who finds at least one raka’t of Jum’a  will be deemed to have accessed the whole salat (Bukhari and Muslim). This is the position of the majority. But the Hanafi and salafi schools hold that anybody who joins the congregation at any point before the recitation of salam will be deemed to have accessed the whole prayer.

Settlement: There should be a settlement where inhabitants arrange for Friday Prayer or at least it should be a township with a Friday Mosque [Ja’mi’], according to the Ahnaf.

Jama’at: Friday Prayer can only be performed in Jama’at [congregation]. It cannot be performed solitarily. The jurists have different opinions over the number of worshippers who can constitute a jama’at. One view is that there should be at least three persons beside Imam; another view is that there should be at least twelve persons. However, such conditions appear to be unnecessary. Similarly, if the Ja’mi’ Masjid cannot accommodate all the worshippers Friday Prayer can be organized in other mosques also.

The Traditions of Friday Sermon

The important traditions [practices of Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ] are these:  one should be clean; one should have covered one’s satr; the sermon should be delivered from a pulpit; before delivering the sermon the imam should sit on the pulpit for a while and the people should become attentive towards him; before sitting on the pulpit the imam should salute the congregation with assalam-o-alaikum; then the caller of prayer will call an adzan; the imam will begin his sermon with the praise of Allah and recite both testimonies [shahadat]: Ashhado an la ilah illallah wa ashhado anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasulluh and will invoke blessings of Allah for the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).  Thereafter he should preach religious and moral principles. He will sit down for a little pause then deliver his second customary sermon. The sermon should be brief and precise and the people should listen to him attentively and silently.

The Traditions of Friday

To have a wash; to apply perfume; to put on the best attire; to walk in solemnity towards the Friday Mosque chanting takbeer; to take one’s seat in the vicinity of the imam; to recite Quran or remember Allah on the way; to recite Surah Kahf on the day or the night of Friday; to engage in supplications to the utmost and to invoke blessings for Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

It is desirable that the imam should recite Surah Jum’a after Surah Fatiha in the first raka’t and to recite Surah Munafiqoon in the second rak’at.  After the congregational prayer it is desirable to perform nafl consisting of four rak’ats.

What is Reprehensible on Fridays?

Friday should not be observed as a holiday or closed day doing no work. This resembles the observance of Sabbath on Saturday and Sunday by the Jews and Christians respectively doing no work. Allah Almighty has only prohibited work at the time of the Friday Prayer:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِي لِلصَّلاةِ مِنْ يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (9) فَإِذَا قُضِيَتْ الصَّلاةُ فَانتَشِرُوا فِي الأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيراً لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (10) (الجمعة : 9، 10)

(Translation of meaning) “O you who believe when the call for the Friday Prayer is given hasten to the invocation of Allah and leave trade. That is good for you if you knew. And when the salat is concluded spread out on earth seeking the bounty of Allah and remember Allah most of the time so that you could achieve success” (Jum’a: 9-10)

The Prayers of the Two Eids [Festivals]

The prayers on both the Eids are emphasized Sunnah [Sunnah Muakkadah]. Some jurists hold them to be as fardh kifaya that is, if some members of the community performed them they will be deemed to have been performed by the whole community. It is desirable that womenfolk join these salats.

Time: The time to perform these salats is half an hour after the rise of the sun and remain till a little before the decline of the sun. Eidul Adha prayer should be performed early so that people could arrange for the offering of their sacrifice. But Eidul Fitr should be delayed a little.  Some jurists say those who miss these salats should perform them individually.  Others say there is no obligation for the missed salats.

The Site: Except in Makkah Mukarramah these salats should be performed in open spaces. But Imam Shafei holds that their performance in mosques is preferable.

The Manner of Performance of Eid Salat

The Eid salat consists of two rak’ats. In the first rak’at the imam after reciting takbeer will also recite seven additional takbeerat. Thereafter, he will recite Surah Al-Fatiha and some portion of the Quran. It is desirable to recite Surah Al-A’la.  In the second rak’at standing with takbeer he will recite five additional takbeerat. Then he will recite Surah Al-Fatiha and some other surah. It is desirable to recite Surah Al-Ghashiah. After the conclusion of the salat the imam should deliver his sermon.  This sermon is a sunnah. Listening to it or presence is not obligatory.

Hadrat Abdullah bin Saeb has narrated that once we went along the Prophet (ﷺ) to perform the Eid salat. After the conclusion of the salat he said “I will deliver a sermon. Those who wish to listen should keep sitting and those who don’t can leave” (Ibn Maja). Here contrary to two sermons of Friday only one sermon is delivered and here also preacher should praise Allah and recite the takbeerat. The rest of content is like ordinary sermons except that during this sermon he will keep repeating the takbeerat.

Takbeerat during the Two Eids

It is desirable to recite takbeers during the Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha.  On Eidul Adha, it is desirable to chant takbeerat from Arfah Day till the Asr of the Tashreeq days, according to Hanafis and Hanbalis. The Malikis say that takbeerat should be chanted from the Zohr of the day of sacrifice till the Fajr of the fourth day. These takbeerat should be chanted after every prayer, while wayfaring, on reaching the destination and within the bazaars. The males should chant loudly while the females with subdued voice. There are no specific words for that, one can say in whatever words he likes.

The Traditional Practices of Eids

To take bath, to apply perfume, to put on the new and good dress, to prepare early for the salat, to go to the site of Eid prayer from one path and to come back from another, before going to the Eidul Fitr salat to consume dates in odd numbers [1,3,5,7], to  eat nothing  before the Eidul Adha prayer and to consume the meat of the sacrificed animal on return, to go to meet the relatives and friends, to honour the blood relations, to greet the neighbours, and to express happiness and exchange greetings with the common Muslims.

There is no nafl salat either before or after the salats of both Eids.

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