Jumu’ah (صلاة الجمعة, ṣalāt al-jumu‘ah), also known as Friday Prayer or Congregational Prayer, is a prayer (ṣalāt) that Muslims hold every Friday, just after noon instead of the Zuhr prayer. Muslims pray ordinarily five times each day according to the sun’s sky path regardless of time zones. Jumu’ah means Friday in the Arabic language. Al-Jumu’ah is derived from the verb ijta’ama which means the gathering together of people.
It is one of the most exalted Islamic rituals and one of its confirmed obligatory acts.
There is consensus among Muslims regarding the Friday prayer (salat al-jumu’ah) being wajib in accordance with the Quranic verse, as well as the many traditions narrated both by Shi’i and Sunni sources. According to the majority of Sunni schools and some Shiite jurists, Friday prayer is a religious obligation, but their differences were based on whether its obligation is conditional to the presence of the ruler or his deputy in it or if it is wajib unconditionally. The Hanafis and the Imams believe that the presence of the ruler or his deputy is necessary; the Friday prayer is not obligatory if neither of them is present. The Imamis require the ruler to be just (‘adil); otherwise his presence is equal to his absence. To the Hanafis, his presence is sufficient even if he is not just. The Shafi‘is, Malikis and Hanbalis attach no significance to the presence of the ruler.
Moreover, it has been stated that Jumu’ah is not obligatory for old men, children, women, slaves, travellers, the sick, blind and disabled, as well as those who are outside the limit of two farsakhs.
In the Quran
It is mentioned in the Quran:
O you who have faith! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, hurry toward the remembrance of God, and leave all business. That is better for you, should you know. And when the prayer is finished, disperse through the land and seek God’s grace, and remember God greatly so that you may be felicitous.— Qur’an, Surah Al-Jumu’ah (62), Ayahs 9-10
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (Muhammad) said, “On every Friday the angels take their stand at every gate of the mosques to write the names of the people chronologically (i.e. according to the time of their arrival for the Friday prayer) and when the Imam sits (on the pulpit) they fold up their scrolls and get ready to listen to the sermon.”— Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari
Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj an-Naysaburi relates that the Islamic prophet Muhammad used to read Surah 87 (Al-Ala) and Surah 88, (Al-Ghashiya), in Eid Prayers and also in Friday prayers. If one of the festivals fell on a Friday, Muhammad would have made sure to read these two Surahs in the prayers.
Muhammad is quoted as saying
“The best day the sun rises over is Friday; on it Allah created Adam. On it, he was made to enter paradise, on it he was expelled from it, and the Last Hour will take place on no other day than Friday.” [Ahmad and at-Tirmithi].
Aws ibn Aws, narrated that Muhammad said:
“Whoever performs Ghusl on Friday and causes (his wife) to do ghusl, then goes early to the mosque and attends from the beginning of the Khutbah and draws near to the Imam and listens to him attentively, Allah will give him the full reward of fasting all the days of a year and observing night-vigil on each of its nights for every step that he took towards the mosque.” [Ibn Khuzaymah, Ahmad].
In Sunni Islam
The Jumu’ah prayer is half the Zuhr (dhuhr) prayer, for convenience, preceded by a khutbah (a sermon as a technical replacement of the two reduced rakaʿāt of the ordinary Zuhr (dhuhr) prayer), and followed by a congregational prayer, led by the imām. In most cases the khaṭīb also serves as the imam. Attendance is strictly incumbent upon all adult males who are legal residents of the locality. The muezzin (muʾadhdhin) makes the call to prayer, called the adhan, usually 15–20 minutes prior to the start of Jum’ah. When the khaṭīb takes his place on the minbar, a second adhan is made. The khaṭīb is supposed to deliver two sermons, stopping and sitting briefly between them. In practice, the first sermon is longer and contains most of the content. The second sermon is very brief and concludes with a dua, after which the muezzin calls the iqāmah. This signals the start of the main two rak’at prayer of Jumu’ah.
In Shia Islam
In Shia Islam, Salat al-Jumuah is Wajib Takhyiri (at the time of Occultation), which means that we have an option to offer Jumuah prayers, if its necessary conditions are fulfilled, or to offer Zuhr prayers. Hence, if Salat al-Jumuah is offered then it is not necessary to offer Zuhr prayer. It is also recommended by Shiite Scholars to attend Jumu’ah as it will become Wajib after the appearance of Imam al-Mahdi and Jesus Christ (Isa).
Shiite (Imamite) attach high significance to the presence of a just ruler or his representative or Faqih and in the absence of a just ruler or his representative and a just faqih, there exists an option between performing either the Friday or the zuhr prayer, although preference lies with the performance of Friday prayer.
In the history of Islam
According to the history of Islam and the report from Abdullah bn ‘Abbas narrated from the Prophet saying that: the permission to perform the Friday prayer was given by Allah before hijrah, but the people were unable to congregate and perform it. The Prophet wrote a note to Mus’ab b. Umair, who represented the Prophet in Madinah to pray two raka’at in congregation on Friday (that is, Jumu’ah). Then, after the migration of the Prophet to Medina, the Jumu’ah was held by him.
For Shiites, historically, their clergy discouraged Shiites from attending Friday prayers. According to them, communal Friday prayers with a sermon were wrong and had lapsed (along with several other religious practices) until the return of their 12th Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi. However, among others, Shiite modernist Muhammad ibn Muhammad Mahdi al-Khalisi (1890–1963) demanded that Shiites should more carefully observe Friday prayers in a step to bridge the gap with Sunnis. Later, the practice of communal Friday prayers was developed, and became standard there-afterwards, by Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran and later by Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr in Iraq. They justified the practice under the newly promoted Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists doctrine. When al-Sadr installed Friday prayer imams in Shia-majority areas—a practice not traditional in Iraqi Shiism and considered “revolutionary, if not heretical”—it put him at odds with the Shia religious establishment in Najaf. Under both Khomeini and al-Sadr, political sermons would be heard.
The communal prayers have higher compliance of worshipers, as compared to the non-communal ritual prayers. In Turkey for example, the ritual prayers are performed regularly by 44% of the whole adult population, whereas Friday prayers were regularly attended by 56% (25% responded that they sometimes attended and 19% that they didn’t). However, these figures might not be accurate as many men in Turkey perform the Jumu’ah prayers at the workplace and many boys perform the Jumu’ah prayers at school.
According to surveys conducted by Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, less than 1.4% of Iranians attend Friday prayers.
An accurate Jumu’ah was said to fulfill certain conditions, including the follows :
- Friday prayer must be prayed in congregational.
- There must be a congregation attending the whole procedures of Jumu’ah. According to the Shafi‘i and Hanbali schools of Sunni jurisprudence the minimum number of attendees is 40 persons. Other schools confine the minimum number to 3 or 5 (better 7) persons including the Imam.
- According to a Shiite law, only one Friday prayer may be prayed in a radius of 3 miles (720 yards). If two prayers are held within this distance, the latter will be null and void.
- There must be two sermons delivered by the Imam before the prayer and attentively listened to by at least 4 (or 6) persons”.
- A talk or sermon delivered in mosques before the Friday prayer. The sermon consists of two distinct parts, between which the Khatib(speaker) must sit down for a short time of rest.
- There should not be an undue interval or irrelevant action intervening between the sermon and the prayer. ” It should preferably be in Arabic, especially the Qur’anic passage which has to be recited in the sermon. Otherwise, it should be given in the language understood by the majority of the faithful who are there. In this case the preacher should first recite in Arabic Qurʾānic verses praising God and Muhammad. “
- According to the majority of Shiite and Sunni doctrine, the contents must contain the following: “
- The praise and glorification of Allah.
- Invocation of blessings on Muhammad and his progeny
- Enjoining the participants Taqwa,admonition and exhortations.
- Reciting short surah from Quran
- Also, in addition to the above issues, the following were advised to be addressed in the second sermon:
- What will be useful for all Muslims in this world and hereafter.
- The important events all over the world in favor of or disfavor of Muslims.
- Special attention should be paid to issues in the Muslim world.
- Political and economical aspects of the society and worldwide.
- Attendants must listen attentively to the sermon and avoid any action that might distract their attentions.
- The Prophet Muhammad “has forbidden a person with his knees drawn up touching his abdomen while the imam is delivering the Friday sermon.”
- Jumu’ah prayer consists of two rak’ats prayer just like morning (fajr) prayer, offered immediately after Khutbah(sermon). And it is a replacement of Zuhr prayer.
- According to Shiite doctrine it is advisable(Sunnat) to recite Surah al-Jumu’ah in the first rak’at and Surah al-Munafiqun in the second rak’at, after Surah al-Hamd.
- According to shiite doctrine, two qunut (raising one hands for supplication during salat) is especially recommended during salatul Jumu’ah. The first Qunut is offered in the 1st rak’at before ruku’ and the second is offered in the 2nd rak’at after rising from ruku’.
Significance in tradition
There are many hadiths reported on the significance of Jumu’ah. The Prophet Muhammad has been reported saying:
- “The Jumu’ah is the pilgrimage of the poor”
- “Whoever misses three Jumu’ah, being indifferent to them, Allah seals his heart”.
- It has been related from Ahmad that the Prophet said: “A worshipper who washes fully on Friday then comes to Salatul Jumu’ah in the early time, then listens to the Imam’s speeches and does not do anything wrong, Allah will grant this worshipper the reward of one year of fasting and prayer.
- “Any Muslim who dies during the day or night of Friday will be protected by Allah from the trial of the grave.” [At-Tirmithi and Ahmad].
- Also, hadith related by Al-Bukhari, quoted the Prophet saying that: “In the day of Friday, there exists an hour that if a worshipper asks from Allah, anything he wishes in this hour, Allah will grant it and does not reject it, as long as he or she did not wishing for bad”.
- “Friday has 12 hours, one of which is hour where dua are granted for Muslim believers. This hour is thought to be in the afternoon, after asr prayer”.
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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