[By Dr. Maulana Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi]
Allah the Exalted created the universe and granted more excellence to some of his creation over the other. He created seven days and granted excellence to the day of Jumu’ah (Friday). Among the excellence and virtues of this day is that a complete chapter of the Qur’an is named after it which has been and will be recited till the Last Day.
A brief explanation of Surat al-Jumu’ah
Surat al-Jumu’ah is a Madinan Surah i.e. it was revealed to the Prophet ﷺ during the Madinan period. It contains eleven (11) verses and two (2) Ruku’s. The chapter begins with the glorification and praise of Allah the Almighty mentioning four of His Attributes:
(1) Al-Malik (The King): The Absolute and Eternal King Whose kingdom will never end.
(2) Al-Quddus (The Most Pure): Far removed from impurity or imperfection
(3) Al-‘Aziz (The Mighty): The One who does what He wills. The One Who does alone what He wills without the help of others.
(4) Al-Hakim (The Wise): The One Whose every decree and action relies on complete wisdom.
After that, the prophethood of the noble Messenger of Allah ﷺ is mentioned that how Allah the Exalted has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom. Then there comes a mention of the Jews and Christians. The last three verses of the chapter have a mention of Salat al Jumu’ah (The Jumu’ah prayer) that are translated as follows:
“O you who believe, when the call for Salah (prayer) is proclaimed on Friday, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business. That is much better for you, if you but know.” “Then once the Salah is over, disperse in the land, and seek the grace of Allah, and remember Allah abundantly, so that you may be successful.” “And when they see some merchandise or amusement, they break away to it, and leave you (O prophet,) standing. Say, what is with Allah is much better than the amusement and the merchandise, and Allah is the best giver of sustenance.” (Surat al-Jumu’ah: 62:9-11)
The contextual background of revelation of the last of verse (verse 11) of the chapter
In the beginning, the Jumu’ah Salah was followed by the sermon. Once while the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was delivering sermon after the Salah, the caravan of Dihyah ibn Khalifah entered Madinah carrying foodstuff from Syria. At that time people were suffering due to shortage of supplies. As prayer was done, most people thought listening to the sermon was not part of the prayer and feared that they would fail to buy provisions for themselves if they stayed in the Masjid and thus they rushed towards the caravan leaving the Messenger on the pulpit in the middle of the sermon. There remained only twelve Companions in the Masjid who did not move. In this very context the last verse of the chapter was revealed. It is reported that Irak ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) used to stand by the door of the Masjid after finishing Jumu’ah Salah and supplicate as follows:
ينقزراف ينترمأ امك ترشتناو كتضيرف تيلصو كتوعد تبجأ ينإ مهللا نيقزارلا ريخ تنأو كلضف نم
Transliteration: Allahumma inni ajabtu da’wataka wasallaitu faridhataka, wa ‘ntashartu kama amartani fa ‘rzuqni min fadhlika, wa anta khairu ‘rraziqin.
Translation: O Allah! I have answered Your call and performed the Salah You have prescribed and then I have dispersed as You have ordered. So, grant me of Your favour. Indeed, You are the best of those who grant provisions. (Ibn Abi Hatim) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)
Based on this verse, some of the Salaf said that whoever engages in buying or selling after Jumu’ah Salah Allah, the Exalted, will grant him seventy times more blessings in his dealing. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)
Adhan of Jumu’ah
The adhan mentioned in the verse refers to the one which is called out after sitting of the Imam on the pulpit because that was the only adhan pronounced during the lifetime of the Prophet ﷺ . When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ walked to the Mimbar (pulpit) from his house and sat on it, the Mu’azzin called out adhan in front of him. The first adhan of Jumu’ah we are accustomed to nowadays was not even introduced during the reigns of Abu Bakr and Umar (radhiyallahu anhum). It was only during the caliphate of ‘Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) when the Muslims increased in number, He decided the first adhan to be called out at a separate place called al Zawra’ which was the tallest house nearby the Masjid.
It should be noted here that abovementioned verses talk about adhan of Jumu’ah and they also instruct what to do after the prayer is done but they , as you know, do not guide us as to how the adhan should be called, what words are to be pronounced or how to perform the prayer. Such details regarding adhan and Salah are to be learnt from the ‘Ahadith of the Prophet ﷺ. This shows that understanding the Qur’an without taking the Hadith into consideration is not possible.
Why Friday is called Jumu’ah?
Many reasons have been given by the scholars about calling Friday as Jumu’ah. Some are as follows:
1. The word Jumu’ah is derived from al-Jam’, literally ‘to gather’ or ‘gathering’. Since the Muslims gather on this day in the grand mosques, it is called as Jumu’ah.
2. It was during Friday when Allah finished the creation, the sixth day, during which Allah created the heavens and the earth. In other words, the whole creation was gathered on this day and therefore it was named Jumu’ah.
3. Adam (alayhissalaam) was created on this day i.e. he was assembled and therefore it is called Jumu’ah.
The first Jumu’ah in the history of Islam
In pre-Islamic days, Friday was called ‘Arubah. Before migration of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to Madinah and before revelation of the chapter al Jumu’ah, the Ansar Companions saw the Jews and Christians in Madinah gather for prayer on Saturday and Sunday respectively. They, therefore, decided to fix a day to gather for worshiping Allah, the Exalted. They all gathered at Abu Umamah’s (radhiyallahu anhu) and prayed two rak’ahs led by As’ad ibn Zurarah (radhiyallahu anhu). They named it Jumu’ah (the day of gathering) for this union. Thus, the first ever Jumu’ah of Islam was introduced. (Tafsir al-Qurtubi)
The first Jumu’ah performed by the noble Prophet (PBUH):
During his migration to Madinah, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ stayed few days in Quba, a neighbouring village of Madinah where Banu ‘Awf ibn ‘Amr lived. It was one day before he left for Madinah from Quba when he laid the foundation of a Masjid in Quba. It was on Thursday and this was the first ever mosque of Islam erected with the spirit of Taqwa. The Prophet ﷺ left for Madinah on Friday. When he reached dwellings of Banu Salim ibn ‘Awf, the time of Jumu’ah started.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ led the Jumu’ah prayer in Batn al-Wadi in the very place where nowadays a Masjid by the name Masjid al-Jumu’ah is standing. This was the first Jumu’ah led and performed by the noble Prophet ﷺ .
The importance of Friday
The Jews chose Saturday for their holy day, but Adam (alayhissalaam) was not created on Saturday. The Christians chose Sunday, which is the day the creation was initiated. Allah chose Friday for this Ummah, because it is the day the creation was finished. Bukhari reported in his Sahih that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “We are the last (to come) but the first on the Day of Resurrection.” Imam Muslim’s narration further includes: “(We are) the first among the creation to be judged on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ibn Kathir).
Some ‘Ahadith on the importance of Friday:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Friday is the master of days, and the greatest of them before Allah. It is greater before Allah than the day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr. It has five characteristics: on this day Allah created Adam, on it He sent Adam down to the earth, on it Allah caused Adam to die, on it there is a time when a person does not ask Allah for anything but He gives it to him, so long as he does not ask for anything haram (forbidden), and on it the Hour will begin. There is no angel who is close to Allah, no heaven, no earth, no wind, no mountain and no sea that does not fear Friday.” (Ibn Majah).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “None of the days, on which the sun rises and sets, is better than Friday.” (Ibn Hibban).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “O assembly of Muslims, Allah has made this day a celebration (Eid). So perform a bath and use the tooth stick.” (Tabarani, Majma’ al-Zawa’id).
This Hadith is clear in that Friday is the Eid of the week.
Allah has sworn in in Surat al-Buruj of the glorious Qur’an by the ‘shahid’ and the ‘mashhud’ (the witness and the witnessed). The word ‘shahid’ meaning witness refers to Friday because it will be a witness on the Day of Judgment for every action done on this day.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Verily, the most virtuous of prayers to Allah is the dawn prayer in congregation on Friday (Tabarani, Bazzar).
The fire of the Hell is inflamed every day but on Friday it is not inflamed due to greatness and excellence of this day (Zad al-Ma’ad: vol.1, p. 387).
Specifying the hour in which prayers are answered on Friday
Once the Messenger of Allah ﷺ talked about Friday and said, “There is an hour (opportune time) on Friday that if a Muslim gets it while praying and asks something from Allah, then Allah will definitely meet his demand.” And then the Messenger of Allah ﷺ pointed with the help of his hand that it (the time) is short. (Bukhari).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “It is between the times when the Imam sits down, until the prayer is over.” (Muslim).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “On Friday there is an hour when no Muslim happens to ask Allah for good at that time but He will give it to him, and it is after ‘Asr.” (Musnad Ahmad).
In view of the aforementioned ‘Ahadith, the scholars hold two opinions about the said opportune hour:
1. The interval between the two sermons when the Imam sits for a while on the pulpit.
2. Moments before sunset.
The distinction of Jumu’ah Salah
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadhan to Ramadhan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins.” (Muslim). The Hadith means that only the minor sins committed in the intervals are forgiven.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said ”He who performed ablution well, then came to Friday prayer, listened (to the sermon) and kept silence, all his sins between that time and the next Friday would be forgiven, and even of three days more.” (Muslim).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Any person who takes a bath on Friday like the bath of Janabah (major ritual impurity) and then goes for the prayer (in the first hour i.e. early), it is as if he had sacrificed a camel (in Allah’s cause); and whoever goes in the second hour it is as if he had sacrificed a cow; and whoever goes in the third hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a horned ram; and if one goes in the fourth hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a hen; and whoever goes in the fifth hour then it is as if he had offered an egg. When the Imam comes out (i.e. starts delivering the Khutbah (sermon)), the angels present themselves to listen to the Khutbah (sermon).” (Bukhari and Muslim).
The scholars differ regarding the starting point of the hour but the crux of all is that we should go to the Masjid as early as possible.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “When it is Friday, the angels stand at every door of the mosque and record the people in the order of their arrival, and when the Imam sits (on the pulpit for delivering the sermon) they fold up their sheets and listen to the mention (of Allah.” (Muslim).
Those who come after the Khutbah (sermon) has begun fail to gain the special reward of Jumu’ah although their Salah becomes valid.
Khutbah (sermon) of the Jumu’ah Salah
Jumu’ah Salah should be necessarily followed by two sermons.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ always delivered two sermons on Friday (Muslim). It is from the Sunnah for the Khatib (Imam) to take an interval and sit between the two sermons (Muslim).
To lean on a stick while delivering sermons is also Sunnah.
It is prohibited to talk even to advice someone while the Khutbah (sermon) is being delivered:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “If you (even) ask your companion to be quiet on Friday while the Imam is delivering the sermon, you have in fact talked irrelevance.” (Muslim).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “But whoever touches the pebbles (i.e. keeps on playing with them or his own hand, mat or clothes during the sermon) has engaged in an idle action.” (He decreased the special reward of Friday due to these idle acts) (Muslim).
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “The Prophet prohibited Al-Habwah on Friday while the Imam is delivering the Khutbah (sermon).” (Tirmidhi).
Habwah is the posture of sitting with the legs and thighs contracted towards the belly, the back bent forward, and supported in that position by the arms crossed over the knees.
Abdullah ibn Busr (radhiyallahu anhu) says, “I was sitting near the pulpit on Friday. A person came forward jumping over the people’s necks, while the Prophet ﷺ was delivering the sermon. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘sit down, you caused harm and got delayed’.” (Sahih Ibn Hibban).
It is prohibited to make way by jumping over people’s necks. One should sit wherever one finds space in the last rows.
Rulings about Jumu’ah Salah
Performing Jumu’ah prayer is obligatory for every Muslim male who has come of age and is healthy living in a city or such a township or village where all the necessary provisions are available. Women, children, travellers and the sick are not required to attend Jumu’ah Salah. However, if they attend Jumu’ah Salah, their prayer will be valid. Otherwise, they should perform Zuhr prayer instead of Jumu’ah.
Similarly, if you are in a desert where no population exits or travelling by air, you should perform Zuhr prayer.
Jumu’ah Salah comprises two rak’ahs and should necessarily be offered in congregation only. Loud recitation of the Qur’an in both the rak’ahs is also requisite. It is Sunnah to recite Surat al-‘Ala and Al Ghashiyah or Surat al-Jumu’ah and al Munafiqun in the two rak’ahs respectively.
Some Sunnah acts and etiquettes to be observed on Friday
Taking bath on Friday is wajib (obligatory) or Sunnah mu’akkadah (emphasized Sunnah). No one should neglect taking bath on Friday without an excuse acceptable to the Shari’ah. It is from the Sunnah to get clean, apply oil and perfume and put on the best clothes one has.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Indeed the bath, taken on Friday, removes sins even to the extent of removing them from the roots of the hair.” (Tabarani, Majma’ al-Zawa’id).
This removes only the minor sins. As for the major ones, they can be forgiven only by sincere repentance. If one has no minor sins, this will add to his virtues.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever takes a bath on Friday, purifies himself as much as he can, then uses his (hair) oil or perfumes himself with the scent of his house, then proceeds (for the Jumu’ah prayer) and does not separate two persons sitting together (in the mosque), then prays as much as (Allah has) written for him and then remains silent while the Imam is delivering the Khutbah (sermon), his sins in between the present and the last Friday would be forgiven.” (Bukhari).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “He who took a bath and then came for Jumu’ah prayer and then prayed what was fixed for him, then kept silent till the Imam finished the sermon, and then prayed along with him, his sins between that time and the next Friday would be forgiven, and even of three days more.” (Muslim).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “He who takes a bath on Friday, uses perfumes, if available, wears good clothes and then goes to the mosque. After coming to the mosque, he performs nafl prayers, if possible and does not cause any harm to anyone. He remains silent from the time the Imam comes to deliver the sermon till the payer begins. These acts become a source for forgiveness of his sins from the previous Friday till this Friday.” (Musnad Ahmad).
Sunnah prayers before and after Jumu’ah Salah
The aforementioned ‘Ahadith exhort that one should pray as much as one can during the blessed moments of Jumu’ah. If one does not get the opportunity to pray much, one should at least offer four rak’ahs before the congregational Jumu’ah Salah as it has been reported by Ibn Abi Shaibah in his Musannaf (vol. 2, p. 131) from the renowned Tabi’ee Ibrahim that he said: “The blessed Companions used to perform four rak’ahs before the Friday prayer.” (Namaz-e-Payambar, p. 279).
Two, four or six rak’ahs should be offered after the Jumu’ah Salah. All the three actions are reported from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and his noble Companions (alayhim ar ridhwan). Praying six rak’ahs is better so that all the ‘Ahadith concerning the post-Jumu’ah prayers are acted upon and the worshipper receives more rewards. Allamah Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said: “It is reported from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that he advised to pray four rak’ahs after Jumu’ah while the practice of offering sex units is also reported from the Companions.” (Mukhtasar Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 79) (Namaz-e Payambar, p. 281).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “When any one of you observes the Jumu’ah prayer (two obligatory rak’ahs in congregation), he should observe four (rak’ahs) afterwards.” (Muslim).
Salim narrated on the authority of his father that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to observe two rak’ahs after Jumu’ah (Muslim).
Ibn Jurayj said: Ata’ told me that he saw Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) pray after the Friday prayer. He moved a little from the place where he offered the Friday prayer. Then he would pray two rak’ahs. He then walked far away from that place and would offer four rak’ahs. I asked Ata’: How many times did you see Ibn Umar do that? He replied: “Many times.” (Abu Dawud).
Warnings against neglecting Jumu’ah Salah
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “I had the notion to order someone to lead the people in prayer, and then to go and burn the houses of those who stayed away from al Jumu’ah!” (Muslim).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “People need to stop neglecting the Friday prayers lest Allah place a seal over their hearts and then they become heedless.” (Muslim).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever leaves three Jumu’ah Prayers consecutively out of neglect on his part, Allah will put a seal on his heart.” (Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud).
Walking on foot for attending Jumu’ah Salah
Yazid ibn Abi Mariam said: “Abayah ibn Rafi’ met me when I was walking to Friday prayer, and he said: ‘Rejoice, for these steps you are taking are in the cause of Allah. I heard Abu ‘Abs say: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Anyone whose feet become dusty in the cause of Allah, he will be forbidden to the Fire.” (Tirmidhi).
A similar narration with slightly different wording has also been recorded by Imam Bukhari.
Reciting Surat al-Kahf during Friday night or day
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever reads Surat al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah, will have a light that will shine for him from that Friday to the next.” (Nasa’i, Baihaqi and Hatim).
Reciting al-Kahf brings tranquillity and blessings to the house. Al-Bara’ reported that a man recited al Kahf when an animal was there in the house and it began to take fright. And as he looked around, he found a cloud overshadowing it. He mentioned that to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ . Upon this he said: O so and so, recite on (the surah) as- Sakina descends at the (recitation of the Qur’an) or on account (of the recitation) of the Qur’an.” (Sahih Bukhari, merits of Surat al-Kahf and Sahih Muslim, the Book of Prayer).
Virtues of sending Salawat on the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) on Friday
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Verily, your best day is Friday, so invoke blessings upon me in abundance on this day, for your invocation is presented to me.” (Musnad Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and Sahih Ibn Hibban).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Increase your recital of Salawat on me on the day and night of Friday for I will intercede for a person who does so on the Day of Judgment.” (Baihaqi).
The excellence of death befalling during the night or day of Friday
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There is no Muslim who dies during the day of Friday or the night of Friday but Allah will protect him from the trial of the grave.” (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi).
Time of the Jumu’ah Prayer
The time of Jumu’ah prayer starts when the sun has passed the meridian just like Zuhr In view of the Qur’anic verses and Prophetic injunctions regarding observing each Salah on its prescribed time, all the scholars of Tafsir, Hadith and Fiqh unanimously consider it obligatory to offer each and every Salah within its specified time by the Shari’ah as Allah the Exalted has said: “Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.” (al-Qur’an 4:103)
Jumu’ah prayer, however, is different than other obligatory prayers in respect of Qada’ as one is not allowed to make up for Jumu’ah Salah if missed while others prayers if missed can be made up later. In case, one missed Jumu’ah prayer, he should offer four rak’ahs of Zuhr instead. All the scholars are unanimous on that prescribed time is a precondition for Jumu’ah prayer to be valid. Imam al-Nawawi (rahimahullah), the famous scholar for his commentary of Sahih Muslim, wrote in his al-Majmu’ (vol 4, page 264) that the whole Ummah is unanimous on that there is no Qada’ (making up) for Jumu’ah i.e. if one fails to attend the prayer he should offer Zuhr. Similarly, the whole Ummah unanimously holds that whoever offers Jumu’ah on Zuhr time is the one who has offered it on its (prescribed) time. Consensus on the issue has been reported from Imam alShafi’e (may Allah have mercy on him) and other scholars. Likewise, as per the collective opinion of the Ummah, Jumu’ah prayer should be offered only after the time of Zuhr has been entered as this had been the practice of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ all his life and no one from the scholars differed on the issue. If Jumu’ah prayer is offered before entering the Zawal time, majority of the scholars of Hadith and Fiqh including Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam al Shafi’e and Imam Malik (rahimahumullah) say that the prayer should be repeated after the sun passes the meridian and if they fail to repeat it before the Zuhr time ends, they must offer Zuhr as Qada’ instead. In Saudi Arabia though the first Adhan for Jumu’ah prayer generally is called about one and half hour before the sun passes its zenith in accordance with the famous opinion reported from Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahmatullah alayh) yet the second Adhan before the Khutbah (sermon), however, is called only after the Zawal time enters in line with the opinion held by the majority of the scholars of Hadith and Fiqh. In al-Masjid al-Haram and al-Masjid al-Nabawi, however, even the first Adhan is called after the sun passes the meridian according to the opinion of the majority of the Muhaddithin and Fuqaha’. But sometimes it is seen that even the second Adhan is called in some mosques before decline of the sun which really concerns many. It simply makes no sense. People who make so much hurry should have no problem if they wait for a few minutes till the sun passes its zenith so as to allow others attain reward of entering mosque for Jumu’ah before the second Adhan. In view of the Prophetic statements, majority of the scholars believe that although arriving in the mosque for offering Jumu’ah after the second Adhan begins absolves one from the obligation yet such a person deserves no special reward of Jumu’ah nor the angels record his name in their registers. To be on the safe side, the Saudi scholars have also preferred the opinion held by majority of the scholars and they advise people that the second Adhan should not be called before the sun passes the meridian in all the mosques. As for the blessed Haramain, even the first Adhan is called after the sun passes its zenith. The importance of the issue urged me to deal it in detail. May Allah direct me to write what is right and true. Aameen!
With regard to the starting time of Jumu’ah Salah, two opinions have been narrated from the scholars. Before mentioning the opinions and their respective arguments, I find it suitable to point out the reason of difference in opinion. From some narrations emphasizing on hastening to pray Jumu’ah Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) understood that the prayer can be held even before the sun passes the meridian. But the fact is there is not a single Hadith that clearly suggests that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ prayed Jumu’ah before the sun begins to decline. Moreover, majority of the scholars of Hadith and Fiqh including Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam al Shafi’e and Imam Malik (rahimahumullah) say that the gist of all such Hadiths is only laying stress on hastening to offer Jumu’ah and not that it can be offered before the sun passes the meridian. Therefore, according to majority of the scholars and also according to another opinion of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) the time of Jumu’ah begins when the sun passes the meridian, just like the time for Zuhr prayer while the famous opinion of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) is that although Jumu’ah prayer should be offered after the sun declines yet if it is offered even before that it would be valid to do so and there would be no need to repeat it after the sun passes the meridian because Jumu’ah is like Eid, hence it can be offered at the time of Duha Salah just as Eid Salah. The famous Hanbali scholar ‘Allamah Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) states that according to the approved scholarly opinion offering Jumu’ah Salah becomes obligatory only when the sun passes the meridian though it is allowed to perform it before the time enters.
Evidences substantiating opinion of the majority of scholars
A lot of evidences can be presented to substantiate the opinion held by majority of the scholars of Hadith and Fiqh. We do not want to prolong the article by citing all the different proofs. It will suffice here to mention two Hadiths recorded by Bukhari and Muslim:
In his most acclaimed Sahih, Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) entitled a chapter in the Book of Jumu’ah as “Time of Jumu’ah (begins) when the sun has passed the meridian: it is thus narrated from ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Nu’man ibn Bashir, and ‘Amr ibn Huraith (radhiyallahu anhum).” This clearly shows that Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) also held that the time of Jumu’ah Salah begins when the sun has passed its zenith. Then Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) narrated the following Hadith in the same chapter from Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu)) that the Prophet ﷺ used to pray Jumu’ah when the sun had passed the meridian. While explaining the Hadith, the famous commentator of Sahih al-Bukhari ‘Allamah Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) noted: ‘It tells us that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to pray Jumu’ah only when the sun had already passed the meridian.’ (Fath al-Bari) The Hadith has also been recorded by other Muhaddithin. Imam al Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) narrated it in his Sunan. Moreover, Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) himself mentioned the Hadith in his famous Al-Musnad.
(2) In the second most authentic compilation of Hadith known as Sahih Muslim, Imam Muslim made a similar chapter entitling ‘Time of Jumu’ah (begins) when the sun has passed the meridian’ and then reported the following Hadith from Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ (radhiyallahu anhu) that he said: We used to pray Jumu’ah with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ when the sun passed its zenith, then we would go back and try to seek shade. Imam Bukhari (radhiyallahu anhu) also narrated this Hadith in his Sahih. In short, both the narrations in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are clear in that the time of Jumu’ah starts when the sun passes the meridian.
Evidences cited to support the opinion of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah)
1. It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sa’d (radhiyallahu anhu) said: We used not to take a nap or eat lunch (ghada’) until after Jumu’ah. (Bukhari & Muslim)
The point of their argument lies in the literal meaning of the word Ghada’ because Ghada’ refers to the meal taken before the sun passes the meridian. Since the Hadith states that they used to have Ghada’ after Jumu’ah, it implies that they would pray Jumu’ah before the sun had passed the meridian. But this interpretation is not acceptable. What the Hadith tells is that they would take the Ghada’ (lunch) after Jumu’ah Salah on Fridays but it does not necessarily means that they used to have it before the sun had passed the meridian on Fridays. The meal taken after the sun passes the meridian is also called Ghada’ (lunch) as we call it nowadays so. Moreover, in a Hadith the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said about the pre-dawn meal (al-Suhur), ‘Come to the blessed Ghada’. Does it mean that Suhur can be taken till the sun passes the meridian?
2. It was narrated from Ja’far ibn Muhammad, from his father, that Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) said: We used to pray with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ , then we would go back and let our camels used for carrying water rest. Hasan said: I said to Ja’far: At what time was that? He said: When the sun passed its zenith. But this Hadith like the first one does not serve their claim because, as other narrations suggest, it is possible to give rest to the watercarrying camels after performing Jumu’ah when the sun has already passed its zenith. Moreover, this is not a statement of Jabir (radhiyallahu anhu) but an explanation by transmitter of the narration. An ambiguous statement such as this cannot be cited as a proof to substantiate the claim made.
3. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) also put forth what has been reported by Sunan Dara Qutni and Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah from ‘Abdullah ibn Saydan al-Salami that the Rightly-guided Caliphs prayed Jumu’ah before the sun had passed the meridian. But this is a weak narration hence incapable to serve as a valid proof as the famous commentator of Sahih Muslim Imam Al-Nawawi (rahimahullah) stated that the narrations suggesting that Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman (radhiyallahu anhum) prayed Jumu’ah (before Zawal) are deemed weak. In case, they have any reliability, they must be reinterpreted in view of the clear Prophetic injunctions in this respect.
4. To support his respective opinion, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) also used the narrations that emphasis on hastening to go for Jumu’ah. But the fact is presenting such Hadiths to prove permissibility of holding Jumu’ah before the sun has passed the meridian is not acceptable. The gist of all such reports, as mentioned before, is laying stress on hasting to go to the mosque for Jumu’ah as early as one can. But they in no way state that Jumu’ah can be held before the sun passes the meridian.
In short, the Ummah unanimously holds that Jumu’ah prayer is offered on Friday instead of Zuhr Salah. If a person fails to attend the congregational Jumu’ah prayer, he should offer four rak’ahs of Zuhr instead. Similarly, majority of the Muhaddithin and Fuqaha’ agree that alike Zuhr the time of Jumu’ah lasts until the time of ‘Asr enters. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) is also reported to hold the same opinion. Since Jumu’ah has the same ending time as that of Zuhr, it must share the same starting or earliest point of time, report from him are technically strong and very clear as compared to the proofs presented to prove otherwise.
Likewise, there is a unanimous agreement between the scholars that Jumu’ah prayer should be offered after the sun passes its meridian. It, however, has been reported from Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) that if Jumu’ah is offered before the sun passes the meridian, the Salah would be deemed valid and people would not have to repeat it. On the contrary, the majority of the scholars believe that it will be invalid if people offer Jumu’ah before the sun passes its zenith. In order to avoid the scholarly dispute, it would be wise to observe Jumu’ah only after the sun passes the meridian and similarly the first Adhan should also be called only after the Zawal time enters. We should keep in mind that the proofs substantiating the opinion of the majority of the scholars including Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam al-Shafi’e, Imam Malik (rahimahumullah) as well as Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal according to another
report from him are technically strong and very clear as compared to the proofs presented to prove otherwise.
Some reasons why one should prefer opinion of the majority of Muhaddithin and the Fuqaha’:
1) Besides being authentic narrations, the proofs provided by the majority of the scholars are very clear while the statements put forth by the proponents of the opposite opinion though authentic in some cases lack clarity. Moreover, some of them are deemed technically weak.
2) Majority of the scholars of Hadith and Fiqh including the leading Imams of Fiqh besides Imam Bukhari, Imam Tirmidhi, Imam Nawawi (rahimahumullah) and other scholars down the ages hold an opinion that time of Jumu’ah Salah starts when the sun passes the meridian.
3) To be on the safe side, one should adopt opinion of the majority because no scholar is of the opinion that it will be invalid to offer Jumu’ah after the sun passes the meridian while in adopting the second opinion the prayer will be invalid and must be repeated after the time enters according to majority of the scholars.
4) Although Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) is of the opinion that it will suffice if Jumu’ah is offered before the sun passes the meridian yet he recommended that it should be offered after the Zawal. Therefore, the Saudi scholars (who prefer opinion of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in disputed jurisprudential issues) also suggest that Jumu’ah should be offered only after the sun passes the meridian.
5) The most prominent scholar of Hadith Imam Bukhari has reported from ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Nu’man ibn Bashir, and ‘Amr ibn Huraith (radhoyallahu anhum) to have the same opinion. Moreover, both Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim in their respective Hadith compilations also made it clear as their own opinion by dedicating a chapter to substantiate the same.
6) Jumu’ah Salah serves as substitute for Zuhr Salah. With respect to the ending time of Jumu’ah, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) also holds the opinion that it ends as the time of ‘Asr enters just as majority of the scholars suggest and therefore it must have the same starting point as that of Zuhr.
7) A mere claim that the time of Jumu’ah prayer starts before the sun passes the meridian is not enough. It leads to another question as to what is or should be the precise starting point of time for Jumu’ah Salah. Since they find no Hadith answering the question, the Hanbali scholars differ on the issue. Some say it begins when the sun starts to shine; just as the time for Eid Salah. It should be kept in mind that whether Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha the prayer is held immediately after the time of Salat al-Duha begins in Saudi Arabia. In summer, it is thus held as early as 5:30 am. To be brief, there is no Hadith which actually proves offering Jumu’ah prayer before the sun passes the meridian.
8) Holding Jumu’ah after the sun passes the meridian will allow increase in number of the worshippers which is a desirable thing in the Shari’ah.
9) Calling the first Adhan after the sun passes the meridian will let the women and the people with valid religious excuse to offer Salah at home by knowing that the time of Zuhr has entered. But if the Adhan is called one or one and half hour before the sun passes the meridian, it will not serve as announcement for prayer time for such people.
The famous Hanbali scholar ‘Allamah Ibn Qudamah writes in his Al-Mughni (vol 3, page 159) that the Ummah is unanimous about holding Jumu’ah after the sun passes the meridian as the Messenger of Allah ﷺ did so. It was narrated from Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ (radhiyallahu anhu) that he said: “We used to pray Jumu’ah with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ when the sun passed its zenith, then we would go back and try to seek shade.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
Similarly, it was narrated from Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) that “the Prophet ﷺ used to pray Jumu’ah when the sun had passed the meridian.” (Bukhari)
Moreover, it does not lead to violate any opinion either because all the scholars regard it valid to perform Jumu’ah after the sun passes the meridian while offering the prayer before it is a disputed issue.
From the preceding discussion, it is clear that Jumu’ah Salah should be held only after the sun passes the meridian so as to avoid any scholarly dispute. It really does not seem wise to call even the second Adhan of Jumu’ah (the one called before the Khutbah (sermon)) before the sun passes the meridian as practised in some mosques. On the other hand, even the first Adhan should be called only when the sun passes the meridian so as to be on the safe side and honour the opinion of other scholars especially when it, in no way, goes against those who allow holding Jumu’ah before the Zawal time. Calling Adhan as early as one and half hour before the sun passes the meridian does not serve the very purpose for which Adhan is called. We should not forget that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) is only of the opinion that if Jumu’ah prayer if offered before the sun passes the meridian, it will be valid to do so but he never encouraged or advised that people should develop a practice of holding Jumu’ah before Zawal. Alhamdulillah, thanks to the efforts of our scholars, the first Adhan of Jumu’ah is called only after the sun passes the meridian in al-Masjid al-Haram and al-Masjid al-Nabawi.
We wish the same be applied in all the other mosques so as to avoid any scholarly dispute.
Setting Out Early for the Friday Prayer
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has urged the believers to reach the mosque as early as possible for Friday prayer. Therefore, in case we are not able to reach the mosque that early, we should at least reach a little before Khutbah (sermon) because those who reach the mosque after Khutbah (sermon) has started do manage to fulfil the obligation of Friday prayer but are denied of its virtues and their name too is not entered in the angels’ registers as mentioned in the following Ahadith:
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: He who bathes on Friday like the bath of Janaabah (i.e. bathes properly) and then sets out for the mosque right away, it is as if he sacrificed a she camel to please Allah. The one who goes to the mosque in the second hour it is as if he sacrificed a cow. The one who goes to the mosque in the third hour it is as if he sacrificed a ram with horns. The one who goes to the mosque in the fourth hour it is as if he sacrificed a hen. The one who goes to the mosque in the fifth hour it is as if he tried to please Allah by offering an egg. Then when the Imam comes out to deliver Khutbah (sermon), the angels join the gathering and start listening to Khutbah (sermon) (Bukhari and Muslim).
Note: Ulama’s opinion differs with regard to the commencement of the hour but the gist of it all is that for Friday prayer we should reach the mosque as early as we could.
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: On Friday the angels stand on every door of the mosque and keep recording the names of those who come to the mosque as per the order of their arrival. When the Imam comes to deliver Khutbah (sermon) the angels fold up their sheets in which they have recorded the names of those who arrived at the mosque till then and start listening to Khutbah (sermon) (Muslim).
Note: The wordings of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ reveal that those who arrive at the mosque after Khutbah (sermon) has started, do not get their names recorded in the registers of angels.
After reaching the mosque, perform Salat as much as you could. Till the time Khutbah (sermon) begins keep yourself occupied with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an or Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) or prayers. Then listen to Khutbah (sermon). During Khutbah (sermon) it is prohibited to indulge in any kind of talk. It is not even allowed to preach/advice someone else during that time as mentioned in Ahadith:
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: One who told the person sitting next to him to keep quiet during Friday Khutbah (sermon) also indulged in vain talk (Muslim).
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: He who holds the pebbles and kept playing with them during Khutbah (sermon) (or kept playing with his hands, mat, clothes etc.) indulged in a useless act (and because of that he is deprived of the special reward for Friday prayer).
Abdullah bin Basr (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: On a Friday I was sitting close to mimbar (pulpit). A person came jumping over people’s necks and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was delivering Khutbah (sermon). The Prophet ﷺ said: Sit down. You caused inconvenience and came late. (Sahih Ibne Hibbaan).
Note: When the Imam is delivering Khutbah (sermon) people are not allowed to jump over other’s necks to reach the rows ahead. Instead one should sit wherever he finds place.
Salman Farsi (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: He who bathes on a Friday, purifies himself as much as he can, applies hair oil or perfume of his own house and then heads towards the mosque. After reaching the mosque he does not sit between two people already sitting together and prays as much as Allah has willed for him till the start of Friday Khutbah (sermon) begins. Then, when the Imam delivers Khutbah (sermon) he listens attentively and silently, his sins (small ones, Gunah-e Sagheerah) in between the present and the last Friday are forgiven (Sahih Bukhari).
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: He who took a bath on Friday, then came to mosque and offered as many prayers as were destined for him, then sat quietly till Khutbah (sermon) and offered obligatory prayer with the Imam, his sins (small ones, Gunah-e-Sagheerah) between two Fridays (the present and the last one) and for additional three days are forgiven (Muslim).
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: He who bathes on a Friday, applies perfume too if he has one, dresses himself well and then leaves for the mosque. After reaching the mosque if there is time he offers Nafl prayers and does not cause inconvenience to anyone. Then when the Imam comes to deliver Khutbah (sermon), he sits quietly from that moment till Salat, i.e. does not talk at all during Khutbah (sermon), these deeds of his become a means for forgiveness of his sins between the present and the last Friday (Musnad Ahmad).
Aforementioned Ahadith inform us that before the prayer of Friday, during the auspicious duration, we should offer as many prayers as we could. At least we should offer four rak’ahs before Khutbah (sermon) begins as mentioned in Musannaf Ibne Abi Shaibah, volume 2, page 131. Renowned Taba’ee Ibraheem (rahimahullah) says that the companions (radhiyallahu anhum) of the Prophet ﷺ used to offer four rak’ahs before the Friday prayer.
The Ahadith mentioned outline the incentive in relation to reaching the mosque before the Friday Khutbah (sermon) is delivered. Those who arrive at the mosque after Khutbah (sermon) has started, although their Friday prayer is offered, are denied of all the virtues associated with Friday. Therefore everyone should make himself habitual of reaching the mosque early for Friday prayer.
Arabic, the only language of Salah and Khutbah (sermon)
Salah, only in Arabic
In the light of the statements and practices of the Prophet ﷺ and his blessed Companions (radhiyallahu anhuma), Ulama have said that everything that is pronounced in Salah from Takbeer-e-Tahrima (opening the prayer) to Tasleem (finishing the prayer) along with Adhan and Iqamah (that come just before the start of Salah) should necessarily be pronounced in Arabic alone. Ulama further say that the wordings of the supplications, made in Sujud or after reciting al-Salaat on the Prophet ﷺ that have been mentioned either in the Qur’an or Hadith, must be in Arabic. Ulama have called it Makruh (detestable) to supplicate in the state of Salah with any Arabic Dua other than the Duas mentioned in the Holy Qur’an or Hadith. A group of Ulama have decreed to repeat the Salah, if any Dua is pronounced in Salah in other than Arabic. Therefore, we must not pronounce anything in the state of Salah from the Takbeer-e-Tahrima to finishing the Salah with Salam. In the period of the Prophet ﷺ or the blessed Companions (radhiyallahu anhuma), people converted to Islam in large number. Even a huge number of non-Arab people embraced the faith. But there is not a single event found in the history of Islam when the Prophet ﷺ or any Companion permitted to pronounce the ritual recitals of Salah or supplicate in any language other than Arabic. Instead, the Companions, Tabi’een (followers of the Companions) and Tab’ al-Tabi’een (rahimahumullah) (successors to Tabi’een), in the light of the statements and practices of the Prophet ﷺ , have practically taught all the Arabs and non-Arabs that Al-Fatihah, a portion from the Qur’an, Tasbeehat of Ruku’ and Sujud, al-Tahiyyat, al-Salaat on the Prophet ﷺ and special Duas all should be recited only in Arabic. The Islamic Shari’ah is not based on mere intellect that should decide what is right and what is wrong. Instead, it is based on the injunctions laid down by the Holy Qur’an and the statements and practices of the Prophet ﷺ narrated by the Companions, Tabi’een and Tab’ al-Tabi’een.
There is no doubt that the Prophet ﷺ said the supplications are answered in Sujud and in the last part of Salah. But he is also reported to have said, as Imam Muslim relates in his Sahih: “It is not permissible to talk during Salah because it consists of glorification of Allah, declaring His Greatness as well as recitation of the Qur’an.” (Sahih Muslim: Chapter: Impermissibility of talking during Salah and abrogation of what was permissible)
Therefore, responding to a person who greeted you with Islamic greetings or responding with Yarhamuk Allah to someone sneezes and says Alhamdulillah is not permissible. Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahumullah) too, in the light of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, hold the view that the only supplications which are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an or which are proved to be recited by the Prophet ﷺ can be made in the state of Salah.
The views of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) and the Hanafi Ulama based on the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah are well documented in the books. Thus, Ulama from India and Pakistan who prefer the view of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) in disputed issues too are of the opinion that no supplication related to worldly affairs should be made in the state of Salah. Instead, the Duas in Arabic language should be recited only which are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an or
Hadith. Apart from Sujud and the last part of Salah after finishing al-Salaat on the Prophet ﷺ , there are many occasions on which the Dua is said to be answered. The Prophet ﷺ says that Dua made between Adhan and Iqamah is never rejected. So, pray fervently in this duration. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Sunan Abu Dawood, Sahih Ibne Khuzaimah & Sahih Ibne Hibban) Therefore, supplications should not be made about the worldly affairs in the state of Salah. There are countless occasions out of Salah on which Dua is accepted. We should supplicate fervently for ourselves, our children and family’s needs.
“Al-Insaaf”, the famous reference book of Hanbali School reads that Duas which are not mentioned in the Holy Qur’an or proved from the Prophet ﷺ , and also are not related to the affairs of the Hereafter should not, according to the sound opinion of scholars, be supplicated in Salah. Such Duas invalidate the Salah instead. The majority of Ulama hold the same view.
In his book “Al-Mughni” (vol. 2, p. 236), Allamah Ibn Qudamah, the famous scholar of the Hanbali School writes that supplicating for something related to the material desires, lust and human speech in the state of Salah is not permissible.
In the light of the aforementioned evidences and the statements of Ulama, it becomes crystal clear that we must supplicate in the state of Salah (i.e. in prostration or after reciting Salaat on the Prophet ﷺ in the last Rak’ah) only in Arabic with du’as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an or proved from the Prophet ﷺ , if we wish to supplicate. For those who do not remember any such Dua, there are many occasions other than the state of Salah on which Duas are answered too. The period between the Adhan and Iqamah and after finishing the Salah can be taken as examples. On these occasions, you can supplicate to Allah as much as you wish in any language for yours and your children’s needs related to this world and the Hereafter. Allah will surely accept.
Khutbah (sermon) (sermon) only in Arabic:
Like recitation of Al-Fatihah, a portion from the Qur’an and Tasbeehat of Ruku’ and Sujud, Khutbah (sermon of Jumu’ah and the two Eids) also must be delivered only in Arabic, as it is meant to be ‘the remembrance of Allah’ more than being admonition or wise counselling. Thus, sermon being compulsory for Friday prayer, the time of Zuhr Salah being necessary for delivering the sermon, the sermon being necessarily delivered before the Friday prayer, offering the Friday prayer immediately after finishing the sermon, the audience being not allowed to talk even not to admonish anyone when the sermon is being delivered, some aspects being introduced as Masnun for the sermon just like Salah; all these things gives us clear proof that the actual motive behind the sermon is the remembrance of Allah. Admonition or wise counselling holds a secondary position, as they are never conditioned with all these terms. This view is even confirmed by the word Dhikr mentioned in Surah al Jumu’ah of the Holy Qur’an “Hasten for ‘remembrance’ of Allah…” Also, a Hadith related by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim in their Sahih collections says that the angels come into the mosque to listen to Dhikr, when the Imam comes to deliver the sermon. In short, the sermon too has been termed as Dhikr in the Holy Qur’an and Hadith just like Salah, which simply means that the sermon too is an act of worship just like Salah. We should, therefore, remain confined to the way prescribed by the Prophet ﷺ with regards to the sermon as well.
Had it been permissible to deliver the Friday sermon in any language other than Arabic, it would have surely been practiced by the Prophet ﷺ himself at least once in his lifetime. But not even a single event is narrated as such in the whole lifetime. After the Prophet ﷺ , his blessed Companions (Sahaaba) spread throughout the world. The wordings of the sermons delivered by those Companions are still preserved in the books of history. Not even a single Companion among them ever delivered the Friday sermon in the language of the audience in spite of being in the non-Arab regions, while they were in more need to learn the Shari’ah injunctions than people in this age. Many Companions knew other languages, but none of them ever delivered the sermon in any language other than Arabic. Zaid ibn Thabit (radhoyallahu anhu) was well versed in more than one language. Salman al-Farsi (radhiyallahu anhu) was a resident of Persia. Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu) was from Abbysinia and Suhaib (radhiyallahu anhu) from Rome. The mother tongue of some Companions was other than the Arabic. But history does not record even a single event when anyone from among the Companions delivered the sermon in any language other than the Arabic. After the Companions, even Tabi’een and Tab’ al-Tabi’een continued the tradition of delivering sermon in the Arabic language. It is not even proved from any renowned Hadith and Qur’an scholar to deliver the sermon in other than the Arabic. For political and administrative purposes, interpreters of numerous languages have of course been appointed, but it was never even once that the sermon was delivered in any non-Arabic language. Abdullah ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) had kept a translator with him for some purposes. But he too never delivered the sermon in any language other than the Arabic.
Renowned scholar of Indian subcontinent, Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlavi (rahimahullah) (d. 1762) who has been equally acknowledged by the followers of all schools of jurisprudence in India and Pakistan writes in his commentary on al-Muwatta that the sermon should be delivered only in Arabic, as the same has always been practiced by all Muslims of east and west, although the audience in many countries were non-Arabs. Imam al-Nawawi (rahimahullah), the author of Riyad al-Saliheen and the most famous commentary of Sahih Muslim writes in his book ‘Kitab al-Adhkar’ that the sermon is conditioned to be in Arabic. Majority of Ulama from India and Pakistan also view that the sermon should be delivered only in Arabic.
Some people put an objection on this view saying what is the benefit of delivering the sermon in Arabic when the audience are not able to understand the matter,? But it has already been proved in the light of the Holy Qur’an and Hadith that the sermon is meant to being an act of worship rather than being merely an admonition and wise counselling. With regards to worship, things should be confined only to that which is proved from the Prophet ﷺ acts and sayings instead of using one’s own intellect. Moreover, if delivering the sermon in Arabic is objected, the same objection will apply to reciting the al Fatihah, a portion from the Holy Qur’an, Adhan, Iqamah and Takbeers of Salah. Rather this objection applies more to recitation of the Holy Qur’an in comparison to the sermon, as the primary purpose behind revelation of the Holy Qur’an is to supply guidance for man. And, only recitation is generally not enough to receive guidance, understanding the Qur’an is compulsory. But no scholar of the world permits reciting the Holy Qur’an in Salah in any non-Arabic language.
Thus, the wise approach is to deliver the sermon only in Arabic following to the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ and the blessed Companions, so that no doubt occurs in our worship. Sermon should be delivered in Arabic even if it is short rather it should be short as the teachings of the Prophet ﷺ in the books of Hadith suggest. The Prophet ﷺ himself would not generally deliver long sermon. It is, however, suitable to present the translation of the sermon in the language of the audience before the Adhan of the sermon or after the Salah, so that the secondary purpose of sermon (admonition) is also fulfilled.
May Allah the Almighty enable us all to follow the path of the Prophet ﷺ . Aameen!
Jumu’ah Salah must be performed even if Eid falls on Friday
Lacking proper knowledge of the Islamic injunctions, some people provide others with wrong information, thus creating confusion among the Muslims society. For example, contrary to his practical example, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ granted permission to those who came to offer Eid Salah from far-flung rural areas, to leave for their homes if they wanted and pray Zuhr rather than Jumu’ah Salah when they would reach their dwellings. Now there are people who – while turning a blind eye to the practice of the Prophet ﷺ – assert that if Eid coincides with Friday, Zuhr should be performed instead of Jumu’ah. They ignore what the Prophet ﷺ himself did on that very Friday. They fail to realize the point that only those coming from remote areas to attend Eid were given permission to leave if they wanted and offer Zohar at their homes. But people who can attend Jumu’ah should do so. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ on the referred Friday led Jumu’ah Salah when the Zuhr time started and all the Companions prayed Jumu’ah behind him. Following the example of the Prophet ﷺ , the Ummah has been offering Eid and Jumu’ah both if they fall on the same day. We should, therefore, communicate the actual practice of the Prophet ﷺ to others, that is, if Eid falls on Friday, we should perform both the prayers though people coming from far-off areas may leave after attending Eid prayer and offer Zuhr at their homes. This is also the opinion of the majority of the scholars in the Subcontinent. The Saudi scholars have also clarified that in mosques where Jumu’ah is offered, Jumu’ah Salah should be offered in Zuhr time if Eid falls on Friday while in mosques where Jumu’ah is not established, congregation of Zuhr should not be held. In al-Masjid al-Haram and al-Masjid al Nabawi, both Jumu’ah and Eid prayers are held in congregational manner if they coincide.
Shari’ah Ruling about Wishing Jumu’ah Mubarak
Some youngsters have asked me the Shari’ah view of wishing people ‘Jumu’ah Mubarak’ on Fridays, as some people showing strict attitude have declared this practice totally Bid’ah, an innovation. The claim does not end here. Instead they tried to prove this ‘innovated practice’ something to drag man into the Hell. They substantiate their view by saying that no proof of wishing ‘Jumu’ah Mubarak’ in the period of the Prophet ﷺ or the blessed Companions is to be found.
My response to this claim is that Friday, according to ‘Ahadith of the Prophet ﷺ , has been described as Yaum al-Eid (the day of celebration). The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:
“This day is an ‘Eid (festival) which Allah has ordained for the Muslims. Whoever comes to Friday (prayer), let him take a bath and if he has perfume then let him put some on. And upon you (I urge to use) is the Siwak, tooth stick.” (Sunan Ibne Majah)
In the chapter ‘Bayan Khasais Yaum al-Jumu’ah’ (The Features of Friday) of his celebrated book “Zad al Ma’aad”, Allamah Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) writes that it is the day of Eid that comes once every week.
This way, Muslims have three Eids to celebrate; Eid-al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and Friday. On the occasions of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the blessed Companions are authentically reported to wish each other. But there is no proof of wishing ‘Jumu’ah Mubarak’.
Yet Friday is the day of weekly Eid. Moreover, this issue is related to people’s habit. The Ulama have, therefore, opined that if a person wishes his fellow on Friday saying ‘Jumu’ah Mubarak’, it is permissible. But making a habit of wishing ‘Jumu’ah Mubarak’ on every Friday after the prayer is not correct. The Arab Ulama too have expressed almost similar opinion which can be traced on the following link. Even the Ulama from India and Pakistan hold the same view.
As for the contrast opinion of the Ulama who have declared it merely an innovation to wish ‘Jumu’ah Mubarak to a fellow Muslim, such strict attitude is not correct; otherwise, countless acts of ours will turn innovations. It is, however, not correct to make a habit of wishing ‘Jumu’ah Mubarak’ on each Friday. And Allah knows the best!