Lesson The Friday Prayer
Allah has made the Friday prayer an obligation on Fridays, at the time of the Dhuhr prayer (and in place of), which is one of the most significant rituals of Islam and the most emphasized of obligations in which Muslims gather once a week and listen to the sermons and directions given to them by the Friday imam, and then they pray the Friday prayer.
The Virtue of the Day of Friday
The day of Friday is the greatest of days of the week and the most glorious of them in honor, for Allah chose it over other days and favored it over the rest of the times with a number of distinctions. Among them:
1. That Allah distinguished the nation of Muhammad ﷺ with it without any other nation (with it), as the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said ﷺ «Allah diverted those who were before us from Friday, so Saturday was for the Jews and Sunday was for the Christians. Then Allah brought us. Then Allah guided us to the day of Friday» (Muslim 856).
Adam was created on Friday, and the day of resurrection will also be on Friday, as the Prophet ﷺ said: «The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday; on it, Adam was created. on it, he was made to enter Paradise; on it, he was expelled from it. And the last hour will take place on no day other than Friday.» (Muslim, 854)
Who is obligated to perform Friday prayer?
It is mustahab (rewardable) for the Muslim to perform ghusl before the Friday prayer, hastening to the mosque before the start of the sermon, putting on fragrance, and wearing the best of clothes.
The Muslims gather in the mosque where Friday prayer is held and the imam goes before them. Then he ascends the pulpit, then faces the praying people and gives them two sermons, separating between the two with a brief sitting. He reminds them of taqwa (heedfulness) of Allah and he presents them with advices, admonitions, and verses.
It is obligatory upon the praying people to listen to the sermon. Speech or preoccupation from benefiting from it is prohibited for them, even if that be by trifling with the carpet, pebbles, or dirt.
The One Who Misses Friday Prayer
Friday prayer is only legislated by the assembly of the praying people in the mosque, so whomever misses it or abstained from it for an excuse, then they pray Dhuhr instead of it and Friday prayer is not valid from them.
The One Who Is Late to Friday Prayer
Whomever is late to Friday prayer so they did not catch except less than one unit with the imam, then they complete the prayer as Dhuhr.
For everyone whom Friday prayer is not obligatory upon like the woman and traveler, then it is valid from them if they pray it with the congregation of the Muslims. They are absolved of Dhuhr prayed by their praying of Friday prayer with the congregation of the Muslims.
The Obligation of Attending Friday Prayer
Islamic law has stressed the obligation of attending Friday Prayer for those whom it is obligatory upon, and warned from being busied from it with the conveniences of the worldly life for He Exalted said ﴾O you who have attained faith, when the call to prayer is made on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave aside all selling; that is better for you if you only knew) [Al-Jumu'ah: 9].
What Has the Prophet ﷺ Threatened with For Whom Abstains from Friday Prayer
He ﷺ threatened he who abstains from it without an Islamic legitimate excuse with the sealing upon his heart, for the he ﷺ said «Whomever leaves three Friday (prayers) negligently without excuse, Allah seals upon his heart» (Abu Dawud 1052, Ahmad 15498). The meaning of "Allah seals upon his heart": that is, sealed upon, covered, and caused in it ignorance and hardness like the hearts of the hypocrites and sinners.
The excuse that permits abstaining from Friday prayer for whom it is obligatory upon is everything occurs to him from unusual severe hardship, or he fears from it utmost harm to the income of the Muslim or their health.
Are Work Hours and Employment an Excuse for Abstaining from Friday Prayer?
Permanent and recurring work is not considered an excuse for abstaining from Friday prayer for whom it is obligatory upon except in two circumstances:
1. That the work be for a great benefit that is not achieved except by him remaining in the work and abstaining from Friday prayer, that by leaving his work there would be a great detriment, and there is not someone who can act in place of him in this work.
2. If work is the sole source of his livelihood and he can only cover his necessary expenses for food, drink, and all the things needed for him and his family through that work, it is permissible for him to stay at work and leave Friday prayer, out of necessity, until he finds another job, or finds the necessary food, drink, and things sufficient for him and his dependents. First, however, he must continue to search for another job and source of livelihood.
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