Fatwa n°: 51
Category: fatwas about prayer
Abandoning Friday prayer for work
Some private services impose upon their workers to remain in their institutions continuously on Fridays. Should they perform Ad-Dhuhr (noon prayer) or Friday prayer? If they should perform it as Ad-Dhuhr, will it be obligatory upon them to offer it in congregation?
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Know that Friday prayer is an individual duty on every free, sane, adult and resident Muslim man, who is able to go to perform it and having no excuses that allow him to leave it behind, according to the scholarly consensus. The proof is Allah’s تعالى statement:
﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلاَةِ مِنْ يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ﴾ [الجمعة: 9].
Translation of the meaning of the verse:
﴾O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salât (prayer) in Friday (Jumu ̀ah prayer) come to the remembrance of Allah [Jumu ̀ah religious talk (khutba) and Salât (prayer)] and leave off business (and every other thing). That is better for you if you did but know!﴿ [Al-Jumu`a (Friday): 9].
Another evidence is the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم statement: “Let those people (who do not attend the Friday congregational prayers) stop from leaving the Friday (congregational prayers), otherwise, Allah would set a seal upon their hearts, and they would become from amongst the negligents”(1). In another statement, he صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said: “Whoever leaves three Friday prayers through negligence, Allah will seal his heart”(2).
Moreover, the performance of the Friday prayer is valid in all places, either in a city, a village, a mosque, in the buildings of a city or an open space that is subsidiary to them. Friday prayer is from the nature of the prayers according to scholarly consensus. It is not distinguished by a different ruling except with evidence, according to the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم statement: “Earth has been made for me a place of prayer and a purifier”(3). Umar Ibn Al-Khattâb رضي الله عنه had already written to the people of the Bahrain: “Perform the Friday prayer wherever you are”(4). This includes all the places even people of the deserts (Bedouins) according to the sound traditions of the Companions of the Messenger صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم. If it is impossible to perform it for a reason or another, it has already been mentioned previously that among the conditions that make Friday prayer obligatory is that the person who goes to attend it should not have an excuse for leaving it . On the whole, whoever on whom may befall mischievous or harmful things when going for it, is considered to be among those having excuses, based on the statement of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم: « Whoever hears the Adhân (call to the prayer), then does not respond to it (but pray at home), then he has no salat (acceptable) unless he has an excuse (a valid one) »(5). The excuse, which consists of hardship, need and necessity which is a reason for the permit, is a relative matter and not absolute; its estimation is left to one’s personal effort and ability; and he is entrusted to his religion, faith, piety and fear of Allah in his consideration. Therefore, every Mukallaf (a person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for his actions) Muslim comprehends himself in accepting the permit as long as he does not find a lawful limit therein. Then he must stop at it.
Fore more benefit, it is to mention that the previous hadith also means that among the conditions of the obligation of the Friday prayer and congregational prayer is hearing the call to prayer which includes forcibly those who are outside of an agglomeration and, by a greater reason, those who are inside it. What should be considered in hearing the call to prayer is that the muezzin should have a resonant voice; the voices should be quiet, winds calm and no other impediments.
This been said, it is stated in jurisprudence that whomever Friday prayer is not compulsory upon and does not attend it, perform it Dhuhr.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
(1) Reported by Muslim, chapter of “Friday”, concerning the grievous punishment for neglecting the Friday prayer, Ad-Dârimi, chapter of “Prayer”, concerning whoever abandons the Friday prayer without excuse, Al-Baghawi in “Sharh As-Sunna”, chapter of “Friday”, concerning the threat incurred by those who abandon the Friday prayer, from the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.
(2) Reported by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Prayer”, concerning the branching of the Friday prayer chapters, concerning the grievous punishment for neglecting the Friday prayer, At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “Friday”, concerning what was said about abandoning Friday prayer without an excuse, Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “Performing prayer and the Sunna in it”, concerning whoever abandons the Friday prayer without an excuse, Ahmad (3/424-425), Ibn Hibân, chapter of “Prayer”, concerning the Friday payer (hadith 2275) from the hadith of Abu Al-Ja`d Ad-Dhamri رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh At-Targhîb Wat-Tarhîb” (hadith 727).
(3) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Prayer”, concerning the fact that earth has been made for the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم a place of prayer and a purifier, Muslim, chapter of “Mosques and places of prayer” on the authority of Jâbir رضي الله عنه.
(4) Reported by Ibn Abi Shaybah, concerning those who believe that the Friday prayer could be held in villages and in other places. Al-Albâni said in “Ad-Da`îfah” (2/318) ”The chain of narrators is authentic according to the conditions of Al-Bukhâri and Muslim”.
(5) Reported by Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “The mosques and the congregation”, concerning the warning as regards leaving behind the congregation, Ibn Hibbân, chapter of “Prayer”, concerning the duty of congregation and the excuses that permit to abandon it, and Al-Hâkim, chapter of “Prayer” (1/363). See “Al-Irwâ'” (2/337), “Tamâm Al–Minnah” (hadith 367) and “Sahîh At-Targhîb Wat-Tarhîb” (1/301) (hadith 436).