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The Friday Congregational Service or Jumu’ah is a personal obligation (Fard Ain) on every responsible free male in residence who has no excuse by reason of illness or any other legitimate excuse for not attending. Jumu’ah can be conducted and becomes valid only through the attendance of such people. Though the attendance of women at Jumu’ah is not obligatory, they should, however, generally attend so far as is consistent with their duties. The basis for the obligation of Jumu’ah is the Divine injunction: O ye who believe! When the call is heard for the prayer of the day of congregation, hasten unto remembrance of Allah and leave trading. That is better for you, if ye did but know. (62:9). The above verse contains an express commandment to all Muslims to leave off trade and business of every kind as soon as the first Call to prayer is heard and to hasten to¬wards the mosque for the

Congregational service.

Tariq bin Shihab reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "Jumu’ah is a duty binding upon every Muslim in congregation except upon four: slave, woman, boy or sick man." Omitting the Friday Service without good reason is consi¬dered a grave sin. Abu Ja'd reported that the Prophet said: "Whoever omits three Friday services making light of it, Allah will set a seal on his heart." The Friday Service is thus specially ordained and takes the place of the Thuhr prayer. Being performed at the time of the Thuhr prayer and in substitution therefore, it counts among the five ordained prayers of that day. For the one who is not able to perform the Jumu’ah prayer, the Thuhr prayer still remains binding. It is sunnah for those who are not able to attend the Friday Service to delay offering their Thuhr prayer till after the Imaam leading the Jumu’ah prayer had started with it.


Even when a person is not a permanent resident of a place, his stay in that place obliges him to attend the Jumu’ah. It is Haraam to undertake even an essential journey on Friday after dawn, unless the traveller feels that he will find it possible to attend a Jumu’ah Service on his way, or unless he fears that delaying his journey will result in placing him in danger. Undertaking a journey on Friday night is reprobated (Makrooh), even if the traveller is one who is not obliged to attend Jumu’ah.


Unlike the Jewish and the Christian Sabbaths, Friday is not a day of rest nor a day set apart for Divine worship for Muslims. In Islam there is no Sabbath. Friday is only the day of greater congregation as its very name YAUM AL-Jumu’ah (the day of gathering) indicates. On this day, Muslims are required to gather together at the mosque to listen to a Khutbah (sermon) delivered by the Imaam of the congregation and for the performance of the Congrega¬tional Prayer or Salaat al-Jumu’ah. The Friday Service and Khutbah is a distinguished occasion for a Muslim to acquire fresh inspiration for prayer and dedication to the cause of Islam. It is conducive to the promotion of the spirit of unity and co-operation among Mus¬lims for piety and righteousness. Its place and importance in the week is the same as that of Ramadaan in the year.

There are two kinds of conditions governing the validity of Jumu’ah. The one relates to the person who performs the prayer and the other to external conditions.

The Jumu’ah prayer-service should consist of at least a specified number of congregants who are
i) Free
ii) Healthy
iii) Responsible
iv) Males
v) In Residence
Those who do not fulfill these conditions may still perform the Jumu’ah service and it will be held as valid.

The following are the external conditions rendering the per¬formance of the Jumu’ah service obligatory:
i) Proper time of the prayer
ii) To be open for all Muslims to participate
iii) Township
iv) Congregation
v) The Sermon

The two rak'ahs of the Jumu’ah prayer, including the Salaam, should be offered within the period specified for Thuhr. The prayer should begin preferably immediately after the declension of the sun. The Jumu’ah prayer becomes null and void after the time for the Thuhr prayer has passed.

The Jumu’ah service should be open for all Muslims to participate in. A reserved or restricted gathering would not be valid for the conduct of the Jumu’ah service.

According to the jurists a "town" may be defined as a settle¬ment with the necessary infrastructure and established community.

Apart from the Quranic verse enjoining the JUMU' AH service the necessity of congregation is also evident from Jamaa'ah (congregation). According to Imaam Shafi'i there should be a minimum number of forty.

According to Imaam Abu Hanifah the Jumu’ah service may not be performed with less than three men, besides the Imaam.  Imaam Abu Yusuf limits it to two besides the Imaam.The whole of the first rak'ah should be performed in congregation. Those who join the salaah after the rukoo of the second rak'ah should make their intention (niyyah) of offering the Jumu’ah salaah, but it would be necessary for them to offer four rak'ahs of Thuhr.

For the Friday Service the worshipper is required to take a bath, brush his teeth, use scent if possible, wear his best clothes and to take the greatest care for cleanliness. Abu Sa'id reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "It is incumbent on every one who has attained to puberty that he should take a bath on Friday, and that he should use the tooth-brush, and that he should use scent if he can get it."

THE SERMON - Khutbah
The Khutbah is an integral part of the Friday Service and is delivered before the Congregational prayer is offered. After the first Call for Prayer (adhaan) when the people have assembled in the mosque and have offered the sunnah prayers, the Muatthin chants another adhaan in front of the Imaam, while the latter is sitting on the pulpit (mimbar). When the adhaan is finished, the Imaam stands up facing the audience and delivers the Khutbah. The Khutbah is delivered in two parts, the Imaam taking a little rest be¬tween them by assuming a sitting posture and then continuing.

It is necessary (wajib) for the Imaam to observe the follow¬ing arkaan in the Khutbah:

1) Tahmid - Praising Allah

At the commencement of the Khutbah, the lmaam uses words expressive of the praise and glory of Allah and recites the Kalimah Shahaadah. The following is a customary open¬ing address: All praise is due to Allah; we thank Him, we beseech Him for help, and we ask for His forgiveness. We be-lieve in Him and rely on Him. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our souls and the weaknesses of our actions. Whomsoever Allah guides, there is none who can lead him astray, and whomsoever Allah finds in error, there is none to guide him. I affirm that there is none worthy of worship but Allah, Who is One and has no associates; and further affirm that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

2) Salawaat - Salutations
The Salawaat is an expression of gratitude to Allah to magnify the sacred Prophet and bless him with His choicest favours for it was solely due to his magnificent efforts and exertions that we have acquired a correct awareness and understanding of the Divine Being and the guidance for doing virtuous deeds.

The Salawaat, as follows, may-be recited: O Allah, bestow Thy blessings upon Thy servant and Thy Messenger Muhammad, upon his family and Companions, and salute them with abundant salutations.

3) Al-Wasiyyah Bit Taqwaa – Exhortation to Piety
Any subject relating to the welfare of the community maybe dealt with in the Khutbah. The object of the Khutbah should be to instruct the congregation on current problems and the realities of life, to awaken them as regards their duties to Allah, to exhort them to righteousness and ways for their welfare and progress, and warn them against that which is a source of loss or ruin to them.
The above -mentioned three Arkaan are common to both Khutbahs.

4) Qiraa'atul Ayah - Recital Of A Quranic Verse or Text

For every sermon there should be a basic AAYAH from the Quran to which the topic should be related. The Aayah could be cited in both Khutbahs or in either of the two, preferably in the first. The text is expounded to the audience with the object of enlightening and guiding the Muslims in the path of Islam. The Aayah is normally introduced as follows: Allah, the Most High, has said in His Glorious Book.

5)  Du'aa - Supplication For The Believers
This should be delivered in the second Khutbah. The following du'aa may be made:

O Allah! Grant us success in achieving all virtues; And guide us unto the straight path.
O Allah! Aid those who aid Thine cause. Our Lord'. Deliver us from the oppressive people. O Allah! Forgive us and the believing men and women, the living and deceased;
Truly Thou art the One Who hears all invocations, O Lord of the universe.

After the du' aa, at the conclusion of the second Khutbah, the Imaam addresses the congregation as follows:

O servants of Allah

At the conclusion of the second Khutbah, he recites the following Quranic verse: -

Lo! Allah enjoineth justice and kindness, And giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewd¬ness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed. (16:90)

Usually the Imaam also adds the following Quranic instruction:

And establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do. (29:45)

The Quranic verse (16:90) cited at the conclusion of the Khutbah codifies in a nutshell the best course of life which a Muslim has to adopt in his daily mundane life, and puts him on his alert as to his daily duties. The verse enjoins the fulfilment of three virtues and the prohibition of three evils.

Three Virtues
1. Enjoining justice (‘adl). Inherent in justice is the principle of equality of treatment which means that we have to accord and administer to others what is due to them and take as much as is due to us.
2. IHSAAN or benevolence. It is the doing of good to others though they deserve it not and the doing of good even where perhaps it is not strictly demanded by formal justice, such as returning good for evil, or obliging those who in worldly language "have no claim" on them.
3. The Eetaa'idhil Qurbaa or "the giving to the kindred" which stands for the recognition and fulfilment of the claims of those who are immediately related to us. What we give to our children or parents or brothers or sisters, is given out of a natural desire and does not require much effort. This goodness towards our own kindred should be extended to treating others in the same benevolent and generous man¬ner.

Three Evils
1. Prohibiting Fahshaa, that is, avoiding any indecency or shameful act which will tarnish our name, person and property, and which will be injurious to our moral and spiritual development. Instances of such shameful acts are the telling of lies, drink¬ing, gambling, fornicating.
2. Avoiding the Munkar, that is, every form of evil or injustice which amounts to the denial of the dignity and rights of others which is detrimental to the moral health of both the individual and of society. Such injustices are backbiting, scandal-mong¬ering, hoarding, discriminating between people on grounds such as race or colour and denying people their rights as human beings.
3. Prohibiting Baghiy, that is, any inward rebellion against the Law of Allah or our own con¬science in its most sensitive form.

Before the Khutbah two rak'ahs sunnah of Salaat¬ul-Jumu’ah should be performed. These two rak'ahs are Sunnatu Muakkadah, i.e. a confirmed sunnah which the Prophet performed regularly. The niyyah for this prayer is:

Nawaitu usallee sun¬na-tal jumu-' ati qab¬liyyatan rak-'ataini adaa-an lillaa-hi ta¬t aalaa
I hereby resolve to pray two rak'ahs sunnah of Jumu' Ah before (the fard) within the appoin¬ted time for the sake of Allah, the Most High.

There are also two rak'ahs of Jumu’ah prayer which are Ghair Muakkadah. When the Khutbah is finished the Iqaamah is chanted for the obligatory Congregational Prayer of two rak'ahs. The niyyah is:

Nawaitu usallee fardal jumu-'ati rak-'ataini adaa-an ma' –mooman lillaahi ta-'aalaa
I hereby resolve to pray the two rak' ahs fard of Jumu’ah within the appointed time as a follower (of the Imaam) for the sake of Allah, the Most High


1) It is sunnah to listen to the sermon attentively and in silence . According to the Shafi'i and Hanafi Madhaa¬hib it is Makrooh to engage in any talk while the Imaam is delivering the sermon but according to the other Madhaa¬hib, such action is Haraam.

2) Those who come first to the mosque have absolute right to occupy the first row. It is Haraam to make one wor¬shipper give up his seat for another who comes late. It is also Makrooh to reserve seats in the mosque.

3) On Fridays, both during the night and the day it is sunnah to offer Dhikr, recite Surah Kahf and Salawaat and to make du'aa for forgiveness.

4) To be present in the mosque as early as possible.  According to the Hanafi Madh-hab it is Makrooh to offer any salaah during the sermon unless it is a postponed fard, but the Shafi'i Madh-hab, holds that it is sunnah to uphold the two rak'ahs of Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid.

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