Etiquettes of the Friday Prayer

Performing Ghusl for the Friday Prayer

There are many hadith from the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) that show the importance of performing ghusl for the Friday Prayer. These hadith include the following: Abdullah ibn Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Anyone of you who attends the Friday Prayer should take a bath (ghusl)." (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "The taking of a bath on Friday is compulsory for every Muslim who has attained the age of puberty and also the cleaning of his teeth with a miswaak (toothstick) and the use of perfume if it is available." (Bukhari) He also said: "Any person who takes a bath on Friday like the bath of a sexually defiled person and then goes for the prayer early, it is as if he had sacrificed a camel. " (Bukhari)

There is a difference of opinion among the scholars as to whether the ghusl is obligatory on Friday or if it is simply recommended. Based on the above ahadith, some scholars conclude that ghusl is obligatory upon the person who will attend the Friday Prayer.

Abu Hurairah, ai-Hasan al-Basri and al-Al-bani are of the opinion that the ghusl on Friday is obligatory. However, the majority of the scholars are of the opinion that the ghusl for the Friday Prayer is recommended (sunnah) or strongly recommended (sunnah muakadah) but not obligatory. And Allaah knows best.

When should a person perform the ghusl? The hadith of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) shows that the ghusl is to be performed on Friday. Hence, this means that it should not be performed before the time of Fajr as that would be before Friday. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars. Thus, if a person makes ghusl after Fajr, that is sufficient for him. This has been narrated from al-Hasan, Mujaahid, al-Nakhai, al-Thauri, Ahmad, Ishaaq and Abu Thaur.

However, Imam Malik, al-Auzai and al-Laith believed that the ghusl may only be performed at the time the person is leaving to the Friday Prayer. The hadith, though, do not explicitly state that the ghusl has to be at the time of leaving for the Prayer. Hence, if someone performs it before that time, it would still be proper. However, the goal of the ghusl is to be clean for the Prayer. Therefore, if someone performs the ghusl and later becomes sweaty and smelly, it would be best for him to clean himself again before he attends the Friday Prayer so he does not bother the others in attendance.

Going Early to the Friday Prayer Numerous hadith of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) show that there is a great reward in going early to the Friday Prayer. Such hadith include the following: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever makes ghusl on Friday, like the ghusl one makes due to sexual defilement and then goes to the mosque during the first hour, it will be as if he had sacrificed a camel.

If he goes during the second hour, it will be as if he had sacrificed a cow. If he goes during the third hour, it will be as if he had sacrificed a horned lamb. If he goes during the fourth hour, it will be as if he had sacrificed a hen. If he goes during the fifth hour, it will be as if he had sacrificed an egg. When the Imam comes, the angels will be present to listen to the remembrance." (Bukhari and Muslim)

In other versions of this hadith, it states that when the Imam goes out, the angels fold up their scrolls and listen to the remembrance. (Bukhari and Muslim) In a narration recorded by ibn Khuzaima, it states, "On every door of the mosque there are two angels who record those who come as they appear, like a person who offered a camel, and a person who offered a cow ... " General Attire for the Friday Prayer After taking into consideration all of the different evidences related to the Friday Prayer, it becomes clear that the Friday Prayer is a special time that requires Muslims do their best to appear in the best manner possible for that special prayer. There are many hadith of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) that demonstrate this point.

Salmaan al-Farsi narrated that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whoever takes a bath on Friday, purifies himself as much as he can, then uses his hair oil or perfumes himself with his wifes perfume, then proceeds [to the Friday Prayer] and does not separate any two who are sitting together, then prays as much as [Allaah has] written for him and then remains silent while the Imam is delivering the khutbah, his sins between that Friday and the previous Friday will be forgiven." (Bukhari)

Walking to the Mosque

It is preferred to walk to the Friday Prayer. When doing so, the person will be rewarded for every step he takes. In a hadith mentioned earlier, the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whoever makes ghusl on Friday, goes early to the prayer, and walks and does not ride, and comes close to the Imam and listens and does not speak uselessly, then for every step he took he will have the reward of a years worth of fasting and praying." (Ahmad and Abu Dawood)

Therefore, if feasible, it would be considered preferable to walk to the mosque. Avoid Stepping over people Stepping over people to get to a place in the mosque should be avoided. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) saw a man stepping over the peoples neck while he was delivering a khuthah and he told the man, "Sit down. You have harmed the people and have come late." (Abu Dawood)

Avoiding Dividing Two People who are Sitting Together

Salmaan al-Farisi narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said. "Anyone who takes a bath on Friday and cleans himself as much as he can and oils his hair or scents himself, and then sets out to the Prayer and does not force his way between two people sitting together in the mosque, and prays as much as is written for him and remains quiet while the Imam delivers the khutbah, all his sins between the present and the last Friday will be forgiven." (Bukhari)

Not making Someone Stand and then Taking

His Place Ibn Umar (RA) said, "The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) forbade that a man should make another man get up to sit in his place." Naafi asked ibn Umar, "Is this [only] concerning the Friday Prayer?" He answered, "It is for the Friday Prayer and any other Prayer." (Bukhari)

Not Clasping Ones Hands and Intertwining Ones Fingers while Waiting for the Prayer

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "When one of you makes ablution and excels in doing so, then goes out with the intention of going to the mosque, he should not clasp his hands together as he is in the prayer [as long as he is going to and waiting for the prayer]. "(Ahmad) Actually, this hadith is in reference to every prayer not just the Friday Prayer. From the time the person makes ablution and leaves his house he should not clasp his hands together until he is finished with the prayer. After he finishes the prayer, there is no harm in him doing so. This is because he is considered as being in the prayer as long as he is walking to or waiting for the prayer.

Sitting Close to the Imaam

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said in a hadith mentioned earlier, "Whoever makes ghusl on Friday, goes early to the prayer, and walks and does not ride, and comes close to the Imam and listens and does not speak uselessly, then for every step he took he will have the reward of a years worth of fasting and praying." (Ahmad, Abu Dawood) Al-Nawawi states that there is a consensus that it is preferred to sit as close to the Imam as one can.

In this way one will be sitting in the furthermost front row and will be able to hear and benefit from the khutbah, furthermore, by doing so, there will be no gaps left in the rows an the people who come later will find places to sit without having to step over the people who are already present. Moving to another location up feeling drowsy Ibn Umar narrated that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "If one of you becomes sleepy while he is in the mosque, he should leave his place to another place." (Ahmad and Abu Dawood).

If he can do so without harming others, he should do so. Not Praying in Front of the Imam It is well known that the Imam should be person furthermost toward qiblah or, in other words, he should be in front of the people. Suppose someone prays the Friday prayer in a position that is furtherward or closer to the qiblah that the place of the Imam is such a prayer valid? This question was put to al-Imam ibn Taah (RAH) and his answer:"As for the prayer of the follower in front of the Imam, there are three opinions.

One is that it is absolutely acceptable; this is the well known opinion of the Maliki and the old opinion of Imam Shafiee. The second is that it is absolutely prohibited; this is the opinion of Abu Hanifah and the best known opinion of the Shafiee and Hanbali schools. The third is that it is acceptable if there is a reason to do so, for example, if it is so crowded that one cannot pray the Friday Prayer or the Funeral Prayer except ahead of the Imam.

For him to pray further forward than the Imam is better than him abandoning the prayer altogether. This is the opinion of a number of scholars. It is an opinion from the Hanbali school and others. It is the most just and weightiest opinion. This is because not praying in front of the Imam is simply one of the obligatory aspects of the congregational prayer. But all of the obligations may be violated for due cause, even if it is one of the obligatory aspects of the prayer itself, not to speak of simply one of the obligatory aspects of being in a congregation.

That is why a person is not obliged to perform the standing, reading, dress and purification and other acts whenever he is not able to perform them." Not holding Halaqah Sessionbefore the Khutbah Abu Dawood, al-Nasaai, al- Tirmidhi and others record that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) prohibited halaqa (meetings in which people gather to learn, often in semi-circles) before the Friday Prayer. Al-Khataabi said that this hadith means that it is disliked to have study meetings and such; before the Friday Prayer. Instead, the people should be involved in prayer, remembrance of Allaah and silence in preparation for the khutbah. After they finish the Prayer, he says, they are free to gather for such study circles.

Prior to the Prayer, there is no question that such study circles or general lectures will be a disturbance to those who are trying to pray, make dhikr or read the Quran. Nawaafil after the Friday Prayer Al-Bukhari collected a report from Ibn Umar (RA) that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to leave the mosque after the Friday Prayer and pray two rakats in his house. Yet there are other authentic hadith that state that one should pray four rakats after the Friday Prayer. For example, the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whoever is to pray after the Friday Prayer should pray four rakats." (Muslim)

There is yet another narration from Abu Huraira that states, The Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) would pray two rakats after the Friday Prayer and then pray four rakats." However, from a legal evidence point of view, the strongest of all these narrations is the first one since it is a clear statement of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) that is not open to interpretation.

Missing One Rakah or More

Al-Sayyid Sabiq wrote: Most of the people of knowledge are of the opinion that if a person catches only one rakah of the Friday Prayer, then that rakah will be valid and the person need only make up the one rakah that he missed. Ibn Umar (RA) reported that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whoever catches one rakah of the Friday Prayer then he should complete the one he missed and his prayer would be complete." (Nasaai - mursal)

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) also said: "Whoever catches one rakah of the prayer has caught the whole prayer [its reward as a congregational prayer]." (Abu Dawud) If a person catches less than one rakah of the Friday Prayer, then he has not caught the prayer and he is to pray the noon prayer (four rakahs), according to the majority of the scholars. Ibn Masood (RA) said, "If a person catches one rakah of the Friday Prayer, he adds another to it.

If he misses the two rakahs, he prays four [rakahs]." (Tabaraani with a hasan chain). Reciting Surah al-Kahf On Friday There is an authentic hadith that mentions the virtue of reciting surah al-Kahf on Fridays. It states, "For whoever recites surah al-Kahf on Friday, it will be a light for him from that Friday to the next." (Baihaqi and al-Haakim)

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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