People and Friday Prayer

Women and Friday Prayers It is not obligatory upon women to attend the Friday Prayers. There is a consensus on this point. At the same time, if they wish to do so, they should not be prevented from doing so. This is based on the hadith of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), recorded in Sahih Muslim, in which he explicitly stated that if the female servants of Allaah ask permission to attend the mosque, do not prevent them. Furthermore, ifa woman does attend the Friday Prayer, she is not obliged and should not pray the Dhuhr Prayer for that day.

There is also a consensus on this point. (The same applies for all of the categories of people who are not obliged to attend the Friday Prayer). Nevertheless, two points must be made. First, whenever a Muslim woman leaves her house, whether to go to the mosque or elsewhere, she must be dressed properly. Her body must be covered according to the Islamic regulations. She must not be perfumed. Nor may her outer garment be an attraction in itself.

This is something that many women nowadays seem to neglect. Second, it is still best for the women to pray in their houses as the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Their houses are better for them." Ibn al-Mundhir records through his chain of authorities that ibn Masood (RA) used to ask the women to leave the mosques on Friday and said, "Go to your houses as they are better for you." (Al-Awsat fee sunan wal ijtima wal ikhtilaf)

Children and Friday Prayers

Besides the hadith mentioned above that states that children are exempted from attending the Friday Prayer, there are other evidences that also prove that conclusion. For example, the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "The Pen has been raised from three: [one being] the child until he reaches the age of puberty." (Ahmad)

However, male children should be told to attend the Friday Prayer at the age of seven. They should be disciplined if they fail to attend the prayer when they are ten years old or older. This is based on the saying of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), "Order your children to perform it when they are seven and beat them [if they fail to perform it] after the age, often." (Ahmad)

The Sick and Friday Prayer

People who are ill need not attend the Friday Prayer. If anyone feels that his illness would be prolonged by attending the Friday Prayer, then he need not attend the Prayer. The ill person must make his own judgment concerning whether or not he is well enough to attend the prayer. This category could also include those who are incapacitated and do not have the means to attend the Friday Prayer.

Traveller and Friday Prayer People who are traveling are not required to attend Friday Prayers. It is not recorded that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) ever performed the Friday Prayer while travelling, nor did any of his Companions. This is also based on the hadith of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), "There is no Friday Prayer upon the traveller. " (Abdul Razaaq)

This same statement has also been narrated from ibn Umar and Ali Furthermore, the presence of Friday should not prevent someone from traveling. The Hanafi and Maliki schools say that it is permissible to travel on Fridays, even after dawn but before the time of the Friday Prayer, while the Shafiees and Hanbalis disapprove of it. The evidence seems to be with the Hanafis and Malikis.

Umar ibn al-Khattaab (RA) saw a man who was dressed for traveling and he heard him say, "If today were not Friday, I would have left." Umar ibn al-Khattaab (RA) then told him, "Go, for Friday should not keep one from traveling." (ibn Abi Shaibah) However, after the call to the Friday Prayer has been given, it is not allowed to travel except due to necessity, such as, as mentioned by the early scholars, being left behind by the group one is traveling with.

This would also include missing ones flight. But if the traveler does however perform the Friday Prayer, that is fine. Prisoners and Friday Prayer If prisoners cannot go out to attend the congregational prayers, it is incumbent upon them to establish the congregational prayer in the prison based on the generality of the Prophets statement, "When the time for prayer comes, one of you should give the call to prayer and the elder of you should lead the prayer." (Bukhari)

If the inmates do not go out to the Friday Prayer, it is a must that they perform the Friday Prayer in the prison, if they meet its conditions and they can either choose an Imam from among themselves or have one come from outside the prison.

If part of the purpose of imprisonment is to reform and improve the prisoner, then theFriday Prayer is one of the best ways to advise him and remind him of Allaah. This giving of advice and guidance was, in fact, the practice of Imam Ahmad and others when they were imprisoned. (Abu Ghudda)

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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