Conditions Stipulated By The Jurists for the Friday Prayer

Some of the conditions under which the jumu’ah salah becomes obligatory have already been mentioned (i.e., it is obligatory for a free, sane, adult male resident who does not have a valid excuse which would excuse him from attending the prayer). It was also mentioned that a congregation is a condition for the Friday salah. This is what the sunnah of the Prophet teaches us and what Allah holds us responsible for. Concerning the other stipulations which some of the jurists stipulate for the Jumu’ah salah, none of them has any basis to which we may refer, or any evidence to support it. It will be sufficient here to simply quote the author of ar-Raudah anNadiyah who writes:

[The Friday salah] is like the rest of the prayers and there is nothing in it that differs from them, unless there is some evidence to the contrary. This statement refutes those who stipulate, as a necessary conditions for Friday prayer, the presence of a well-established imam and a congregational mosque in the area as well as a certain number of people attending the congregational prayer. There is no evidence whatever that those conditions are even preferred – not to speak of being obligatory, or for that matter, being a necessary condition for the Friday salah. If two people pray the Jumu’ah in a place where there is no one else but them, they would have performed their prescribed duty. If one of them delivers the khutbah, they would be following what is sunnah; and if they leave the khutbah, then it is only the sunnah which they have neglected, (not something which was obligatory). But for the hadith of Tariq ibn Shihab which clearly requires every Muslim to offer it in congregation and the fact that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam always performed it in a congregation, offering it individually, like the rest of the prayers, would have been quite acceptable. Concerning the statement “from four people to the ruler of the area,” that is certainly not the Prophet’s statement nor of any of his companions… In fact, [this is] a statement of al-Hassan al-Basri. As to various statements and psuedo-juristic opinions concerning this noble worship, the Friday prayer, which Allah has prescribed once a week as one of the signs of Islam, a little consideration should suffice to show their superfluity and error. One of these is the amazing statement that khutbah is equivalent to two rak’at of salah, and if one misses it, then his jumu’ah is not valid. They seem to be quite ignorant of what has been related from the Prophet through a number of chains which support each other that “if a person misses one rak’ah, then he is to perform another rak’ah and his salah would be completed.” Have not other ahadith reached them that are valid in such matters? Some say that one cannot perform the Jumu’ah unless there are three people with the imam and others hold that four people are needed, while yet others stipulate seven people! Still others say nine, and some think twelve, twenty, thirty, and there are even some who think forty, fifty, seventy, and every number that is between those numbers!

Some hold that many people have to be present without specifying a particular number, while others state that al-Jumu’ah may only be performed in a city in which there is a “congregational mosque.” Some are convinced that there have to be so many thousand people living in the area. Some hold that there has to be a congregational mosque and a public restroom. Yet others propose that the prayer is not obligatory unless there is a well-known and established imam; if such an imam cannot be found or if his credibility is doubtful, then the Friday salah is neither obligatory nor legitimate….No such statement can be found [in the book of Allah or in the sunnah] to support what they claim to be the conditions or prerequisites of the Jumu’ah… Whoever comes with such gibberish must be refuted for the only criterion is the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. As Allah says in the Qur’an:
“If you dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the Messenger”;
“The answer of the believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that he may judge between them is no other than this: they say: “We hear and we obey”; “But no, by thy Lord, they can have no (real) faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction.” Those verses and others similar to them are the clearest evidence that one must return to the rule of Allah and His Messenger if there is any dispute. The rule of Allah is the Book of Allah. The rule of the Messenger, after his passing away, is his sunnah and nothing other than that. Also, Allah did not endow any of his slaves – even if he reaches the highest degree of knowledge and has accumulated what no one else has – with the right to make any statement concerning this religion without any authority from the Book or the Sunnah. Likewise, if a mujahid should take liberty of proposing an opinion without substantiating it, then it is not permissible for anyone to follow him in that, regardless of who he may be. I, as Allah knows, am always greatly astonished by this type of writers and their writings which supposedly provide guidance in one’s creed and practice but which are filled with gibberish. This is not limited to only some of the schools among the different schools of law, or only certain areas from among the different areas, or only certain eras from among all of the eras [it is found in all of these schools of law, areas, and eras]! In fact, the later people follow the earlier people [in such things] as if they were following the umm al-kitab [mother of the Book], although, [they follow] distorted teachings.

Fiqh-us-Sunnah Volume 002, Supererogatory Prayer, Fiqh 2.134A.

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…May Allah give us a better understanding & guide us to accept the truth

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