Friday Prayer and Unity

The Friday Prayer

The Friday prayer (Arabic: صَلاة الجُمُعَة) is a congregational prayer with two rak'as, prayed in the Friday noon instead of the noon prayer, there are two sermons said by Imam of Friday prayer who also leads the prayer. Most of the Shi'a jurists consider praying the Friday prayer, in the time of the occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a), as an disjunctive obligation. In Qur'an 62, the importance of the Friday prayer is stated; also in hadith the Friday prayer is referred to as the "hajj of the poor" and leaving it causes the hypocrisy and difficulties in the one's life. Holding the Friday prayer is one of the signs of the unity of the Islamic society and it is necessary to be held congregational. Considering the political and social content of the sermons, the Friday prayer is a worship which has also a political and social importance.

Friday prayer in the month of Ramadan. The Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-sakhra) is seen in the background as Palestinians pray near Israeli police standing guard in the Arab east Jerusalem al-Quds neighborhood of Ras al-Amud


In Qur'an 62, Allah clearly commands the faithful to take part in the Friday prayer: “ O you who have faith! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, hurry toward the remembrance of Allah, and leave all business. That is better for you, should you know. ” — The Qur'an, 62:9

In hadith, the benefits of the Friday prayer is expressed: • Forgiveness of sins [1] • Reduction of the difficulties in the Judgment Day [2] • Great rewards for every step to the place of the Friday prayer [3] • The hellfire is prohibited from the one's bodyv[4] • Imam 'Ali (a) was used to temporarily release some of prisoners to participate in the Friday prayer. [5] Jurists, referring to Qur'an 62, forbade any act that results in the missing of the Friday prayer. In jurisprudential sources there have always been a chapter of the book of prayer (kitab al-Salat), dedicated to the Friday prayer. [6] Also, writing separate jurisprudential books about the Friday prayer was common from the first centuries of Islam. [7] After the prevalence of the Friday prayer in Iran in Safawid era, the writing of treatises about the Friday prayer took speed. [8] Most of the great jurists have treatises about the subject, criticizing or defending others' opinions. [9] This treatises could be divided into four kinds: • The ones that are after showing that the Friday prayer is an individual duty. • The ones that show that the Friday prayer is allowed or is an disjunctive obligation. • The ones that show that the Friday prayer is forbidden. • The ones that the exact opinion of the writer is not clear. [10]


The Friday prayer in Fatihpur Mosque in India There are five great congresses in Islam: • Congregational prayer • Friday prayer • Prayer of the Eid al-Adha • Prayer of the Eid al-Fitr • Hajj Considering the introduction of important political and social matters in the sermons before it, the following benefits has been mentioned for the Friday prayer: • Giving awareness to people about Islamic knowledge and important social and political issues. • Unity and solidarity of Muslims. • Renewal of the religious spirit and moral happiness • Cooperation in solving the problems


Shi'a and Sunni jurists have referred to the verse 9 of Qur'an 62 [11], numerous hadiths, [12] and ijma' (consensus) to prove that the Friday prayer is obligatory. [13] Some have rejected the indication of the verse, that the Friday prayer is obligatory, and considered the meaning of the verse as the order for the believers to participate in a Friday prayer which is held in the proper state, and blames who despite a properly held Friday prayer, don't participate in it and engage in other activities like business. [14] The Friday prayer is not obligatory for the following: • Women • Passengers • The sick and who cannot participate in the Friday prayer like the blind, the deaf, and the old. • Servants • Who fear a bodily or financial loss by participating the Friday prayer • Who has a distance more than 2 farsakhs (~10-11 Km) from the place of the Friday prayer. [15]


  1. 1. Al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol. 86, p. 197
  2. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh al-faqih, vol. 1, p. 427
  3. Nuri, Musadrak al-wasa'il, vol. 2, p. 504
  4. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh al-faqih, vol. 1, p. 427
  5. Nuri, Musadrak al-wasa'il, vol. 6, p. 27
  6. Malik b. Anas, al-Muwatta', vol. 1, p. 101-112; al-Shafi'i, Al-Umm, vol. 1, p. 188-209; al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol. 3, p. 418-428; al-Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Muqni' , p. 144-148; al-'Asqalani, Fath al-bari, vol. 2, p. 450-544
  7. E.g. al-Shafi'i, Muhammad b. Idris, al-Jumu'a; al-Ash'ari, Ahmad b. Musa, al-Jumu'a wa l-'idayn; al-Nasa'i, 'Abd al-Rahman, al-Jumu'a; al-Ju'fi, Muhammad b. Ahmad, Salat al-jumu'a.
  8. Ja'farian, Namaz-i jum'a, p. 37
  9. Ja'farian, Namaz-i jum'a, p. 37-38; Ja'farian, Safawiyya dar 'arsa-yi din, vol. 3, p. 251
  10. Ja'farian, Namaz-i jum'a, p. 58, 92
  11. O you who have faith! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, hurry toward the remembrance of Allah, and leave all business. That is better for you, should you know. (Qur'an 62:9)
  12. Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 424-425; al-Nasa'i, Sunan al-Nasa'i, vol. 3, p. 85-89'; al-Hurr al-'Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi'a, vol. 7, p. 295-302; Nuri, Mustadrak al-wasa'il, vol. 6, p. 10
  13. Al-Shawkani, Nayl al-awtar, vol. 3, p. 254-255; al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Khilaf, vol. 1, p. 593; al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, al-Mu'tabar fi sharh al-mukhtasar, vol. 2, p. 274
  14. Muntaziri, al-Badr al-zahir, p, 6; Gharawi Tabrizi, al-Tanqih fi sharh al-'urwat al-wuthqa, vol. 2, p. 274
  15. Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Muqni'a, p, 164; al-Husayni al-'Amili, Miftah al-karama, vol. 8, p. 463-483; al-Zuhayli, al-Fiqh al-Islami wa adillatuh, vol. 2, p. 265-268