Conditions That Obligate The Friday Prayer
The Friday prayer is individually obligatory upon one who satisfies seven conditions. It is established in the Qur'an, Sunna, and Consensus of the scholars (ijmaa'). The one who rejects it is a non-believer. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Bear in mind that Allaah has made compulsory for you the Friday prayer at this place of mine, on this day of mine and during this month of mine and in this year of mine, until the Day of Resurrection. He who abandons it during my lifetime or after, while he has a just or tyrant ruler, making little of it (the prayer) or denying it, Allaah will not unite his gathering, nor will He bless his affairs. Be aware that his prayer will not be valid nor will his zakat or hajj; nor will his fasting nor his virtues be accepted as long as he does not repent. So he who repents, Allaah will restore for him His grace (and forgive him).' [Ibn Majah 1081]
Conditions That Render The Frida Prayer Obligatory
1- One must be male (therefore excluding females) and 2- Freedom (therefore excludes slaves).
3- One is to be a resident in a city or in a place where one is regarded as a resident of the city, such as living in the courtyard that is adjacent to the city. This is the correct view. This is the place that if one crossed with the intention of travel, he would be deemed a traveller; and if one reached this point after returning from travelling, he would be deemed a resident. Therefore, if one is a resident pf a small town outside the city, Friday prayer is not compulsory on him. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "There is no Friday (prayer), nor the prayer of Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha except in a city or large town." [al-Baihaqi 3/ 179, Sunan al-Kubrah]
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم also said, "The right of the Friday prayer is upon all Muslims except four: the possessed, the female, a boy and the sick." And in another place in al-Bayhaqi, it states, "And with the exception of the boy, the possessed and the traveller." [al-Baihaqi 3/183, Sunan al-Kubrah]
Hence, a person living in a small village outside the city is not obligated to attend the Friday prayer, but the person living within the city or a place where he is regarded as being a resident of the city, is duty bound to attend. [Maraky al-Falah 296]
4- To be of sound health, and free from illness. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "The Friday prayer in congregation is a necessary duty on every Muslim, with four exceptions; a slave, a woman, a boy and a sick person." [Abu Dawud 1062]
Friday prayer is not obligatory on the traveller, though if he hears the call, it preferred that he attend.
5- Safety from an oppressor is the fifth condition. The Friday assembly prayer is not necessary upon one who fears an oppressor.
6- One's eyes must be sound, i.e. to possess the ability of reliable sight. Friday prayer is not obligatory upon a blind person, according to Imam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله. Though this is contrary to Imam Muhammad رحمه الله and Imam Abu Yusuf رحمه الله who said, "If he can find someone to take him, then he is required to attend." [Maraky al-Falah 296]
7- Soundness of one's legs, i.e. one must have the ability to walk. Friday prayer is not compulsory on one who is crippled and this is agreed upon in the madhhab. [Maraky al-Falah 296]
Conditions That Validate The Friday Prayer
There are six conditions that validate Friday prayer.
1- It is to take place in the city or in its courtyard, such as an area used for the benefit of the people like a park. The performance of the Friday prayer is val id in many places within the city.
2- It is conditional that the prayer be conducted by the Sultan as Imam, or his deputy.
3- It must take place at the time Of Dhuhr. Anas Ibn Malik رضي الله عنه said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم used to offer the Friday prayer when the sun declined. [Abu Dawud 1079]
According to Imam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله, Imam Malik رحمه الله and Imam Shafi'i رحمه الله, the time for Friday prayer is after the sun passes the meridian. It is not lawful before it. It is not valid before the entry of the Dhuhr time and neither after the Dhuhr time ends, which means if one is praying the Friday prayer and the 'asr time enters, the prayer is nullified.
4- The sermon must be before the Friday prayer for the purpose of the Friday
prayer, [this means that the imam must deliver a sermon which is intended I'or the Friday assembly prayer. Therefore, if the Imam sneezes and utters the words "alHamdulillah" due to sneezing, it does not serve as a substitute for the sermon; because these words were not intended for the Friday prayer, rather, they were for sneezing; and for his reason, the objective of the sermon must be for the Friday prayer. [Maraky al-Falah 2] and the sermon is to be delivered in its time. If the imam gives the sermon before its time, it is not valid.
From those who are obliged to attend the Friday assembly prayer, there must be at least one person from amongst them who is able to hear the speech of the Imam, even if it is only one person, and this is the correct view. This is regardless if he is mute, asleep, or whether he is a slave, ill or a traveller, even if he is in major impurity and then after the speech performs the major bath, there must be at least one individual who has the ability to hear the speech.
5- General consent from the leader is conditional. Indeed, this is f rom the signs of Islam and something specific to the religion. If for example, an i mam closed the doors of his castle or the place in which he and his companions pray, then the Friday prayer! is not permitted. However, if he permits the people to enter, it is valid. [Maraky al-Falah 298]
6- There must be a group present. This is achieved with three men besides the Imam, even if the men are slaves, travellers or are all suffering from an illness. It is also a condition that they remain with the imam until he performs the first prostration, and if they leave the prayer after this, the imam is to complete the Friday prayer. Though if they leave the prayer before this (i.e. before the first prostration) the prayer is nullified. And even if only one person leaves before the first prostration and two remain, the prayer is nullified as held by Imam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله, whereas Imam Muhammad رحمه الله and Imam Abu Yusuf رحمه الله stated that the three men are required only for the opening Allaahu Akbar.
The Friday prayer is not valid with a female or boy included with two men; three men are required since women, and boys do not satisfy the conditions that obligate the Friday prayer. It is permitted for a slave, ill person or traveller to lead the Friday prayer as the imam, if he has permission from the leader.
A comprehensive city, according to Imam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله is a place that has a Mufti, Leader, and a Judge who implements the law and establishes the hudud (penalties). In addition the number of buildings must be equal to the number of buildings in Mina according to the most evident view. Imam Qadikhan رحمه الله held that this view has consensus.
In the event that the judge or leader is a mufti, then either one is sufficient for all three roles; i.e. the judge who is a mufti can assume the role of a judge, mufti and leader. This implies that having one of these persons in an area would render it as a city provided the buildings amounted to that of Mina.
The Friday prayer is permitted in Mina during the days of Hajjj provided it is conducted by the Khalifa or the Leader of the Hijaz area.
The Sermon And Its Sunan
If the Imam limits the Friday sermon to that of an invocation, such as one tasbih (Glory be to Allaah - Subhan Allaah) or one tahmid (All praise be to Allaah - al-Hamdulillaah) it is valid, though is disliked because the sunna has not been fulfilled.
Imam Muhammad رحمه الله and Imam Abu Yusuf رحمه الله said; that the sermon must be at least as long as a lengthy remembrance, long enough to be identified as a sermon [which is at least as long as the tashahhud.] [Maraky al-Falah 299]
Imam Shafi'i رحمه الله maintained that it is not permitted unless he delivers two sermons that conform to practice. He used as his basis, the words of Allaah [Hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allaah]. [Quran, 62:69]
The Friday Sermon Consists Of Eighteen Sunan
1- To be in a state of purification when delivering the sermon is sunna. It is only deemed sunna and not obligatory because the sermon is not the prayer.
2- Clothing one's nakedness during the sermon.
3- To sit upon the pulpit before commencing the sermon.
4- It is sunna to call the adhan in front of the pulpit, just like the iqama is made in front of the pulpit after the sermon.
5- After the adhan, the imam stands to deliver the sermon leaning on a sword in his left hand, which is the method observed in all countries that were conquered by force. Though if the country was taken or occupied peacefully, then the imam does not adopt the sword. The wisdom of the sword is to show the people in what way the nation was overcome, and that if the people denounce their Islam, then that land remains in the hands of the Muslims, in which they may resume fighting. However, the Madina of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was opened with the Qur'an, and as a result the sermon is given without the sword. [Maraky al-Falah 300]
8- It is sunna to declare the two testimonies of faith [shahadatayn].
9- This is followed by sending blessings upon our holy Prophet God bless him and give him peace!! which is sunna.
10/ 11. It is sunna to advise the people about abstaining from disobedience to Allaah or to frighten the people about the punishments of the hereafter, and remind them about their duties to Allaah and dealings with others etc...
12- To recite a verse from the Holy Qur'an is sunna. It is reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم recited Quran in his sermon [and fear the Day when you shall be brought back to Allaah]. [al-Baqarah 281]
The majority of scholars hold that the Imam is to seek refuge with Allaah from Shaytan the rejected before recitation. However, he is not to say the tasmiyya [Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem] unless he is going to recite the whole surah, in which case he is to say it as well. [Maraky al-Falah 300]
13- Conducting two sermons is sunna for the reason that it has been the occurrence from the Prophet's time until now صلى الله عليه وسلم.
14- It is sunna for the Imam to sit for a moment between the two sermons the extent of three verses of Quran.
15- To repeat the praises and glorifications of God including the blessings upon the Prophet at the beginning of the second sermon.
16- In the second sermon, it is sunna for the Imam to make supplications of forgiveness for the believing men and women.
17- It is sunna for the people to listen to the sermon. It is sufficient if one attempts to listen but is unable due to a long distance or another cause. Should one be unable to hear the sermon, it suffices though silence is required.
18- It is sunna to curtail the duration of the two sermons equivalent to the recitation of a surah fom the long part of the mufassal section which is any suraah from surah al-Hujurat to surah al-Buruj.
It is disliked to lengthen the sermons or to abandon one of its sunan.
When Is One Required To Attend The Friday Prayer
It is obligatory to proceed towards the Friday prayer in a tranquil state and leave buying and selling when the first adhan is called.
Note: the author used tha Arabic word sa'iy, which means to hasten in order to correspond with the words of Allaah, "When the call to prayer is proclaimed on Friday, hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allaah and leave off business and trade." Though what ha intended, is to proceed to the Friday prayer walking in a tranquil state due tn words of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم who said, "If the prayer has been announced, do not come to it hastily, but rather come whilst you are walking tranquilly." [Bukhari 908, Muslim 1249]
When the Imam emerges usually from the room near the pulpit, in order to deliver the sermon, there is no more prayer and no talking until the Imam completes the Friday prayer. This is the saying of Imam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Even saying to your companion 'listen' while the Imam is giving the sermon on Friday is to speak foolishly." [Muwatta of Imam Malik 6]
Though Imam Muhammad رحمه الله and Imam Abu Yusuf رحمه الله said, "There is no harm if one talks when the imam emerges provided one ceases before the Imam speaks." And if the imam orders the blessing upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, then one may utter it silently. By doing so, one will attain two merits; one for listening to the sermon and the other for sending blessing upon the Prophet. Likewise, if one sneezes, he is to praise Allaah within himself. Indeed, the implemented and relied upon ruling in the Hanafi school is that speaking is prohibited (whether one is distant from the imam or close to him); for the reality is that the person distant from the Imam takes the same ruling as the one close to him. One is therefore to listen and remain silent. [Maraky al-Falah 302]
Eating, drinking, fidgetiag with an object or something similar as well as looking around is disliked for the one attending the Friday sermon. One should observe what he observes in prayer and refrain from what he refrains from in prayer.
When the imam emerges, one is not to return the greeting of salam or to reply to one who sneezes, because one cannot engage in something else other than the listening to the Imam and this applies when the Imam appears to conduct the Friday sermon. Imam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله disliked the response to a person who sneezes and the returning of salam to others when the imam emerges. [Maraky al-Falah 302]
The Imam is not to give salam to the people when he arrives at his point on the
pulpit because if he does so, he will compel the people to that which is unlawful; namely speech. [Maraky al-Falah, 303]
It is disliked for someone who is obliged to pray the Friday prayer, to leave the city after hearing its call and not having prayed it.
If a person prays the Dhuhr prayer before the Friday prayer without an excuse, it is unlawful, though his Dhuhr prayer is considered to have been formed if he does so. Afterwards, if (he decides to attend the Friday congregation and) he moves towards it and finds the Imam performing it, then his Dhuhr is nullified even if he does not catch the Imam in the Friday prayer. The reason is that the mere making of an effort towards it renders his Dhuhr void. However, Imam Muhammad رحمه الله and Imam Abu Yusuf رحمه الله held that it is not nullified until he joins the prayer with the Imam.
It is disliked for those who are excused from the Friday prayer(such as a traveller or sick person) as well as prisoners, to perform the Dhuhr prayer in congregation in a city on Friday. It is also disliked for the one excused from the Friday prayer to offer the Dhuhr prayer alone in the city prior to the people performing the Friday prayer. It is recommended for the excused persons to delay the Dhuhr prayer until after the Friday prayer has concluded and to offer the Dhuhr prayer alone. [Nur al-Idah 166]
The basis for this is the following. i) city locations on Friday are designated for the Friday assembly prayer. According to the Hanafi school, the Friday prayer is to be observed in a comprehensive city and not in small villages outside the city. This being the case, it is not disliked for residents of small villages outside the city to call the adhan for the Dhuhr and perform it in a group, because for them - it is the oblgation of that time, ii) if those regarded as excused from the Friday prayer offer the dhuhr prayer as a group, it will interfere with the Friday assembly prayer and cause confusion amongst others who may believe it to be the Friday prayer. [Maraky al-Falah 303]
lf a person joins the Friday assembly prayer when the Imam is in the final tashahhud, or making the prostrations of forgetfulness, then he is to complete the remainder of his prayer as the Friday assembly prayer according to Imam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله and Imam Abu Yusuf رحمه الله. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Make up what you have missed." [Ahmad 2/ 238]
Imam Muhammad رحمه الله, Imam Malik رحمه الله and Imam Shafi'i رحمه الله held, that if a person fails to join the congregation in the second rak'ah of the Friday prayer before the Imam raises his head from bowing, then the person must continue the prayer as the Dhuhr prayer, which is four rak'ahs, not two. However, the fatwa is with Abu Imam Hanifa رحمه الل. And Allah سبحانه و تعالى knows best.
[Nur al-Idah, Arabic-English, pp 258-266]