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Last Updated: 2011/11/08
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Conditions and Method of Friday Prayer
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How is Friday prayer offered? Please explain in clear and simple language?
Concise answer

Friday prayer is one of the acts of worship about which an entire Sura has been revealed denoting its significance. The prayer consists of 2 sermons which begin with praise and glorification of Allah. The prayer leader should exhort the people to observe piety. Friday prayer consists of 2 Rak’ats like dawn prayers. It has two Qunuts, one recited before the Ruku’ in the first Rak’at and the other recited after the Ruku’ in the second Rak’at. In each Qunut, it is recommended to recite the supplications which are recited in the Qunuts of other prayers. There are certain conditions which should be fulfilled in order for the Friday prayer to be correct. The conditions will follow in the detailed answer.

Detailed Answer
Friday prayer is an act of worship which should be offered on Friday noon in accord with specific conditions. The prayer is so virtuous and significant that there is an entire chapter in the Quran by the name "Friday" prayer. Therein the Quran explicitly calls upon Muslims to attend Friday prayers: "O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew!"[1] The exegetes of the Quran are unanimous that the word "remembrance" [zikr] refers to Friday prayer. There are numerous hadith exhorting Muslims to attend the Jumu`ah prayers: "A believer who goes for the Friday prayer, God will lighten for him the fear of the Day of Judgment, and will instruct that the believer be sent to Paradise."[2] "Salat of Jumu`ah is Hajj for the poor."[3] "Whosoever forsakes without any excuse the Friday prayers for three consecutive Fridays, God stamps on his heart the seal of hypocrisy (nifaq)."[4]

During the major occultation of the Imam of Time (atf), Friday prayer is Wajib Takhyiri (discretionary), which means that we have an option to offer either Jumu’ah prayers or Zuhr prayers but it is more virtuous than Zuhr prayer. In case, a person offers Friday prayer, the recommended precaution for him is to offer Zuhr prayer also. 

Method of Friday Prayer 

Friday prayer consists of two sermons which should be delivered before the prayers. It is obligatory to praise Allah in the first sermon, according to the more cautious opinion, by praising and glorifying Allah, the Exalted. The recommended precaution is that the praise should be by using the word Jalãlah (Majesty), though, according to the stronger opinion, it is permissible to express the praise which may be considered praise for Allah, the Exalted, and asking Him to send Blessing to the Prophet, Allah’s Blessing be on him and his Progeny.

It is obligatory that the preacher should exhort the people to observe piety in the second sermon and that he should recite a short chapter (Surah) from the holy Qur'an. He should also invoke peace and blessings upon the holy Prophet and the holy Imams and, as a recommended precaution, seek forgiveness for the believers. It is better for the prayer leader to choose Suras that are ascribed to the Commander of the Faithful or the Infallible Imams (a.s.). 

After the two sermons, the Friday prayer is offered. The Friday prayer has two Rak’ats like the Morning prayer but they are different from each other in many ways which will be mentioned as under: 

The precaution is that al-Hamd and Sura should be offered in loud (audible) voice. It is Mustahab (recommended) that after reciting Surah al-Hamd, Surah al-Jumu'ah should be recited in the first Rak'at, and Surah al-Munafiqun in the second Rak'at, and once a person begins reciting one of these Surahs he is not allowed as per obligatory precaution, to abandon it and recite another Surah in its place.

There are two Qunuts in it, one recited before the Ruku’ of the first Rak’at and the other after the Ruku’ of the second Rak’at. In each Qunut, it is permissible to recite the supplications which are recited in the Qunuts of other prayers. It is better to recite Dua-e Faraj in the Qunuts of Friday prayers and even other prayers. It has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that he said: "Recite "La ilaha illallah al-halim al-karim…" in the Qunut of the first Rak'at after Qera'at (al-Hamd and al-Jumu'ah). 

Conditions of Friday Prayer

First condition: Friday prayer should be offered in congregation. Hence, the prayer cannot be prayed (as Furada) individually.

Second condition: The number of persons joining Friday prayer should be at least five, including the Imam. If there are less than five people, Friday prayer would not be held.

Third condition: The distance between the two places where Friday prayer are offered should not be less than one Farsakh (3 miles or approximately 5.5 km).

For further information, we will mention below a few other rules concerning Friday prayer.

The Time of Friday Prayer

The time for Friday prayer is the earliest part of the noon when the sun starts to decline towards the West.

Recommended Acts 

It is recommended for the prayer leader to observe the following: 

1. He should stand facing people while delivering sermons. 

2. He should be expressive, eloquent and should keep in consideration the requirements of the circumstances.

3. He should be careful to offer his prayers regularly and punctually. 

4. He should be one who fulfills the commands of God including the recommended acts earnestly.

5. He should stay away from prohibitions including the abominable acts. 

6. He should avoid doubts concerning the presence of prohibition.

7. He should avoid vulgar talks so that his sermons or exhortations should influence the audience. 

8. He should wear a turban during prayers in both summer and winter. 

9. He should wear a cloak and it is immaterial whether it is an Aba or a Yemani garb. 

10. When delivering sermons, he should lean against a bow, scepter or mace or a sword. 

11. He must greet the people while ascending the pulpit. 

12. He should keep sitting on the pulpit until the Mu’adhdhin (person calling to prayer) finishes his Adhãn (call to prayer).

Abominable Acts 

1. It is abominable for the Imam while delivering the Sermon to speak anything other than what relates to the subject of Sermon. The precaution is to avoid unnecessary and excessive talk and jokes and nonsense.

2. It is abominable for the audience to speak with each other when the prayer leader is delivering sermons. The precaution is that they should not speak and should listen to the sermons carefully.[5]

Related index: 

1. The Necessity of Offering the Friday Prayer, 8313 (site:8495).

[1] - Al-Jumuah: 9

[2] - Nasayih, pg. 255.

[3] - Nawder of Rawandi, translated by Sadeqi Ardistani, pg. 277.

[4] - Shaykh Saduq, Amali, translated by Kamaraei, text, pg. 485.

[5] - For further information in this regard, see: Tawzih al-Masaial (with annotations by Imam Khomeini), vol.1, pg. 843 – 880.

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