The Friday prayer is held at the time of zuhr [noon], and it substitutes the stated zuhr prayer. The four rak’âts said in the zuhr are reduced to two rak’âts preceded by a khutba [sermon], given by the imâm [prayer leader of the mosque], exhorting the Muslims to goodness and to be dutiful to God, and showing them the means of their moral elevation and dwelling upon their national and communal welfare.
Salât ej-jum’a or Friday prayer is enjoined on Muslims by Divine command in the Qu’ran [62:9-11], where the believers are required, when the call is made to prayer on Friday:
“to hasten to the remembrance of God and leave off traffic for the time being; and when the prayer is ended they can disperse in the land to rejoin their material and physical activities.” [62:10]
The Friday prayer for Muslim men must be said in a mosque, if any. Or in a congregation, but not performed in private. Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allaah have mercy on him) says in al-Ijmaa’ (no. 52):
They are unanimously agreed that Jumu’ah is not obligatory for women. End quote.
The evidence for that is the hadeeth of Taariq ibn Shihaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Jumu’ah is a duty that is required of every Muslim in congregation, except four: a slave, a woman, a child or one who is sick.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood 91067]. Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (4/482): its isnaad is saheeh according to the conditions of the two Shaykhs [al-Bukhaari and Muslim]. Ibn Rajab said in Fath al-Baari (5/327): its isnaad is saheeh. Ibn Katheer said in Irshaad al-Faqeeh (1/190): its isnaad is jayyid. It was also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (3111).
If a Muslim man cannot join the public Friday prayer for any lawful reason, he has to reform by preforming the normal zuhr [noon] prayer of four rak’âts. The reasons exempting a Muslim of attending the public Friday prayer are either sickness or heavy rainfall causing great difficulty in going to the mosque. For a Muslim woman it is not obligatory to pray the Friday prayer in a mosque, instead she perform the normal Zuhr prayer of four rak’ats.
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