Jumu’ah (Arabic: صَلَاة ٱلْجُمُعَة, Ṣalāt al-Jumuʿah), also known as Friday Prayer or Congregational Prayer, is a prayer (ṣalāt) that Muslims hold every Friday, just after noon instead of the Zuhr prayer. Muslims ordinarily pray five times each day according to the sun’s sky path regardless of time zones. Jumu’ah means Friday in the Arabic language.
Salat al-Jumu’ah (“the Friday prayer”), is a religious prayer which takes the place of the daily Zuhr prayer (Arabic: صَلَاة ٱلظُّهْر, Ṣalāt aẓ-Ẓuhr) on Friday. It is one of the most exalted Islamic rituals and one of its confirmed obligatory acts.
Al-Jumu’ah is derived from the verb ijta’ama which means the gathering together of people.
There is consensus among all the Muslims regarding the Friday prayer (salat al-jumu’ah) being wajib in accordance with the Quranic verse, as well as the many traditions narrated both by Shi’i and Sunni sources. According to the majority of Sunni schools and some Shiite jurists, Friday prayer is a religious obligation, but their differences were based on whether its obligation is conditional to the presence of the ruler or his deputy in it or if it is wajib unconditionally. The Hanafis and the Imamis believe that the presence of the ruler or his deputy is necessary; the Friday prayer is not obligatory if neither of them is present. The Imamis require the ruler to be just (‘adil); otherwise his presence is equal to his absence. To the Hanafis, his presence is sufficient even if he is not just. The Shafi‘is, Malikis and Hanbalis attach no significance to the presence of the ruler.
Moreover, it has been stated that Jumu’ah is not obligatory for old men, children, women, slaves (who were present until Islam banned it), travellers, the sick, blind and disabled, as well as those who are outside the limit of two farsakhs.
In the Quran
It is mentioned in the Quran:
O you who have faith! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, hurry toward the remembrance of God, and leave all business. That is better for you, should you know. And when the prayer is finished, disperse through the land and seek God’s grace, and remember God greatly so that you may be felicitous.
— Qur’an, Surah Al-Jumu’ah (62), Ayahs 9-10
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “On every Friday the angels take their stand at every gate of the mosques to write the names of the people chronologically (i.e. according to the time of their arrival for the Friday prayer) and when the Imam sits (on the pulpit) they fold up their scrolls and get ready to listen to the sermon.”
— Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari
Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj an-Naysaburi relates that the Islamic prophet Muhammad used to read Surah 87 (Al-Ala) and Surah 88, (Al-Ghashiya), in Eid Prayers and also in Friday prayers. If one of the festivals fell on a Friday, Muhammad would have made sure to read these two Surahs in the prayers.
Muhammad is quoted as saying “The best day the sun rises over is Friday; on it Allah created Adam. On it, he was made to enter paradise, on it he was expelled from it, and the Last Hour will take place on no other day than Friday.” [Ahmad and at-Tirmithi].
Aws ibn Aws, narrated that Muhammad said: “Whoever performs Ghusl on Friday and causes (his wife) to do ghusl, then goes early to the mosque and attends from the beginning of the Khutbah and draws near to the Imam and listens to him attentively, Allah will give him the full reward of fasting all the days of a year and observing night-vigil on each of its nights for every step that he took towards the mosque.”[Ibn Khuzaymah, Ahmad].