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|Earliest Time to Friday (Jum'ah) Prayer
Is it okay to pray Friday (Jum'ah) prayer when it is not yet time for Zuhr? In another word, when is the time for Friday (Jum'ah) prayer?
Praise be to Allah.
The scholars differed as to the earliest time for Jumu‘ah prayer; there are two views:
1. When the sun passes the meridian, like the time for Zuhr prayer, and it is not permissible to pray Jumu‘ah before that.
This is the view of the majority of Hanafi, Maaliki and Shaafa‘i scholars, and al-Nawawi attributed it to the majority of the Sahaabah, Taabi‘een and those who came after them. Imam al-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) said: There is no difference of opinion among all those whom I met that Jumu‘ah cannot be offered until the sun has passed the meridian. End quote. Al-Umm (1/223)
They quoted as evidence two saheeh hadeeths:
(i) It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to pray Jumu‘ah when the sun had passed the meridian. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (no. 904)
(ii) It was narrated that Salamah ibn al-Akwa‘ (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We used to pray Jumu’ah with the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) when the sun passed its zenith, then we would go back and try to seek shade. Narrated by Muslim, no. 860
2. It is permissible to pray before the sun passes the meridian, i.e., the time for it starts before the time for Zuhr.
This is the view of Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh.
Those who hold this view quoted a number of hadeeths as evidence:
(i) It was narrated from Ja‘far ibn Muhammad, from his father, that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah said: We used to pray with the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), then we would go back and let our camels used for carrying water rest. Hasan said: I said to Ja’far: At what time was that? He said: When the sun passed its zenith. Narrated by Muslim, 858.
(ii) It was narrated that Sahl (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We used not to take a nap or eat lunch until after Jumu‘ah. Narrated by Muslim, 859
(iii) It was narrated that Salamah ibn al-Akwa‘ (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We used to pray Jumu’ah with the Messenger of Allah (blessing and peace of Allah be upon him), then we would go back and we could not find any wall offering shade. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4168; Muslim, 860
These hadeeths do not clearly state that the prayer came before the sun passed the meridian; rather in some of them there is also evidence to support the first view, as in the hadeeth of Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah. Hence Imam al-Nawawi included it in a chapter in Saheeh Muslim (2/587) entitled “Chapter: Praying Jumu‘ah when the sun has passed the meridian.”
The same applies to the hadeeth of Salamah quoted above under the first view: that was when the sun had passed the meridian.
Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The response to their quoting the hadeeth of Jaabir and others as evidence is that all of these reports may be referring to how early it used to be done and how important it is to hasten to do it after the sun has passed the meridian, without waiting for the heat to abate and so on. This is a summary of the interpretation of the scholars for these hadeeths. And the action of all Muslims is that they do not pray Jumu ‘ah until after the sun has passed the meridian. In more detail, the answer is as follows:
In the hadeeth of Jaabir it states that the prayer and letting their camels rest came when the sun passed the meridian, not that the prayer came before it.
The response to the hadeeth of Salamah is that it offers us proof that the prayer came after the sun had passed the meridian, because it does not mean that the walls offered no shade; rather what it means is that there was not enough shade for a passer-by to seek shade.
And clearer than that is the other report, “[we would] try to seek shade”. This clearly states that there was shade, but it was little. It is well known that their walls were low and their land was closer to the equator, and there was no shade in which shade could be sought until a long time after the sun had passed the meridian.
With regard to the hadeeth of Sahl, “We used not to take a nap or eat lunch until after Jumu‘ah”, what it means is that they used to delay taking a nap and eating lunch on this day until after Jumu‘ah prayer, because they were recommended to come early to the prayer; if they had gotten busy with any of these things before the prayer, they would have feared missing the prayer or missing out on coming early to it.
This is supported by the report narrated by Maalik in al-Muwatta’, with his saheeh isnaad from ‘Umar ibn Abi Sahl ibn Maalik, from his father who said: I saw a velvet carpet belonging to ‘Aqeel ibn Abi Taalib put out next to the western wall of the mosque on a Friday, and when the carpet was fully in the shade of the wall, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) would come out of the mosque and they would come out after Friday prayer and take the nap that we usually took before noon. End quote. Al-Majmoo‘, 4/511-512
The most correct view is that of the majority of scholars, that the time for Jumu‘ah is the same as the time for Zuhr, and undoubtedly this is more on the safe side.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The best time (for Jumu‘ah) is after the sun has passed the meridian, so as to avoid an area of scholarly dispute, because most of the scholars say that it is essential for Jumu‘ah prayer to be after the sun passes the meridian. This is the view of the majority.
Some scholars are of the view that it is permissible to pray Jumu‘ah before the sun passes the meridian in the sixth hour, and there are hadeeths and reports indicating that which are saheeh. So if a person prays Jumu‘ah shortly before the sun passes the meridian, his prayer is valid. But it should only be done after the sun passes the meridian, following all of the hadeeths and so as to avoid an area of scholarly dispute, and so as to make it easy for all people to attend together, and so that the prayer will be at the same time. This is what is better and more on the safe side. End quote. Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 12/391-392
And Allah knows best.
Question Date: 2012-03-23
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