Article Title: Some important Rules of Jum'a Prayer
Article Author: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

In the Name of God; the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful


Imam Sadiq (a.s):

There is no step towards Jum'a Prayer but Allah forbids its body from hellfire . Wasa'elu-Shi'a vol.7 p.297


1. Friday prayers consist of 2 sermons which should be delivered before the Prayer and 2 Rak'ats like Fajr prayers. There is also a Qunoot in every Rak'at of Jum'a prayer. The Qunoot in the first Rak'at is before the Ruku' and the Qunoot in the second Rak'at is after the Ruku'.


2. The Jum'a Prayer can only be offered in Jama'ah (congregational). The minimum quorum for the Jum'a Prayer is 5 men including the Imam. Presence in Friday prayers is not obligatory for women and hence the minimum quorum will not be met by the presence of women.


3. Although offering the Jum'a Prayer is strongly recommended, during the time of major occultation of the Imam Mahdi (a.f) it is Wajib Takhyiri. That means on Friday Muslims have the option of attending either the Jum'a prayers, if its necessary conditions are fulfilled, or to offer Thohr prayers. Hence, if Jum'a prayer is offered then it is not necessary to offer the Thohr prayer.


The following conditions must be fulfilled for Jum'a prayers to become obligatory:


1. The time for Friday prayers should have set in and that means that the midday time should have begun to decline. The time for Jum'a Prayer is the earliest part of Thohr. If it is very much delayed, then Jum'a Prayer time will lapse, and Thohr Prayer will have to be prayed.


2. The minimum number of people required to do Jum'a Prayers is five, including the Imam. If there are less than five people, Friday Prayer would not become obligatory.


3. The Imam should fulfil the necessary conditions for leading the prayers. These conditions include righteousness ('Adalat) and other qualities which are required of an Imam and which are mentioned in connection with the congregational prayers. In absence of an Imam qualifying to lead, Jum'a Prayer will not be obligatory.


The following conditions should be fulfilled for the Jum'a Prayer to be correct:


The prayers should be offered in congregation. Hence, it cannot be prayed alone. If a person joins Jum'a Prayer before the Ruku of the second Rak'at his prayers will be valid and he will have to add another Rak'at to complete it. But, if he joins the Imam in the Ruku of the second Rak'at then the prayers may not suffice, and as a measure of precaution Thohr Prayer should be prayed.


Two sermons should be delivered before the prayers. It is also necessary that the preacher who delivers the sermons should also lead the prayers. The Imam should remind people of piety and Taqwa especially in the first sermon.

As far as the glory of Allah, invocation of prayers and mercy upon the Prophet and the Imams are concerned, it must be rendered in Arabic, but the rest of it need not be in Arabic. In fact, if the majority in the audience are non-Arabs, then as an obligatory precaution, words of admonition and exhorting people to be pious and virtuous should be delivered in their language.


The distance between the two places where Jum'a Prayers are offered should not be less than six kilometres. Hence, if the distance between the two places is less and both the prayers commence at one and the same time both will be void. And if one of those prayers precedes the other (even to the extent of Takbiratul-ehram i.e. the first Takbir) the one which precedes will be in order and the other will be void.


When attending is obligatory, the following points must be considered:


Presence in Friday prayers is not obligatory for women.


Not being a traveller. Hence Jum'a prayers is not obligatory for a traveller, regardless of whether the traveller prays Qasr or full prayers, as he would do if he intends staying for 10 days or more.


Being free from ailment and blindness. Hence, it is not obligatory for a sick or blind man to offer Jum'a prayers.


Not being old. Hence Jum'a prayers is not obligatory for old men.


That the distance between the place a person is and where Jum'a prayers is going to be held should not be more than 11 kilometres.


Participation in Jum'a prayers will not be obligatory for a person who finds it extremely difficult, because of rains, severe cold and so on.


A few miscellaneous rules concerning Friday prayers


It is Makrooh to talk while the Imam delivers the sermons. If the noise created by talking prevents others from listening to the sermon, then it is haram, regardless of whether the attendance is the minimum required or more.


As an obligatory precaution, it is Wajib to listen to both the sermons. However, listening to the sermons is not obligatory upon those, who do not understand their meanings.


It is not obligatory for a person wishing to join Jum'a Prayer to be present while the Imam is delivering the sermon.


Conducting business purchases and sales at the time when people are called to Jum'a prayers is Haram, if it hinders the prayers, and not if it does not hinder. And in spite of it being Haraam, the transaction done would not be void.


When it was obligatory for a person to be present in Jum'a prayers and he abandoned it, and offered Thohr prayers, his prayers would be in order.