Posted on Mar 20, 2020
The questions are swirling around in most of our minds right now: With my masjid closed, how can we pray Salat al-Jumu’ah (Friday prayers)? Is it allowable to pray Jum’uah at home if there is a masjid nearby, even if it is shut down? How do we do it? How many people are needed? Who leads? What if there isn’t an adult male (or young man past puberty) to lead?
I’m wondering the same thing as we hunker down in our homes, much like the rest of you, with my children’s schools closed, our local masajid all closed and myself working from home. These are unprecedented situations in our lifetime, and while I know so many Muslims are mourning the inability to pray Jumu’ah in congregation (and we should be allowed to mourn for a bit, sit in our feelings and reflect on what is Allah’s (S) lessons for us in all this) there are things we can do.
So let’s talk about if we can pray Jumu’ah in our homes when our mosque is closed before we get to how to pray Jumu’ah.
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Can We Pray Salat al-Jumu’ah in our Homes?
In a word during these extremely challenging times, yes. I spoke with several imams and scholars about this question, since immediate online research talked about how Friday prayers must be held in the masjid and cannot be done at home. But those articles weren’t accounting for the times we are in, with so many of our masajid closed not only for daily salah, but also for Jumu’ah.
Imam Mustapha Elturk of the Islamic Organization of North America (and our own Melanie’s father) told me that between Suratul Jummah and Suratul Noor in the Quran, Friday prayers in the masjid is established.
“O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.” Surah Al-Jumu’a; 62:9
“[Such niches are] in mosques, which Allah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings.”
“Between this ayat and the other ayat, we establish that Salat al-Jumu’ah is in the masjid. There is no dispute about that,” said Imam Mustapha. “We also know from hadith that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) on a cold, windy and rainy night ordered the mu’adhin (caller to prayer) to ‘Pray in your homes, pray in your homes,’ instead of ‘hasten to prayer, hasten to prayer.’ So, in this crisis that we’re in now, which is more dangerous than wind and rain, and [most] masajid shut down, including our prayers for daily and for Jumu’ah prayers – the lesson we have from that hadith is that we can pray at home and not come to the masjid.”
He added, “In times when masajid are open and one cannot come for Jumu’ah, like if a person is traveling or sick, we pray four rakat dhuhr. Now, since we don’t have a masjid on every corner or an Islamic government that shuts down businesses to observe the Friday prayer, it is allowed to have Jumu’ah in places of work or school, like at New York University and other places [around the country]. And because of the situation we are in now, by extension, if you are at home, if you have the quorum for the Friday congregation (which differs from madhab to madhab), you can have the Jumu’ah at home as long as you have the right amount of adults and an adult male (past puberty) to lead.”
So, in talking with Imam Mustapha and seeking guidance from several other imams and sheikhs here in the U.S. and around the world, there is evidence about being able to pray Salat al-Jumu’ah in our homes when our masajid are closed. Check out this extensive guide about the (Hanafi) fiqh rulings for Jumu’ah. Now, how does one go about praying Salat al-Jumu’ah?
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- Decide who will be the khateeb (the person who will lead the prayer) and who will be the mu'adhin (the person who will recite the adhan and the iqamah).
- The mu'adhin gives the first adhan.
- Everyone at your Salat al-Jumu’ah may pray their four rakats of sunnah salah. Now, please note that this is not required because this is not dhuhr prayers.
- After that, the khateeb stands, faces and greets the congregants with “As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatul lawhi wa baraka tuhu.”
- This part is different depending on how your mosque performs Friday prayers: The khateeb sits down and asks the mu'adhin to give the second adhan. However, according to Imam Mustapha, there is no need for two adhans: “The Prophet did only one adhan after he gave ‘Salaam.’ It was Usman (RAA) who started the two adhans so people may get ready. The population[at the time] grew rapidly, and Usman felt that there was a need for it. Certainly, you don’t need it for Salat al-Jumu’ah at home."
- The khateeb stands up and recites the first khutbah, which can be found in this guide by Dr. Ahmad Sakr.
- The khateeb sits down for a short time and recites “Astaghfirullah” at least three times. Others can take this opportunity to make du’as and ask for forgiveness from Allah.
- The khateeb stands up and recites the second part of the khutbah, which can be found in this guide by Dr. Ahmed Sakr.
- The khateeb asks the mu'adhin to give the iqamah.
- Then the khateeb leads the jamaat with two rakat fard (obligatory) salah. This concludes Salat al-Jumu’ah.
- Additional: Everyone then prays their remaining sunnah salah (which isn’t required).
In these difficult times, it is so important to maintain our congregational prayers as much as possible within the scope of this public health crisis. Indeed, not being able to (temporarily) continue on with performing your Friday prayers at your masjid is an extremely difficult burden for Muslims to bear. But the beauty of our faith is that there has been precedence established for when Jumu’ah at the masjid is not possible and how we can pray this important salah at home.
My husband is a physician and the only one in our home still going out to work. (May Allah (S) protect him and all healthcare professionals.) He usually takes an hour for Jumu’ah, and though he has barely been available to his family since this pandemic took hold of everyone’s lives, I’ve asked him to please come home and lead us in Friday prayers. May Allah (S) accept all of our prayers today and forgive us for any mistakes we make.
And, may Allah (S) forgive me for anything I may have gotten wrong here.
How are you doing your Friday prayers? Is your masjid open or closed? Please comment below and let’s continue to support each other in the best ways possible.