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['Aalim Network QR] Salaatul Jum`ah (Friday Prayer)

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

Salaamun alaykum,

	The reply to the following question on Salatul Jumu'ah was kindly 
provided by Shaykh Hasnain Kassamali.  May Allah (swt) reward him for his 


Mustafa Rawji
Moderator, 'Aalim Network



Subject: Jumu'ah Prayers

Salaam 'Alaykum

I have a very hard time explaining to non'Shi'as why I don't attend
Jumu'ah prayers sometimes; especially when the Qur'an says: 

O you who believe!  when the call is made for prayers on Friday, then
hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading;(62:9-11)

Please give me proofs from the Qur'an and Hadeeth (especially Sunni
collections) that legitimize our stance.  Please don't give me rulings
from Maraj'i on this unless they are istidlali.  I already know that
Salat an Jumu'ah is Wajib Takhyeeri during the Ghaybat of al Imam al
Hujjah but I want to know why. 


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Wa-`alykum as-salaam.

	Not only you but many of our brothers are in a similar
predicament. I personally feel that we should make every effort to attend
Salatul Jumu`ah for it has been clearly instituted in the Qur'an, hadith
of the Holy Prophet and his noble practice. Moreover none of the
contemporary Maraji`, to the best of my knowledge, consider it haram or
makruh (abominable) to attend the salat. Even Marhum Ayatullah Sayyid
Golpaygani (q.s.)**, who opined that al-Jumu`ah can not suffice in lieu of
Dhuhur salat, had said that it is better to perform Friday prayers when
all necessary conditions are present. 

	Marhum Ayatullah Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Najafi, a great Indian
scholar of this century, used to lament at the laxity of the Shi`ahs in
attending the Jumu`ah prayers. In the 1950s he published Friday
supplements entitled PAYGHAME NAJAFI wherein on several occasions he
reminded the Shi`ahs of the Indian sub-continent about the significance
and necessity of attending al-Jumu`ah. In a lengthy message (Paygham #94,
dated 29 Jan. 1954) titled "Negligence of Friday Prayers is like being
negligent of the Qur'an and the Ahlul Bayt (a),"  he states, inter alia,
"Friday prayers has been made wajib once in week so that, for the sake of
religion and Islamic organization, all Muslims living within the radius of
three miles gather and benfit from the Islamic etiquette (adaab). All of
them by attending Namaze Jumu`ah - face towards the same direction, stand
in the presence of the same One God, prostrate on the earth in unison and
remember the sublimity of the Almighty, sit besides [fellow worshippers]
and come to realize the condition of each other. Unity will result amongst
the Muslims: the poor and rich, weak and strong, friends and foes--all
will begin to be benign to others; [at the same time] staying away from
all those bad attributes which bring about disunity. [During the Jumu`ah
the attendees ]while listening in tranquility and with due respect to the
sermon remember the days of the Holy Prophet (s) when he used to tell the
Muslims: Innallaaha farda `alaykum al-jumu`ah ilaa yawmil qiyaamah--Verily
God has made the Friday prayers obligatory upon you till the day of
Judgement." (translated from Payghame Najafi in Gujarati)

	There are numerous hadith exhorting the Muslims to attend the
Jumu`ah prayers. Ayatullah Najafi quotes several of these in the above
message. He begins by saying that the Holy Prophet(s) emphasized the
establishing of al-jumu`ah in a way which is not found for any of the
daily prayers. Prophet Muhammad (s) has said: Salat of Jumu`ah is Hajj for
the poor; Every Friday there is a Hajj and `Umrah for you- on Friday to go
for the Jumu`ah prayers is Hajj and to wait after al-Jumu`ah for `Asr
prayers is `Umrah; A Mu'min who goes for salat of Jumu`ah, God will
lighten for him the fear of the Day of Judgement, and will instruct that
the mu'min be sent to Jannat; Whosoever forsakes without any excuse the
Friday prayers for three consecutive Fridays, God stamps on his heart the
seal of a hypocricy (nifaq). Imam `Ali (a) has said: I guarantee that God
will send to Jannat six kinds of people-- one of them is the one who goes
for the Friday prayers, when he dies he goes to Jannat. Imam al-Sadiq (a)
has said: For every step taken towards the Friday prayers, God forbids the
fire of Hell for him. 

	By now we may be wondering about the fatwas of various
Mujtahiduns. Why is it that they do not make attendig the Jumu`ah wajib?
Why is it that some of them consider it wajibe takhyiri (i.e., praying
either Jumu`ah or Dhuhur with an obligatory intention) and others simply
consider it better to attend the Jumu`ah? Did they overlook the ayat of
the Qur'an and the innumerable hadith from the Ma`sumeen (a)? Do they
believe that the ayat (62:9) was abrogated? Do they doubt in the
authenticity of the above ahadith? Or do they have with them other hadith
which override the emphasis forwarded in the above hadiths? 

	I do not think that we are in a position to comprehend the wisdom
behind the fatawa of Mujtahidun. Marhum Najafi a Mujtahid himself,
however, alludes to this issue in his Pyagham # 79 (dated 6 Jun.52). He
writes that many Shi`ahs during the times of our Imams refrained from
attending the Friday prayers because it was the most effective and
powerful tool of the despotic rulers from Banu Umayyah and Banu Abbasi.
The Jumu`ah platform (in addition to the salat during the two `eids and
sometimes Namaze Mayyit) was being thoroughly exploited by some rulers of
Muslim ummah to perpetuate their evil plans. Even today the khutbahs of
Jumu`ah and/or the appointment of Imams of Jumu`ah prayers in many Muslim
states originate from the governing authorities. In countries such as
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Algeria we come across incidents where Imams of
al-jumu`ah have been fired or imprisoned because they spoke their minds,
defying the wrongful attitudes of the goverments!! 

	No doubt the impact of al-Jumu`ah is so signifcant in the lives of
the Muslims that some of our scholars believe that only the Imam of our
time, Imam Muhammad Mahdi (may the Almighty hasten his long awaited and
dearly coveted appearance) and Imam al-Jumu`ah appointed by him can lead
the Friday prayers. It should be known that all Mujtahids believe that
during the times of Ma`sumeen (a), the Friday prayer was wajibe `ayni (i.e.
it had to be said without fail and without being substituted by other act of
worship or penalty) and that it was duly instituted by the Holy Prophet
(s). The difference between the respected scholars arises because some of
them believe that, like Namaze `eid, the prayers are NOT wajibe `ayni
during ghaybate kubra (the prolonged occultation of our Imam when he does
not have special deputies amongst us to lead the people). 

	Before ending this already long winding response to your question,
I would like to include the following question and answer. Someone asked
Ayatullah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Seestani (may the Almighty protect our
scholars from the plots of the despots of our time) whether an arguement
against the establishment of al-Jumu`ah could be based on the fact that
the Maraji` in Najaf and Qum themselves do not establish salat Jumu`ah?
The Ayatullah replied that such argument has no validity. The maraji` who
are of the opinion that saying al-Jumu`ah is better than Dhuhr may have
some valid excuses for not attending the Friday prayers, but this should
not stop others from saying it. 

God knows the best.


Sayyid Muhammad Ridha Golpaygani, Hidayatul `Ibaad, Qum, 1413.
Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Najafi, Payghame Najafi, 2nd ed., Bombay, 1990.
Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Seestaanee, al-Mustahdisaat Minal masaa'il
ash-Shareeah, London, 1995.
Muhammad al-Ray Shahree, Mizanul Hikmah, vol.5, Qum, 1404 AH.

**(q.s) = Quddisa Sirrahu (lit. may his secret be sanctified).  It is an 
eulogy used when mentioning the name of a deceased Muslim scholar and saint.

With salaams and du`as.

Hasnain Kassamali
Humble servant of the Ahlul Bayt (a).

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