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Section III: Conditions for the Friday Prayer

Firstly: The Sermon The ruling of the Friday sermon
The sermon is a condition for the validity of the Friday prayer, and it is invalid without it. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. The ruling of delivering two sermons
The two sermons are a condition for the validity of the Friday prayer. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis, and the generality of scholars. The minimum requirement for a sermon
The minimum requirement is that it be what may be called a sermon. This is the position of the Maliki school and the choice of Dawud al-Zahiri. Abu Yusuf and Muhammad from the Hanafis held this position, as did a group of the Salaf. It is the position of choice of Ibn Sa`di. The language of the sermons
Scholars hold two positions regarding whether the sermons must be in Arabic:
The first position: The sermons must be in Arabic. [566] It is permissible to translate the sermon to a language that the listeners understand. The point is to admonish them, remind them, and teach them the rulings of the Sharia, and this cannot happen except through translation. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, the Shafi`is [567] However, in this matter, Shafi`is offer a dispensation for the time it takes to learn Arabic. according to their soundest position, the Hanbalis, [568] According to Hanbalis, the sermon is valid if one is unable to deliver a sermon in Arabic. and Abu Yusuf and Muhammad of the Hanafi school. [569] Arabic is a condition according to them unless one is unable, in which case the sermon is valid in another language.
The second position: The sermons need not be in Arabic. [570] However, it is better to deliver the sermon’s preamble and any Qur’anic verses contained therein in Arabic. This is so that non-Arabs become accustomed to hearing Arabic and the Qur’an, which will make learning it easier for them. Another benefit is reciting the Qur’an in the language in which it was revealed. The preacher then follows with admonition in a language which they understand. This is the position of the Hanafi school and the decision of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy. It is the position of choice of Ibn `Uthaymin and the verdict of the Permanent Council. Both sermons preceding the prayer
The Friday prayer must be offered after the sermons by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Secondly: An Urban Centre
An urban centre is not a condition for establishing the Friday prayer. Rather, it is valid in villages as well. [571] However, these jurists have detailed requirements that such villages must fulfill. Malikis stipulate that the village must be large and have a market, a central mosque, and a congregation. As for Shafi`is and Hanbalis, they stipulate that the village must have a collection of close buildings and forty permanent residents who do not abandon it whether in summer or in winter. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. It is the position of choice according to Ibn Hazm.
Thirdly: Establishing the Friday Prayer in a Building
It is not a condition that the Friday prayer be established in a building. This is the position of the Hanafi and Hanbali schools, and it is the position of choice of Ibn `Uthaymin.
Fourthly: The Permission or Attendance of the Ruler
The Friday prayer is valid without the permission of the ruler and without his attendance. This is true whether or not he is present in the locale. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. It is the position of choice of Ibn Hazm.
Fifthly: The Time for the Friday Prayer Must Have Begun The time for the Friday prayer
The Friday prayer after the sun passes its zenith
Whoever offers the Friday prayer at the time of the zuhr prayer – after the sun has passed its zenith – has offered it during its time. Consensus on this was related by Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn al-`Arabi, Ibn Qudamah, al-Zayla`i, and al-Zarkashi.
The Friday prayer before the sun passes its zenith
Scholars are of two positions regarding whether the Friday prayer can be offered before the sun passes its zenith:
The first position: Its time is the time of the zuhr prayer, and it is not valid to offer before the sun passes its zenith. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, and Shafi`is. It is the position of choice of Ibn Hazm and the position of most scholars.
The second position: It is permissible to offer the Friday prayer before the sun passes its zenith. [572] Those who hold this position differ regarding the start of its permissible time. For Hanbalis, it is from when the sun rises into the sky, like the Eid prayer. The other position is that it starts at the sixth hour (solar time); i.e. before the sun reaches its zenith by an hour. This is based on a narration from Ahmad. It is the position of choice of al-Khiraqi, Ibn Qudamah, and Ibn `Uthaymin. This is the position of the Hanbali school and some of the Salaf. It is the position of choice of al-Shawkani and Ibn Baz [573] Ibn Baz says: “It is permissible to offer the Friday prayer before the sun passes its zenith, but it is better to offer it after the sun passes its zenith in order to avoid the scholarly difference of opinion. This is because most scholars say that the Friday prayer must be offered after the sun passes its zenith, and this is the position of the majority. A group of scholars hold that it is permissible before the sun passes its zenith at the sixth hour, and there are authentic Hadiths and accounts that prove it. Thus, if one prays shortly before the sun passes its zenith, his prayer is valid. However, it should not be offered except after the sun passes its zenith such that one act upon all Hadiths, avoid the scholarly difference of opinion, make it easy upon all people to attend, and in order that the prayer be offered at a single time. This is what is better and more precautious.” (Majmu` Fatawa Ibn Baz, 12/391-392) .
Making up the Friday prayer
Whoever misses the Friday prayer offers the zuhr pray as four units. Consensus on this was related by Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Nawawi, Ibn Taymiyyah, and Ibn Rajab.
Sixthly: The Necessity of it being Observed in Congregation
It is a condition for its validity that the Friday prayer be offered in congregation, it not being valid if prayed individually. Consensus on this was related by Ibn Rushd, al-Kasani, al-Nawawi, and al-Shawkani.
Seventhly: Minimum Attendance for the Friday Prayer
Scholars have differed regarding how many people must attend the Friday prayer for its validity such that it is invalid if fewer attend. The strongest of these positions are two:
The first position: The Friday prayer is initiated by two people other than the imam. This is according to one narration from Ahmad. It is the position of Abu Yusuf and a group of the Salaf. It is the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
The second position: It is initiated by two people. This is the position of the Zahiri school and a group of the Salaf. It is the position of choice of al-Tabari and al-Shawkani.


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