Assalamualaikum, what is the hadith which states that it is sunnah to take a bath on Fridays?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
- From Abu Sa’id al-Khudri RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
الْغُسْلُ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ وَاجِبٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُحْتَلِمٍ
"Doing ghusl as prescribed for major ritual impurity is incumbent (wajib) on the day of jumua on every male who has reached puberty."
Sahih Muslim (846)
Imam al-Nawawi said that first, the apparent meaning of the hadith shows that bathing is sanctioned for whoever intends to attend the Friday prayer from among the male whether he has reached puberty, baby and mumayyiz. Second, it is clear (from the hadith) that the male is a man who has reached puberty.
Furthermore, taking a bath is encouraged for whoever intends to attend the Friday prayer and it is emphasized on the rights of men in greater encouragement compared to women. It is also affirmed on the rights of a person who has reached maturity is of greater commandment compared to a baby. And this is our madhhab (the opinion of our madhhab) which is renowned where it is encouraged for everyone who is going to perform the Friday prayer. There is an opinion from our ashab (Syafi’iyyah scholars) what bathing is especially for men and there is another opinion which states that it is encouraged for only those of which Friday prayer is an obligation for them and not for women, baby, slaves and travelers. Another opinion states that it is encouraged for everyone on Fridays regardless of whether the person is going to attend the Friday prayer or not just like the sunnah bathing for Eid which is sunnah for everyone. However, the first opinion is more sahih. (See al-Minhaj, 134-135/6)
Here, we present the discussion on the matter related to sunnah bathing on Fridays according to the book Fiqh al-Manhaji (See Fiqh al-Manhaji, 84-85/1)
The Sanctioning of Sunnah bathing on Fridays
Sunnah bathing on Fridays is for those who perform the Friday prayer even if the prayer is not an obligation for them, such as travelers, women and children. In another opinion, it is stated that taking a bath on Fridays is sunnah for anyone, whether he is performing the Friday prayer or otherwise. This is in accordance with the hadith of the Messenger PBUH who said:
إِذَا أَرَادَ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَأْتِىَ الْجُمُعَةَ فَلْيَغْتَسِلْ
“When any one of you intends to come for Jumu'a prayer, he should take a bath.”
Sahih Muslim (844)
The Time for Sunnah Friday Bath
The time for sunnah Friday bath begins when the time of Subuh prayer starts on the Friday. However, taking a bath when it is near the time for Friday prayer is prioritized. The reason is it is closer to the purpose of the bath which is to scent the body, remove sweat and bad body odour. Islam encourages Muslims to take the sunnah Friday bath for they are all congregated on this day and this would prevent anyone from unpleasant smells. Due to this, the Prophet PBUH also restricted anyone who intends to go to the mosque to pray from eating garlic and onion.
To conclude, bathing on Fridays is sunnah as stated in sahih hadiths. For this, we as Muslims should practise anything that comes to us which is from the Prophet PBUH. Lastly, may Allah SWT make us from among His slaves who practise the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH. Amin.