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Assalamualaikum ustaz, as we all know during the Movement Control Order, we have been restricted against going to the mosque to perform the Friday prayer for several weeks now. My question is what are the arguments and evidences used stating that the Friday can be replaced with Zohor prayer at home?



Waalaikumussalam wrt, wbt.,

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.

The Friday prayer is one of the wajib commandments of syarak for every mukallaf man as well as one of the eminences of Islam. There are numerous syarak evidences which state the sanctioning of the Friday prayer and the grave warnings for those who purposely leave it. Allah SWT states:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“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-Jumuah (9)

The above verse clearly shows that performing the Friday prayer is an obligation of every believer. Thus, the believers are commanded to prioritize the hereafter by performing the Friday prayer compared to the worldly matter such as trade.

Imam al-Hafiz Ibn Katsir said: “(The believers are those) who are not distracted with worldly matters and its wealth, adornments, as well as the joys of trade from remembering Allah who is their Creator and Provider. And they are those who know that whatever that is by His side is better and more beneficial than what is by their sides. The reason is what is by their side is momentary and will be destroyed while what is by His side is eternal. (Hence, they would surely) prioritize obedience towards Him, His commandments and what He loves compared to their desires and likes.” Refer Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Azhim, Ibn Katsir (6/68)

However, there is facilitation regarding the commandment of performing the congregational Friday prayer when there is an exigent need or debilitation that prevents a person from performing it. This is in accordance with a hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma, where he said, the Prophet PBUH said:

مَنْ سَمِعَ النِّدَاءَ فَلَمْ يَأْتِهِ فَلاَ صَلاَةَ لَهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ عُذْرٍ

"Whoever hears the call and does not come, his prayer is not valid, except for those who have an excuse."

Sunan Ibn Majah (793)

According to the above hadith, basically a person is commanded to perform the congregational prayer if he hears the call of the adhan. However, if he has an excuse then he is exempted from answering the call. In another narration, the Companions asked the Prophet PBUH as to what constitutes as the excuse? The Prophet PBUH answered:

خَوْفٌ أَوْ مَرَضٌ

“It is fear or illness,”

Sunan Abu Daud (551)

Hence, it is clear from the above hadith that the feeling of fear or illness is included in the category of the excuse which permits a person to not attend the mosque to perform the congregational Friday prayer. Furthermore, Syeikhul Islam Zakaria al-Ansari who is a great scholar of madhhab al-Syafi’e said:

وَقَدْ نَقَلَ الْقَاضِي عِيَاضٌ عَنْ الْعُلَمَاءِ أَنَّ الْمَجْذُومَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ يُمْنَعَانِ مِنْ الْمَسْجِدِ وَمِنْ صَلَاةِ الْجُمُعَةِ وَمِنْ اخْتِلَاطِهِمَا بِالنَّاسِ

Al-Qadhi Iyadh cited the opinions of scholars who stated that a person suffering from leprosy and vitiligo is restricted against entering the mosque, performing Friday prayer as well as socialize with others. Refer Asna Al-Mathalib, Zakaria Al-Ansari (1/215).

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haithami explained the reason for the restriction is because of the fear of the harm from him (contagious disease), then in this situation, the restriction is wajib. Refer Al-Fatawa al-Fiqhiyyah Al-Kubra, Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami (1/212).

From this, the government’s action in issuing the Movement Control Order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which includes restrictions against congregational and Friday prayers is a step that does not contradict the maqasid of syara’.

Other than the feeling of fear and illness, travel is also included as an excuse that permits a person to leave Friday prayer. Thus, people who are facing or experiencing a debilitation that prevents them from performing the Friday prayer, it is still wajib for them to replace it with Zohor prayer. The following we share several evidences and arguments presented by scholars regarding this issue:

First: Friday prayer is not wajib for those who are travelling and there is a consensus among scholars on this issue as stated by Imam Ibn Abd al-Bar: “There is no Friday prayer for travellers and this is the consensus where there is no khilaf on this issue.” Refer Al-Istizkar, Ibn Abd Al-Bar (2/36).

Imam al-Nawawi said:

لَا تَجِبُ الْجُمُعَةُ عَلَى الْمُسَافِرِ هَذَا مَذْهَبُنَا لَا خِلَافَ فِيهِ عِنْدَنَا

“It is not wajib for travellers to perform the Friday prayer, this is the opinion of our madhhab and there is no khilaf among us.” Refer Al-Majmu’, Al-Nawawi (4/485).

Thus, a person who is travelling is commanded to perform Zohor prayer during his travels. This is tsabit from the actions of the Prophet PBUH who performed Zohor and Asar prayers through jamak taqdim in ‘Arafah on a Friday.

Second: There is a hadith narrated by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud RA, where he said:

وَمَنْ فَاتَتْهُ الرَّكْعَتَانِ فَلْيُصَلِّ أَرْبَعًا

“Whoever misses two rakaat (Friday prayer), then he should pray four rakaat (Zohor).”

  • This hadith is narrated by Imam al-Thabarani in his book Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir (9545).
  • The same is narrated by Imam Abd al-Razzaq in his book Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq al-Son’ani (5479), from Ibn Mas’ud, he said:

مَنْ فَاتَتْهُ الرَّكْعَةُ الْآخِرَةُ فَلْيُصَلِّ أَرْبَعًا

“Whoever misses the last rakaat (from the Friday prayer), then he should pray four rakaat (Zohor) prayer.”

Refer Musannaf Ibn Abi Syaibah (5333)

Imam al-Haitsami when explaining the status of the above hadith stated that its isnad is hasan. Refer Majma’ al-Zawa’id, Al-Haitsami (2/192).

Third: There is also a narration from Abdullah bin Ma’dan, he narrated from his grandmother who said: “Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud RA said to us (women):

إِذَا صَلَّيْتُنَّ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ مَعَ الْإِمَامِ فَصَلِّينَ بِصَلَاتِهِ، وَاذَا صَلَّيْتُنَّ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ فَصَلِّينَ أَرْبَعًا

“When you pray on Fridays with an imam, then you should pray with his prayer (two rakaat). And when you pray at home, you should pray four rakaat (Zohor).”

Narrated by Ibn Abi Syaibah, Musannaf (5154)

Hence, according to the above evidences and narrations, it is clear to us that when a person misses his Friday prayer, whether because he fell asleep or was late, or he has certain excuses permitted by syarak such as illness, fear, travel, or it is not obligated on the person such as for a woman, then they should perform the four rakaat Zohor prayer.

Imam al-Son’ani commented on this issue saying:

الْقَوْلُ بِأَنَّ الْأَصْلَ فِي يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ صَلَاةُ الْجُمُعَةِ، وَالظُّهْرُ بَدَلٌ عَنْهَا قَوْلٌ مَرْجُوحٌ بَلْ الظُّهْرُ هُوَ الْفَرْضُ الْأَصْلِيُّ الْمَفْرُوضُ لَيْلَةَ الْإِسْرَاءِ، وَالْجُمُعَةُ مُتَأَخِّرٌ فَرْضُهَا، ثُمَّ إذَا فَاتَتْ وَجَبَ الظُّهْرُ إجْمَاعًا فَهِيَ الْبَدَلُ عَنْهُ

The opinion which states that originally for Fridays are the Friday prayer and Zohor is its replacement is a marjuh opinion. Furthermore, Zohor prayer is the original obligation sanctioned on the night of Isra’ while the obligation of Friday prayer came afterwards. When it (Friday prayer) is missed, then it is wajib to perform Zohor prayer according to the ijma’ and it (Friday prayer) is the replacement of Zohor prayer.” Refer Subul Al-Salam, Al-Son’ani (1/409).


To conclude, we would like to state that all of the above evidences and arguments shared clearly show that the original ruling on Fridays is to perform the Zohor prayer. Afterwards, the commandment from syarak which obligates the Friday prayer as the replacement of Zohor prayer came. Thus, when a person misses the Friday prayer, then he should return to the original ruling for Fridays which is to perform Zohor prayer.

To whoever who misses the Friday prayer because of travel, illness, fear, falling asleep and others, then he should replace the Friday prayer by performing Zohor prayer.

Lastly, we pray that Allah SWT will give us the correct understanding in religion. Amin.

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