Performing the Optional Prayer Before the Friday Sermon – An Opportunity to Attain Great Reward

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد

 

Some hadeeth pertaining to praying the optional (nafl) prayer before the Friday sermon and their understanding:

 

On the authority of Aboo Hurairah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

 

((Whoever takes a bath, then comes to Al-Jumu’ah;[1] then prays that which was decreed for him, then remains silent until he [the Imaam] finishes his sermon, then he prays along with him, that which is between it and between the next Jumu’ah will be forgiven for him – and an excess of three days.))[2]

 

Shaikh Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said in his explanation of this hadeeth:

“In it is that whoever attends before the prayer; then he can pray that which is decreed for him without any restriction, as this is from the optional (forms of worship) which are unrestricted. Hence the person prays what he wishes from the raka’aat (units of prayer), and the least of them is two rak’ahs, and if he prays up until the Imaam attends for the khutbah then that is better. This is contrary to that which comes after the Jumu’ah (prayer), since the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) restricted it to four rak’ahs.”[3]

 

On the authority of Salmaan Al-Faarsi (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

 

((There is no man who bathes on the day of Friday, and purifies himself as much as he is able by way of cleanliness, and smears himself with his oil, or applies [upon himself] from the perfume of his house, then sets out, so he does not separate between two people [in the Masjid], then he prays that which is written for him, then he remains silent when the Imaam speaks; except that he will have forgiven for him that which is between it and the next Friday.))[4]

 

Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said regarding his saying (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam):

((..then he prays that which is written for him…))

 

“The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did not specify a prayer, this proves that the Jumu’ah (prayer) does not have a regular supererogatory (prayer) before it, rather the person can pray what he wishes, whether it is a little or plentiful – up until the Imaam becomes present.”[5]

 

Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said:

“It has been authentically established from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in many ahaadeeth that which indicates that it is legislated for the Muslim when he comes to the Masjid on the day of Al-Jumu’ah  that he prays that which Allaah has portioned for him before the emergence of the Imaam. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did not restrict a confined number of rak’ahs in that, hence if one prays two or four or more than that then all of it is good; and the least of that is the two rak’ahs for the Tahiyatul Masjid. As for after it (i.e. the Jumu’ah prayer), then it has a supererogatory Sunnah prayer – the least of which is two rak’ahs and the most of which is four.”[6]

 

The practice of the companions (radhiyallaahu ‘anhum) in this regard:

 

Naafi’ said: Ibn Umar used to lengthen the prayer before the Jumu’ah (prayer) and would pray two rak’ahs after it in his home, and he would narrate that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to do that.[7]

 

From Saafiyah who said: I saw Safiyyah bint Huyayy (and she was from the wives of the Prophet [sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam] and she died during the rulership of Mu’aawiyah), she prayed four (rak’ahs) before the emergence of the Imaam, and she prayed Al-Jumu’ah as two rak’ahs along with the Imaam.[8]

 

Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:

“This is that which has been reported from the companions; when they would come to the Masjid on the day of Jumu’ah; they would pray from the time that they entered – that which would be easy (for them). So from them was he who would pray ten rak’ahs and from them was he who would pray twelve rak’ahs and from them was he who would pray eight rak’ahs and from them was he who would pray less than that.

Due to this the majority of the Imaams are in agreement that there is no Sunnah (prayer) before the Jumu’ah (prayer) which is scheduled for a given time – valuated with a number (of specific units), because that has to be established from the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) or through his action, and nothing has been prescribed/established in that regard, not through his statement nor through his action, and this is the Madhab of Maalik and the Madhab of Ash-Shaafi’ee and the majority of his companions, and it is well known in the Madhab of Ahmad.”[9]

 

Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said:

“…And the companions (radhiyallaahu ‘anhum) on the day of Al-Jumu’ah; they would pray plentifully before the sermon, so this does not have a restricted limitation.”[10]

 

How many units of prayer are these prayers to be offered in?

 

Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said:

“Whoever prays two rak’ahs for Tahiyatul Masjid; then it suffices him, and whoever prays four then he has increased in good, and whoever prays six then he has increased in good – and like this. However; he should make the tasleem (salutation) between every two (rak’ahs) – he should not make them like the obligatory (prayers), rather it is better that he makes the tasleem between every two (rak’ahs) because the Prophet (‘alaihi salaatu was salaam) said:

 

((The prayer of the night and the day are [to be prayed] two by two.))[11]

 

The addition of ‘the day’ (i.e. in this hadeeth) is good; and is established with the people of hadeeth.”[12]

 

 

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[1] Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “((then comes to Al-Jumu’ah)): meaning: he comes to the place of the Jumu’ah prayer or that he comes to the Jumu’ah prayer. So if you say: ‘the place of the Jumu’ah prayer’: then there are two things which are omitted from it, and they are: the place and the prayer, and if you say: ‘then he comes to the Jumu’ah prayer’: then there is one thing that is omitted from it, in any case they are both correlated.” See: Sharh Buloogh Al-Maraam vol 5 p.79

[2] Reported by Muslim (no.857)

[3] Tas-heel al-Ilmaam be-Fiqh Ahaadeeth min Buloogh al-Maraam vol 2 p.537-538

[4] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.834)

[5] Sharh Riyaadh us Saaliheen vol 5 p.171

[6] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 12 p.387

[7] Reported by Aboo Dawood (no.1128) and Ibn Khuzaimah (no.1836) and was declared Saheeh (authentic) by Imaam An-Nawawee in Khulaasatul Ahkaam (no.2871) and he said regarding it: ‘Saheeh, it is reported by Aboo Dawood with a chain of narration which is upon the standard of Al-Bukhaaree.’ It was likewise authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in his Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (no.1128).

[8] Shaikh Al-Albaanee said in his book: Al-Ajwibah an-Naafi’ah p.61: “Reported by Ibn Sa’ad in At-Tabaqaat (8/360) with a chain of narration that is authentic – upon the standard of Muslim.”

[9] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 24 p.189

[10] Fataawa Noorun ‘Alad-Darb vol 2 p.858

[11] Reported by Aboo Dawood (no.1172) and At-Tirmidhee (no.597) and An-Nasaa-i (no.1665) and others. Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz declared the hadeeth with its chain of narration to be Saheeh (authentic) as is found in his Majmu’ Fataawa vol 11 p.390. It was likewise authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in his Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (no.1172) – see his discussion of this hadeeth under this reference as well as in his checking of Ar-Rawdh An-Nadheer (under hadeeth no.522).

[12] Fataawa Noorun ‘Alad-Darb vol 2 p.858

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