The Etiquette for Salat al-Jumuah
“O believers, when the call is proclaimed for the prayer on Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business, that is better for you if you but did know.” [Al-Jumuah, 62:9]
Purifying and cleaning oneself
The person intending to perform Salat al-Jumuah is highly encouraged to have ghusl (full bath or shower). The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that the ghusl for Salat a-Jumuah is recommended (sunnah) but not obligatory. The ghusl is performed starting from the time of Fajr Prayer. Also, if a person performs ghusl and then later invalidates his ablution, he need not repeat the ghusl. Making ablution (wudhu) suffices. Furthermore, one ghusl may be used for removing sexual defilement (janabah) and for Salat al-Jumuah.
Going early to the masjid
There is a great reward in going early to Salat al-Jumuah, beginning after sunrise. By leaving for Salat al-Jumuah, one gets the reward of waiting for the Prayer, making dhikr (remembering Allah) and voluntary prayers during that time. Abu Umamah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam) said, “The angels sit at the doors to the Masjids and with them are scrolls in which they record the people [who come]. When the Imam appears, the scrolls are rolled up.” Abu Umamah was asked, “Does the one who comes after the Imam still have a Friday Prayer?” he said, “Certainly, but he is not one of those who is recorded [as coming early].” [Ahmad and al-Tabarani]
Dressing well for Salat al-Jumuah
This is a special time that requires Muslims to appear in the best manner possible. One should therefore put on his best attire for Salat al-Jumuah.
The Prophet (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam) said, “If one has the means, he should buy two pieces of clothing, other than his work clothes or [everyday clothing], to wear on Friday.” [Abu Dawud]
Performing tahiyyat al-Masjid
If a person comes late to the Friday Prayer while the Imam is delivering the khutbah, should he pray the two rak`ahs of tahiyyat al-Masjid (prayer of greeting the mosque) and the sit or should he simply skip them? The strongest opinion is to perform the tahiyyat al-Masjid based on the Hadith of the Prophet (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam): “If one of you comes to the Masjid, he should pray two rak`ahs before he sits” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. However, tahiyyat al-Masjid is not required of the person giving the khutbah. Also, this requirement is limited only to prayers offered in a Masjid.
- Walking to the Masjid whenever feasible as there is a reward for every step taken to the Masjid.
- Avoiding stepping over people to get to a particular spot in the Masjid.
- Avoiding dividing two people who are sitting together.
- Not making someone stand and taking his place.
- Not clasping one’s hands and intertwining one’s fingers while waiting for the prayer.
- Sitting in the front rows and close to the Imam whenever possible.
- Remaining quiet while the Imam is delivering the khutbah. This actually includes listening to the Imam and not playing with anything while the Imam is speaking.
- Going to the Masjid in a state of calmness and not being hurried.
- Reciting surah al-Kahf (surah 18) as an authentic Hadith states: “For whoever recites surah al-Kahf on Friday, it will be a light for him from that Friday to the next.” [Al-Bayahaqi and Al-Hakim] The surah could be read any time of the day.
Indeed, Salat al-Jumuah is one of the most important acts of worship in Islam. The Prophet (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam) has described the wonderful blessings and benefits that Allah has vouchsafed upon Muslims through this magnificent act. Knowing how important this prayer is in Allah’s sight, Muslims must do their best to perform it in the best way possible. They should strive and sacrifice for the sake of this Prayer.