Assalaamu 'Alaikum! In our country Friday is the weekly holiday and people have some time to spare on this day of the week. We conduct a halaqa starting from 10:30 in the morning on the Fridays and continue till around 11:45 – after which we all proceed to the mosque for Jumu'ah. The "jame" mosque is about 200 meters away from the house where the Halaqa is held. The Adhan for Jumu'ah prayer is around 12:10. Papers from scholars are read [just for example, sometimes articles are read from Islam Q-A, Islamtoday and Islamhouse etc] to people coming from a "Secular Educational background", with the idea of disseminating the knowledge of "deen" to the "unfortunate" ones. My question is: is it forbidden to organize such Halaqa in the morning of Friday(s), given that it is concluded well before the Adhan for Jumu'ah?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
If the circle which you mentioned in the question is held at a place other than the mosque –in a house for instance –then this is permissible and this is not included in the dislikeability of holding circles before the Friday prayer. However, if the circle is held in the mosque, then the scholars are of the view that it is disliked to organize circles of knowledge before the Friday speech on Friday because it is confirmed in the Sunnah that it is disliked to organize circles (in the mosque) before the Friday prayer. According to the view of the majority the scholars the Prophetic narration means that it is only disliked to organize such circles but it is not forbidden, as stated by Ash-Shawkaani .
The dislikeability is also reported when the circles are widespread in the mosque, because this may interrupt the rows whereas the congregation is ordered to go early to the mosque and fill the rows, first by first. Hence, if the circle is free from these matters and there is a preponderant benefit in it at that time and it does not lead to disturbing other people in the mosque, then in our view this is permissible.
It is reported that Abu Hurayrah used to teach the Prophetic narrations to people before the Friday prayer until the Imaam would come out as reported by Ibn Abu Shaybah and Al-Haakim .
Allaah Knows best.
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