Ruling on people who prayed Thuhr instead of the Friday Prayer due to the absence of a Khateeb
Fatwa No: 18804

  • Fatwa Date:12-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 11, 1435
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Question

I entered the mosque in order to perform the Friday prayer but the Imaam did not show up. The Mu’aththin (i.e. person who calls to prayer) performed the Thuhr prayer in congregation, although there was a Muslim brother who asked him to deliver the Friday Khutbah (i.e. sermon) in place of the absent Imaam. However, the Mu’aththin refused. What is the ruling regarding our prayer?

Answer

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, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

If the due prerequisites and conditions of the Friday prayer are fulfilled within a group of Muslims and there is a Muslim male who can deliver the Friday Khutbah (i.e. and lead the worshippers in prayer), it becomes obligatory on them to perform the Friday prayer. If they did not do so and performed the Thuhr prayer instead, their prayer is invalid. The Hanbali scholar, Ar-Ruhaybaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said. "If people, who number forty or more, in a certain city performed the Thuhr prayer instead of the Friday prayer and the due time of the Friday prayer has not elapsed yet, their Thuhr prayer is invalid because they have done what they were not enjoined to do just like someone praying the ‘Asr prayer in the time of Thuhr."

Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book, Al-Fataawa Al-Kubra, "If the people of a certain city performed the Thuhr prayer instead of the Friday prayer, their prayer is invalid as long as there was enough time to deliver the two (parts of the) Friday Khutbah and perform the two Rak‘ahs of Friday Prayer."

Hence, you should have performed the Friday prayer with the Imaam who can fulfill its due pillars. If Muslims do not have an Imaam to deliver the Khutbah and lead the congregation in the Friday prayer, they should go to another mosque in a nearby neighborhood, village or city. As for the people of a large city or town, they are obliged to perform the Friday prayer no matter how far they were from the local mosque. Imaam Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "As for the people who live in a large city or town, they are obliged to perform the Friday prayer whether they heard the Athaan or not. The people of a city are obliged to perform the Friday prayer regardless of how far or near (they may be)."

If there was no mosque in their city other than this mosque and there was no one to deliver the Khutbah but there is another mosque in a nearby town, then they must go to it in order to perform the Friday prayer, as long as the distance is less than a Farsakh (i.e. three miles or about eight kilometers), as stated by Sa‘di Abu Jayb  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him the author of Al-Qaamoos Al-Fiqhi. If the distance was more than that and there was no one to deliver the Khutubah and lead them in the Friday prayer, then it is permissible for them to perform the Thuhr prayer instead.

Therefore, those who had not performed the Friday prayer or had performed the Thuhr prayer that day should make up for the Friday prayer by performing the Thuhr prayer, as its due time had already elapsed without performing it and because the Thuhr prayer they offered instead of the Friday prayer while being able to perform it is invalid. It is impermissible for the Mua’ththin to prevent the worshippers from performing the Friday prayer as long as there is someone capable of delivering the Khutbah and leading them in the prayer. Moreover, it is impermissible for the worshippers to obey the Mua’ththin in this case.

Allaah Knows best.

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