Difficulty Attending Friday Prayer
Fatwa No: 82844

Question

I am staying in Japan to get a doctor degree in computer science. My question: I have a seminar on Friday in one university without any other Muslim; what can I do to pray Jumua'h? Is it possible to pray it with two person only, since I can ask my friend to go with me?
Remark: There is another place for praying Jumua'h but it is far from the university and I must attend the seminar because I will give a talk.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is obligatory on you and all the other Muslim students who are with you to go to the nearest mosque where Jumu'ah (Friday prayer) is performed in order to join other Muslims in praying the Friday prayer.

In fact, the Friday prayer is among the most important obligations of Islam. Allah has Ordered Muslims to go to it and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) emphasized it and warned against failure to perform it without an Islamic sound excuse. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Those who are not attending the Friday Salah should change their ways; otherwise, Allah, the Exalted, will seal their hearts and they will be reckoned the heedless.” This is related by Muslim.

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said: “Whoever neglects praying three consecutive Friday prayers, Allah sets a seal on their hearts.

So, dear brother, make sure to participate in the Friday prayer and do your best not to miss any Friday prayer without a legal excuse; i.e., something that you could not avoid or overcome.

Know, also that Allah knows all that people think and say to themselves.

But if you have a legal excuse like illness or travel, there is no harm that you miss the Friday prayer.

As for the conference, you mentioned, if your presence is necessary and you cannot go out to pray and come back, you should then pray Thuhr instead of Jumu'ah. Know also that the congregation (group of Muslim men) is a pre-condition to the Jumu’ah prayer and you and your friend do not constitute a group.

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 82835.

Allah knows best.

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