Can not go to Friday prayer
Fatwa No: 88505

Question

I own a pharmacy in California USA. It is very hard to find a pharmacist to take my place on Friday. The Masjid is 20 miles a way and it takes me 30 minutes to get there. I can no longer close the pharmacy and go to Friday prayer. Is this acceptable to miss the prayer? Or do I have to close the pharmacy?

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 is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

 

If this mosque which is 20 miles (32 kilometers) away from you is in the city where you live, then you must close your pharmacy and go to attend Friday prayer, as Allaah says (interpretation of meaning): {O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed for the prayer on the day of Friday (Jumu'ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumu'ah religious talk (Khutbah) and prayer] and leave off business (and every other thing), that is better for you if you did but know!}[62:9].

This is the view of Imaam Maalik, Al-Shaafi'ee, and Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them.  They are of the view that Friday prayer is obligatory on whoever is in the same city no matter how large, whether the person hears the call for the prayer or not.

However, if the mosque is outside the city in which you live, and there is no mosque, then it is not obligatory on you to go to attend the Friday prayer in that distant mosque, because you cannot hear the call at that distance.

'Abdullaah Ibn 'Amr reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Friday prayer is obligatory upon whoever hears the call".  [Abu Daawood]

We draw the attention of the questioner that if there are other Muslims in your city, then it is obligatory upon all of you to establish congregational prayers and the Friday prayer, as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Any three people living in a village who do not make Athaan and establish the prayer, they will be overwhelmed by Satan, so you have to establish congregational prayers, as the wolf eats only the sheep that stays away from the herd." [Ahmad, Nasaa'ee, and Abu Daawood]

Nevertheless, the Shaafi'ee and Hanbali scholars are of the view that Friday prayer could be conducted in other than the mosque.

Allaah knows best.

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