Voluntary prayer between the two Athaans of Jumu‘ah prayer
Fatwa No: 9928

  • Fatwa Date:7-5-2013 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 27, 1434
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Question

Is it permissible to perform voluntary prayer between the two Athaans (i.e. call for prayer) of Jumu‘ah prayer, given that it is said that no voluntary prayer should be performed between the two Athaans of Jumu‘ah?

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

It is permissible to perform voluntary prayers before the Jumu‘ah Prayer, whether they have a specific reason such as the prayer of Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid (i.e. salutation to the mosque) or other general voluntary prayers that have no such reason. However, a worshipper should not perform voluntary prayer before Jumu‘ah prayer considering it as a regular Sunnah with a fixed number of Rak‘ahs. Such an act was not reportedly done by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

However, the Hanafi scholars and a group of Shaafi‘i and Hanbali scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them adopted this opinion. They relied on the narration of Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them as he said, “The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to perform four Rak‘ahs before Jumu‘ah Prayer without separating them at all.” [Ibn Maajah]. This is a very weak narration. Imaam An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “This weak narration should not be relied upon as evidence; since it is very weak.

Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him elaborated on this issue in his book, Al-Fataawa. He said, "The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not perform any voluntary prayer before the Jumu‘ah prayer (i.e. after the Athaan) and no one reported that he did. During the lifetime of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Athaan was not called except after the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, sat on the pulpit. No one reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to perform any voluntary prayer in his house before going to the mosque for Jumu‘ah Prayer. There are no sayings of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, about specific voluntary prayers before the Jumu‘ah prayer. On the other hand, the words of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, merely urged the Muslims to perform prayer in the mosque on Friday in general without any specific timing. For instance, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever goes out early and walks and does not ride to the mosque and prays what has been prescribed [by Allaah] for him.

And this is what was reported by the Companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them that they used to perform voluntary prayers as much as is easy for them when entering the mosque for the Jumu‘ah prayer.

Therefore, the majority of Muslim jurists agreed that there is no fixed Sunnah prayer with a specific number of Rak‘ahs before the Jumu‘ah prayer since this can only be proven by either the words or actions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is the opinion of the Maaliki and Shaafi‘i schools of Fiqh, held by many Shaafi‘i scholars, and it is the famous opinion in Imaam Ahmad's school of Fiqh. A group of Muslim scholars believed that there is a voluntary prayer before the Jumu‘ah prayer. Some believed that there is a two-Rak‘ah Sunnah prayer before the Jumu‘ah prayer such as a group of Shaafi‘i scholars and Ahmad.

Others believed that there is a four-Rak‘ah Sunnah prayer before the Jumu‘ah prayer such as the Hanafi scholars and a group of scholars from the school of Fiqh of Imaam Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him.

Some people cite as proof of the Sunnah prayers before the Jumu‘ah prayer, the Hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as he said: “Between every two Athaans (i.e. Athaan and Iqaamah) there is a prayer.

Other scholars disagreed with this opinion and underlined that during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Athaan was not called from minarets like it is nowadays. ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him commended Muslims to call the Athaan from minarets when the number of Muslims increased (so that the Athaan would be heard by all people). In the past, people used to hear the Athaan after the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would go to the mosque and sit on the pulpit.

As ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him introduced this habit of raising the second Athaan for the Jumu‘ah prayer, it had become common and approved by Muslim jurists.

In such a case, performing voluntary prayers between the two Athaans on Friday is permissible but not as a regular voluntary prayers just like performing voluntary prayer before Maghrib.

Therefore, people should not criticize anyone who performs voluntary prayers before the Jumu‘ah prayer or anyone who does not.

This is the opinion that is considered most likely to be true and the words of Imaam Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him support it.

In such a case, it is better not to perform a Sunnah prayer before the Jumu‘ah prayer so that ignorant people would not mistake it for a regular Sunnah or erroneously think that it is obligatory. One should not perform this voluntary prayer so that people would not mistake it for a fixed voluntary prayer or mistakenly think that it is obligatory, especially if people performed it regularly.

Allaah Knows best.

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