Do I Have to Perform the Friday Prayer if Eid is on Friday?


Originally posted in September 2010.

I begin in the name of Allah, the most kind and merciful:

Summarized Answer

Scholars, past and present, have differed over this issue, so it should not be turned into a matter of dispute. It appears to me that Muslims should pray both the ʿĪd and Friday prayer. However, whoever decides to follow the other opinion must pray Ẓuhr and will not incur any sin, since this is a legitimate opinion based on proper reasoning and evidence as well. Mosques must organize the Friday prayer for those people who would like to attend.

Reason for the Difference of Opinion

Pieces of Evidence

A: The verse of the Qur’an stipulates that Friday prayer is an obligation: “O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu`ah [Friday], then proceed toward the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if only you knew.”1

B: There is a report that the third khalīfah (caliph), Uthmān ibn ʿAffān, gave permission for some people to skip the prayer: “…then I witnessed the ʿĪd with Uthmān ibn ʿAffān, and that was on Friday. He prayed before the sermon [khutbah], then gave a speech and said: ‘People. This is a day where two ʿĪds have fallen on the same day. So whoever from amongst the people of the outskirts2 of Madinah wants to wait for the Friday Prayer, they may; and whoever wants to return [home], I have given them permission.”3

C: There are reports that the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) allowed people to skip the ʿĪd prayer.

Zayd ibn Arqam reported that the Prophet ﷺ performed the ʿĪd prayers early in the day but then offered an exemption for Friday prayer and said, “Whoever wants to may pray it.”4

“Two ʿĪds were on the same day during the time of Ibn al-Zubayr [a Companion]. He delayed people from coming out until the daylight had spread. When he came out and gave a sermon, he made it long. Then he descended and prayed but the people did not pray the Friday Prayer on that day. This was then mentioned to Ibn ʿAbbās who said: ‘He has acted according to the Sunnah [the way of the Prophet].’”5

Abū Hurayrah reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Two ʿĪds have synchronized together on this day, so whoever prefers, it may suffice for Friday prayer. We will soon gather.”6

D: There is a report that the Prophet ﷺ himself performed the Friday prayer on ʿĪd day: “The Prophet used to read surah al-Aʿlā and al-Ghāshiyah in the two ʿĪd Prayers and the Friday Prayer. When the day of ʿĪd and Friday would come together on the same day he would still read both of them in both prayers.”7

First Opinion

Only people living in isolated areas [who are normally exempted from attending the Friday prayer] coming from out of town to attend the ʿĪd prayer are exempted from the Friday Prayer. This is the opinion of Abū Ḥanīfah8 , Mālik9 , and al-Shāfiʿī10 .

Reasoning Behind the First Opinion

Verse A cannot be overridden by any report that indicates something different unless it is of the highest authenticity. It must also be reported by several different people because this is not something that would only be heard/observed by one or two people only.

There doesn’t seem to be any rational reason why one obligation should be dropped due to another being performed. This is similar to the way people must still pray Ẓuhr after praying ʿĪd.11

Report B indicates that the leader of the Muslims exempted only a specific group of people [who normally don’t need to pray the Friday prayer because they don’t live in a city] and none of the Companions objected to his decision. This implies they understood that it was in line with the practice of the Prophet ﷺ.

Evidence C may be general in wording but should be understood as being confined to a specific group of people based on the other evidence.

Much of evidence C is of doubtful authenticity.

Report D indicates that the Prophet ﷺ himself prayed it and he obviously had other people with him.

Second Opinion

Whoever performed the ʿĪd prayer is exempted from the Friday prayer12 , but must still pray Ẓuhr. This is the opinion of Aḥmad13 . It is also the opinion of later scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah14 , al-Shawkānī, Ibn Bāz15 , and Sayyid Sābiq.

Reasoning Behind the Second Opinion

Evidence C is sufficiently authentic to prove that the Prophet ﷺ made an exception to the rule in order to make life easier for the Muslims.

The sermon for Friday prayer is an addition to the prayer of Ẓuhr. Since one set of sermons was already heard, there is no need for another set later in the day.

Friday prayer is a type of ʿĪd and there is no need for two of them in one day. When two acts of worship of the same genre combine together, one of them drops, the way wuḍū’ (ablution) is not needed when taking a bath [ghusl].16

Conclusion

There is clearly a legitimate difference of opinion due to both the clarity and authenticity of the two reports in question.

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  1. Qur’an 62:9 []
  2. The word used is “al-ʿawālī” which refers to people living about one or two miles from the mosque in Madinah. See al-Laknawī, ʿAbdul Ḥayy, al-Taʿlīq al-Mumajjad []
  3. Bukhārī 7:103 #5572, Muwaṭṭa’ 2:249 #613 []
  4. Abū Dāwūd 1:281 #1070, Al-Nasā`ī 3:194 #1591. Scholars differed over the authenticity of this report []
  5. Al-Nasā`ī 3:194 #1592 []
  6. Abū Dā`ūd 1:281 #1073. Scholars differed over the authenticity of this report []
  7. Muslim 2:598 #878, Nasā`ī 3:112 #1424 []
  8. Al-Shaybānī, Muḥammad, al-Muwatta’ []
  9. Ḥāshiyah al-Dassūqī 1:391 []
  10. Nawawi, al-Majmūʿ []
  11. Ibn Qudāmah, al-Mughnī 2:265 []
  12. With the exception of the imām, unless no one shows up []
  13. Ibn Qudāmah, al-Kāfī fī Fiqh al-Imām Aḥmad 1:338, Ibn Qudāmah, al-Mughnī 2:265 []
  14. Majmū’ Fatāwā Ibn Taymiyyah 24:211-213 []
  15. Majmūʿ Fatāwā Ibn Bāz 13:13. His opinion is that it is preferable to pray the Friday prayer. []
  16. Majmūʿ Fatāwā Ibn Taymiyyah 24:211 []

15 Comments

  1. Abu Hunain says:

    As salamu ‘alaikum,

    The hadith cited as proof for Opinions 2 and 3 are the same while the translation for Opinion 3 is different.

    • mustafa says:

      Wa ‘alaykum as-salam
      That was a mistake by the editor. The Arabic text of the hadith was correct in the article I wrote. My apologies.
      Also, please keep in mind that this article was not complete so there are some other evidences. I just wanted to put something out there so people understand the different views.

      Mustafa

      • Amjad Muhammad Nasir says:

        Just a quick reminder that Uthman ibn Affan (Radhiallahu anhu) was the third khalifah and not the second. Jazakumullah khairakum for all your efforts.

  2. Marya says:

    Jazakum Allahu khayran for pointing out the error in the ahadith, we are using a new way of inputting Arabic and got a little mixed up. The mistake has been fixed.

    As for the timing, we apologize – it was a little chaotic right around `Eid. :( Sorry!

  3. Abu Majeed says:

    As-salamau alaikum,

    Ma Sha Allah this is a good comparative research, but I would like to add an authentic hadith found in Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah and An-Nasaii in which Mu’awiyah (ra) asked Zaid ibn Arqam if he had witnessed this phenomenon. He affirmed and said that the Prophet prayed Eid and gave the permission to whoever wanted that the Eid Salah would suffice for Jumu’ah. This is more in line with the other athar which was meentioned where ibn Zubair (ra) took with the permission. Uthman’s opinion is actually the minority among the Sahabah if taken as a specific exemption for urban Muslims. We should note that it Uthman is not necessarily understood linguistically as clearly negating the permission for rural muslims, but just making the point that for those who would have a harship it is is best to take the permission. So the stronger opinion is a general permission for anyone whether rural or urban. This is especially if there would be the slightest bit of hardship in praying both. That being said we have the hadith or athar that Allah loves for us to take his permissions. This is the opinion of al-allamah Atiyyah As-Saqr –
    http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1119503544978&pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar%2FFatwaE%2FFatwaEAskTheScholar

    And Allah knows best

  4. Abu Majeed says:

    May Allah reward you Shaikh Mustafa,

    It seeems you missed the other narrations of the same hadith. Your conlusion is misleading. The same Hadith was narrated in Bukhari’s al-’Ilal al-Kabir #92 with the final part reading-
    وربما اجتمعا في يوم فيقرأ بهما
    which is translated and maybe if they coincided then he would read with them both The same wording is found in Saheeh Abu Dawood #1122 which indicates that the statement is NOT a report of what happened, but a a speculation by the narrator that if we prayed both then we could read al-alaa’ and al-Ghashiyah in both.

    The fact is that there is no solid proof that the Prophet actually prayed both, while we have the hadithof Zubari and Ibn Abbas. There is a hadith in which the Prophet gave the tarkhees or permission to do both or suffice with Eid. So each community should decide for themselves if there is any harship then they should suffice with Eid, but if a number of people want to perform both then that is fine as well. No one should blame the other for doing what they like when the matter is open.

  5. Abuhanaan says:

    Assalamualaykkum,

    Was the sermon before prayer during that time ?
    “Two Eids were on the same day during the time of Ibn az-Zubayr. He delayed people from coming out until the daylight had spread. Then he came out and gave a sermon, and made it long. Then he descended and prayed………….

  6. Justin says:

    Jazak Allah Khayr Shaykh.

  7. NZ says:

    ربما اجتمعا

    is not speculation.. it’s a report about what actually happened that means: “sometimes they would coincide.”

    it’s an arabic expression you find in the hadith books and all the classical works.

  8. Abu Majeed says:

    As-salamu alaikum Abu Hanaan,

    Yes Brother that was famous in those days as i think it was institued by bani Umayyah and people went back to the Sunnah later on. Insha Allah we can do3the same on many other issues today.

  9. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    Aba Majeed,

    Many thanks for your important additions. While I don’t agree with the opinion given in this article, I still respect and love both you noble scholars.

    Suhaib

  10. usman says:

    eid mubarak, quick question. i heard the shaykh at the masjud sayinf that their is also a difference of opinion on performing salatul dhur for those individuals who do not pray jummah on eid. he gave a hadith but did not cite it which basically says that the prophet gave ppl the choice to pray jummah and did not pray until asr. i am almost certain that is what the imam said. jazakhallah khair

  11. AbdulAfeez says:

    جزاكم الله خيرالجزاء Fø̲̣̣я̅ this piece
    May Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) increase you in Eeman hikmah اللهم ‏​​​آمٌــــيٍـــن

  12. Yasmin says:

    Jazakallah khair for this very informative post!

  13. Nayeem says:

    It is the best to perform both prayers.if allaha blessed us with this ,though why miss this chance.

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