Citation for Friday Prayer

Citation styles are based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Ed., and the MLA Style Manual, 2nd Ed..


Ahmad, Anis . "Friday Prayer." In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. May 16, 2022. <>.


Ahmad, Anis . "Friday Prayer." In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, (accessed May 16, 2022).

Friday Prayer

Muslims are obliged to pray at five prescribed times each day, and all of those prayers, including the midday Friday prayer, are to be carried out in a mosque. Exceptionally, regular prayer can be offered individually at home or in a workplace, but Friday prayer can only be made in a mosque (congregationally). Thus Friday is known as Yawm al-Jumʿah, the day of congregational prayer, and the mosque where regular jumʿah is held, is called masjid al-Jamiʿ.

According to tradition, shortly before the Hijrah (emigration from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE), Muḥammad sent instructions to his representative in Medina, Musab ibn ʿUmayr, to establish the Friday prayer (ṣalāt-al jumʿah). Thus, the first such congregational prayer was observed by Musab with twelve companions before the Hijrah. According to a further tradition, Asʿad ibn Zurarah established congregational prayer in Bayadah with forty persons, even before the revelation of chapter 62 of the Qurʿān, entitled al-Jumʿah.

Friday prayer is obligatory according to the Qurʿān, and based on hadīth, several jurists describe it as an obligation (fard, wājib) on all adult, free, male Muslims.

The Friday prayer consists of two rakaʿāt, or units of prayer, rather than the usual four, and is preceded by a khuṭbah or sermon for the education of the community. After the adhān (call to prayer), the imam (prayer leader) stands facing the congregation and delivers the first part of the khuṭbah, starting with praise for Allāh and salutation of the prophets Muḥammad and Abraham (Ibrāhīm). The imam then offers comments on social, political, economic, cultural, or behavioral issues in the light of the Qurʿān and the sunnah. The first part of the khuṭbah ends with requests for Allāh's forgiveness for all Muslims and for guidance. By tradition the imam then sits for a few seconds before standing to deliver the second part of the khuṭbah, a continuation of the discourse. The entire khuṭbah normally takes a maximum of fifteen minutes. When it ends, iqamah, or the call for forming rows, is made, and the imam leads the two units of prayers in a loud voice.

Ḥanbalī and Shāfiʿī jurisprudence requires the presence of forty persons for Friday prayers; Mālikī law requires only twelve persons and Ḥanafī law considers the presence of even four persons, including the imam, sufficient.

Culturally, Friday is observed in the Muslim world as a holiday. The Qurʿān, however, instructs Muslims to cease work only when the call for prayer is made and until the prayer is over. Thus, jumʿah is not considered a day of rest. Some scholars hold that this day brings extra blessings in trade and business if traders strictly follow the Qurʿānic command to stop trade at the time of congregation and restart business when the congregation is over.

A unique architecture has evolved in order to meet the requirements of the Friday congregation. A large uncovered courtyard with covered corridors on all four sides is a common feature of the congregational masjid (masjid al-jamiʿ, “mosque for the gathering”). The main chamber is generally rectangular, with a dome in the center. One wall has a miḥrāb (niche) to indicate the correct direction of prayer and a minbar (pulpit) where the imam stands to deliver his speech. The unique educational aspects of this weekly ritual are creation of cohesion in the community, political orientation through selection of knowledgeable leadership, and creation of a global ethical community (ummah) of the believers.



  • Aalusi al-Baghdadi, al-. Ruhul Maʿani fi tafsīr al-Qurʿān al-ʿazīm wassaba al-mathani. Vol. 27. Beirut.
  • Brown, Alan, ed.Festivals in World Religions. London and New York, 1986.
  • Bukhārī, Muḥammad ibn Ismāʿīl. Ṣaḥīḥ. Darussalam lil nashr wal tawziʿ. 2d print.
  • Ibn al-Qadamah. Al-Maghni. Cairo, 1992.
  • Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl ibn ʿUmar. Tafsīr al-Qurʿān al-ʿazīm. 5th ed., vol. 4.Beirut, 1996.
  • Ibn Mājah, Muḥammad ibn Yazīd. Sunan. Riyadh, 1999.
  • Jazīrī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān. Kitāb al-fiqh ʿalá madhāhib al-arbaʿa. Vol. 1. Lahore, 1971.
  • Jeffery, Arthur, ed.Islam: Muhammad and His Religion. New York, 1958.
  • Mawdūdī, Sayyid Abū al-Aʿlā. Tafhīm al-Qurʿān. Vol. 1. Lahore, 1947.
  • Mawdūdī, Sayyid Abū al-Aʿlā. Towards Understanding the Qurʿān. Translated and edited by Zafar Ansari. Leicester, U.K., 2006.
  • Mazharī, Muḥammad Thanaullah al-ʿUthmani. Tafsīr al-Mazharī. Vol. 9. Quetta, 1983.
  • Muslim ibn al-Ḥajj. Ṣaḥīḥ. Riyadh, 1998.
  • Shibli Nuʿmani. Sirah an-Nabi. Vol. 1. Lahore, 1947.

© Oxford University Press 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved