Besides the five obligatory prayers, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) has also ordained the "Jumah" (Friday Congregational Prayer) as a necessary prayer on the Muslim Nation (Ummah) as is made clear in the following verse of the Holy Qur'an:“ O ye who believe, when the call is proclaimed to prayer on friday (the day of assembly), hasten earnestly to the remembrance of allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and leave off business (and traffic). That is best for you if ye but knew” (Qur'an 62:9).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also, in exhorting the Muslims to the importance of the Friday prayer said:“ They (people) will have to stop neglecting the Friday prayer or otherwise, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) will seal their hearts and they will be counted among the negligent” (Reported by Imam Muslim).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also says:“ He who deliberately neglects three consecutive Friday pray, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) will make a mark on his heart” (Reported by Abu Dawood).
By virtue of the above Qur'anic verse as well as the respected sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Friday Congregational Prayer is, therefore, a duty (Wajib) required from every adult and free Muslim who is in residence.
Friday is a glorious day in Islam and represents a great weekly meeting in which the Muslims gather in the houses of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) leaving aside all worldly affairs. The "Jumah" prayer is therefore specific with a Sermon in which the mosque preachers (imams) discuss and deal with the daily problems of the Muslim's society and give enlightenment from the torch of Islam. The "Jumah" prayer reflects that Islam is a great Social order which fosters brotherhood, abhors disunity and discourages evils.
The Jumah is not a duty on women, who instead, may perform the obligatory Dhuhr (Noon) prayer at their homes although they may join the Jumah prayers, if by doing so does not affect their household duties, or cause them any inconvenience.
Performance of the Juma'h prayer is only allowed in the Congregational Mosques where, Muslims congregate and from where the Imam gives them advice and spiritual insights.
The tirne for the Juma'h prayer is the time of the Dhuhr prayer, although, some Muslim jurists and scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible to perform it before the sun reaches its zenith.
Much importance and reward has been attached by Islam to the timings of going to the Friday Prayer as can be noted from the following saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):“ Any person who takes total ablution (ghusl) on friday and goes out for the friday prayer in the first hour (i.e. early), it is a s if he sacrificed a camel (in allah's cause), and whoever goes in the second hour, it is as if he sacrificed a cow,- and whoever goes in the third hour, it is as if he sacrificed a horned ram, and whoever goes in the fourth hour, it is as if he sacrificed a hen, and whoever goes in the fifth hour, then, it is as if he offered an egg. when the imam comes out (to deliver the sermon), the angels present themselves to listen to the sermon” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
However, it is a recommended Islamic tradition that the person comes up with the following pre-requisites before going out to the Friday Prayer:
Having undertaken the above pre- requisites, the person then proceeds to the mosque in tranquility fully conscious of" Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala)". Upon reaching the mosque, the person enters by stepping in with the right foot first proclaiming the following private supplication:" BISMILLAAH WASALAA TU - WASSALAMU 'ALAA RASULULLAAH. ALLAHUMMA AFTAHLII ABWAABA RAHMATIK " which means:" In the name of Allah ... May peace and blessings be on the messenger of Allah. O Allah open to me the gates of your mercy ".
- Undertaking Ghusl (total bath). The Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard says:“ Ghusl on Friday is necessary (Wajib) upon every adult person” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
- Putting on the best and cleanest of clothes.
- Perfuming of oneself.
Having entered the mosque, the person comes up with two rakaats (minimum because there is no certain amount of Rakaats to be performed before Friday Salat) as salutation to the mosque in accordance with the following famous saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):“ If anyone of you enters the mosque, do not sit until you have performed two rakaats” (Reported by Imam Al-Bukhari).
The person then await for the sermon to start and may in the meantime read the Holy Qur'an and/or come up with whatever supplications he can.
When the Imam enters the Mosque, the "MUADHIN" (Prayer Caller), would make the "ADHAAN", (i.e. the call to the prayer) and the person would be answering the call in the manner already discussed earlier.
When the Muadhin completes the Adhaan, the Imam climbs the pulpit to deliver the Sermon and the person is required to devote his whole attention and, is forbidden to talk or keep oneself busy with even minor activities in the course of the sermon. The Prophet (peace be upon him) says in this regard:“ He who performs ablution properly and comes to the Jumah prayer and listens to the sermon attentively, will have his sins from the previous Friday plus three more days forgiven and he who occupies himself with pebbles during the sermon has performed badly” (Reported by Imam Muslim).
Upon completion of the first part of the sermon, the Imam sits down for a brief pause and then, stands up again for the second part of the sermon. After that, he comes down from the pulpit and the MUADHIN makes the second call for the prayer IQAMAH and a two rakaat congregational prayer is accordingly performed which is the same in all respects to the Faj'r prayer.
Upon completing the Jumah prayer, a person may come up with voluntary prayers which if done at the Mosque consists of four rakaats (each two rakaats performed separately) but if, done at home (upon one's return from the mosque), consists only of two rakaats as the Prophet (peace be upon him), used to do.