[Reviewed and Edited]
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger of mercy, Muhammad son of ‘Abdullaah, as well as his family and companions and all those who follow their path till the Day of Resurrection.
It is a familiar trend these days that whenever any of the Islamic festivals and seasonal acts of worship is around the corner, we see Muslims, particularly the youth – may Allaah swell their ranks – seeking to know the correct exact manner such act of worship should be performed according to the Sunnah. This phenomenon is, indeed, a very positive one for it is as an actualization of our scholars’ ceaseless supplication that may Allaah bring the Muslims back to their religion in the most beautiful way.
A case in this regard is the question on the position of Zuhr prayer when Jumu’ah and ‘Eid fall on the same day. This recurs every few years (it is expected this year) and the controversy regarding whether Zuhr must be observed or not by those who have already observed Eid prayer recurs with it. This short essay attempts to discuss the opinions of the scholars – the early and the contemporary ones – on this issue and their proofs; and points out the most preponderant opinion in the light of the textual and logical proofs.
Before we do that, let us firstly highlight the points upon which the scholars agree on this topic:
• Whoever performed Eid prayer, and then performed the Jumu’ah prayer does not have to perform Zuhr again.
• Attending Jumu’ah prayer is compulsory upon an eligible Muslim who did not attend ‘Eid prayer.
• Whoever attended neither ‘Eid nor Jumu’ah prayer must observe the Zuhr prayer.
Point of Contention
Must a Muslim upon whom Jumu’ah is obligatory (i.e. a healthy, adult, male resident) who has already attended ‘Eid prayer but did not attend Jumu’ah prayer pray Salatudh-Dhuhr?
As a first step towards better understanding of this issue, let us look at the authentic narrations recorded from the Prophet ﷺ and his companions on it, the interpretation of some of which gave birth to the controversy in the first place.
1. Ibn Majah recorded, with a sound chain of transmission, in his Sunan on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Two Eids (celebrations) come together in this day of yours. So, whoever wishes can made do with Eid only and that will be sufficient for him and he is no longer obliged to attend the Jumu’ah. But Allaah willing, we are going to observe the Jumu’ah.”
2. An-Nasaa’ee recorded on the authority of Wahb ibn Kaysaan: “Two Eids (one of them is Jumu’ah) fell on the same day during the reign of Ibn Az-Zubayr, and he delayed his coming out until the latter part of the morning. He then came out and gave a long sermon. He then came down (from the pulpit) and led the people in Eid prayer. He did not observe Jumu’ah prayer that day. When Ibn ‘Abbas was informed of that he said, ‘He has acted according to the Sunnah.’
3. Abu Dawud recorded on the authority of ‘Ata who said: “Eidul-Fitr fell on a Friday during the reign of Ibn Az-Zubayr, and he said, ‘Two celebrations fall on the same day.’ So, he combined both and observed them in two Rak’ahs late in the morning. He observed no other prayer after that until he prayed ‘Asr.”
4. Abu Dawud also recorded on the authority of ‘Ata who said: “Ibn Az-Zubayr led them in prayer on an Eid day that fell on a Friday in the forenoon. We then went for Jumu’ah but he did not come out to us (to give khutbah and lead Jumu’ah prayer). So, we prayed alone. Ibn ‘Abbas was then in Ta’if, and when he came back we informed him of that and he said, ‘He has acted according to the Sunnah.’
5. Ibn Khuzaymah recorded on the authority of An-Nu’maan ibn Basheer that the Prophet ﷺ would recite in the two ‘Eids ‘Sabbih-isma rabbikal A’la’ and ‘Hal ataaka hadeethul-ghaashiyah’; and if one of the Eids fell on a Friday, he would recite both Surahs in both prayers.”
6. Ahmad, Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’ee, Ibn Maajah and Ad-Daarimee recorded on the authority of Zayd ibn Arqam that Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan asked him if he had witnessed an Eid that fell on a Friday during the time of Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ to which he answered in the affirmative. He then asked him, “What did the Prophet ﷺ do?” He answered, “He performed the ‘Eid prayer and then permitted people to be absent from Jumu’ah saying, ‘Whoever wishes to observe it can do so.'”
7. Ibn Maajah and At-Tabaraanee (in Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer) recorded on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that two Eids Al-Jumu’ah and Eidul-Fitr fell on the same day during the lifetime of Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ and he led the people in Eid prayer and then faced them and said: “O people! You have indeed attained blessing and reward. We are going to observe the Jumu’ah prayer. Whoever wishes to attend it with us can do so and whoever wishes to go back to his family is free to do so.”
8. Al-Bukhaaree and Imam Maalik recorded on the authority of Abu ‘Ubayd who said: “I attended a ‘Eid with ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (may Allaah be pleased with him), and that was on a Friday. He led the people in prayer and then gave a sermon in which he said, ‘O you people! You are blessed to have two Eids on this day of yours. Therefore, whoever wishes to wait for Jumu’ah from among the dwellers of Al-‘Awaali (the outskirts of Al-Madeenah) can do so, and whoever wishes to go back home, then I have permitted him to do so.”
9. ‘Abdur-Razzaq in his Musannaf (and Ibn Abi Shaybah, with similar wordings) recorded on the authority of ‘Alee ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said, when a ‘Eid fell on a Friday during his reign, “He who wishes to witness Jumu’ah with us can do so and he who wishes to stay back at home can do so.”
Based on their interpretations of the above reports, opinions of the scholars on whether or not Dhur is waived for someone who has already attended the Eid prayer that fell on a Jumu’ah, can be narrowed down into three:
The First Opinion
Absenting from Jumu’ah is permissible for whoever has attended ‘Eid prayer and he is also free not to observe the Zuhr prayer.
Points of evidence of the holders of this opinion from the above narrations are:
• In ‘Ataa’s narration reported by Abu Daawood, Ibn Az-Zubayr did not come out to them at the time of Jumu’ah; and Ibn ‘Abbaas, when he was informed of that, approved it saying it was of the Sunnah.
• In the same narration by ‘Ataa, Ibn Az-Zubayr did not observe any other prayer until he prayed ‘Asr. This apparently shows that he made do with the two Rak’ahs he performed late in the morning.
• The clause in Ibn Maajah’s report: “that is sufficient for him and he is no longer obliged to attend the Jumu’ah.” They argue that if Salaatul-Jumu’ah, which is the original obligatory act of worship of Yawmul-Jumu’ah could be waived as a result of attending ‘Eid prayer which was regarded as sufficient, then there is no longer any need for Zuhr prayer, which is the substitute for Jumu’ah prayer. This is the opinion supported by Imaam Ash-Shawkaanee in his famous work, ‘Naylul-Awtaar vol. 6, p. 423.
To be able to see the arguments of the holders of this opinion from proper perspective, a pertinent question needs to be asked: What is the relationship between Jumu’ah prayer and Zuhr prayer? There are three viewpoints:
• Both prayers are originally prescribed; if they fall on a Friday neither can be a replacement for the other.
• Jumu’ah is the originally prescribed prayer of the day, and Zuhr is the substitute. In this case, if the originally prescribed prayer is waived, the substitute is also waived, with a greater reason. (Ash-Shawkaanee based his stand on this reasoning).
• Zuhr the originally prescribed prayer for Friday just like other days of the week, and Jumu’ah is only ordained as a replacement for it on Fridays. In this case, waiving of the replacement should never be interpreted as the waiving of the original.
Regarding the first viewpoint, the scholars are unanimous that whoever correctly performed any of the two is completely exempted from performing the other. Therefore, Jumu’ah and Zuhr cannot be both originally prescribed prayers at the time of Zuhr on Fridays.
If, according to the second viewpoint, Jumu’ah is the originally prescribed prayer of Friday and Zuhr is only a replacement, then this is a fundamentally flawed view. As-San’aanee in his commentary on Bulooghul-Maraam explained that the opinion that Jumu’ah is the basis and Zuhr is the substitute is indefensible. This is because; Zuhr is the basis and originally ordained prayer on the Night of Israa. Jumu’ah prayer was only ordained sometime later. It is in the light of this that the majority of the scholars (some scholars actually reported unanimity on this) that if one missed Jumu’ah prayer, Zuhr – which is the originally prescribed prayer for that particular time – must be compulsorily observed.
A deeper look at the two prayers would reveal that the compulsoriness of Zuhr prayer is more emphatic than that of Jumu’ah for the following reasons, and this strengthens the opinion that Zuhr is the originally prescribed prayer of that time of Friday:
• The command to observe Zuhr prayer applies to much larger individuals than does the command to observe Jumu’ah prayer. For, according to the most correct opinion, Jumu’ah is only obligatory on an adult male resident while Zuhr is obligatory on every adult Muslim, male and female, resident or on a journey, with or without an excuse.
• Zuhr is made up for if it is missed, while Jumu’ah is not.
• Jumu’ah cannot be observed except in congregation while Zuhr can be observed congregationally and individually.
• Zuhr, like any other act of worship whose ordainment is established by authentic and explicit texts. It follows then that its waiving cannot be established except through he same avenue.
Therefore, Salatul-Jumu’ah is an act of worship ordained on a specific day in place of Zuhr for whoever is capable of attending it. Those who are not capable of attending it should revert to the originally prescribed prayer of that time, which is Dhuhr.
Furthermore, what is meant by sufficiency in the Hadeeth is the permissibility to be absent from another congregational prayer and sermon, since both had already occurred in Eid prayer.
Ibn Taymiyyah in his Fatawa (vol. 24, p. 211) said: “Since one has attended the Eid prayer, the goal of congregation has already been achieved. What he should then do, if he does not attend Jumu’ah is to observe Zuhr at its prescribed time.”
In addition to this, it can be argued that if the prayer Ibn Az-Zubayr led was Eid, there is nothing in his report that explicitly indicated that he did not perform Zuhr prayer in his house. Therefore, it is untrue to claim that Ibn Az-Zubayr’s opinion on this matter is optionality of observing Zuhr for those who attended ‘Eid on a Friday. Rather, we can see from the statement of ‘Ataa that they observed the Zuhr prayer individually, which indicated that no one among the companions adopted the view. Therefore, Ibn ‘Abbas’ expression of approval for what Ibn Zubayr did by saying, ‘He has acted according to the Sunnah’, is about his not coming out for another congregational sermonized prayer. If not, from where in this narration can we infer that he did not perform Zuhr that Ibn ‘Abbas would commend him on that?
Furthermore, the reporter of the event himself mentioned that he and others observed their Zuhr prayer individually and neither Ibn ‘Abbaas nor Ibn Az-Zubayr were reported to have expressed any disapproval for what they did. This solidly shows that Zuhr prayer should not be abandoned if one has attended the ‘Eid prayer that falls on a Friday and did not attend Jumu’ah.
Also if we agree with the correctness of the view that anyone who attended ‘Eid on a Friday is exempted from observing Zuhr prayer, then we have to agree that anyone who attended ‘Eid that falls on any other day of the week should be exempted from observing Zuhr prayer. But no one would dare say that.
A more compelling argument against the holders of this opinion is this: If we agree that Ibn Az-Zubayr did not observe Zuhr, then we can say that the prayer he gave sermon for and led was Jumu’ah and not Zuhr, given the sequence of events in the narration, ‘gave sermon…, led the people in prayer’. This is based on the opinion that it is permissible to observe Jumu’ah prayer in the forenoon – an opinion held by Imaam Ahmad and others. This is because; it is Jumu’ah only in which the sermon obligatorily precedes the prayer. As for the two Eids, the established Sunnah is to observe the two Rak’ahs of ‘Eid first and then give the sermon! Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim recorded on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas that he said: “I have seen the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ , Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan – all of them leading the (‘Eid) prayer first before giving the sermon.” As such, giving sermon and then leading people in Eid clearly goes against this established Sunnah. This is especially so when we take into account a report recorded by Muslim on the authority of Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he criticized the then governor of Al-Madeenah, Marwan ibn Al-Hakam and for going against the Sunnah and giving Eid sermon before the prayer. Ibn Az-Zubayr, a Prophet’s companion, couldn’t have knowingly gone against the Sunnah on this. This is buttressed by Al-Iraaqee when he submitted, “None of the Prophet’s companions was authentically reported to have given sermon before leading Eid prayer. Neither ‘Umar nor ‘Uthman or Mu’aawiyah or Ibn Az-Zubayr did that.” This strengthens the view that the prayer led by Ibn Az-Zubayr, as par the sequence of events in the narration, could be Jumu’ah.
Therefore, Ibn ‘Abbaas’ approving Ibn Az-Zubayr’s action as being ‘according to the Sunnah must be interpreted as latter’s making do with one of the two sermonized congregational prayers that fell on the same day, and the most qualified candidate in this case is Jumu’ah, given the above explanation.
The Second Opinion:
Absenting from Jumu’ah is permissible for whoever has attended ‘Eid prayer; but this does not free him from performing the obligatory Zuhr prayer. This opinion is clearly supported by the Hadeeths mentioned above.
The Third Opinion:
Absenting from Jumu’ah is permissible for whoever has attended Eid prayer from among the dwellers of villages, outskirts and faraway places who came to the city to attend Eid prayer; but the city dwellers are not included in this permissibility.
The proof: The Hadeeth no. 8 which mentions that ‘Uthmaan allowed the dwellers of Al-‘Awaali not to attend the Jumu’ah prayer. Holders of this view argue that since ‘Uthmaan specifically gave permission to those who lived in Al-‘Awali to go back home if they wanted to, this means the city dwellers must attend the Jumu’ah prayer.
The Most Preponderant Opinion
In the light of the above texts and arguments, the opinion found most preponderant – and knowledge belongs to Allaah – is that observing Zuhr prayer cannot be waived for someone who attended ‘Eid prayer on a Friday and availed himself of the permissibility of absenting from Jumu’ah prayer. This is due to cogent points, some of which are as follows:
1. The strength of the textual and logical proofs supporting it.
2. There is no explicit and authentic Hadeeth indicating that the obligation of performing Zuhr prayer is waived for those who are permitted to be absent from Jumu’ah prayer. Neither is this authentically reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) nor can it be reliably and explicitly traced to any of his companions. In the absence of this explicit proof, the clear obligation of performing Zuhr prayer remains unchanged on the part of whoever is absent from Jumu’ah with or without an excuse. As for the report attributed to Ibn Az-Zubayr, the stronghold of the holders of the contrary view in that report is the word ‘sufficiency’ (Al-Ijzaa) mentioned in the report, which is not strong enough to support the claim.
3. Zuhr is an obligatory prayer ordained by an explicit proof and one can only be exempted from performing it through an equally explicit proof; and there is none.
4. Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr, in his voluminous work, At-Tamheed (vol. 10, pp. 270-271), said: “As for the statement that Jumu’ah can be waived without any need to observe Zuhr if one has already attended ‘Eid, it is a clearly unsound, erroneous, rejected and unrecognized statement. For, Allaah says: “When call to prayer is made on Yawmul-Jumu’ah…” without exempting the day of ‘Eid or any other day. The reports traced to Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) on such exception are only concerning permissibility to be absent from Jumu’ah prayer when one of the two ‘Eids falls on a Friday (and one has already attended ‘Eid prayer). This permissibility, according to the scholars, applies to both city dwellers and others, or to only dwellers of the countryside while all must observe Zuhr prayer if they do not attend the Jumu’ah prayer.”
5. The Saudi Arabia Standing Committee for Scientific Researches and Fatwa, (Fatwa No. 21162), stated that the opinion that says that anyone who attended an ‘Eid prayer that falls on a Friday is exempted from attending Jumu’ah and observing Zuhr prayer for that day is wrong. That is why the scholars repudiated it and declared it indefensible and weird. This is due to its direct contradiction of the Sunnah and its cancellation of one of the acts of worship clearly ordained by Allaah, without a proof.
Wallaahu ta’aalaa a’lam.
Reviewed and edited on Sunday, 5 Dhul-Hijjah 1438 (27 August 2017)