Subject : Guidelines regarding Jumu'ah prayers in an extraordinary situation

FATWA # ACJU/FTW/2020/30-414

Nov 20, 2021

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jumma guidelines

 Guidelines regarding Jumu'ah prayers in an extraordinary situation




Assalamu alaikum wa rahmathullahi wa barakathuhu


There have been many requests from different parts of the country seeking guidance in regards to performing Jumu'ah in this critical situation, in a restricted environment.


Jumu'ah prayers has its own salient features, and is more rewarding, has stricter regulations and the warnings for missing it are more severe in comparison to other obligatory prayers.


The guidance of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam in regards to jumma prayers is that all the people should gather in one place and offer prayers collectively, unlike other obligatory prayers.


From amongst the many regulations and conditions for the validity of Jumu'ah, one is the requirement of a minimum number of permanent residents from the locality.


The scholars have differed in regards to this minimum number, based on the evidence that they have come across. The scholars of the Shafi'i and the Hanbali schools of thought, as well as some other scholars, are of the opinion that the minimum requirement is 40 persons. Whereas the scholars from the Hanafi and Maliki schools of thought permit the conducting of Jumu'ah with less than 40 persons.


A detailed fatwa in this regard was issued by the fatwa division of ACJU dated 2017.11.12.


In the previous guidelines issued on the 16th of June 2020 and the 5th of November 2020, the ACJU had advised, based on the stronger opinion of the Shafi'i mazhab, that Jumu'ah could be conducted only with the presence of 40 or more persons, and in the situation where less than forty have gathered, Luhr Salah should be read.


However, owing to the  current situation, more restrictions have been imposed, and the number of persons permitted to gather in the mosques, at one given time, has been reduced to 25. Many have raised a concern and fear that if this condition prolongs, people would become unmindful of the significance of Jumu'ah. Hence, the  ACJU has issued the following guidelines to the people:


1) Some scholars of Shafi'i mazhab have held the opinion that Jumu'ah prayers would be valid even with less than 40 persons. However, the fatwa of Shafi'i mazhab is that a minimum of 40 persons is required. Hence, due to this difference of opinion, it would be preferable to conduct Jumu'ah prayers and follow it up with Luhr prayers.


2) The minimum requirement for the validity of Jumu'ah prayers according to the Maliki mazhab is 12 persons, and the minimum requirement according to the Hanafi mazhab is 3 persons excluding the Imam. Based on the abovementioned mazhabs, Jumu'ah prayers could be conducted with less than 40 persons, as long as the other conditions mentioned by the respective mazhabs are fulfilled. Thereafter, it will be preferable to follow it up with Luhr Salah, based on the Shafi'i mazhab.


We would also like to bring to your notice that one of the great scholars of our country, al-Alim Abdul Samad (Makhdoomi, Bahji) Rahmatullahi alaihi, had also issued a similar fatwa.


Further clarifications on these guidelines could be saught from alims in your area.


Allah knows best


Ash shaikh M.L.M Ilyas
Secretary, Fatwa Committee
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama


Ash shaikh I.L.M Hashim Soori
Supervisor, Fatwa Division
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama


Ash shaikh M.I.M Rizwe Mufti
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama