Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Every Muslim male should be dedicated to performing Friday (Jumu`ah) Prayer at its appointed times because not performing the Friday Prayer without any valid excuse is a serious sin in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “If people don’t stop abandoning the Friday Prayers, Allah may seal their hearts and they will become heedless.” (Muslim)
Responding to the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following:
The Hadith you referred to in your question is an authentic hadith; but like all hadiths, it should be understood in its proper context. The Prophet is referring to a person who deliberately absents himself from the Jumu`ah; it does not refer to situations when because of circumstances beyond his control he could not attend the Jumu`ah. For, Allah does not burden anyone with what is beyond his or her ability to endure.
The lesson we should learn from such hadiths is that we must never skip the Jumu`ah willfully out of apathy or neglect. How can we do this when Jumu`ah is an obligation placed on us by Allah? It has tremendous spiritual and social benefits.
So, seek Allah’s Forgiveness if you have skipped the Jumu`ah deliberately in the past, and make a determination never to do so in the future; Allah is indeed Forgiving and Merciful.
Allah Almighty knows best.