How Many People Required for Friday Prayer?

04 June, 2021
Q As-salamu `alaykum. What is the legal minimum number of Muslims required to perform Friday Prayer? We heard that it should be at least 40 persons and we don't have such number of Muslims in the city where we live.

Answer

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:

It is valid for you to hold Friday Prayer with two or more persons, and it is not a condition to reach the number you mentioned in the question.


In his book “Fiqh-us-Sunnah”, the late Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq (may Allah be pleased with him) states:

There is no dispute among the scholars that a congregation is a condition for the validity of Friday Prayer.

This is based on the Hadith of Tariq Ibn Shihab who reported that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, Al-Jumuah is an obligation (wajib) upon every Muslim in the community.” (An-Nasai)

However, the scholars differ on how many people are required for performing Jumuah Prayer. There are about fifteen opinions on this issue and Ibn Hajar mentions them in his great book, “Fath Al-Bari“.

The view believed to be the most correct is that Jumuah Prayer is valid if there are two or more people present. This is based on the Hadith in which the Prophet is reported to have said, “Two or more constitute a congregation.” (Ibn Majah)

Imam Ash-Shawkani states, “The other Prayers are considered to be made in congregation if there are two people present. The same applies to Friday Prayer, unless there is a reason for it to be different. There is no evidence to show that [for the purpose of the congregation] its number should be larger than that for the other Prayers.”

Abdul Haqq, a Marinid Sheikh (Morocco), says, “There is no confirmed Hadith on the number of people needed for Jumuah Prayer.”

Likewise, Imam As-Sayuti says, “There is no confirmed Hadith that states a particular number (for Jumuah Prayer).” This is also the opinion held by At-Tabari, An-Nakhi, and Ibn Hazm.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.