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What Should One Do When Classes Coincide with Friday Prayer?

27 April, 2018
Q As-salamu `alaykum. My son, aged 12, attends a school where a senior Muslim student leads the Jumu`ah Prayer. However, the Friday Prayer is held while my son’s classes are in session. His teachers may grant him permission to leave class but he will miss work that affects his grades. Kindly give your advice.

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.

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In this fatwa:

1- If the classes your son is taking at the time of Friday Prayer belong to core courses such as Maths, Science, English, and so on, then he should not skip them on a regular basis; neither should he skip Friday Prayer on a regular basis.

2- He is best advised to make sure that he does not end up skipping more than two Jumu`ahs consecutively.

3- If such classes do not belong to the core courses that make up his program of studies, then he may may attend these classes only occasionally, thus skipping Jumu`ahs only rarely.


In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

If the classes your son is taking at the time of Jumu`ah belong to core courses such as Maths, Science, English, and so on, then he should not skip them on a regular basis; neither should he skip Jumu`ah on a regular basis.

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In such a case, he is best advised to make sure that he does not end up skipping more than two Jumu`ahs consecutively. It might be possible for him to do so by arranging or making a deal with his classmates to make sure that effective notes are taken so that he does not miss anything.

However, if such classes, which are simultaneously taking place at the time of Jumu`ah, do not belong to the core courses that make up his program of studies, then he may exercise even greater flexibility. In other words, he may attend these classes only occasionally, thus skipping Jumu`ahs only rarely.

Having said this, I will also insist that he should do so after having a free and frank discussion with the teacher, who may be willing to accommodate his religious requirements. A letter from a recognized imam stressing the importance of Jumu`ah may facilitate the matter.

Before concluding, let me point out the significance of Jumu`ah in Islam:

Jumu`ah is the weekly collective Prayer in Islam, which is considered one of the most explicit symbols of the Islamic faith. It is intended to foster a sense of community, and establish collective remembrance of Allah. Allah says, “O you who believe, when the call for Friday prayer is given then hurry to the remembrance of Allah and leave all business. This is better for you, if you know.” (Al-Jumu`ah 62:9)

The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) further stated, “If a person habitually misses three Jumu`ahs without valid reason, taking it lightly, Allah will put a seal on his heart; then he will be calling upon Him, and yet fail to get an answer!” (At-Tirmidhi)

Allah Almighty knows best.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islam.ca

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