What Is The Ruling On Solāh Jumu’ah For The Traveller?
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Question: Could we leave Solāh al-Jumu`ah when we’re travelling (safar)?
In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu alayhi wasallam, is His Messenger.
Solāh al-Jumu’ah (Friday prayer) is not obligatory on the traveller. This is the opinion of the Hanafi, Māliki, al-Shāfi’ie and Hanbali schools of Jurisprudence of. So he should observe Solāt Dzuhur, shortening it to a two raka`at, and he may join it with ‘Asar at the time of the earlier or later prayer, according to what he needs to do. But it is better not to join it unless he needs to do so, if it will be difficult for him to perform each prayer at its own time.
Traveling on a Friday
Ka`ab bin Malik (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported: “The Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) set out on Thursday for the expedition of Tabuk. He liked to set out on a journey on Thursdays”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Sakhr bin Wada'ah Al-Ghamidi (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) said, "O Allah! Bless my people in the early part of the day (morning). Whenever he dispatched a detachment or an army-unit, he would dispatch it at the beginning of the day (soon after dawn).” The narrator, Sakhr (radiyallāhu`anhu) was a merchant, and he used to send off his merchandise at the beginning of the day. So his trade flourished and he made a good fortune. [At-Tirmidzi and Abu Dawud]
The two Ahadith mentioned above point out the desirability to set off on a journey, business trip, Jihad or anything on Thursdays and at the beginning of the day (soon after dawn).
On the other hand there is no harm in traveling on a Friday if it is not during the time of the Solāh. ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu`anhu) heard a man say: “If today was not Friday, I would have left.” ‘Umar said: “Leave. Friday does not keep one from traveling.”
Abu ‘Ubaidah (radiyallāhu`anhu) traveled on Friday and he did not wait for the solāh. Az-Zuhri wanted to travel before noon on Friday and the people mentioned something to him, and he said: “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) traveled on Friday.”
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullāh) said:
“The correct opinion, without a doubt… is that this (Solat of Jumu’ah and Eid) are not obligatory for the traveller. The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to travel frequently: he performed ‘Umrah three times, besides the ‘Umrah he performed along with Hajj. He performed his Farewell Pilgrimage accompanied by thousands upon thousands of people, and he went on more than twenty military campaigns, but there are no narrations at all that say he observed Solāh al-Jumu`ah or Eid when travelling; he just observed Solāh two raka`at [i.e., qasar (shortened prayers)] as on all the other days.
There are also no reports indicated that say he delivered a khutbah on a Friday when he was travelling, neither standing on his own two feet or from atop his camel, as he used to do on Eid, or from a minbar, as he used to do on Fridays. Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) occasionally used to deliver an address to the people when he was travelling, and this was narrated by them… but no-one reported that he delivered a khutbah to them before the Solāt on a Friday whilst travelling, and no-one reported that he recited Qur’ān aloud on a Friday (i.e., during Solāt al-Dzuhur, on a journey). Of course, if he had done something out of the ordinary and recited aloud or delivered a khutbah, they would have reported it.
On the Day of ‘Arafāh, he delivered a khutbah, then he came down and led them in a two-raka’ah solat, but no one reported that he recited aloud in that solāt. That khutbah was not for Jumu’ah – because if it had been for Jumu‘ah, he would have done the same (delivered a khutbah) on every other Friday (when he was travelling); that khutbah was given because it was part of the rituals (of Hajj).
Hence all the Muslim scholars said that he would have given a khutbah at ‘Arafāh even if it had not been a Friday. This mutawātir report proves that it was a khutbah for the Day of ‘Arafāh, not for Friday.”
[Majmu’ al-Fatāwa (24/178)]
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullāh) said:
“The traveller does not have to observe Jumu’ah, and the evidence for that is the fact that during his journeys, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) did not observe Jumu’ah, even though he had many people with him; rather he would observe solāh Dzuhur and shorten it.”
[Al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (5/10)]
It indicates that Jumu`ah is not obligatory for the traveller; all he has to do is to observe Solāh Dzuhur. However, if he observes Solāh al-Jumu’ah with the people of the place he is visiting, this is a permissible and worthy act too.
It says: “Whoever of these people – travellers, slaves and women – attends Jumu’ah does not have to observe Solāh Dzuhur, and we know of no dispute on this point. Their exemption from having to attend Jumu’ah is to make things easy for them, but if they attend, it is permissible too, as is the case with the sick person. It is preferable for the traveller to attend Jumu’ah, because this is better deed, and is on the safe side (because some scholars hold that al-Jumu’ah is obligatory for the traveller who is stopping; staying in a particular place, but not for the traveller who is on the road), as he comes under the general meaning of the ayah which means:
“O You who believe! When the call is proclaimed for the Solāh on the Day of Friday (Solāh al-Jumu’ah), come to the remembrance of Allāh, and leave off business (and every other thing), that is better for you, if you did but know!” (Al-Jumu’ah 62:9)
[Al-Sharh al-Kabeer (2/154)]
However majority of scholars hold that Al-Juma’ah is waived, not obligatory for a traveller.
And Allāh Almighty knows best.
[Via Islam Q&A (Fatwa No: 2905)]