How and when is the noon prayer performed on Friday?

The Details of the Question

- We know that a Muslim who cannot perform Friday prayer due to any reason on Friday performs the noon prayer instead.
- Does he make intention for the noon prayer or zuhr al-akhir when he performs it at home?
- How is the noon prayer performed on Friday?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Friday prayer is fard for every free man who is not a traveler, who has reached the age of puberty and who has no excuse; it is performed in congregation.

A Muslim who does not or cannot perform Friday prayer performs the noon prayer instead.

If a person cannot perform Friday prayer due to an excuse like illness, traveling or an epidemy, he fulfils this fard duty by performing the noon prayer instead.  

However, if a person does not perform Friday prayer deliberately due to laziness without an excuse, he has to perform the noon prayer, repent for the sin he has committed and ask for forgiveness because a person who does not perform Friday prayer without an excuse commits a sin.

If Friday prayer is fard for a person and if he does not go to mosque for Friday prayer without an excuse and performs the noon prayer at home before the imam finishes Friday prayer, this prayer is valid according to Hanafis; however, he becomes a sinner since he does not go to mosque for Friday prayer. According to the other three madhhabs and Imam Zufar, who is a Hanafi scholar, the noon prayer he performs is not valid. He has to perform the noon prayer after Friday prayer is performed. (Marghinani, al-Hidaya, II, 115-117; Halabi, as-Saghir, p. 321)

However, when Friday prayer is not performed in mosques due to an epidemy, etc., a Muslim can perform the noon prayer when its time period starts since Friday prayer is not performed.

Zuhr al-akhir prayer is related to the conditions of the soundness of Friday prayer; it is not related to the noon prayer. Therefore, somebody who performs the noon prayer instead of Friday prayer, does not perform a prayer called zuhr al-akhir. He performs only the noon prayer. The noon prayer consists of ten rak’ahs: four rak’ahs as the first sunnah; four rak’ahs as fard and two rak’ahs as the last sunnah.

A person who performs Friday prayer does not have to perform zuhr al-akhir additionally. However, it is regarded appropriate to perform zuhr al-akhir in terms of being cautious. (Ibn Abidin, 1/755)

Therefore, those who do not or cannot perform Friday prayer perform only the noon prayer instead; they do not perform a prayer called zuhr al-akhir.

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