Is it permissible for a person who is late for Friday prayer to run to the mosque?

Details of the Question

I have heard that it is makruh to run to the mosque for prayer. What should a person who is late for Friday prayer do? Is his prayer valid if he cannot catch up with the sermon?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is sunnah to go to mosque by walking solemnly and without running for any prayer.

However, if a person thinks that he will not be able to catch up with Friday prayer by walking like that, he can go by walking fast. For, it is fard to perform Friday prayer in congregation. 

Even if a person cannot catch up with the sermon, he performs Friday prayer; his prayer is valid.  

After this short information, let us give some details regarding the issue:

Prayer in congregation has some rules peculiar to it.

The Prophet (pbuh) ordered us to stand in order to perform the prayer when iqamah is called, to walk calmly and solemnly while going to the mosque and to pray the part that we can in congregation and complete the remaining part alone:

"When you hear iqamah, proceed to offer the prayer with calmness and solemnity and do not make haste. And pray whatever you are able to pray and complete whatever you have missed." (Bukhari, Adhan, 23, Jumua 18; Muslim, Masajid 151-153, 155)

Accordingly, it is not a good deed to run to the mosque in order to catch up with the congregation but one can walk fast. 

According to the apparent meaning of the hadith, the prohibition of running is valid for all kinds of prayer. There is no difference between Friday prayer and another prayer; there is no difference for being able to catch up with the opening takbir and missing it. That is the view of the scholars like Zayd b. Thabit, Anas, Ahmad, Abu Thawr and Ibnul-Mundhir.

The words "calmness and solemnity" make it necessary for us not to look around, to keep our eyes away from haram and to walk silently while going to the mosque. For, the following is stated in a narration by Muslim: "A person who is walking to the mosque for prayer is as if he is performing a prayer."

It is necessary not to hasten in the mosque. A person who hastens might start prayer by raising his hands without uttering takbir, which is not valid.

It is necessary for a person to say "Allahu akbar" in a way that at least he himself hears to start a prayer. Takbir only through the heart is not valid. A person is not regarded to have started a prayer by doing so. It is necessary to know that the same thing is valid for qira’ah in prayer.  

According to Ibn Mas'ud, Ibn Umar, Aswad b.Yazid, Abdurrahman b. Yazid and Ishaq b. Rahuya, it is permissible to run if one fears that he will not be able to catch up with the opening takbir (iftitah).

As a matter of fact, once, Hz. Umar heard iqamah when he was in Baqi cemetery and ran to the mosque.

Accordingly,

- It is not regarded a good deed to run to the mosque for prayer.

- It is necessary to walk calmly and solemnly to the mosque.

-  A person who catches up with some part of the prayer receives the reward of praying in congregation.

- A person who catches up with the congregation starts to follow the imam at the moment he arrives.

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