Over the last couple of years, Eid has fallen on a Friday. Is it an obligation to pray both congregational prayers, or is one able to prayer either of them?
- There is a difference of opinion upon this matter. Great legal minds have previously disagreed over this point, each setting out their own respective reasoning based upon the primary textual evidences. Our own view, is that there is a concession when Eid falls on Friday.
- If one attends the morning Eid prayer, then attendance at the Friday congregational prayer can be vacated; instead, the concession exists so that one can pray zhur in substitute for that. However, if for whatever reason one is unable to attend the Eid prayer (such as by oversleeping, traffic delays etc.) and misses it altogether, the obligation to attend the Friday congregational prayer would stand as per normal.
- Some of the major legal schools have argued that even if Eid falls on a Friday, attendance at both remains, more so for the Friday congregational prayer given its obligatory status. Despite the convergence, one cannot be a substitute for another. Another view adopted, is that if one is travelling from a distance to attend the congregation, the concession exists solely for that (1).
- Writing in al-Muḥalla bil’Athār, Ibn Ḥazm essentially follows the position of some of the other legal schools: arguing that Friday congregational prayer is farḍ (obligatory) whereas Eid is voluntary (ta’ṭawa’ah’), thus the latter cannot displace the former (2). He also challenges the veracity of two narrations, both of which are cited in Sunan an-Nasā’i.
- The full text is set out at issue 547: The Convergence of Eid on the day of Jumu’ah:
“And if Eid falls on Friday, one should pray Eid first and then Jumu’ah. This is a must, and there is no reliable evidence in disagreement with that, because in the reported channels of Isrā’il and Abd al-Ḥameed ibn Ja’far, both are not strong. And there is no basis upon which our opponents may raise a protest in relation to that, if the channel concurs with their taqleed. And here is the disagreement with these two narrations; as for the channel of Isrā’il, it is reported from Uthmān ibn al-Mughira:
From Iyyās ibn Abi Ramla: I heard Mu’āwiya asking Zayd bin Arqam: Did you attend two Eid’s with the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him? He said: Yes; he prayed Eid at the beginning of the day then he granted a concession with regard to Jumu’ah (3)
وَرَوَى عَبْدُ الْحُمَيْدِ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ: حَدَّثَنِي وَهْبُ بْنُ كَيْسَانَ قَالَ اجْتَمَعَ عِيدَانِ عَلَى عَهْدِ ابْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ، فَأَخَّرَ الْخُرُوجَ حَتَّى تَعَالَى النَّهَارُ، ثُمَّ خَرَجَ فَخَطَبَ فَأَطَالَ، ثُمَّ نَزَلَ فَصَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ، وَلَمْ يُصَلِّ لِلنَّاسِ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْجُمُعَةَ، فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ: أَصَابَ السُّنَّةَ
As reported by Abdul-Ḥameed ibn Ja’far: Wahb ibn Kaysān narrated to me, he said: Eid and Jumu’ah fell on the same day during the time of Ibn az-Zubayr, so he delayed going out until the sun had risen quite high. Then he went out and delivered a sermon and he made the sermon lengthy. Then he came down and prayed, and he did not lead the people in praying jumu’ah that day. Mention of that was made to Ibn ‘Abbās and he said: He has followed the Sunnah. (4)
Abu Muḥammad said: The Jumu’a is farḍ (obligatory) and the Eid is voluntary (ta’ṭawa’ah’), and the voluntary doesn’t displace the farḍ.”
- In Majmu’ al-Fatāwa Ibn Taymiyyah writes:
“If someone attends the Eid prayer he has already obtained the objective of the congregation (on Friday), so he prays zhur if he did not attend the Friday congregational prayer. Zhur prayer will remain on time and the Eid prayer achieves for him the purpose of the Friday congregation. Keeping the obligation of Friday (binding) on people will definitely cause (undue) hardship for them, and would ruin the purpose of Eid, and the reason it was prescribed for to show joy and happiness.” (5)
- There are other authentic traditions as well that set out the evidential basis for the concession where Eid happens to be on Friday. In his Sunan Abu Dāwud records:
حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُصَفَّى وَعُمَرُ بْنُ حَفْصٍ الْوَصَّابِيُّ الْمَعْنَى قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا بَقِيَّةُ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ عَنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ الضَّبِّيِّ عَنْ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ بْنِ رُفَيْعٍ، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ قَدِ اجْتَمَعَ فِي يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا عِيدَانِ فَمَنْ شَاءَ أَجْزَأَهُ مِنَ الْجُمُعَةِ وَإِنَّا مُجَمِّعُونَ قَالَ عُمَرُ عَنْ شُعْبَةَ
Muḥammad ibn al-Muṣiffi and Umar ibn Ḥafṣ al-Wassabi narrated the meaning to us, they said: Baqiyah narrated to us Shu’ba narrated to us from al-Mughira ad-Ḍabbi from Abdul-Aziz ibn Rufih’ from Abu Ṣāliḥ from Abu Hurayrah from the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him that he said:
Two festivals (Eid and Friday) have synchronised on this day. If anyone does not want to offer the Friday prayer, the Eid prayer is sufficient for him. But we shall offer the Friday prayer.
حدثنا يحيى بن خلف حدثنا أبو عاصم عن ابن جريج، قال قال عطاء اجتمع يوم جمعة ويوم فطر على عهد ابن الزبير فقال عيدان اجتمعا في يوم واحد فجمعهما جميعا فصلاهما ركعتين بكرة لم يزد عليهما حتى صلى العصر
Yaḥya ibn Khalaf narrated to us Abu ‘Aāṣim narrated to us from Ibn Jurayj, he said ‘Aṭā said: The Friday and the Eid prayers occurred during the time of Ibn az-Zubayr. He said: Two festivals both fell on the same day. He combined them and offered two rak’ahs in the morning and did not add anything until he offered the afternoon prayer (6).
حدثنا محمد بن طريف البجلي حدثنا أسباط، عن الأعمش عن عطاء بن أبي رباح، قال صلى بنا ابن الزبير في يوم عيد في يوم جمعة أول النهار ثم رحنا إلى الجمعة فلم يخرج إلينا فصلينا وحدانا وكان ابن عباس بالطائف فلما قدم ذكرنا ذلك له فقال أصاب السنة
Muḥammad ibn Ṭareef al-Bajili narrated to us Aṣbāṭ narrated to us from al-‘Amash from ‘Aṭā ibn Abi Rabāḥ, he said: Ibn az-Zubayr led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday prayer, he did not come out to us. So we prayed by ourselves alone. At that time, Ibn ‘Abbās was present in at-Ṭā’if. When he came to us, we mentioned this (incident) to him. He said: He followed the Sunnah.
- Often there can be a tendency amongst some to view any form of concession as being a matter that makes things ‘too easy’ and that the Deen cannot show such laxity. Having that mind-set though can obscure objectivity, which in turn may lead to the tendency of not looking judiciously at the various arguments that can exist upon a given issue together with the accompanying evidences.
- In fact, Allah loves to see that His concessions (rukhṣa’s) are taken up. Ṭabarāni records the following tradition upon the authority of Abu Hurayrah in Mu’jam al-Kabir:
حدثنا ابو مسلم الكشِّي ثنا معمر بن عبد الله الأنصاري ثنا شعبة عن الحكم عن ابراهيم عن علقمة عن عبد الله، قال: قال رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُحِبُّ أَنْ تُقْبَلَ رُخَصُهُ كَمَا يُحِبُّ أَنْ تُؤْتَى عَزَائِمُهُ
Abu Muslim al-Kashi narrated to us Ma’mar ibn Abdullah al-Anṣāri narrated to us Shu’ba narrated to us from al-Ḥakam from Ibrāhim from ‘Alqama from Abdullah who said the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
Allah loves to see that His concessions (rukhṣa’s) are observed, just as He loves to see that His strict laws are obeyed.
And with Allah is all success.
- Ibn Rushd provides a useful succinct summary of the various positions in Bidāyatul Mujtahid, (Vol. 1, p. 249). Generally, this position is reported to be adopted by the school of Mālik and Abu Ḥanifah, the latter point on the concession attributed to Shāfi’i. The tradition for the concession to those travelling from afar is cited by Mālik in his Muwaṭṭā as well as Bukhāri in his Ṣaḥīḥ. The wording of Bukhāri is:
حَدَّثَنَا حِبَّانُ بْنُ مُوسَى أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي يُونُسُ عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو عُبَيْدٍ مَوْلَى ابْنِ أَزْهَر. قَالَ أَبُو عُبَيْدٍ ثُمَّ شَهِدْتُ مَعَ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ عَفَّانَ فَكَانَ ذَلِكَ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ، فَصَلَّى قَبْلَ الْخُطْبَةِ ثُمَّ خَطَبَ فَقَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ هَذَا يَوْمٌ قَدِ اجْتَمَعَ لَكُمْ فِيهِ عِيدَانِ، فَمَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يَنْتَظِرَ الْجُمُعَةَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْعَوَالِي فَلْيَنْتَظِرْ، وَمَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يَرْجِعَ فَقَدْ أَذِنْتُ لَهُ.
Ḥibbān ibn Musa narrated to us Abdullah reported to us he said Yunus reported to me from az-Zuhri he said Abu ‘Ubayd, the mawla of Ibn Azhar narrated to me…Abu ‘Ubayd said: Then I witnessed the Eid with `Uthmān bin `Affān, and that was on a Friday. He offered the prayer before the sermon, saying, ‘O people! Today you have two Eid’s together, so whoever of those who live at al-‘Awāli would like to wait for the Jummah prayer, he may wait, and whoever would like to return (home) is granted my permission to do so.’
In his reporting of the Muwaṭṭā’ (pp. 118/119), Shaybāni appears to differ slightly, leaning towards the position of al-Shāfi’i. After narrating the tradition from Mālik regarding the concession of Uthmān, he comments – Muḥammad said: ‘We go according to all of this. Uthmān was making a concession to the dwellers of ‘Aliyah, for they were not residents of the city. That is the verdict of Abu Ḥanifah, may Allah have mercy upon him.’
- Essentially the position followed by Mālik and Abu Ḥanifah
- Imām al-Nasā’i has this tradition in the book of prayer for the two Eids. His full cited isnād is: ‘Amr ibn Ali reported to us he said Abdar-Raḥman ibn Mahdi narrated to us he said Isrā’il narrated to us from Uthmān ibn al-Mughira from Iyyās ibn Abi Ramla, he said. Writing in Nayl al-Awṭār (Vol. 3, p. 299) Shawkāni says: ‘The ḥadith of Zayd ibn Arqam was reported by al-Ḥākim and al-Nasā’i; Ṣaḥīḥ according to Ali ibn al-Madini. In its isnād is Iyas ibn Abi Ramla, and he is unknown (majhul).’
- Again, Imām al-Nasā’i has this tradition in the book of prayer for the two Eid’s. His full cited isnād is: Muḥammad ibn Bashār reported to us he said Yaḥya narrated to us he said Abdul-Ḥameed ibn Ja’far narrated to us he said Wahb ibn Kaysān narrated to me, he said.
- Majmu’ al-Fatāwa Vol. 24, p. 211
- Regarding these traditions Shawkāni notes that its narrators are the men of Ṣaḥīḥ. There is a further technical discussion regarding this tradition of ‘Aṭā as it seems to suggest, on the face of it, that the zhur prayer wasn’t prayed in substitute for the Friday congregational prayer. See: Nayl al-Awṭār 3, pp. 299/300. Despite this, our position is that if one is vacating the Friday congregational prayer, one must pray zhur in substitute for that.