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    I struggle to pray Jum'uah prayer due to work commitments and often miss Jum'uah prayers. Can you please advise what I can do?

    Question 31/03/14

    I struggle to pray Jum'uah prayer due to work commitments and often miss Jum'uah prayers. Can you please advise what I can do?

    Answer By Ustadh Haroon Hanif

    Prayer is the highest obligation in religion; yet higher than the five daily prayers is the obligation of Jum'uah prayer. No prayer other than the Jum'uah prayer is stated directly in the Qur'an, in the chapter named after this prayer Sura Jum'uah, in which Allah, Most High, states: 'Believers, when call to prayer is given on the day of Jum'uah, hasten to the remembrance of God, leaving business aside. That is best for you, if you only knew.' (Qur'an: Jum'uah, 9) Additionally, the Prophet, prayers and peace be upon him, warned severely of the consequence of missing Jum'uah by saying, as narrated by Abdullah b. Umar and Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with them: 'People will stop their leaving of Jum'uah or Allah will certainly place a seal upon their hearts and then they will surely be from the heedless.' (Muslim and al-Nasa'i)

    The severe warning expressed in this tradition drives the believer to ensure that he never falls into the ranks of those who hearts are sealed and become of the heedless, hence resulting in a seal of hypocrisy being placed on the heart. This is for the person who intentionally without any reason chooses not to pray Jum’uah.

    Thus, the believer makes every attempt to pray Jumu'ah not leaving any stone unturned. The ideal for a believer is that he prepares himself early for the Ju m'uah with the latest that he leaves to go the Jum'uah prayer being after the first adhan is called. Delaying moving to the Jum'uah prayer after the first adhan when in one's control to do so is a direct violation of the divine injunction.

    A person who has work commitments must try his utmost to ensure that he can pray Jum’uah and not miss out on the great divine gifts distributed from the moment the imam ascends the pulpit to the moment  the prayer is completed and beyond. If such a person has no option, he does not fall beneath the dire prophetic admonition yet he should never be satisfied. How can a believer be content with work or other worldly matters when his Lord summoned him to ‘the remembrance of God’ which is the Jum’uah sermon? How can he be comfortable with resembling hypocrites who abandon the Jum’uah prayer, even though he may have a legal excuse? He should never be satisfied and look for alternatives particularly if it is an ongoing problem. He should supplicate earnestly to be granted openings from God to be able to fulfil his Friday obligation.

    We ask God for openings and ease.