Q 602: What is your opinion regarding one’s participation in Friday prayers nowadays when the Twelfth Imam is not present? Is it obligatory or not for someone to attend Friday prayers when they do not believe that the Friday prayer imam to be just?
A: Even though Friday prayer is considered an alternative obligation during this period of time and it is not considered obligatory for people to participate in it, one should not deprive oneself of the blessings gained through attending the prayer solely due to doubt about the justice of the imam or due to irrelevant excuses.
Q 603: What is meant by alternative obligation concerning Friday prayer?
A: It means that one has a choice to perform either Friday or noon prayer.
Q 604: What is your opinion regarding someone who does not participate in Friday prayer due to lack of concern?
A: It is religiously reprehensible when one does not attend or participate in this religious and political Friday prayer because they do not consider it important.
Q 605: There are some people who do not take part in Friday prayer because of difference or baseless excuses. What is your opinion about this?
A: It is not Islamically acceptable to make oneself permanently absent from Friday prayers even though it may be an alternative obligation.
Q 606: Is it permissible to perform noon prayers in congregation at the time of Friday prayer at a place near to that of the Friday prayer?
A: In itself there is no objection to doing so and the followers would have fulfilled their duties because the Friday prayer is considered an alternative obligation at the present time. However, performing the noon prayer in congregation on Friday close to where Friday prayer is proceeding becomes a cause of division of the believers and often people consider such congregational prayer as an insult to and disrespect for the imam of the Friday prayer and an indication of lack of care and due attention for the Friday prayer. That is why it is preferred for the believers not to do so. In fact, if a depravity or ḥarām act may result, it would be obligatory to abstain from it.
Q 607: Can an individual offer his noon prayer in the time between Friday and afternoon prayers? Furthermore, is one allowed to recite one’s afternoon prayer behind a person other than the Friday prayer imam?
A: Although Friday prayer discharges one from the obligation to perform the noon prayer, there is no problem with performing noon prayers out of caution. There is no objection to saying one’s afternoon prayer behind a person other than imam of the Friday prayer; however, when one wants to say the afternoon prayer in congregation, then the absolute caution is to read it behind the individual who has read the noon prayer after Friday prayers according to caution.
Q 608: Are the followers allowed to pray their noon prayers when the imam of Friday prayer does not perform it after Friday prayer?
A: They are permitted to do so.
Q 609: Is it obligatory for the imam of the Friday prayers to acquire permission from the authorized religious authority? What is meant by the authorized religious authority? Does this rule apply to far cities?
A: Basically, the leadership of Friday prayer does not depend on permission. However, one is not considered as an appointed imam unless he is appointed by the Leader of the Muslims. This rule applies to all lands and cities where the Leader governs and people are obedient to his rule.
Q 610: Can an Imam of Friday prayer appointed for a certain place lead the Friday prayer in another place where he has not been appointed when there is no obstacle or contending Friday prayer?
A: For him to lead a Friday prayer in another place is permissible in itself. However, the rules specific to an appointed imam would not be applicable.
Q 611: Does a temporary imam of Friday prayer need to be appointed by the Jurist Leader? Or does the permanent Friday prayer imam have the right himself to appoint people as temporary imams of Friday prayer?
A: The Friday prayer imam has the right to appoint anybody as a temporary Friday prayer imam. However, the rules applicable to an imam appointed by the Jurist Leader do not apply to such a person.
Q 612: If a mukallaf does not consider the appointed imam of Friday prayer as just or has doubts about his justice, then are they allowed to perform their prayers behind him just to maintain the unity of the Muslims? Furthermore, can a person who does not attend the Friday prayer discourage others from attending it?
A: It is not correct for a person to perform prayer behind one who is not considered as ‘ādil or about whom the follower doubts his justice. Nor would his congregational prayer be considered correct. However, for the sake of unity, there is no problem in joining the congregational prayer. But this person is not allowed, under any circumstances, to encourage others not to join the Friday prayer.
Q 613: What is the rule regarding not participating in Friday prayer when it is established for the mukallaf that the imam is a liar?
A: The contradiction in the speech of the Friday prayer imam is not evidence for that. It is possible that he may have made a mistake, an error of judgment or even taken the side of tawriyah. One should not deprive oneself of the blessings of the Friday prayer just due to imagination that the imam is not ‘ādil anymore.
Q 614: Is it necessary for the follower to check or be certain about the justice of the Friday prayer imam who has been appointed by Imam Khomeini or the ‘ādil Jurist Leader? Or is the mere fact that he has been appointed to lead Friday prayers sufficient to determine his justice?
A: If the appointment as imam of Friday prayers makes the follower certain and confident of the imam’s justice, then it is sufficient for the follower to consider his praying behind him as correct.
Q 615: Should the imam of a masjid be selected by trustworthy scholars or appointed as the imam of Friday prayers by the Jurist Leader, is it considered as evidence that he is ‘ādil? Or is it necessary to investigate his justice?
A: If the appointment makes the followers certain about the imam’s justice, then it is permissible for them to follow him in prayer.
Q 616: Is it necessary to repeat the prayers one has prayed behind a Friday prayer imam whose justice is questionable or, Allah forbid, if it is established that the imam is not ‘ādil?
A: If doubt about the imam’s justice or certainty about the lack of justice is acquired after completing the prayer, then it is not obligatory to repeat the prayers and they are considered correct.
Q 617: What is the rule regarding one’s participation in Friday prayers — offered in Europe and other places — conducted by university students from Islamic countries and most of the participant and the imam of Friday prayer are usually Sunnī brothers? And is it obligatory — in this case — to offer the noon prayer after the Friday prayer?
A: There is no objection to participating in it for the sake of safeguarding unity and Muslim solidarity and it is not obligatory to pray the noon prayer.
Q 618: In one of the cities of Pakistan there has been a Friday prayer for nearly 40 years. Now a person has started another one without taking into consideration the necessary shar‘ī distance between the two congregations. This has created a conflict between the people who come for prayers. What are the shar‘ī ruling regarding this act?
A: It is not permissible for one to create such a situation, thereby causing a conflict and separation between believers, especially when it is related to the Friday prayer which is a sign of Islam and shows the strength and unity of Muslims.
Q 619: It was announced by the religious speaker of the Jāmi‘ Ja‘farī masjid in Rawalpindi that Friday prayer will not be offered there due to construction work. Now that the work is finished, we face a problem. At a distance of 4 kilometers a Friday prayer has been started in another masjid. Taking the distance into consideration, would it be correct to do the Friday prayers in the mentioned masjid?
A: When the distance between the two Friday prayers is not one shar‘ī farsakh, the secondly offered Friday prayer will be void while if both of them started at the same moment, both of them are void.
Q 620: Could one perform Friday prayer, which is held in congregation, individually by performing it side by side with those who are performing it in congregation?
A: One of the requirements of Friday prayer is that it should be performed in congregation. Therefore, Friday prayers will not be valid if said individually.
Q 621: When a mukallaf whose duty is to pray shortened, wants to perform his prayer behind an imam of Friday prayer, will this action of his be valid?
A: Friday prayer said by a traveling follower is valid and discharges his obligation of performing the noon prayer.
Q 622: Is it obligatory to mention the name of Fātimah al-Zahrā’s (a.) as an Imam of Muslims in the second sermon, or is it obligatory to mention her name with the intent of being mustaḥabb?
A: The concept of Imams of Muslims does not apply to Fātimah al-Zahrā (a.), and it is not obligatory to mention her blessed name in the Friday sermon, but there is no problem in seeking blessings through mentioning her noble name (a). It is, in fact, a required thing and makes one gain rewards.
Q 623: Could a follower perform an obligatory prayer other than the Friday prayer behind the imam who is performing the Friday prayer?
A: The validity of such a prayer is problematic.
Q 624: Is it correct to deliver the two sermons of the Friday prayers before the time of shar‘ī noon?
A: It is permissible to make them before shar‘ī noon [i.e., the time when the sun crosses the meridian], although it is a caution to make a part of the sermon after noon.
Q 625: A follower has not been present during any of the two sermons and joined the prayer when the imam has started. Will his prayer be valid and discharge him of his obligation?
A: His prayers will be valid and sufficient even if he joins the imam during the rukū‘ of the last rak‘ah of the Friday prayer.
Q 626: In our city, Friday prayer is held one and a half hours after the noon adhān. Does this prayer discharge us of our obligation to perform the noon prayer, or is it necessary to perform the noon prayer too?
A: The time of Friday prayer begins at shar‘ī noon, and according to caution it should not be delayed more than about an hour or two after the beginnings — according to common view — of shar‘ī noon.
Q 627: It is not possible for an individual to attend the Friday prayer. May he perform the noon and afternoon prayers at the time’s beginning, or is it obligatory for him to wait until the end of Friday prayer and then perform his prayers?
A: Waiting is not obligatory, and he may perform the noon and afternoon prayers at the beginning of the time.
Q 628: If the appointed imam of the Friday prayers is well and present on the site, may he order the temporary Friday prayer imam to lead it? Is it correct to pray behind the latter?
A: There is no problem in performing the Friday prayer behind the deputy of the appointed imam even for the appointed imam himself.