Not performing three Jum’ah prayer consecutively?

Ques: If a Muslim do not perform Jum’a prayer in consecutive(i e. continuous) three Jum’a, what is the punishment for him?

Ans: Assalamu Alaikum.

It is narrated in Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Tirmidhi, Sunan Ibn Majah and other hadith books with similar scripts that Rasulullah (SAW) said:

من ترك الجمعة ثلاث مرات تهاونا بها طبع الله على قلبه

من ترك ثلاث جمع تهاونا بها طبع الله على قلبه

He who leaves three Jum’ah prayer neglectfully, Allah will set a seal upon his heart. (Sunan Abu Dawud:1054, Tirmidhi:500, Ibn Majah:1125)

Meaning of ‘leaving neglectfully’ is to leave without any valid reason. i.e. with laziness, or just not trying to pray. It does not mean ‘insult’ or ‘underestimation’ of Jum’ah prayer, as those are regarded ‘Kufr’. And the meaning of ‘setting a seal’ is that he will be barred from receiving goods or he will be written as Munafiq. Altogether, this hadith means that it is a major sin. (Tuhfatul Ahwazi Sharhe Tirmidhi)

There is another narration by Ibn Abbas (rad) with the following script:

من ترك الجمعة ثلاث جمع متواليات

..”He who leaves three Jum’ah consecutively..”

This meaning will be taken in other hadiths also. So, the punishment of leaving three Jum’ah prayer will be upon who leaves them consecutively. (Mirkat Sharhe Mishkat)

There is another narration in Sahih Muslim:

لينتهين أقوام عن ودعهم الجمعات أو ليختمن الله على قلوبهم ثم ليكونن من الغافلين

“People will refrain from leaving Jum’ah prayer or Allah will surely set seals upon their hearts, then they will be among the heedless ones.” (Muslim: 2039)

However, these hadiths do not mean that one will become ‘Kafir’ for leaving three Jum’ahs. Rather, it signifies the extremeness of leaving Jum’ah prayer, as Imam Abu Dawud, Imam Nasayi and others named the chapter containing this hadith with it. Also, Imam Muslim named the chapter with similar meaning. Moreover, it is well known that the Hadith collectors name the chapters of hadith with their view or with the meaning, they believe as accurate.

In Hanafi school of fiqh, one is regarded ‘Fasiq’ for leaving three consecutive Jum’ah prayers. And also it does nullify one’s righteousness. In Fatawa Hindiyyah,

وإن ترك الجمعة ثلاث مرات يصير فاسقا ، كذا ذكر في بعض المواضع وبه أخذ شمس الأئمة السرخسي وذكر في بعض المواضع أنه يبطل العدالة ، ولم يقدر ، ولم يذكر العدد ، وقال شمس الأئمة الحلواني – رحمه الله تعالى – وعليه الفتوى ، وهذا إذا تركها مجانة ورغبة عنها من غير عذر ، كذا في فتاوى قاضي خان .وإن تركها بعذر كالمرض ، أو بعده من المصر ، أو بتأويل بأن كان يفسق الإمام ، أو ما أشبهه لا ترد شهادته ، كذا في الذخيرة .

But yeah, it is in case of leaving them without any valid reason. However, if someone leaves for his sickness or for being far from the city, it will do no harm to him.

After all, do not think that the one who leaves Jum’ah prayer will not have chance of repentance anymore. As Allah the Almighty has said,

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Say: O my servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving the Merciful. (39:53)

And Allah knows best. May He guide us to the straight path. Ameen.

Answered by Yousuf
By Email, 8th May ’09