Recently it was brought up that if you do not come to Jum`ah1 before the Khutbah2 starts then Jum`ah does not count for you. Also, at Jum`ah there are angels who record who comes in and stop recording when the Khutbah (address) starts. Finally if one says salam3 to a brother, who walks in after the second adhan, one’s jum`ah sala’h may be nullified.
Could you please comment on these points?
Before I answer your questions, I would first like to introduce you very briefly with the importance and significance of the Jum`ah prayers.
Jum`ah prayers in the Islamic Shari`ah (law) are not just a religious-social gathering but are to be sponsored, conducted and undertaken by, or on behalf of, the particular Islamic state in which they are held. The Prophet (pbuh) started organizing the Jum`ah congregation after the establishment of an Islamic state in Madinah. This congregation has two essential parts: 1) the Khutbah (the address); and 2) the prayers. According to the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) the Khutbah is delivered and the Jum`ah prayers are led by, or on behalf of, the head of the Islamic state. In this manner, the Jum`ah congregation serves as a connection between the leaders and the led of an Islamic state. It is a weekly gathering that brings the leaders closer to the common people of the society. It starts with the address of the leader; the basic emphasis in this address is on calling to the way of God; problems faced by the leader may also be mentioned; It may then be followed by questions and criticisms on the policies and actions of the leaders; in the end, the leaders and the led, in complete unison, bow their heads to the Lord and Sustainer of the whole universe, signifying complete unity, equality and oneness of purpose (to live a life of worship and absolute submission to God).
From the above explanation, it should be quite clear that both the khutbah (address) and the prayers are essential ingredients of the Jum`ah congregation. Anyone who misses out on the khutbah (address) and joins the congregation during the sala’h (prayers), could be said to have offered his Jum`ah prayers, but not to have attended the Jum`ah congregation.
It must be emphasized here that it is obligatory to attend the Jum`ah congregation only in an Islamic state; and even there, it is the duty of the state to arrange, sponsor and supervise this congregation. It is very unfortunate that in the present day, in most of the Islamic states this congregation is addressed and led by religious scholars and not by the heads of these states, contrary to what should have been. The heads of these states must remember that they shall be held accountable, on the Day of Judgment, for not fulfilling a duty assigned to them by their Lord.
With this explanation in perspective, let us look at your questions:
Your first question is: If one does not attend the khutbah, could he be said to have attended Jum`ah?
The answer to this question can be found in the above explanation. I have stated above that if one does not attend the khutbah, he can be said to have attended the Jum`ah prayer but not the Jum`ah congregation.
According to Abu Hurairah (ra) the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said: “On the day of Jum`ah angels stand by the gates of the mosques and note down the names of people who come in, according to their time of entrance. The angels keep noting down that such and such person entered at such and such time; such and such person entered while the Imaam was addressing; and such and such person attended the prayer but did not attend the Jum`ah congregation, because he did not attend the khutbah.” (Ahmad ibn Hanbal)
Your second question is: It is said that at Jum`ah there are angels who record the names of those who come to attend the Jum`ah. These angels stop recording the names when the Khutbah (address) starts. Does this mean that those who come after the khutba starts, could not be said to have attended Jum`ah?
Answer to this question is also given with the answer to the first question.
Your third question is: If one greets another person who walks in after the second adhan, does this greeting nullify one’s jum`ah sala’h?
When the address is being delivered, the audience should attentively and silently listen to it. The Prophet (pbuh) has taught the Muslims the etiquette to listen very carefully and attentively to the address being delivered. If someone enters the mosque during the khutbah, he should not disturb those who are listening to the khutbah, he should even avoid greeting them so that their attention is not diverted from the khutbah. This teaching of the Prophet (pbuh) is related to the etiquette, it does not imply that such a greeting or a response to such a greeting would ‘nullify’ the khutbah or the sala’h.
19th February 1998