I will really appreciate if you could tell me with support of Ayats from Qur’an and/or Hadiths that whether the way people pray Jum’ah in Pakistan is Bid’ah or not? I have read at one of the sites that it is Bid’ah. The site address is as follows:
You can search the question I am referring to by entering “Prayers” in the Keywords section of the search. The question I am referring to is “Is there a Sunnah Prayer before and after Jum’ah?”.
Your answer will be of great value to me and will be really appreciated.
Your Brother in Islam.
If anyone considers any number of rak`at before or after the Jum`ah prayers to be obligatory, it would be an incorrect belief (and a bid`ah) on his part. However, offering any number of supererogatory (naf’l) rak`at before or after the Jum`ah prayer can in no way be prohibited (or termed as a bid`ah), in the absence of a clear and explicit directive of the Shari`ah, to the stated effect. In fact, the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have prompted the Muslims on offering such supererogatory rak`at, in a number of narratives ascribed to him1.
To fully understand the background of my answer, you must appreciate the fact that a positive backing2 of the Shari`ah is required in holding something prohibited or obligatory. For instance, if someone says that it is obligatory for a Muslim to offer a particular number of rak`at before or after the Jum`ah prayers, it shall then be imperative to positively provide a basis for this opinion (for holding something to be obligatory). Likewise, if someone says that it is prohibited to offer any rak`at before or after the Jum`ah prayers, it would be equally important to substantiate this opinion from the original sources of the Shari`ah (as something is being held as prohibited). Within these two limits – of holding something obligatory or prohibited – lie such actions, which fall in the category of ‘allowables’. To hold something as allowed (i.e. neither obligatory, nor prohibited) does not require a positive basis3 in the Qur’an or the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). On the contrary, the mere fact that something is not expressly prohibited in the Shari`ah, may sometimes be considered an adequate basis of its allowability.
Keeping the above explanation in perspective, it should be quite clear that offering any number of rak`at before or after the Jum`ah prayer can only be termed as a bid`ah (an invention in religion) or a deviation from the directives of the Shari`ah, if:
Those who offer these rak`at, incorrectly, hold it to be obligatory; or
Offering supererogatory (naf’l) prayers is prohibited, except at times specified by the Prophet (pbuh); or
It has been explicitly prohibited by the Shari`ah to offer prayer at these timings.
In view of the above-mentioned facts, it is the responsibility of those who hold offering any naf’l or supererogatory rak`at to be a bid`ah, to provide the basis of their opinion. It should be remembered that the mere fact that the Prophet (pbuh) did not do a particular thing4, does not make that thing a bid`ah. Declaring something a bid`ah would also require that the particular act be proven to be an addition or an invention in the structure of Islam.
Al-Shawkaaniy, in his book “Nayl al-Awtaar“, while discussing whether or not is it allowable to offer naf’l rak’at before or after the Jum`ah prayers has stressed the same point. He writes:
والحاصل أن الصلاة قبل الجمعة مرغب فيها عموما وخصوصا، فالدليل على مدعي الكراهة على الإطلاق (قوله: فصلى ما قدر له) فيه أن الصلاة قبل الجمعة لا حد لها… (نيل الأوطار، كتاب الجمعة، باب النقل قبل الجمعة)
The result is that [supererogatory] prayer before Jum`ah is something aspired, generally as well as specially. The onus of proving otherwise is completely upon the one who claims that such prayer is detested. The saying of the Prophet: ‘He offered prayers as much as possible for him…’ entails the fact that there is no limit imposed on the rak`ah that may be offered before the Jum`ah prayers.
Nevertheless, it would not be completely correct to call these rak`ah ‘Sunnah‘ of the Prophet5.
23rd May 2000
- Reported in almost all the major compilations of narratives ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh), including Bukhari and Muslim. [↩]
- By ‘positive backing’, I mean an express directive of the Shari`ah. [↩]
- That is, it is not necessary to find an express directive of the Shari`ah to hold something as allowed (jaaiz). The mere fact that the Shari`ah has not expressly prohibited something and neither is such a thing closely similar to an express prohibition of the Shari`ah, places that thing in the category of things which are allowed. [↩]
- Although, it may be noted that there are a number of narratives, according to which the Prophet (pbuh) offered naf’l rak`at before and after the Jum`ah prayers, as well as those in which the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have prompted the Muslims to do so. [↩]
- Something which the Prophet (pbuh) initiated, taught and promoted among all his companions. [↩]