The Opinions About Number of People in Friday Prayer

Islamic Shariah Today: Hi all readers! In this article I will explain the differences of opinion about the number of people in Friday prayer. The point is that there are many opinions of Islamic legal experts about that, about the minimum number of people in the prayer. That is, if the minimum amount is not met, then the prayer is invalid.

As usual, before I explain this theme further, firstly, I will quote one hadith that specifically relates to our discussion. The hadith I mean is as follows;

عَنْ جَابِرٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ تَعَالَى عَنْهُ : أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ يَخْطُبُ قَائِمًا فَجَاءَتْ عِيْرٌ مِنَ الشَّامِ فَانْتَفَلَ النَّاسُ إِلَيْهَا حَتَّى لَمْ يَبْقَ إِلَّا اِثْنَا عَشَرَ رَجُلًا . رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ

From Jabir radliyallahu Ta’ala ‘anhu, that Prophet (Muhammad) sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam preach with standing. Then came the camel from Sham. People then go to it (camel) and and left the Friday prayer so that only twelve people remained.” The hadith is narrated by Muslim.


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There are some important things about the above hadith that we need to know;

  1. The hadith explains, that a person must stand when he is preaching.
  2. The hadith explains, that there is no certain limit to determine the minimum number of people in Friday prayer.
  3. Malik said, that the minimum number of people in the Friday prayer is twelve people. That is the number besides the Imam.
  4. Some followers of the Syafi’iyah sect and others say that the minimum number of people in Friday prayer is forty people.
  5. Abu Hanifah said that the minimum number of people in Friday prayer is three people. The amount includes the Imam; One Imam and two Makmum.

All Readers! If we understand the brief explanation above, then surely, we know, that the problem of the minimum number of people in Friday prayer is the issue of ijtihadi. The point is, there is no certain information about it, either in Quran or hadith.

There is one more thing I want to say related to the hadith above, that among the twelve people referred to in the hadith are Abu Bakr, Umar, and Jabir. They did not join the people in meeting camels who came from Sham. Camels meant in the hadith are camels that carry food and merchandise. The three people remained with the Prophet Muhammad to pray Friday because they prioritize Friday prayer rather than treasure.

That is a brief explanation of differences of opinion about this article. Do you understand? If you want to ask, please ask!

I think that is enough for this article. May be useful!

See you again in the next article!


Hasan Sulaiman an-Nuri and Alawi Abbas al-Maliki, Ibaanatu al-Ahkaam Syarhu Buluughi al-Maraam, Vol. II, Dar al-Fikr Publishing, Beirut, 2004, p. 55-56.


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