Prerequisites for the Friday Prayer to be Valid
- The place has to be a city or town. Friday prayer is not valid in a village or jungle. However, Friday will be valid in a village if its population is equal to that of a town. For example, if there is a population of three to four thousand, Friday prayer will be valid.
- It has to be at the time of Zuhr. Friday prayer is not valid before Zuhr time or after the expiry of Zuhr. So much so, that if the Zuhr time expires while Friday prayer is being offered, then that prayer will become invalid even if the last sitting equal to the tashahhud has been completed. It is for this reason that qada is not made for Friday prayer.
- The khutbah has to be delivered. That is, to face the people and remind them of Allah Most High even if it means merely saying Sub’haanallah or Alhamdo lillah. However, it is makruh to suffice with this alone because it is contrary to the sunnah.
- The khutbah has to be before the prayer. If the khutbah is delivered after the prayer, the prayer will not be valid.
- The khutbah has to be delivered within the time of Zuhr. If the khutbah is delivered before the time of Zuhr, the prayer will not be valid.
- Congregation. That is, there has to be at least three persons apart from the imam who are present from the beginning of the khutbah till the prostration of the first rakaat. This is irrespective of whether those who were present for the khutbah are different from those who are present for the prayer. But this is on the condition that these three persons are such that they are eligible for imamate. Therefore, if there are only women or immature children, the prayer will not be valid.
- If the people go away before the prostration and less than three persons remain or no one remains, the prayer will become invalid. However, if they go after the prostration, the prayer will not be invalid.
- To offer Friday prayer openly and with full permission. It will not be permissible to offer Friday prayer in any private and secluded place. If Friday prayer is offered at such a place where the general public is not allowed to come or the doors of the mosque are closed at the time of Friday, the prayer will not be valid.If a person offers Friday prayer despite any of the above-mentioned prerequisites not being met, his prayer will not be valid. He will have to offer Zuhr prayer. Since this prayer of his will become a nafl prayer, and since nafl prayer is not offered with such preparations, in such a case it will be prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) to offer Friday prayer.