As-salamu `alaykum. What can one do if there is no mosque for jumuah (congregational Friday prayer) in my area? The Islamic Center is defunct and the closest mosque to my home is over 1:30 hours away from here. I do not have the means to attend jumu`ah at that distance. I have looked for other Muslims in my area to meet with for jumu`ah but being in the Bible belt, I have been unsuccessful. What should I do?
Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
Prying in jamaah (Congregational Prayer) has much greater reward than praying individually. It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, “Congregational prayer exceeds the individual one by twenty seven degrees.” (Al-Bukhari)
As for jumah (Friday Prayer), it has even more importance, as there is a strong warning by the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) from neglecting it without a reasonable excuse.
So, we encourage you, and every Muslim, to do your best to perform the Friday Prayer so as to gain Allah’s best reward.
If there are no Muslims in your area to form a jumuah (congregational Friday prayer), then Friday Prayer is not obligatory on you. So, it is enough for you to pray Zhuhr.
However, having said this, I should also advise you to consider relocating to an area where there is a Muslim community. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) warned us against isolating ourselves from the community. He said, “Strive to be with the community of Muslims, for by isolating oneself, one may risk falling into the hell-fire as wolves tend to prey on stray sheep!” (Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i)
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.