Is the Ghusl Obligatory on Jumu’ah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Have you ever read 2,3, or 4 ahadith that are all authentic, but on the surface they all contradict each other  in their meanings? Did you stop to think to yourself how could  this be possible when Allah says in His book, Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein many contradictions.[1]

This verse proves that in Allah’s Religion there are no mismatches between texts, whether they are from the Quran or the Sunnah. Islam is a clear and an easy religion to follow that has been defined from scholars past and present. In this topic I will present , “Is the  Ghusl on Friday Obligatory or not?” 

Imam Ash-Shaf’I said Allah says, “O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salat (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles[2]The sunnah proves wudu is to be done when a person is in an state of ritual impurity.

Allah says: O you who believe! Approach not As-Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter, nor when you are in a state of Janaba, (i.e. in a state of sexual impurity and have not yet taken a bath) except when travelling on the road (without enough water, or just passing through a mosque), till you wash your whole body.[3]

Wudu is mentioned in Allah’s book as being required to remove ritual impurity. Allah commands the Ghusl to be performed when there is sexual impurity in An-Nisa’ 43. Therefore Ghusl isn’t obligatory except in the state of Janaba, unless the Sunnah specifies it.

I am unaware of any proof that Ghusl is obligatory except for the person who encounters sexual impurity. When mentioning obligatory here it implies that nothing else will suffice. There have been reports about Ghusl on Friday being an obligation, but does wajib here mean if a person leaves it off he’s a sinner?[4]


Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Anyone of you attending the Friday (prayers) should take a bath.”[5]


Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The taking of a bath on Friday is compulsory for every male (Muslim) who has attained the age of puberty.[6]

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Bathing on Friday for every adult, using of Miswak and applying some perfume, that is available-these are essential.[7]


Ibn Jawzi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The words,“ Ghusl is obligatory on every Muslim has been mentioned in the previous 3 Ahadeeth. Therefore, it’s apparent that the performing a Ghusl on Friday is essential and a must.[8]


Imam Ash-Shaf’I said the Arabic language is vast. Obligatory here could mean a must which if a person didn’t do it he could be punished, or  obligatory in the hadith could imply a stressed Sunnah in regards to Islamic conduct and cleanliness. [9]


When studying these Ahadeeth and the issue we find that people are divided into 2 categories:

  • Those who say Ghusl on Friday was obligatory then it was abrogated based on the hadeeth. “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever performs wudu’ on Friday, that is all well and good, but whoever performs ghusl, the ghusl is better.”[10]

This view is weak, because the previous Ahadeeth mentioned are stronger in their authenticity, nor is there anything that validates this hadeeth was narrated later than those which mention Ghusl on Friday is a must.

  • The scholars who say Ghusl was never obligatory on Friday, but rather the intended meaning for Wajid in those Ahadeeth is “A stressed Sunnah”. Scholars like Al-Khataabi, and Abdul Aziz bin Biz ,compare the way obligatory is used in the hadeeth for the usage of Miswak and perfume.  Using the Miswak and perfume on Friday isn’t Wajib.


Aisha said, ‘The people used to work (for their livelihood) and whenever they went for the Jumua prayer, they used to go to the mosque in the same shape as they had been in work. So they were asked to take a bath on Friday.”[11]

This hadeeth proves that they were not ordered to make Ghusl in the obligatory sense, but rather it was strongly recommended.

While `Umar bin Al-Khattab was standing and delivering the sermon on a Friday, one of the companions of the Prophet, who was one of the foremost Muhajirs (emigrants) came. `Umar said to him, “What is the time now?” He replied, “I was busy and could not go back to my house till I heard the Adhan. I did not perform more than the ablution.” Thereupon `Umar said to him, “Did you perform only the ablution although you know that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to order us to take a bath (on Fridays)?”[12]

This hadith shows that either the Ghusl for Friday is either Sunnah or abrogated, due to the fact that Umar or any other Sahabah present  (may Allah be pleased with them all) didn’t dispute his action. [13]

It’s important to note here that the issue isn’t only restricted to 2 positions as Ibn Jawzi stated, but there is a 3rd view which defeats one reason why some ulema say the Ghusl is recommended. The hadeeth, The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever performs wudu’ on Friday, that is all well and good, but whoever performs ghusl, the ghusl is better, “is considered weak, thus not reliable as a proof for Islamic legislation.

Shaykh Al-Uthaymeen said the chain in this hadeeth is weak as Hasan ibn Summrah only heard the hadith about the Aqeeqah from Summrah and if one reflects over the wording of the hadeeth, it’s clear that this isn’t from the eloquent style of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) speech.[14]

ghusl alt version


Overall when all of the proofs are collected and the insight of the scholars is presented and reviewed there are some points to consider for the position you take.  One point of contention is the claim of abrogation being the weakest opinion as Ibn Jawzi stated. Next, Shaykh Uthaymeen & Shaykh Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on them both) consider Ghusl on Friday a must, and the person who doesn’t perform Ghusl is a sinner, but his prayer is still correct. Furthermore, they both believed that Umar’s words, “Did you perform only the ablution although you know that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to order us to take a bath (on Fridays)?” serve as a rejection to the Uthman ibn Affan(radi Allahu anhu) who came to Jumu’ah after only performing Wudu.

Imam Ash-Shafi answered this claim perfectly by saying we know that Umar &Uthman knew that the Prophet (ﷺ) ordered Ghusl to be done on Friday. Umar informed Uthman about the command. Therefore, we can’t assume they forgot, because they both mentioned it. Uthmaan didn’t perform ghusl, Umar didn’t order him to do a Ghusl, nor did he leave the masjid to perform it.

Additionally, the companions present at the masjid with Umar & Uthman didn’t order Uthamn to make Ghusl, and they  didn’t inform Umar that Ghusl was a command from the Prophet (ﷺ).Consequently, Umar & Uthmaan understood the Ghusl to be Sunnah and not Wajib. [15]Moreover, the extra wording in the Hadith for Ghusl being an obligation is connected to Miswak and perfume and both of these actions aren’t wajib in the meaning that if a person leaves it off he’s sinner. The Arabs say, “Your rights upon me are Wajib” meaning a stressed Sunnah. Allah the most High knows best.[16]

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Prepared by the one in need of Allah’s Mercy

Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha, Qatar 1436©




[1] [ An-Nisa’82].

[2] [ Al-Ma’idah 6]

[3] [ An-Nisa’a 43]

[4] Ikhtalaful Hadith, Imam Ash-Shafa’I pg, 148


[5] [ Al-Bukhari, chapter the superity of Ghusl on Friday 2/356]

[6] [ Al-Bukhari , chapter the superity of Ghusl on Friday 2/356]

[7] [Muslim , Chapter perfume and siwak on Friday 3/6, 60]

[8] [Ilam Al-Alim ba’da rasukhi bi haqa’iqi Nasiku Al-Hadeethi wa Mansukhi , by Ibn Jawzi (pg 140].

[9] Ash-Shafa’I pg 149

[10] [ Abu Dawud, chapter the allowance to leave off performing Ghusl on Friday 1/ 251]

[11] Bukhari, Chapter the time for Jumuah prayer is when the sun is at the zenith,2/386

[12] Bukhari, The superiority of taking a Ghusl on Friday 3/356

[13] ‘Ilam Al-Alim ba’da rasukhi bi haqa’iqi Nasiku Al-Hadeethi wa Mansukhi , by Ibn Jawzi (page 137-142).


[14]  Tamam A-mina (120) by Al-Albani, Al-Mumti(5/81-83) by Al-Uthaymeen.

[15] Ash-Shafa’I pg 149-150

[16] Majmu Fatawa 10/171-172

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