Question: Some people claim that it is wâjib to perform ghusl on Friday. There is said to be a hadîth-i sharîf concerning this. Is it true? Secondly, does a person who has made a ghusl to extricate from the state of janâbat on the night of Friday earn the thawâb of the ghusl of Friday as well?
ANSWER
Reading hadîth-i sharîfs without knowing mujtahid scholars’ explanatory statements on them leads to false conclusions. It is an act of muakkad sunnat to perform a ghusl on Friday. In fact, the hadîth-i sharîf in question purports as follows:

(It is wâjib [that is, it is necessary] to make a ghusl on Friday.) [Bukhârî, Muslim, Abû Dâwud, I. Ahmad, I. Mâlik, Tabarânî, Daylamî, I. Hibbân, Abû Nu’aym]

Another hadîth-i sharîf purports:
(Making a ghusl on Friday is fard for me and supererogatory [an act of sunnat] for you.) [Daylamî]

This hadîth-i sharîf gives clarity to the previous one. Other than the fards, all acts of worship performed by our Master the Prophet (sall-Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) are termed supererogatory worships. Since he performed them, they are sunnat for us. The sunnat namâzes that are performed before or after the five daily fard namâzes and all other sunnats are supererogatory.

It is very important to take a ghusl on Friday. There are many hadîth-i sharîfs about it. Some of them purport as follows:

(Any one of you attending the Friday prayer should make a ghusl.)
[Bukhârî, Muslim, Abû Dâwud, Tirmudhî, Nasâî]

(Making a ghusl on Friday is atonement for the sins committed during the week, with the addition of three days.) [Tabarânî]

(A Friday is atonement for the sins until the next Friday; five daily namâzes are atonement for the sins until the namâz coming after. The case is the same with the ghusl of Friday. Every pace a man takes to attend the Friday prayer is equal to twenty years’ acts of worship. When going out from the Friday prayer, he is given the reward of 200 years’ acts of worship.)
[Bayhaqî]

(The sins of a person who makes a ghusl on Friday are forgiven.) [Tabarânî]

(The sins of a person who makes a ghusl on Friday are purged, and he is said, “Start your deeds anew!”)
[Daylamî]

(There are two rewards for a person who has intercourse with his wife on Friday: one of them is the reward for his own ghusl; the other is the reward for his wife’s.)
[Bayhaqî]

(If anyone makes a ghusl on Friday, goes to the mosque early, listens to the khutba, and remains silent, he is recorded the thawâb of fast and namâz
[the thawâb of supererogatory fast and namâz] of one year for each step he takes.) [Tabarânî]

(A person who makes a ghusl on Friday and goes for the namâz in the first hours earns the thawâb as if he sacrificed a camel and gave it as alms; he who comes later than that earns the thawâb as if he sacrificed a cow and gave it as alms; he who comes later than that earns the thawâb as if he sacrificed a horned ram and gave it as alms; he who comes later than that earns the thawâb as if he sacrificed a hen and gave it as alms; he who comes last earns the thawâb of an egg offered as alms. When the imâm gets up to deliver the khutba, the angels give up recording thawâb and listen to the khutba.) [Bukhârî, Muslim, Abû Dâwud, Tirmudhî, Nasâî]

A person who performs a ghusl from the state of janâbat on the night of Friday gains the thawâb of the ghusl of Friday.

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