Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Asalamu alaikum,
I pray my Friday prayers very far from my home.
Am I sinful for regularly missing the emphasised Sunna of performing the ritual bath (ghusl) on Fridays by not being able to pray the Friday prayer with the purity achieved from this ritual bath?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.
It is a sunna to perform the ritual bath (ghusl) for the Friday prayer. [`Ala’ al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Anyone who comes to the Jumu’a should perform the ritual bath.” [Bukhari]
Nonetheless, the sunna will, insha’Allah, be fulfilled even if you were unable to pray with the purification from your bath, on condition that you have a reasonable excuse.
There are a number of reasons for this:
(1) there is a difference of opinion on whether the ritual bath is a recommended or emphasised sunna,
(2) there is a difference of opinion on whether it is for the prayer or for the day (i.e. Friday itself), and
(3) there is a position that it is legislated for general cleanliness and not specifically that the purification for the prayer come from the bath taken.
[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]
Thus, we should strive to hold fast to the stricter and chosen position of the school, out of love of Allah Most High and devotedly following the beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), whilst at the same time realising that the Religion of Allah is vast and easy, and differences of opinion are a mercy for all. The intention of the believer is greater than his action, and each person shall get whatever they intended.
And Allah alone knows best and He alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.