Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim

Traveling On Friday

Do the scholars have any evidence for saying that it is offensive or unlawful to travel before the sun's zenith on Jumu`ah?

al-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Concerning the issue of traveling on Jumu`ah, Ibn Qudama writes

§ It is not permissible for anyone who is required to pray Jumu`ah to travel after its time enters[fn1]. Al-Shafi`i, Ishaq and Ibn Mundhar had this opinion. Abu Hanifah held that it was permissible. Al-Awza`i was asked about a traveler who hears the adhan of Jumu`ah right after he has reading his mount; he answered that he continues with his journey since `Omar (Allah be pleased with him) said that Jumu`ah does not restrain one from traveling.

But our evidence is what Ibn `Omar (Allah be pleased with them both) related that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Whoever travels from a place of residence on Jumu`ah: the angels make du`a against him that he is not accompanied nor assisted in his need," [which] Al-Daraqutni related in Al-Afrad, and this threat would not be attached to something permissible. And [also] because Jumu`ah has become obligatory for him [to perform] so it  is not permissible for him engage in anything that prevents him from [the Jumu`ah prayer], such as entertainment and commerce. And [as for] what was related from `Omar (Allah be pleased with him), narrations been related from his son and from `A'ishah (Allah be pleased with them and their parents) indicating the offensiveness of traveling on Friday, so [these narrations] oppose his so we interpret them to apply to traveling before the zenith.

§ Abu Al-Khatab has mentioned three transmitted opinions concerning if he travels before the time [for Jumu`ah enters].

The first [opinion] is it being prevented [unlawful], because of the hadith of `Omar (Allah be pleased with him) ^.

The second [opinion] is it being permissible, and it is the opinion of Hasan [Al-Basri], Ibn Sirin and the majority of scholars. [This is] because of the hadith of `Omar (Allah be pleased with him) ^, and since Jumu`ah [prayer of that particular day] has not become obligatory it is not unlawful to travel, just as during the night.

The third [opinion] is that it is permissible [to travel] for jihad but not for other things, and this is what Al-Qadi [Abu Ya`la] mentioned. [This is] because of what Ibn `Abbas (Allah be pleasd with him) related, that

the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) sent Zaid bin Haritha, Ja`far bin Abi Talib and `Abd Allah bin Rawahah in the army to Mu'ta. `Abd Allah (Allah be pleased with him) stayed back and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) saw him and asked him why he stayed behind. "Jumu`ah," he replied. So the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "An errand for the sake of Allah at night (or: early morning) is better than this world and all that it contains." And so he quickly departed.

Ahmad related it in Al-Musnad. [...]

This is what Ibn Qudamah writes in Al-Mughni (2:228-9, Dar Al-Kutub Al-`Ilmiyyah edition. Beginning with: wa man tajib `alayhi al-jumu`ah la yajuz lahu al-safr ba`d dukhul waqtiha).
So as a general answer to the question: yes, the scholars do have evidence for this ruling, just as they have evidence to every opinion they ever gave. That we do not know or understand their evidence is out shortcoming, not theirs. It's sad that today the scholars of the righteous Salaf are often accused on one hand of not having evidence for their opinions, while on the other hand they are criticized when they use weak hadiths out of their preference to do something that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) may have done instead of coming up with something that they know he never did.

It is well reported that Imam Ahmad (may Allah be pleased with him) said that if he does not have evidence for a specific issue he would go with whatever Imam Al-Shafi`i (may Allah be pleased with him) said. One explanation that can be given to Imam Ahmad's statement is that what this action of his is what Allah Most High has ordered us to do:

O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah the Messenger if you are true believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is beneficial and of better consequences. (Qur'an 4:59)

and So ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know (Qur'an 21:7).

And Allah knows best.

[Sources: Al-Mughni (2:228-9), Mughni Al-Muhtaj (1:278-9), Tuhfat Al-Muhtaj (1:491-2), Kifayat Al-Akhyar, Al-Raud Al-Murbi`, Al-Salsabil Fi Ma`rifat Al-Dalil, Al-Wajiz Fi Usul Al-Fiqh, The Majestic Qur'an]

wa al-salamu `alaykum


It is not permissible for someone who must attend the Friday Prayer to travel on Friday after the sun's zenith until praying the Friday Prayer–unless he fears being separated from his travelling companions. Travelling before the sun's zenith is offensive if he is able to perform it on the way. [MF]