Salatul Jumu’ah is an obligation upon every free, adult, sane, resident Muslim who has the ability to attend the salah and does not have a valid excuse to miss it. Salatul Jumu’ah, however, is not obligatory on the following:
1. Women and children. Concerning this category there is no difference of opinion.
2. The person who is ill and faces hardship if he goes to the mosque, or who fears that his illness will be increased by going to the mosque, or whose recovery will be delayed. This also includes the person who is nursing a very ill person if, specially, the ill person cannot manage in the absence of the nursing person.
Tariq ibn Shihab reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “Al-Jumu’ah is a duty upon every Muslim in the community, save four: a slave, or a woman, or a child, or a person who is ill.” An-Nawawi says that its chain is sahih according to the conditions set by al-Bukhari and Muslim. Ibn Hajr says that more than one person has graded it sahih.
3. For the traveller, even if he is staying at a certain place during the time of the beginning of salatul Jumu’ah, it is not obligatory. This is based on the fact that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam travelled and did not perform the salatul Jumu’ah but only prayed the zuhr and ‘asr together during the time of the zuhr prayers. The caliphs after him and others also acted in a similar manner.
4. One who is in debt and cannot repay his debt and therefore fears that he will be imprisoned, and one who fears that he will be harmed by an oppressive ruler: Ibn ‘Abbas reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “Whoever hears the call to the salah and does not respond to it [i.e., by coming to the salah], there will be no prayer for him unless he has an excuse.” The people inquired: “O Messenger of Allah, what is a [valid] excuse?” He answered: “Fear or illness.” This is related by Abu Dawud with a sahih chain.
5. Environmental restraints like rain, mud, extreme cold, and so on. Ibn ‘Abbas said to the mu’azhzhin on a rainy day: “When you say ‘I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,’ do not say ‘Come to the prayer,’ but say ‘Pray in your houses.”‘ The people objected to that and he told them: “One better than me did so [the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam]. Al-Jumu’ah is an obligation but I dislike that you should go out walking in the mud and slush.” Abi Malih reports that his father had witnessed the day of Jumu’ah with the Prophet and it was raining and the people were troubled by their shoes so he ordered them to pray in their stopping places. This is related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.
All of these people are not obliged to pray the Friday salah although they are obliged to pray the zuhr. Should one of them pray salatul Jumu’ah, it will still be valid for him or her and he will no longer be obliged to pray the zuhr.Â And the women during the time of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam, attended the mosque and used to pray al-Jumu’ah with him.