For a Muslim, reading Friday prayers at the Mosque is a staple part of their religion.

Whether it’s taking 20 minutes out from work or closing your business for the afternoon, Muslims are taught to drop everything for this special day.

However, readers of the Asian Express got in touch to discuss the variations of the conduct during Friday prayers and asked us to clear up the debate.

We take a look at how some Mosques offer Friday prayers and explore what the do’s and don’ts.

The actual Jummah (Friday) prayer is traditionally made up of two rakats led by the Imam after the khutbah (speech).

However, there seems to be confusion among some Muslims as what to read before and after.

In Islam there are prayers which are obligatory called Farz and non-obligatory, Sunnat.

CONFUSION: Various Schools of thought
CONFUSION: Various Schools of thought

In certain UK Mosques it is common practice to offer four Sunnat rakats before and after the Jummah Farz.

However, some Muslims, particularly those who are not from a Pakistani background do not offer these because they belong to a slightly different school of thought.

Omar Ayub is a 19-year-old from Bradford and regularly attends his local Mosque on a Friday.

He does read the extra prayers but sees people leaving after the two Farz rakats have finished.

“I just want to know what the answer was and whether I’m doing it right or not,” he said.

OBLIGATORY: Certain parts of the Jummah prayer are permanent like the Arabic Khutbah
OBLIGATORY: Certain parts of the Jummah prayer are permanent like the Arabic Khutbah

“I have been taught to read the Sunnat prayers as well for Jummah, but I see a lot, if not most people, walking out.

“I like many others out there, would like to know what the proper method is.”

Many Sahih (authentic) reports from the Hadith or teachings of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), indicate that what is prescribed for the Muslim when they enter the Masjid (mosque) on Friday is to offer as many rakats (units of Prayer) as they wish before the Imam ascends the Minbar (pulpit) for the sermon.

Maulana Fazal Dade from the Abu Bakar Mosque, Bradford, said: “There are a few different schools of thought about this.

“Basically we have the sermon or Khutbah which must be delivered in Arabic.

“The point where it perhaps gets a little confusing is the Sunnat rakats before the Jummah prayer.

“These are optional but it’s better to read these. “Yes, if you have come from work and only have 20 minutes to read your Jummah then it’s fine if you miss them, but otherwise you should read. “I do think, however, that for some people it’s just a question of being lazy.

“The Prophet once said that there will come a time when Muslims leave these nonobligatory prayers and there will also be a time when people don’t even offer any of their prayers. I think we can learn a lot from this.

“We all need to stand together as one ummah.” In Islam there are several sects and in those sects are different schools of thought on certain issues.

In the Sunni sect for instance, there are four schools of thought, namely Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali.

And while all of them essentially believe in the same thing, there are slight variations in practice.

Anwar-ul-Haq, a Sunni Imam at Bradford’s Suffa-Tul-Islam Mosque explained the differences.

“Basically no matter what school of thought you are with, the core of the Jummah prayer is the same, with two obligatory rakats.

“There is probably only a 20% difference between the four in practice.

“The only real point of discussion arises at what to read before and after the main prayer.

“And this is down to what particular school of thought you follow.

“Basically we all believe in the same thing, just differ slightly in the method.”

ALL AS ONE: Namaz prayers being offered
ALL AS ONE: Namaz prayers being offered