The Friday congregation prayer (Salaat-ul-Jumaat) is compulsory for men, as Almighty Allah says,
“O you who have believed, when (the adhan) is called for the prayer on the day of Jumaat (Friday), then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.” (Quran, 62:9)
The Prophet (pbuh) also said, “Let some people stop avoiding attending the Friday prayer, or Allah will stamp a seal on their hearts. Then they will become of those who are heedless.” (Muslim)
Shortening the obligatory prayers (Qasr-us-Salaat) means to perform two rakats instead of four rakat for the noon prayer (salaat-udh-Dhuhr), the afternoon prayer (salaat-ul-Asr) and the late evening prayer (salaat-ul-lshaa’) l reciting Surat al-Fctcttihah in addition to another surah of the Quran. There is no shortened form of the dawn prayer (salaat-ul-Fajr), which always consists of two rakats, nor of the sunset prayer (salaat-ul-Maghrib), which invariably consists of three rakats.
Salah is an Arabic word which lexically means dua, or supplication. Its legal meaning refers to, among other things, the set of recitations and movements such as standing, bowing and prostrating in a certain manner in response to Allah’s command to perform it and seeking to get closer to Him.
The Importance of the Prayer
The prayer is the first deed about which one will be questioned on the Day of Judgment. If one’s prayer is sound and acceptable, then one will certainly achieve eternal success and eternal happiness. However, if one’s prayer is incorrect, incomplete or corrupt in some way, one will not be successful on that day.