Question: Some people claim that it is wājib to perform ghusl on Friday. There is said to be a hadīth-i sharīf concerning this. Is it true? Secondly, does a person who has made a ghusl to extricate from the state of janābat on the night of Friday earn the thawāb of the ghusl of Friday as well?
Reading hadīth-i sharīfs without knowing mujtahid scholars explanatory statements on them leads to false conclusions. It is an act of muakkad sunnat to perform a ghusl on Friday. In fact, the hadīth-i sharīf in question purports as follows:
(It is wājib [that is, it is necessary] to make a ghusl on Friday.) [Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dāwud, I. Ahmad, I. Mālik, Tabarānī, Daylamī, I. Hibbān, Abū Nuaym]
Another hadīth-i sharīf purports:
(Making a ghusl on Friday is fard for me and supererogatory [an act of sunnat] for you.) [Daylamī]
This hadīth-i sharīf gives clarity to the previous one. Other than the fards, all acts of worship performed by our Master the Prophet (sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam) are termed supererogatory worships. Since he performed them, they are sunnat for us. The sunnat namāzes that are performed before or after the five daily fard namāzes and all other sunnats are supererogatory.
It is very important to take a ghusl on Friday. There are many hadīth-i sharīfs about it. Some of them purport as follows:
(Any one of you attending the Friday prayer should make a ghusl.) [Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dāwud, Tirmudhī, Nasāī]
(Making a ghusl on Friday is atonement for the sins committed during the week, with the addition of three days.) [Tabarānī]
(A Friday is atonement for the sins until the next Friday; five daily namāzes are atonement for the sins until the namāz coming after. The case is the same with the ghusl of Friday. Every pace a man takes to attend the Friday prayer is equal to twenty years acts of worship. When going out from the Friday prayer, he is given the reward of 200 years acts of worship.) [Bayhaqī]
(The sins of a person who makes a ghusl on Friday are forgiven.) [Tabarānī]
(The sins of a person who makes a ghusl on Friday are purged, and he is said, Start your deeds anew!) [Daylamī]
(There are two rewards for a person who has intercourse with his wife on Friday: one of them is the reward for his own ghusl; the other is the reward for his wifes.) [Bayhaqī]
(If anyone makes a ghusl on Friday, goes to the mosque early, listens to the khutba, and remains silent, he is recorded the thawāb of fast and namāz [the thawāb of supererogatory fast and namāz] of one year for each step he takes.) [Tabarānī]
(A person who makes a ghusl on Friday and goes for the namāz in the first hours earns the thawāb as if he sacrificed a camel and gave it as alms; he who comes later than that earns the thawāb as if he sacrificed a cow and gave it as alms; he who comes later than that earns the thawāb as if he sacrificed a horned ram and gave it as alms; he who comes later than that earns the thawāb as if he sacrificed a hen and gave it as alms; he who comes last earns the thawāb of an egg offered as alms. When the imām gets up to deliver the khutba, the angels give up recording thawāb and listen to the khutba.) [Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dāwud, Tirmudhī, Nasāī]
A person who performs a ghusl from the state of janābat on the night of Friday gains the thawāb of the ghusl of Friday.