Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher
I am an employee at a local masjid that conducts a single salat-ul-Jumu’a at the same time all year round. During the summer months, this causes the khutba to begin before zawwal, while the salah takes place after. I am Shafi’i as is the Imam of the masjid who is a shaykh from al-Azhar. As I’m teaching children throughout the day and bringing them to the salah, I’m not in a position to leave the masjid to go elsewhere for salah. The Imam cites that the Hanbali madhab permits the early start time. However, the khutba is primarily in English, while I believe that the Hanbali khutba requires everything be given in Arabic. Are these dispensations available, or is there too much mixing and matching going on that may invalidate the prayer? Should I pray Zhuhr in such a situation, after the jama’a prays what they believe to be Jumu’a? Should I attempt to have a Hanafi jama’a (less than forty people) after the main group conducts their “prayer?” Or should I just respect the shaykh’s leadership and “go with the flow?”
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
As you have noted, the position of the Shafi’i school is that the khutbas of the Friday prayer must occur after the time for the zuhr prayer has entered. I am not familiar with the details of the Hanbali school: you should confirm what you hear with a scholar of Hanbali fiqh.
However, implementing the rulings of the Shafi’i school is not difficult in the situation that you have described. The imam can begin lecturing before zuhr time enters. All he has to ensure is that the integrals of the two khutbas occur after zuhr time has entered. This can be accomplished within a span of 2 minutes. For details, see:
Minimal Friday Prayer
I would advise approaching the imam with these details and requesting him to incorporate these integrals during the final moments of his first khutba. If, when advising him, you show him the kindness and love that is due to him as a Muslim, and the respect that is due to him as a scholar, it is not farfetched that he will accept your advice.
And Allah Most High knows best.