1. To be a male – jama’at is not wajib on women.
2. To be mature – jama’at is not wajib on children who have not reached the age
3. To be a free person – jama’at is not wajib on a slave.
4. One must be in one’s senses – jama’at is not wajib on a person who is
intoxicated, unconscious, or a lunatic.
5. To be free from all excuses – in the presence of these excuses, jama’at is
not wajib. However, it will be better if he offers his salaat with jama’at
despite having an excuse. If he does not offer with jama’at, he will be deprived
of the reward. The excuses for leaving out jama’at are fourteen:
a) The absence of sufficient clothing with which one could cover one’s aurah
b) An abundance of mud on the road leading to the musjid which would make
walking extremely difficult.. Once Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alayh asked Imam
Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alayh on his view regarding attending jama’at if there
is a lot of mud, etc. on the road. He replied that he does not like the idea of
abandoning the jama’at.
c) At the time of a heavy downpour. Imam Muhammad rahmatullahi alayh has written
in his Muwatta that although it is permissible not to attend the jama’at in such
a case, it will be preferable to go and offer the salaat with jama’at.
d) When it is extremely cold and one fears that by going out towards the musjid,
one will fall ill or that the sickness will worsen.
e) There is a fear of his wealth and possessions getting stolen by going to the
f) There is a fear of meeting an enemy by going to the musjid.
g) By going to the musjid there is a fear of meeting his creditor and he fears
some harm from him. This is on the condition that he is unable to fulfil his
debt. If he is able to fulfil his debt, he will be regarded as an oppressor and
it will not be permissible for him to discard the jama’at.
h) The night is very dark and the road cannot be seen. However, if Allah Ta’ala
has blessed him with those things with which he could see the road, he should
not leave out the jama’at.
i) It is the time of night and there is a very severe sand-storm.
j) He is taking care of a sick person and fears that if he goes for the jama’at,
some harm may befall the sick person or that he might feel uneasy.
k) The food has been prepared or is on the verge of being prepared and he is so
hungry that he fears that he will not be able to concentrate in his salaat.
l) He has an urgent need to go and relieve himself.
m) He intends to embark on a journey and fears that if he goes to offer his
salaat with jama’at, he will get delayed and that the caravan will leave him.
Travelling by train can also be based on this mas’ala with the exception that
when one caravan departs, the following one leaves after many days. While
several trains depart in one day – if a person misses one train he can always
take the next one. However, if there is an urgency, then there will be no harm
in taking the first train. Urgency or any other valid reason is excusable in our
n) He is afflicted with such a sickness whereby he cannot walk, or he is blind,
crippled or one of his legs have been amputated. However, the blind person who
can walk to the musjid without any difficulty should not leave out the jama’at.