Abu Said Al Khudari (RAA) said: “I witnessed the prophet (PBUH) saying: “Showering on Friday is a must for everyone (who reached puberty) and to brush the teeth and to touch perfume if found.” Hadith narrated by Bukhari.
Many people used to wear wool and had only one garment to wear during the time of the prophet (PBUH). The prophet (PBUH) advised Muslims to mind their hygiene and to be clean by taking a shower, brushing their teeth and applying perfume before meeting in a group for Friday noon prayer.
Imam Malek (in some narrations) and the school of Zahiriyyah ruled that the shower is an obligation and that it is an order that one cannot miss, while the majority of the Schools of thought referred to the Hadith as urging Muslims to shower but not that it is an obligation with accountability on the Day of Judgment if missed.
Imam Shafei, Malek, and Abu Hanifa said that this shower is for the prayer itself not for the day of Friday. It means that if the shower was taken after Friday prayer it will not count as sunnah. The school of Shafei and Abu Hanifa related the time of the shower should be after dawn (Fajer) on Friday until the prayer at noon, but Malekiah School and Imam Awzaiee said that the shower is in relation to the time one intends to go to the prayer.
Limiting the necessity of the shower to exclude those who have not reached the age of puberty is a reminder that Friday noon prayer is not an obligation for children although they are urged to attend. It is also sufficient to take one shower with the intention for the Friday noon prayer combined with any other reason that requires one to shower.
Brushing the teeth and applying perfume is an additional reminder of the importance of cleanliness and beauty in Islam.
By Sh. Kifah Mustapha