Shafaqna (Shia International News Association) – The Grand Ayatollah Sistani answered some questions regarding Jumah Prayer. According to Shafaqna the question and answer are as follows:
Question 1: I have a quick query regarding Friday prayer performed by Shia. Is it correct to say that the Friday prayer is of two Rak`ats, just like Fajr prayer, however, after Surat-al-Hamd for each Rak`ah we read Surat al-Jum’ah (in the first Rak`ah) and Surat al-Munafiqun (in the second Rak`ah). Is this correct?
Answer: There are 2 Rak’ats in Friday prayer. Reciting the two Suras that you have mentioned is not necessary in Friday prayer. You can recite Qur’anic chapters other than them.
Question 2: Is Friday prayer obligatory?
Answer: It is wajib-e takhyeri, meaning it is obligatory but optional at the same time; that is, if a person says Friday prayer, he does not have to say Noon prayer.
Question 3: Does performing Friday (jumu’ah) prayer compensate for noon (zuhr) prayer or not? Is Friday prayer superior to the noon prayer?
Answer: Performing Friday prayer in such a way that all appropriate conditions are fulfilled, according to the shari’ah, is superior to performing noon (prayer). If the mukallaf performs it (Friday prayer) as such, then it (Friday prayer) replaces it (zuhr).
Question 4: Is one entitled to object to the holding of Friday prayer by claiming that the marjas of the Muslims in Najaf and Qum do not establish it, while knowing that in the city in which the mukallaf resides, most of the residents perform Friday prayer on the basis of their fiqh?
Answer: One is not entitled to do that. As for non-holding of Friday (prayer) by the marjas, who are of the opinion that it (Friday prayer) is superior to zuhr (prayer) and the former replacing it (zuhr), may be due to personal excuses or the like. This does not prevent others from establishing it (Friday prayer). God knows best.
Source: Ayatollah Sistani