What is meant by the word: sa’ah in the Hadith regarding Jumu’ah.
Man raha fis sa’atis saniyah.
The full Hadith that you are referring to is as follows:
عن أبي هريرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال من اغتسل يوم الجمعة غسل الجنابة ثم راح في الساعة الأولى فكأنما قرب بدنة ومن راح في الساعة الثانية فكأنما قرب بقرة ومن راح في الساعة الثالثة فكأنما قرب كبشا أقرن ومن راح في الساعة الرابعة فكأنما قرب دجاجة ومن راح في الساعة الخامسة فكأنما قرب بيضة فإذا خرج الإمام حضرت الملائكة يستمعون الذكر
Whoever takes bath similar to the bath taken due to ritual impurity on the day of Jumu’ah and goes out [for the Jumu’ah prayer]:
- In the first window of time – will be rewarded as if he sacrificed a camel.
- In the second window of time – will be rewarded as if he sacrificed a cow.
- In the third window of time – will be rewarded as if he sacrificed a horned ram.
- In the fourth window of time – will be rewarded as if he sacrificed a hen.
- In the fifth window of time – will be rewarded as if he sacrificed an egg.
And when the Imam comes out [to give the khutbah], the Angels arrive to listen to the mention of Allah Ta’ala.
The meaning of الساعة cannot be explored and explained without first knowing the meaning of راح.
- راح could mean leaving after midday. In that case, these moments of time will only be considered from after the sun has passed its zenith.
- راح also has the meaning of leaving without any timeframe [i.e, at any time], then these moments of time will be considered from dawn.
The meaning of الساعة
Based on the first explanation, الساعة will refer to the fleeting moments between midday and the Azan of Jumu’ah, as delaying departure to Jumu’ah after the Azan has been called out is not permissible.
However, most of the ‘Ulama have preferred the second explanation. Therefore the time between dawn and the Azan of Jumu’ah will be divided into five equal parts and the above-mentioned rewards will go according to this sequence.
(refer: Sahih Muslim with Al Minhaj 1961 and Fathul Mulhim 1935)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar