Bathing on Fridays – Is it mandatory?
You have quoted a hadith from Bukhari as follows:
“Narrated by Ayesha, Allah’s mercy be on her thus: “I asked ‘Amra about taking a bath on Fridays. She replied, “‘Aisha said, ‘The people used to work (for their livelihood) and whenever they went for the Jumu’ah prayer, they used to go to the mosque in the same shape as they had been in work. So they were asked to take a bath on Friday.’ ”
So does it mean we should get back from work; take a bath and then go to the mosque for Juma prayers?
Taking bath before the Juma prayers is not mandatory, however, it is highly recommended. When we go for the all-important weekly Juma prayers, we should be dressed and otherwise prepared in the best possible manner.
Not taking a bath before the Friday prayer certainly does not invalidate your worship, but it would be an excellent idea to manage the same, as far as possible. For instance, if your job allows you to head for Juma prayers straight from your office, without time for any break in between, you can always take your bath before heading for office in the morning, with the intention that you’re performing the cleansing ritual in order to be best prepared for the worship ahead. If, on the other hand, you get time off before the time of the prayers to return home and perform a fresh bath, you should try and make that a habit. I must repeat, however, that this doesn’t seem to be an obligation; rather, a very strong recommendation.