Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states:
“It is reported that the `Eid occurred on Friday during the time of `Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubayr and thus he stayed in h
is house till it became noon and then went out, delivered the Khutbah (sermon) and then performed two Rak`ahs and did not perform `Eid. On being asked about this, Ibn `Abbas said: “He has followed the Sunnah.”
Revealing the juristic opinion on this very important issue, we notice that the Muslim jurists hold different views. The Hanafis and the Malikis are of the view that when `Eid occurs on Friday, it becomes obligatory to perform both `Eid and Friday prayer, for one of them cannot replace the other.
The Hanbalis are of the view that he who performs `Eid prayer can be exempted from performing Friday prayer. This does not apply to an Imam if there is a sufficient number of people to perform Friday prayer in which case it becomes obligatory for them to perform it. If the number of people is not sufficient for Friday prayer, then Friday prayer is not obligatory. In a narration, Ahmad is reported to have said: “If Friday prayer is performed at the beginning of the day before noon, then that can replace `Eid prayer.”
The view of the Shafi`is is that `Eid prayer is only sufficient for people of villages whose number falls short of those required for Friday prayer and they have to go to another place, village or town to perform Friday prayer. They quote the saying of `Uthman Ibn `Affan (may Allah be
pleased with him) who said: “O people! You have two festivals in one day. Whoever of the people of `Aliyah, a village near Madinah, wants to perform Friday prayer with us, can do so, and whoever wants to leave, is allowed to.”
In conclusion, the whole issue is controversial. However, the soundest and the most opinion is that performing `Eid prayer is sufficient to give one an exemption from performing Friday prayer. This applies to people residing in rural areas as well as those living in suburban sides. It is also as true for an Imam as it is for an ordinary person.”
May Allah guide all to what pleases Him!