Dr. Laury Silvers
If you can, lead the prayer in Arabic. If you cannot, it is permitted by the Hanafi school to recite the prayer in English until you learn the necessary Arabic. While you are learning the necessary Arabic, you may lead using note cards with Arabic transliterations written down to prompt you. Further our congregants come from all over the world and each of us has regional quirks in our Arabic accents. No one should ever feel shy to try to recite Arabic no matter the state of their prononciation. As our much loved Prophet, alayhi salam, said, “Works are with their intentions.”
1. The Imam faces Mecca on the prayer rug in front of the congregation. The Imam’s heart should be open to God and quiet. If necessary take a few breaths to orient yourself. State your intention to lead the two cycles of Juma Prayer aloud quietly or to yourself according to your regional school of law. Then begin the two cycles.
2. The Salat is a regular one, except that the recitations of Qur’an are conducted outloud like those of Fajr, Maghrib and Isha’ prayers. It is only two cycles.
3. Remember that congregants typically have to get back to work. So you should recite shorter verses, yet do not perform the movements so quickly that the congregation does not have adequate time to make supplications while in prostration if they like. If you say your silent portion while in prostration 9 times to yourself, this will give the congregants time to say it at least 3 times to themselves and make a short dua if they like.
4. After completing the prayer, the imam sits turned toward the congregation. You may recite a supplication out loud or to yourself. There may be a congregant who will recite a supplication for the community. Then say to the congregation, May God accept your prayers.