Praise be to Allah.
The Sunnah is to come early for Jumu‘ah prayer, because of the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (881) and Muslim (850) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever does ghusl from janaabah on Friday, then leaves for the mosque [at the first hour], it is as if he sacrificed a camel. Whoever comes at the second hour, it is as if he sacrificed a cow. Whoever comes at the third hour, it is as if he sacrificed a horned ram. Whoever comes at the fourth hour, it is as if he sacrificed a chicken. Whoever comes at the fifth hour, it is as if he sacrificed an egg. Then when the imam comes out, the angels come in to listen to the reminder (khutbah).”
These hours begin from sunrise, as is the view of ash-Shaafa‘i and Ahmad.
See question no. 119592.
If someone wants to come early for Jum ‘ah, at the first hour, but he finds that the mosques not open their doors until one hour or so before the adhaan, if he finds a mosque that has a courtyard, he may go there early and stay there, praying, reading Qur’an and remembering Allah, until the doors of the mosque are opened.
If there is no such mosque, meaning that if he came early to the mosque he would be waiting in the street, then he may stay at home, remembering Allah, praying and reading Qur’an, until the time comes when the mosque is usually opened, then he may hasten to go there, and we hope that by doing that, he will attain the reward of coming early. That is because what is meant by coming early to the mosque is hastening to go early in order to remember Allah and pray.
So whoever is unable to go to the mosque early, is not unable to remember Allah and pray.
Whoever intends to do good, and does of it is much as he is able to, will be like the one who does it.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If one is unable to fulfil a condition, it is waived because of the inability to fulfil it.
End quote from Sharh ‘Umdat al-Fiqh – Kitaab at-Tahaarah wa’l-Hajj (1/425).
He also said:
Whoever intends to do good, and does as much of it as he is able to, but is unable to do it completely, will have the reward of one who did it.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (22/243).
Muslim (1909) narrated from Sahl ibn Hunayf (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever sincerely asks Allah for martyrdom, Allah will cause him to attain the status of the martyrs, even if he dies in his bed.”
It says in ‘Awn al-Ma‘bood:
“Allah will cause him to attain the status of the martyrs”: as a reward to him for the sincerity of his asking for that,
“even if he dies in his bed” because in both cases the person intends to do good and does what he is able to do, hence Allah will treat them equally in terms of reward. End quote.
Al-Bukhaari (4423) narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came back from the campaign to Tabook, and as he approached Madinah, he said: “In Madinah there are people who, whenever you travelled any distance or crossed any valley, they were with you.” They said: O Messenger of Allah, even though they were in Madinah? He said: “Even though they were in Madinah; they were kept behind of valid excuses.”
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) commented:
Those people intended to do the same deed that these people had done, and wanted to do that, but they were unable to do it, so they were like those who had done it.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (10/440).
And Allah knows best.