Friday (Jum’ah) is the best day of the week. Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had said, “We (Muslims) came last and yet we are the first on the day of judgment. They have received the books before us (meaning Torah and Injil). We have received the book after them (meaning the Holy Quran). Friday was their day to be glorified. However, they disputed on that while Allah had told us Friday is the day to glorify. Thus they will follow us. The Jews glorify Saturday, and the Christians glorify Sunday.” Also reported by Imam Muslim, Abu-Dawood, Al-Nesaii, and Al-Termitdi, that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had said, “The best day during which the sun have risen is Friday. Friday among the seven days of the week is the day when Allah’s Special mercies are granted. It is a day of gathering for the Muslims and rewards are increased. Many great events took place on this day, and yet take place. The day of Friday in Islam carries many virtues and blessings. This was the day that Prophet Adam (A.S) was created, the day he was placed into Paradise, the day he was sent down to the earth, and Friday was the day he died. Qiyamah will take place on Friday. Friday is also a day when our supplications to Allah are answered as long as it isn’t something forbidden. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) has mentioned all these characteristics in the following hadiths. Friday is the master of days, and the greatest of them before Allah. It has five characteristics, on this day Allah created Adam (A.S), on it He sent Adam (A.S) down to the earth, on it Allah caused Adam (A.S) to die, on it there is a time when a person does not ask Allah for anything but He gives it to him, so long as he does not ask for anything haram. There is no angel who is close to Allah, no heaven, no earth, no wind, no mountain and no sea that does not fear Friday (Narrated by Ibn Maajah). In Al-Bukhari and Muslim it is mentioned that during a specific time during Friday whatever we ask Allah He will grant it to us as long as it’s not forbidden in the religion.
Of all the days of the week, the day of Friday was chosen by Allah to be the greatest and the most special for Muslims. One of the virtues of Friday is the Friday Prayer (Salat Al-Jumuah). This is the best prayer. It’s significance is so great that there is a whole chapter in the Holy Quran that is named Al-Jumuah. According to Holy Quran, O you believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salaah (prayer) on Friday (Jumuah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allah (Jumuah religious talk (Khutbah) and Salaah (prayer)) and leave off business (and every other thing). That is better for you if you did (Al-Jumuah 62:9). According to Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), The five daily (prescribed) Salaat, and Friday (prayer) to the next Friday (prayer), and the fasting of Ramadan to the next Ramadan, is expiation of the sins committed in between them, so long as major sins are avoided (Muslim). The Friday prayer has many blessings and rewards as is clear from the following hadith. It is recommended that Muslims clean and wash themselves and make sure they smell nice when they attend Friday Prayers. It is important to come early to the Friday prayer. Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said, He who takes a bath on Friday, like the bath for ceremonical purity, and then goes (to the mosque), he is like one who offers a camel as a sacrifice to seek the Pleasure of Allah; and he who comes at the second hour is like one who offers a cow to win the Pleasure of Allah; and he who comes at the third hour is like one who offers a ram with horns (in sacrifice); and he who comes at the fourth hour is like one who offers a hen; and he who comes at the fifth hour is like one who offers an egg. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said, “On Friday the angels come to stand on the doors of the mosque (masjid), the angels record who comes first, if the Imam starts delivering the speech, the angles close their files and come to listen to the speech” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). It is forbidden to talk during the Khutbah. Several sayings of prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) covers this subject. In an authentic hadith reported by (the group of Ahadith collectors), prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said, “If you told your friend to pay attention on Friday while the Imam is delivering the speech then you committed a sin of vain talk.” It is also disliked to walk between sitting people during Friday gathering unless there is an empty spot to fill. In an authentic hadith reported by Imam Abu-Dawod, An-Nesaii, and Ahmad that, A man came and started walking between people during a Friday gathering while Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was delivering his speech, so the Prophet told him, “Sit because you caused harm to other people and came in late.” Allah has prohibited us to leave the Mosque while the Imam is delivering the Friday Sermon. Problem facing mankind today is terrorism, financial instability, poverty and corruption. It is important that during Friday Sermon Imam should discuss the current problems of the Muslims and their solution in the light of Islam. We should remember, Prophet (S.A.W) called us to worship God alone, he commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witness. In addition, prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) had warned from not attending Friday Prayer. Imam Muslim and Ahmad had reported that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said about people who do not attend Friday Prayer, “I wanted to ask a man to lead people in the prayer so that I may go and burn houses of men who did not attend the Friday Prayer with us” He also said reported by Imam Muslim, Ahmad and An-Nesaii, “Either they (meaning people who do not attend the Friday prayer) stop neglecting Friday prayers or Allah will set a seal on their hearts so they can not find the right path again.” In another authentic hadith reported by Abu Dawod, Termidi, An-Nesaii, and Ibn-Majah, that the prophet (S.A.W) said, “Who ever does not attend three Friday prayers, (without a valid excuse) Allah will set a seal on his heart”. Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “Jumu’ah is a duty that is required of every Muslim in congregation, except four: a slave, a woman, a child or one who is sick” (Narrated by Abu Dawood 91067). The reason why Jumu’ah is not obligatory for women is that sharee’ah does not encourage women to attend places where men gather, because of the negative consequences to which that may lead, as happens nowadays in many workplaces where men and women mix. If a woman prays Jumu’ah with the Imam, that is sufficient and she does not have to pray Zuhr; it is not permissible for her to pray Zuhr that day. But if she prays on her own then she can only pray Zuhr, and she cannot pray Jumu’ah. It is better for a woman to pray Zuhr in her house, because of the general meaning of the words of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Do not prevent your women from going to the mosques, although their houses are better for them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (567). If she wants to go to Jumu’ah, then she has to avoid perfume and adornments, and not crowd together with men in the streets.
Allah says in Surat Al-Jumuah, what can be translated as, O believers! When the call is made for the prayer on Friday, hasten towards the remembrance of Allah and leave off business. That is better for you if you know. (verse 9). Then, when the prayer is finished, disperse in the land, seek grace of Allah, and remember Allah much; haply you may prosper (verse 10).
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allah in your words and deeds, for: “Whoever fears Allah, and keeps his duty to Him, He will provide him a way out (of every difficulty), and He will provide him from sources he could never imagine” (At-Talaq 65: 2-3). The winds of evils that blow among mankind these days as well as wars and instability are all a result of keeping away from the divine path. Allah has perfected our way of life and although many indulge in sins and personal pleasures during this day, as Muslims we know the true meaning and importance of Friday. Allah and Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) have told us what a great day this is for all of mankind. A day that is filled with Mercy of Almighty Allah and rewards that will be heavy on our scales Insha Allah on the Day of Judgement. Insha Allah Muslim brothers see the the significance of attending the Friday prayer and will strive to have a perfect attendance, and for the Muslim sisters, although Friday prayer isn’t an obligation, it’s still a blessing for sisters to attend the Friday Prayer possible. It is observed Muslim working women in general don’t offer Friday prayer? It is forbidden to work on Fridays when the call for the prayer is announced. Allah does not tell us to spend 24 hr in His Worship. He is fully aware that we have to earn a Halal living. We have to work, we have businesses to run, and we have the responsibility to feed and clothe our families. It was not legislated to consider Friday as a day off and not work during it. Because Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat Al-Jumuah, (verse 10), what can be translated as, “And when the prayer is finished, then you may disperse through the land and seek of the bounty of Allah.” It was not a habit of any of the companions to consider Friday as a day to take off work. On the contrary Imam Al-Malik said, “It is disliked to take Friday off since we will be resembling the Jews and Christians for taking, respectively, Saturday or Sunday off.” The Holy Quran says that Al-Deen (the way of life) in the eyes of Allah is “Islam” which means submission to the Will of Allah, and also means peace, i.e. peace can be established only through submitting to the laws of Allah. The core foundation of Islam is based on the belief in the Oneness of God, belief in His Prophets (and books revealed to them) and the accountability in the life after death. Our attitude towards the future influences our mind-set towards the rest of life. Being positive about life ahead is among life’s greatest motivators. In today’s increasingly globalizing world, man has set foot on the moon, sent satellites far and beyond Pluto, invented faster and easier means of communication. However, we have also seen that the rise in mistrust between people, corruption, theft, immorality, terrorism, poverty, cheating, and financial instability has crossed all limits. All man-made laws such as communism, capitalism and many other “isms” have finally failed to solve these problems. Naturally this means mankind needs a way of life, a way of living which is regulated by such laws as are free from all human defects, which solve their problems and bring real peace and prosperity in their lives. Such laws can only be designed and provided by the Creator and Sustainer of mankind as He knows His creation well and He is devoid of all defects and weaknesses associated with human beings. Holy Quran not only offers solution to all the problems ranging from corruption to cheating, from theft to poverty, etc. but also reforms the entire life of man and makes him a responsible, pious man.
Finally, there are two important matters for us in this country to be cautioned of. First of all, we must not neglect Friday Prayers because of study, work, or other matters. Every Muslim should make attending Friday Prayer as his top priority. It is important to do so since ignoring it three times with no valid reason will cause the heart to be sealed from the right path. The second matter to watch for is the loosing of ones interest in the importance of Friday. This is especially important for the growing generations who is used to the concept of weekend being Saturday and Sunday and know almost nothing about the importance of Friday in the eyes of Muslims. So it is our duty to remind them and ourselves about this great day which is the best day of the week and try to spend it according to Islamic teaching. May Almighty Allah keep us all guided and on straight path, and purify our intentions to make it solely for His sake, and give us the understanding in Islam that we may see its richness and its iron strong foundation so that we may never go astray. (Ameen) Jumuah Mubarak!!!
(The author an Associate Professor at S K University Of Agriculture Sciences & Technology—SKUAST Srinagar writes on Islamic topics exclusively for “Kashmir Horizon”. Views are his own)
(The author a teacher at S K University of Agriculture Sciences & Technology-SKUAST Srinagar writes on Islamic topics exclusively for “Kashmir Horizon”. His views are personal)