Significance of Friday(Jumma) prayer

Dr. Bilal A. Bhat , Intizar Ahmad

Friday is the sixth day in Islamic week, a religious festival for the Muslims. With the Juma’a tul Wida around the corner, we are winding down to the end of the most glorious month of the year, Ramadan al-Mubarak. Juma-tul-Wida or the Last Friday of Ramadan is meant for commemorating the farewell to this holy month of fasting. Every year, it is observed across the state of Jammu and Kashmir with religious fervor and sanctity. A large number of devotees attend the Juma prayers at different mosques seeking divine blessings for world peace and progress of the state and unity of the humankind. The literal meaning of Friday is congregation. In slam, Friday the most remarkable day for worship and other noble deeds is like Eid of the week for all Muslims because there is much similarity between Eid and Friday. On both days Muslims offer two cycles of namaz and listen to Khutbah (sermon) of Imams. Allah, the Almighty says: “Oh you who believe, When the call is given to the prayer of the day of Jummah then hasten towards the remembrance of Allah and leave all buying and selling (all worldly business) .” (The Holy Qur’an, 62:9) The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “The best day on which the sun has ever risen is Friday; on that day, Adam was created, he was admitted to Paradise, and he was expelled from there.” He has also said: “Among the best of your days is Friday. On that day, your blessings are presented to me directly.” He further said; “The Sun does not rise nor set on a day that is better than Friday, and there is no creature that is not scared of Friday except for humans and jinns.” They are afraid because the Judgment Day will be on a Friday (Imam Muslim, Abu-Dawood, Al-Nasai, and Al-Tirmizi). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) laid great emphasis on worshiping Allah on Friday. He said: “Any one who worships Allah on Friday will receive protection from Allah for the entire week.” From authentic ahadith, it is taken that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised Muslims to recite surah al-Kahf on every Friday to keep safe from the fitnah of dajjal.
The importance of Friday is much more than other days of the week. The Prophet Mohammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “Allah Almighty forgives the sins committed between two Fridays of the one who performs his Friday Namaaz regularly”. Of all days of Juma’a, Juma-tu-Wida is one of the most glorious Friday and the most important day for acceptance of prayers. One of the reputed Prophet’s companions Hadhrat Jabir Ibn Abdullah al-Ansari (RA) narrates: “I visited the Messenger of Allah on the last Friday of Ramadan. As he saw me, he said, “Jabir! This is the last Friday of Ramadan. You should thus bid it farewell by saying the following: (Allahumma la taj`alhu akhira al`ahdi min siyamina iyyahu) “O Allah: (please) do not make it the last of our fasting in this month.” (Fa-in ja`altahu faj`alny marhuman wa la taj`alny mahruman) “But if you decide so, then (please) grant me your mercy and do not deprive me (of it).” In fact every Friday of the holy month of Ramadan is special in the Sharee’ah. When the Friday comes, at every door of the Masjid there stands Angels who write down those who come First, then who comes next. From various ahadith, it is proven that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to celebrate this day and he declared jummah as weekly eid for muslims. He (pbuh) used to wear clean and new (washed) clothes, used to take bath, wear fragrance, wear surmah for this day specially. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) described the virtues of Jummah prayer in the following hadith with these words; “When the Friday comes, at every door of the Masjid there stands Angels who write down (the names of) those who come First, then who comes next. When the Imam sits down, the records are closed and they come to listen to the reminder , i.e. the Khutba….” Muslim 1984. From authentic ahadith, it is taken that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised Muslims to recite surah al-Kahf on every Friday to keep safe from the fitnah of dajjal. While the fast on Jummah is forbidden i.e., the single fast in a week cannot be observed on jummah but it can be observed in pair i.e. with Thursday or with Saturday. From the history, it is proven that Jummah was most important day for the previous nations as well.
Thus, Friday is considered a special and important day right from the very beginning of humanity. Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) said, “Any person who takes a bath on Friday like the bath of Janaba and then goes for the prayer (in the first hour i.e. early), it is as if he had sacrificed a camel (in Allah’s cause); and whoever goes in the second hour it is as if he had sacrificed a cow; and whoever goes in the third hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a horned ram; and if one goes in the fourth hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a hen; and whoever goes in the fifth hour then it is as if he had offered an egg. When the Imam comes out (i.e. starts delivering the Khutba), the angels present themselves to listen to the Khutba.” Bukhari,2:425, Muslim,2:582 ( Book of Friday Prayer) Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) 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 Qur’an). 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.” Rasulallah (pbuh) is reported to have said, “Recite Durood upon me in abundance on the day of Jummah since they are presented to me.” (Ibn Majah). Also reported by Imam Muslim, Abu-Dawood, Al-Nasai, and Al-Tirmizi, that Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had said, “The best day during which the sun have risen is Friday. It is the Day Adam was created. It is the day when Adam entered paradise and also when he was taken out from it. It is also the day on which the Day of Judgment takes place.” Departing of holy month of Ramadan is well felt by those who experienced the pleasure of fasting, breathed in the blissful and compassionate atmosphere of this month, and who were relieved of evils of the Satan. All muslims, more or less, feel a sense of regret by departure of the Holy month of Ramadan. However, the best thing we could do on this occasion is to take an account of ourselves. We need to do an evaluation of where we stand now after remaining hungry and thirsty for so long. We should ask ourselves certain questions like where we were before the arrival of Ramadan and where we are moving now after passing the days of fasting. Let this self-introspection lead us to feel infinite happiness for the good we have done throughout Ramadan and remorse for the bad which we have not yet changed, even at the end of Ramadan. May Allah forgive our sins and guide us all towards true path… Ameen

(The authors write regularly on Islamic topics exclusively for “Kashmir Horizon”. Views are their own)

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