Did you know the Importance of Friday (jumuah)?
If you are a Muslim, then Friday is the best Day for you. It is a special day solemnly dedicated to the service and worship of Allah. It is a unique Muslim festival. Its nature is holy and joyful. Alhamdulillah, we thank Allah for blessing us with such a wonderful Day.
But unfortunately, all these importance are overlooked by many Muslims. Friday has become less of a day of worship and turns to more like an ordinary work day. busyness is squeezing out the chance for great rewards. By abandoning Friday worship we lose out a lot of rewards.
We fail to understand the importance of this day. That’s why we don’t go to the mosque on time and never care about what is required before and after the Jumuah prayer.
To make this day known to Muslims, its importance and how to achieve best results from it, it has become necessary for someone to address it carefully. That someone happens to be me, trying my best to really let you understand the virtues of Friday (Jumua).
Some Useful Facts About Friday
Allah says in the Quran:
“O believers, when the call is proclaimed for the prayer on Friday or when it’s time for Jumuah, come to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business, that is better for you if you but did know.”
This is a Quran verse acknowledging believers about the beauty of Friday. In a narration of Muslim, the Prophet said:
Allah diverted those who were before us from Friday. For the Jews there was Saturday, and for the Christians there was Sunday. Allah then brought us and guided us to Friday. He made them: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and it is in this order they will come after us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last of among the people of this world and the first among the created to be judged on the Day of Resurrection.
Now let’s highlight the facts and reasons for the significance of Friday and Jumuah.
- Friday is called Al-Jumu’ah because it is derived from Al-Jam’, literally, gathering.
- The people of Islam gather weekly, on every Friday in the major places of worship.
- It was during Friday when Allah finished the creation, the sixth day, during which Allah created the heavens and earth.
- During Friday, Allah created Adam, and he was placed in Paradise, and ironically, it was a Friday when he was taken out of Paradise.
- It will be on a Friday when the Last Hour will commence.
- There is an hour during Friday, wherein no faithful servant asks Allah for something good, but Allah will give him what he asked for. All of this is based upon Hadiths in the authentic collections which we will discuss soon.
- In the ancient language, Friday was called, `Arubah. It is a fact that previous nations were informed about Friday, but they were led astray from it. The Jews chose Saturday for their holy day, but Adam was not created on Saturday. The Christians chose Sunday, which is the day the creation was initiated. Allah chose Friday for this Ummah because it is the day the creation was finished.
Importance or Virtues of Friday (Jumuah)?
As we look at our fellow Muslims and our society, we observe that everyone is short of time and stressed. One reason is for sure; many of us have forgotten or didn’t even know the importance of Friday. Let’s find that out.
Our sins are forgiven on Friday
There is a huge reward Allah promised to those who heed to the call on Friday. The reward is that any person who offers two consecutive Friday prayers, his or her sins committed in the days between these two Fridays will be forgiven (Insha-Allah). This was reported by Abu Hurayrah in the following hadith:
The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Five prayers and from one Friday prayer to (the next) Friday prayer is an expiation (of the sins committed in between their intervals) if major sins are not committed.
(Sahih Muslim Book 2, Number 448)
But we should bear in mind, however, that we must distance ourselves from major sins for which Allah will never forgive. This is mentioned in the Quran that:
If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).
- Our prayers are accepted on Friday
Who will say he or she doesn’t need Allah’s assistance? We all do, and because of that, we make lots of prayers each day. I have good news for you. Because on Friday, all our supplications are accepted. It was reported by Abu Hurayrah that the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) said:
“The best contains a time at which, no Muslim prays and asks anything from Allah, but He will give it to him.”
What is this hour and what is so important about it that Allah accept our prayers so easily?
Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Friday is divided into twelve hours. Amongst them there is an Hour in which a Muslim does not ask Allah for anything but he gives it to him. So seek it in the last hour after the afternoon prayer.”
(Sunan Abu Daawood)
The following hadith was also reported by Abdullah ibn Salaam:
“While the Prophet was Setting I said, ‘We certainly find in Allah’s Book (al-Quran): there is an hour on Friday which, a believing man does not coincide with, while he is observing prayer begging of Allah something, but his need is met with.’”
“Then the Prophet pointed to me (saying), ‘Or part of an Hour.’
I said, ‘ You are true. (it is an hour) or some part of the hour.’
I said, ‘Which hour is it?’
He said, ‘it is the last of the hours of the day.’
I said, ‘That is not an our for prayer.’
He (the prophet) said, ‘Nay, verily when a believing servant observes the prayer and then sits, nothing but the prayer detaining him, he is then in a state of prayer’”
(Source: Sunan ibn-i-Maajah)
There is difference of opinions among scholars as to when exactly is this hour. The strongest opinion is that this hour is the very end of the day before sunset.
The second opinion is that this hour should be considered as hidden like Laylatul Qadr, and the whole day should be spent in supplication and glorification of Allah.
And the third most acceptable opinion is that this hour is found during the period when the Imam is seated (for giving Friday sermon) until the prayer is finished as mentioned in the hadith.
The reason behind hiding this moment on Friday is for people to remain engaged in supplication and prayer for the whole day. Had it been revealed, people wouldn’t have made efforts in seeking it.
Who should not take part in Jumuah prayer?
Because the Jumuah is observed only in a congregation, there are certain people who are exempted from it. And if you miss this congregation then one should offer the noon prayer (Zuhr) alone. The Jumuah prayer is obligatory upon every Muslim except the following people:
- A slave
- A woman
- A boy
- An ill person and
- A traveler
Etiquette before Jumuah Prayer
- Close business as soon as the first Azan is mentioned
Buying and selling are absolutely prohibited from the time of the first Azan. Thus, Muslims must halt their trading and sales after hearing the azan for the Friday Prayer because it is haram to continue after the Azan as mention in the Holy Qur’an:
“O believers, when the call is proclaimed for the prayer on Friday or when it’s time for Jumuat, come to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business, that is better for you if you but did know.”
Conducting business is not a bad thing. But as soon as you neglect an obligatory activity because of your business, then it becomes haraam for you.
Good businessmen are those who truly fear Allah in their hearts and who will never miss their prayers because of business.
- Perform Ghusl before going to the mosque
There are many hadith which indicate the performance of ghusl on Friday. It is highly recommended. Ghusl on Friday is a means of cleanliness and it is recommended for the one who intends to wash.
If a person is unclean and will thereby harm the attendants at the Jumuah Prayer by his or her appearance and scent, then it is obligatory upon him to perform the ghusl before going to the mosque.
- Perform Ablution like the Prophet did
There follows some hadith in which it is mentioned that ‘ablution’ is also sufficient for Friday Prayer if a person has not taken bath.
Abu Hurayrah reported the Messenger of Allah as saying:
“If anyone performs ablution, doing it well, then comes to the Friday prayer listens and keeps silent, his (minor) sins between that time and the next Friday will be forgiven him, with three days extra. But he who touches pebbles has caused an interruption (Laghaa).”
- Prepare your eid-cloths
Allah loves those who are clean. We should always try our possible best to appear good on Friday. Be in your best Islamic dress and men shouldn’t forget to apply some nice perfume, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) use to like perfumes a lot.
Abdullah ibn Salaam is reported to have said that he heard Allah’s Messenger as saying on the pulpit regarding Jumu’ah, “There is no harm for anyone of you if he buys two (new) garments for Friday, besides the garments worn out by use.”
(Sunan Abu Daawood)
From the above hadith, it means it would be loved for us to get some clothes specifically for Fridays and not for any other day.
- Try as much as possible to go to the mosque early
There is a great reward mentioned in the hadith regarding going to the mosque early on Friday, after having a bath or making ablution, and wearing one’s best clothes and using hair oil, perfume, and miswaak. It is mentioned in the following hadith:
Aws ibn Aws reported the messenger of Allah as saying, “When Friday comes the angels stand at the door of the mosque recording the people in the order of their arrival. Those who go out in the midday heat are treated like him who offers a sacrificial animal, the next is like one who offers a cow, the next a sheep, the next a hen, the next an egg. Then when the Imaam comes out, they fold up their sheets and listen to the mention of Allah.”
The timing for going to the Jumu’ah Prayer may be divided into four categories. The first time is the preferred time wherein the person has been promised a great deal of reward, like the one who sacrificed a camel for charity and so forth. That is the time described in the hadith above.
The second time is when it becomes an obligation upon the person to stop what he is doing and move to the Friday prayer. This time is when the first call to prayer is made, as is mention in the Holy Quran. [ ch 62, vs 9]
The third time is when the Khutbah is being delivered and the person comes in the mosque. But this man will have less reward in comparison to those two men who come before the Khutbah.
The fourth and final time is when a person gets into the bowing position in the second rak’ah of the Friday Prayer; he will get only the reward for the Friday Prayer.
Etiquette during the Jumuah Prayer
When a Muslim is entering the mosque on Friday, he has to follow the instructions laid down by the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). You will want to know these instructions, thus, below are the rules to obey when entering or have entered the mosque on Friday.
- Recite the Dua while entering the Mosque
If you don’t know the Dua to recite before entering and leaving the mosque then you will want to learn it now : Prayer to say before entering and existing the Mosque.
- Never Separate two men sitting together
Separating two people sitting together in the mosque is not allowed and it is considered Haram. Thus, when a Muslim enters the mosque on Friday, he must not separate two men sitting together.
If you really need a nice position or place in the mosque to sit then you need to go there early as recommended by the Prophet.
- Never make another get up for you to sit in his place
Ibn Umar reported the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) as saying, “No person should ask another person to stand from his place and then sit there himself, but he should simply say, ‘Make room and accommodate.’”
- Never Jump over the shoulders of others in the mosque
A Muslim must sit wherever he finds room in the Mosque. It is haram to walk over the shoulders of others to get a seat in the front row. If one wants to sit in front row, one should come early.
- Try as much as possible to sit close to the Imam
One should try his best to come to the mosque early and should try to get a place closest to the Imam. This means that one should sit in the first row near the Imam so that he may hear the Khutbah easily and attentively.
- Listen carefully and make no noise
Abu Hurayrah reported the Messenger of Allah as saying, “When you tell your companions on Friday to be silent while the imam is preaching, you are guilty of idle talk!” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
Just to tell us that making noise in the mosque is that bad, the prophet said that when you tell another person to keep quiet then you are also a noise maker. All you need to do is to listen when the Imam is talking.
Etiquette after the Jumuah Prayer
- Perform the Sunnah prayer after the Jumu’ah prayer
This prayer should be offered in a different place (from the immediate area of the Jumu’ah prayer) or one should have a short conversation if it is to be offered at the same place.
It is essential to talk or move from the place where the fard Prayer is observed before observing Sunnah prayer so that a clear line of distinction is drawn between the two prayers.
- Recite Suratul Kahf on Friday
Abu Sa’eed reported the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) as saying, “if anyone recites Sooratul-Kahf on Friday, light will shine brightly for him until the next Friday.”
- Buying and selling are allowed after the Friday prayer
“And when the prayer is finished then you may disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of Allah. And remember Allah much that you may prosper or be successful.”
(Al Jumu’ah: ch. 62 v. 10)