Friday Prayer

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(part 1 of 2) Description:  What a Muslim needs to know about the Friday prayer - the most important weekly prayer for Muslims. Objective: ·...

(part 1 of 2)

Description: What a Muslim needs to know about the Friday prayer - the most important weekly prayer for Muslims.
Objective:
·       To understand how the Friday prayer is conducted and who is required to pray.
·       To appreciate the wisdom behind the Friday prayer.
·       To learn the virtues of the Friday prayer.
Arabic Terms:
·       Salat ul-Jumuah - Friday prayer.
·       Dhuhr - the afternoon prayer.
·       Khutbah - sermon.
·       Khatib - person delivering the sermon.
·       Rakah - a unit of prayer.
·       Imam - someone who leads the prayer.
·       Adhan - an Islamic way of calling Muslims to the five obligatory prayers.
FridayPrayer1.jpgOn Fridays, the Dhuhr (afternoon prayer) is replaced with a what is known as Salat ul-JumuahSalat ul-Jumuah consists of a short sermon and a congregational prayer. The Friday prayer cannot be done at home or prayed individually. That is why Muslims gather in a central mosque to pray and listen to a sermon, known as khutbah in Arabic. It is common for a designated Imam (prayer leader) to give the khutbah, but sometimes this is done by invited guests or general members of a community.
In the West, sermons are mostly delivered in English, however sometimes they are only in Arabic. In any case, at least part of the sermon is always in Arabic. The sermon is made of two parts. After the first part is over, the khatib (person delivering the khutbah) takes a short break and sits, and then resumes it. The quality of a sermon greatly differs depending on the speaker who might be a knowledgeable scholar of Islam or a lay person. The speaker will praise Allah and then discuss issues relevant to the Muslim community. Afterwards, theImam will lead the congregation in a short prayer of two rakahsSalat ul-Jumuah (the sermon and the prayer), usually lasts for an hour or less.

Men Must Pray Salat ul-Jumuah

The Friday prayer is compulsory and required from all Muslim men. This is based on the Quran in which Allah says,
“O you who believe, when the call to prayer (Adhan) is proclaimed for the prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade aside. That is better for you, if you did but know.” (Quran 62:9)
Prophet Muhammad has stated very clearly who is required to pray Salat ul-Jumuahand who is exempt:
“The Friday prayer in congregation is an obligatory duty on every Muslim except four: a slave, a woman, a child, and a sick person.”[1]
To be precise, Friday prayer is required from every Muslim male who has reached puberty. Others can attend it, but are not sinful if they don’t.
Additionally, Prophet Muhammad has given a stern warning against missing the Friday prayers. He said,
“People should stop missing Friday prayers otherwise Allah will put a seal on their hearts and thus they will be among the heedless.”[2]
A Muslim man who is sick or travelling may miss the Friday prayer. A Muslim woman is not required to pray the Friday prayer, but she is allowed to attend the prayers if she wants to. Most mosques have separate seating arrangements for women, but some may lack women’s area for praying the Friday prayer. Also, the women who decide not to attend theSalat ul-Jumuah should offer the regular Dhuhr prayer at home.

Wisdom Behind Friday Prayer

1.    The Friday prayer brings local Muslims together in one place on a fixed day, thereby increasing the bonds of brotherhood between Muslims.
2.    The purpose of the khutbah (sermon) is to educate the Muslims and serves as a weekly reminder about their duties to Allah and fellow human beings. It warns against sin and disobeying Allah, and encourages to be good and to obey Allah.
3.    The topics are varied and often update the Muslims on current affairs and as Muslim what should be their role.

Virtues of Friday

Friday is a virtuous day with many special qualities.
1.    Prophet Muhammad said:
“When it is a Friday, the angels stand at the gate of the mosque and keep on writing the names of the persons coming to the mosque in succession according to their arrivals. The example of the one who enters the mosque in the earliest hour is that of one offering a camel (in sacrifice). The one coming next is like one offering a cow and then a ram and then a chicken and then an egg respectively. When the Imam comes out (for the Friday prayer) they (i.e. angels) fold their papers and listen to theKhutbah.”[3]
This narration shows the reward of coming early to the Friday prayer. The earlier a person arrives, the greater his reward. The first arrival attains the reward of sacrificing a camel for Allah, but those who arrive later receive lesser rewards.
2.    He also said:
“The best day on which the sun has ever risen is Friday. On it Adam was created, on it he was admitted into Paradise, and on it he was expelled from it, and the Hour will not be established except on Friday.”[4]
The purpose of this narration is to tell us of the magnificent events that took place on Friday or will take place.


Footnotes:
[1] Abu Dawood
[2] Saheeh Muslim
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[4] Saheeh Muslim

Friday Prayer (part 2 of 2)

Description: What a Muslim needs to know about the Friday Prayer - the most important weekly prayer for Muslims.
Objective:
·       To learn ten etiquettes and duties on Friday.
Arabic Terms:
·       Salat ul-Jumuah - Friday Prayer.
·       Dhuhr - the afternoon prayer.
·       Khutbah - sermon.
·       Rakah - unit of prayer.
·       Imam - someone who leads the prayer.
·       Adhan - an Islamic way of calling Muslims to the five obligatory prayers.

Etiquette and Duties on Friday

1.       Wear Clean Clothes & Smell Good

FridayPrayer2.jpgProphet Muhammad said, “Every Muslim should have a ritual bath on Friday and wear his best clothing, and if he has perfume, he should use it”[1]

2.       Send Blessings on the Prophet

It is highly recommended to send peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad on Fridays as the Prophet said, “Invoke blessings on me, many times over, on Friday and the night (preceding it); for whoever does so, I will be a witness and intercessor for him on the Day of Judgment.”[2]
This is done by simply saying and repeating the words, Allahumma sal-ly wa sal-lim ‘Ala Muhammad.”  Repeating these simple words anytime during Friday brings great blessings as mentioned in the above report form Prophet Muhammad.

3.       Increase Supplication

A Muslim should increase his supplication to Allah on Friday because there is a time on Friday when Allah responds and gives whatever good He is asked for. The Prophet said,“There is an hour on Friday in which no Muslim asks during it except that Allah grants him whatever he asks for.”[3]
One can supplicate in any language he wants. The etiquettes of supplication have been covered in previous lessons.

4.       Arrive Early at the Mosque

Prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever takes a bath on Friday like the one taken to purify oneself from sexual impurity, then he leaves at the earliest time, then he is like the one who offers a camel; the one who comes after that is like one who offers a cow; the one who comes after that is like one who offers a horned ram; the one who comes after that is like one who offers a chicken; the one who comes after that is like one who offers an egg. When the Imam arrives, the angels are present to listen to the remembrance (meaning the khutbah).”[4]
If a person comes late, he should not step over people already sitting in rows, nor separate two people sitting together. He should also not move another person and take their place. A Muslim should not walk directly in front of a person praying.

5.       Sit Close to the Imam

A person must try to arrive early and sit close to the Imam delivering the sermon. Sitting closer to the Imam is better than sitting behind in the back rows or reclining next to a wall. If a new Muslim finds it hard to sit on the floor for half an hour or so, he may sit where ever he feels comfortable, but he should try to get accustomed to sitting closer to the Imam.

6.       Don’t Talk During the Khutbah

Also, a Muslim should pay attention to the sermon and not talk during it, even if it is delivered in Arabic. Talking during the Friday prayer is a serious matter. Prophet Muhammad said, “If you say to your friend, ‘Be quiet,’ on Friday when the Imam is delivering the sermon, then you have uttered non-sense.”[5]
In another narration, the Prophet said, “…whoever utters nonsense is considered as if he has not attended the Friday prayer!”[6]

7.       Pray Two Rakahs For Entering the Mosque Before Sitting Down

If you arrive to the mosque early, you should pray two rakahs before sitting down. If you arrive while the Imam is delivering the sermon, you should still pray them, but make it short. The Prophet said, “If anyone of you enters the mosque on Friday while the Imam is delivering the khutbah, let him perform two rakahs and be brief in doing so.”[7]

8.       Don’t Buy or Sell Once the Adhan Has Been Called

This prohibition is based on the Quran itself,
“... when the Adhan is proclaimed for the prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave trading aside...” (Quran 62:9)
9.    The Friday prayer which consists of two rakahs is performed after the sermon behind an Imam. Someone who misses it should pray four rakahs of regular Dhuhr prayer.
10.  You can pray two or four rakahs of Sunnah (recommended) prayer after the Friday prayer.

Making Arrangements with the Employer for Time Off for Salat ul-Jumuah

Countless Muslims take time off from their businesses, schools, and employers to attend the Friday prayer. Friday prayer is a religious obligation and a new Muslim should make arrangements with their school or employer to take time off for attending it. You can make up the lost hours by working extra during the week or staying late on Friday.[8]


Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[2] Baihaqi
[3] Saheeh Muslim
[4] Muwatta
[5] Saheeh Muslim
[6] Abu Dawood
[7] Saheeh Muslim
[8] Contact the following organizations for more information or help:
(www.cair.com)
(www.caircan.ca)
(www.amcran.org)
If your country is not listed, you can contact a Muslim civil rights organization in your country for help and guidance.

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Jama Masjid: Friday Prayer
Friday Prayer
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