The secret behind Friday Prayers
Muslims pray daily and not only on Fridays. However, particularly on Fridays, they are called for a special gathering prayer at noon in the mosque, called Jumaa prayer. But why Friday? Frankly speaking, I am not scholar enough to answer this question but I am curious to find an explanation. Let’s take a look at some of the information available on the Internet that managed to pacify the chaos of my ever-inquisitive mind…
Friday is the best day of the week
Friday and the Friday prayer are among the greatest principles and signs of Islam. Since Friday prayer is performed every week, it is of great importance for Muslims because it makes them come together on a festival day like Eid. During this mosque gathering, Muslims listen to a religious sermon from the mosque leader (known as Imam), followed by a special Friday noon prayer.
The real meaning of Jama Masjid
The Jama Masjid of Delhi is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. The name, Jama Masjid, refers to the weekly Friday noon congregation prayers of Muslims, Jummah, which are usually done in a mosque, the “congregational mosque” or “Jama Masjid”.
Is it about harmony?
Friday Prayer is an occasion for the assembly of the Muslims of a whole city or a town. It gives them an opportunity to meet together to discuss and solve their individual as well as community problems. Getting together once a week develops unity, co-operation and cohesiveness among Muslims. The logic that Friday Prayer is a demonstration of equality is also reasonable.
For those who are looking for guidance
It gives the Imam a chance to advise all Muslims at the same time on urgent matters that face them. The Imam’s sermon gives them guidance in Islamic teachings. Friday Prayer is an obligatory Prayer for every adult male Muslim. There are two Adhans for Friday Prayer. The first Athan is recited when the sun begins to decline and the second is recited just before the Imam stands up before the congregation to deliver his sermon.
Why is Jummah Important?
Among the seven days of the week, Friday is the day when Allah’s special mercies are granted. It is a day of gathering for the Muslims when rewards are increased. Many great events took place on this day. Let’s take a look at some more facts that highlight the importance of Jummah…
Special feature of Friday
It was the teaching of the Prophet to venerate this day, honour it and single it out for special acts of worship that belong exclusively to this day. The Prophet used to recite two specific soorahs (chapters) in the Fajr prayer on Friday because they refer to what happened and will happen on that day, for they speak of the creation of Adam, the resurrection and the gathering of mankind, all of which happened or will happen on a Friday.
As recommended by the Prophet
It is mustahabb (recommended) to send lots of blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on the day of Friday and the night before, because he said: “Send lots of blessings upon me on Friday and the night before.”
Friday is blessed
There is a command to do ghusl (take a bath for the purpose of purification) on Friday; this command is most emphatic. Wearing perfume on Friday is better than wearing perfume on any other day of the week. Cleaning the teeth with the siwaak (tooth stick) on Friday is better than using the siwaak on any other day.
It is a weekly festival
The Messenger of Allah: ‘Friday is the best and greatest of days before Allah, and it is greater before Allah than the day of al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice) and the day of al-Fitr (the Feast of Breaking the Fast). It has five characteristics…
Five characteristics of Friday
It is said that on this day Allah created Adam; on this day Adam came down to earth; on this day Allah caused Adam to die; on this day there is an hour during which no one asks Allah for something but He will grant it to him, so long as he does not ask for something forbidden; and on this day the Hour (i.e., the Day of Judgment) will begin.
It is a day on which sins are forgiven
In Saheeh al-Bukhaari it is narrated that Salmaan al-Faarisi said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘No man takes a bath on Friday and purifies himself as much as he can, and makes his hair tidy, and puts on perfume, then goes out, and does not come between two people, then prays as Allah decrees for him and listens attentively when the Imaam speaks, but he will be forgiven for his bad deeds between this Friday and the other
Hour of response
On Friday there is the “hour of response”, which is an hour in which if a Muslim asks Allah for something, He will grant it. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘On Friday, there is an hour in which no Muslim asks for something whilst he is standing in prayer, but it will be given to him” – and he demonstrated the shortness of that time with his hands.
Purpose behind the prayers
On Fridays, there is the khutbah (sermon) which is intended to praise and glorify Allah, and to bear witness to His Oneness and to the messengership of His Messenger, and to remind his slaves of His blessings, to warn them of His punishment and wrath, to advise them of that which will bring them closer to Him and His Paradise, and to forbid them that which will bring them closer to His anger and Hell.
Go to the source and ask for strength
Hence, whoever gets it right on Friday, his whole week will be good, and whoever gets it right in Ramadan, his whole year will be good, and whoever gets it right on Hajj, his whole life will be good. Friday is the measure of the week, Ramadan is the measure of the year and Hajj is the measure of one’s life.
Allah chose Friday
It is widely believed that Friday is the day which Allaah chose from among all the days of the week, just as He chose Ramadaan from among the months of the year and Laylat al-Qadr from among all the nights, and Makkah from among all places on earth, and Muhammad from all of mankind.
The Holy Prophet said:
“We came to the world last of all, but on the Day of Judgment we shall be the first to enter Paradise. The Jews and the Christians were given the Book of guidance before us and we after them ; they were enjoined to revere Friday, but they differed regarding this. Allah favoured us with His grace to adhere to His Command; thus they have been left behind: the Jews revere the next day (Saturday) and the Christians the day following that (Sunday).”
The reason why Muslims gather on Fridays for prayer is that they consider it as an exceptionally special day. The prayer performed on this day holds special significance in the life of a Muslim. Thirteenth century Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The most excellent day of the week is Friday according to the consensus of scholars”, and his student Ibnul-Qayyim mentions 32 special characteristics of Friday in his book Zad Al-Maad
Looking through a different lens
Friday is considered very sacrosanct in the Muslim community since it is associated with so many important happenings and proceedings…and that is why it was chosen as the day to offer prayers to the almighty. However, there is quite a possibility that the establisher of the religion thought that everyone who belongs to this community should be brought together under one roof so that they can connect with each other and the Lord.
The probable vision
Maybe the ancestors knew that a time will come when human race will start losing connect with their roots as well as with each other (on both emotional and physical level). By associating the ‘getting together’ with a number of beliefs they only assured that the followers pursue this custom dutifully. They get in touch with each other, connect with the Lord though prayers and are reminded of the right path by the Imam of the mosque…that too on a regular basis…Friday to Friday!