The Friday Prayer is an Obligation upon Men
The Friday congregation prayer (Salaat-ul-Jumaat) is compulsory for men, as Almighty Allah says,
“O you who have believed, when (the adhan) is called for the prayer on the day of Jumaat (Friday), then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.” (Quran, 62:9)
The Prophet (pbuh) also said, “Let some people stop avoiding attending the Friday prayer, or Allah will stamp a seal on their hearts. Then they will become of those who are heedless.” (Muslim)
He also said, “The Friday prayer in congregation is an obligatory duty upon every Muslim except four: a slave, a woman, a child and a sick person.” (Abu Daawood and al-Haakim)
Therefore, every man who is free, not sick, not travelling and does not live far from urban areas must attend the Friday congregational prayer. He can only absent himself from it if he has a valid excuse.
The Wisdom behind its Institution
Some of the reasons behind the institution of the Friday prayer are as follows:
- It brings together Muslims of a locality on the first day of each week in one definite place. This increases the spirit of Islamic brotherhood.
- The khutboh (sermon) is a weekly reminder about their duties and responsibilities of the believers. In fact, it warns them against evil and encourages them to do good and do their best to improve their worldly as well as religious affairs.
- It is above all an act of obedience to Allah’s command. The khufbah is delivered in two parts, the khateeb (the one who delivers the khutboh) takes a little rest by assuming a sitting posture in the middle of the sermon and then resumes it. Any issue relating to the welfare of the community may be dealt with in the khutboh.
- The khutboh is, therefore, for the education of the masses: to awaken them to a general sense of duty; to lead them into the ways of their welfare and prosperity. It is to warn them against that which is a source of loss or ruin to them.
- In fact, the Friday sermon is the best means of education for the masses and for maintaining the vitality of the Muslim community as a whole. By the way, the Prophet’s sermons were neither too long, nor too short, nor tiresome. They were to the point, full of vitality and appealing, The solooh of the Prophet (pbuh) was moderate, and so was his sermon.
Virtues of Friday
There are many Prophetic traditions concerning the special qualities of Friday, the day of congregation (yowm-ul-jumu’oh). According to one of these reports, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) once said, “The sun has never risen, nor has it ever set, on a day more excellent than Friday, the day of congregation. On that day, two angels are stationed at every gate of the mosque (mosjid). They are busy recording the names of people one by one, in order of arrival. They make record s that read:
- The first arrival is like a man who has sacrificed a she-camel.
- The second arrival is like a man who has sacrificed a cow.
- The third arrival is like a man who has sacrificed a sheep.
- The fourth arrival is like a man who has sacrificed a hen.
- The fifth arrival is like a man who has sacrificed an egg.
- Then, when the prayer leader (imctctm) stands ready, the record sheets are folded up.” (al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) once said, “The best day on which the sun has ever risen is Friday, On it Aadam was created; on it he was admitted into Paradise, and on it he was expelled from it; and the Hour (as-Saa’ah) will not be established except on Friday.” (Muslim)
Abdullah ibn Salaam used to say, “I have identified the hour. It is the last hour of the daytime,” – i.e. between the 7\sr and the Maghrib prayers. It is also narrated that it is the time between when the imam appears to deliver the sermon until the prayer is finished,
Therefore, it is necessary to honour it, as Almighty Allah has honoured it, by doing as many good deeds as possible and avoiding evil deeds,