In Islam, Friday is a sacred day and is referred to as Al-Jumu’ah. In Arabic, it means the day of the congregation. Muslims believe that this day was chosen by Allah himself as a dedicated day to worship. Therefore Friday blessings are considered special. It is recommended that men attend the Friday prayer in nearby Mosques, while women have the option to attend if they wish to.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that praying on Fridays is equivalent to prayers and fasting for an entire year. Practices of praying on Friday vary from country to country. For example, Pakistan, Tajikistan and India do not allow women to pray in Mosques, while Kenya and Iran see a lot of women worshippers gathering in masses for Friday blessings.
Followers of Islam pray on this day, relax and spend time with their families. In countries with a Muslim-majority population, Friday is marked as an off-day on their calendars. In other countries, believers of Islam try their best to attend Friday prayers despite it being a working day. Similarly, some countries allow congregations to be projected on loudspeakers, while many have regulations to keep them in saturation in the place of worship.
Significance of Friday prayers in Islam
The word Al-Jumu’ah is derived from Al-jam, which means gathering. Hence, is the name given to Friday prayers. It is believed that on Friday, Allah finished the creation of heaven and the earth. It was this day when God created Adam and put him in paradise. Coincidently, it was Friday when Adam was taken out of the wonderland. It is believed that the last hour commences on Friday, and no one asks Allah for anything good during this hour. Instead, the almighty blesses one with what was desired by the heart. In ancient languages, Friday was known as Arubah.
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How to perform Friday prayers?
To gain Allah’s blessing, one must know how to perform prayers on Friday. Here is a guide to performing the prayers on one of the most important days in Islam:
- Take a bath and thoroughly clean the body – The first step is to take a bath, clean and clip the nails and wear clean clothes before heading for the mosque.
- Visit a Mosque – It is important that a Friday prayer is done in a mosque. If there is a mosque located nearby, one must walk to it in a slow and relaxed manner.
- Hear the Khutbah – Khutbah is a speech that an Imam of the mosque delivers. Muslims must listen to every word of it, carefully, without making any noise.
- Call upon an intention to pray – After Khutbah, align closely with Muslim brothers and call for an intention to pray, perform two rakat prayers and follow the Imam.
- End the prayer – Imam recites the verses from Quran, and every Muslim standing in the mosque must follow him until the prayer ends.
In between the process of praying, a Muslim is also advised to read and recite Surah Al-Kahf on Friday. A person who has learnt the first 10 of its verses would receive protection from the Dajjal (Sahih Muslim) as a gift of Friday blessings. One must also send blessings to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Friday prayer rakats
Before Jummah prayer one has to pray 4 sunnah ghair muakkadah. After that one should offer 2 fardh (praying in congregation). Following that one will have to pray 4 Sunnah muakkadah, and also 2 Sunnah muakkadah. Finally one will have to pray 2 nafl. The total number of rakats offered in Friday prayer is 14 rakats.
Hadiths about Fridays
#1: Ibn `Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah explained the importance of coming early for the Friday prayers. The descend starts with the one who comes at the earliest, and it is equivalent to sacrificing a camel. Further delays are equivalent to sacrificing a cow, a sheep, a duck, a chicken, and the last is an egg, which is the smallest sacrifice of all that one can offer when the person attends the prayer for the last time.
#2: Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet saying that angels descend on the earth and sits on the doors of the mosque to record the names of Muslims who appeared for the Jumu’ah prayer. After the completion of the last prayer, Imam comes out, and angels roll their scrolls up.
#3: Abu Sa ‘id A-Khudari reported from the Prophet that the one who reads Surah Al-Kahf on a Friday night would experience a stretch of divine light between self and the Kaaba, also called the Ancient House.
#4: Abu Hurairah reported on the Prophet who called the five daily prayers, and prayers between two consecutive Fridays and one Ramadan to the next as a time when one can repent for sins and be blessed with mercy and forgiveness. The only condition is one must not have committed unavoidable sins in their lives.
Hadiths explaining Don’ts for Fridays
#5: Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said that one must not speak when the Imam is delivering the Khutbah, not even to ask someone else or a partner to listen attentively. It is believed to be idle talk, which is not acceptable.
#6: Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said that people must not neglect Friday prayers, or the almighty would seal their hearts and not pay attention to them at all. They would be among the heedless for Him.
Praying with the right intent and doing good deeds are certainly rewarded by Allah. To earn Friday blessings from Allah, one must attend Friday prayers as prescribed and follow the dos and dont’s recommended by scholars.
Jummah Mubarak – Blessed Friday Quotes
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Friday Prayer FAQs
Is it mandatory for all Muslims to offer prayers on Friday?
Only for women and children, it is optional depending on the regulations in the Mosques and countries. However, for males of a certain age, it is mandatory to attend Al-Jumu`ah prayers.
How long does the Friday prayer extend?
Each Mosque has its way of conducting prayers on Fridays. However, if a general process is followed then the sermons last for about 30-45 minutes. After this, a short prayer is recited that takes about 5-10 minutes more.
Can non-Muslim attend the Al-Jumu`ah prayer?
Yes, if non-Muslims are interested in offering prayers or want to experience the devotion of Muslims, they can attend the Friday prayer. However, the sermons are directed to a Muslim audience and one might not understand them completely or at all.
What is the best time to offer prayers on Friday?
The Mosques conduct prayers between 12.00 P.M. and 3.00 P.M. During this time, the daily afternoon prayers are replaced by Friday prayers.
Can one wear perfume for Al-Jumu`ah?
Yes, one can wear perfume only if it is non-alcoholic. It is a part of bathing and dressing up for the prayers on Friday. Cleaning up is one of the first and the most important tasks of the day.