By: Moulana Zeyad Danka with editing by Moulana Muhammad bin Haroon
Every nation has an appointed day of celebration and worship, which they have chosen by themselves. The Jews chose Saturday as their day of worship whereas the Christians chose Sunday as theirs. However, the Muslims enjoy the distinction of having Friday chosen by Allah Himself as a day of worship and celebration.
Friday is called Jumu’ah in Arabic. The congregational Jumu’ah salah (prayer) of Friday is another aspect that augments the distinction of this day. This two-rakat Fard Salah is performed, in large congregations, in place of the daily Zuhr Salah. The salah is preceded by a four rakat sunnah salah and thereafter followed up by another four, then two rakat – sunnah muakkadah and ghair muakkadah respectively. These two salahs may be performed in any order of preference. [I’alaus Sunan – vol.7 pg.17] The books of Islamic law and virtue are replete with statements from the Quran, Sunnah, and the ‘ulama concerning the virtues, splendor, and good fortune which this day heralds. The paragon and masterpiece of all creation, Rasulullah (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), has highlighted the sanctity of Jumuah by saying, “Certainly Friday is the leader (master) of all days; A day greater and more revered by Allah than the two Eids (Eidul-Adha and Eidul-Fitr)” [Sunan Ibn Majah #1084].
In fact, whoever passes away on this night or day, will be granted the reward of a martyr and protected from the trials of the grave [Musnad Ahmed #6589]. The attitude of Muslims nowadays towards this day is saddening. We no longer treat this day with additional reverence compared to any other day.
Thus, with a view to correcting that situation, this article contains fifteen specific directives and guidelines to be practiced on the day of Jumu’ah so that we may rekindle an awareness of the importance and prestige of this day in our lives.
PREPARATION FOR THIS NOBLE DAY
Our pious predecessors mention that preparation for this noble day should commence from Thursday. This should be done by anticipating it, involving oneself in supplication (dua) and in repentance to Allah, Most High,. Therefore, one can well imagine how much more exertion (physical and spiritual) should be done on the day of Jumu’ah itself.
Do we indeed value and treasure this day? How much do we prepare for this splendid day?
Here are a few guidelines that insha Allah will help us to properly prepare for this day and maximize our reward therefrom.
- EARN A YEAR’S REWARD FOR EACH STEP TO THE MASJID
Our Beloved Nabi (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has mentioned, “Whoever bathes thoroughly on the day of Jumuah, proceeds extremely early to the Masjid, walks and does not utilize a conveyance, sits close to the imam, listens attentively (to the khutbah or sermon) and does not occupy himself in futile activities, such a person (who complies with the above-mentioned guidelines) will receive, for each step, the reward of fasting and performing tahajjud (night prayers) for an entire year.” [Sunan Abi Dawud #325]. Some Imams (luminaries of deen) have also stated with regards to this hadith that, “We have not heard of a hadith which is so authentic and contains so much of reward.” [Mirqatul Mafateeh – vol.3 pg.437; Beirut]
- PHYSICAL PURIFICATION
Just as Islam emphasizes spiritual purification, so too does it emphasize physical purification. Among the means of physical purification are:
- Using the miswaak (a twig from a special plant for cleaning the teeth),
- applying perfume,
- pairing the nails,
- trimming the moustache,
- shaving or shortening the hair of the head. [Ihya Ulumiddeen – vol.1 pg.236; Maktabah Misr]The hair under the arms and the pubic hair (around the front and hind private parts) should also be removed.
All these acts will be more meritorious if done on a Friday as compared to any other day. [Durrul Mansur – vol.7 pg.324 ]
- THE BEST CLOTHING
One’s best sunnah clothing should be worn on this day (not necessarily new). One’s clothing should preferably be white. This is the most beloved colour to Allah. The turban (Imamah) should also be worn on this day, as this is mustahab (preferable). [Ihya Ulumiddeen – vol.1 pg.236; Maktabah Misr]. If new clothing is obtained, it should first be worn on a Friday. It is reported that when Rasulullah (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) obtained new clothing, he would first wear it on a Friday because of it being the most virtuous day of the week. In this way, the clothing as well as the one wearing the garment will be blessed. [Muntahas Sool – vol.1 pg.490; Beirut]
- SCENTING/PERFUMING THE MASJID
It is mustahab (preferable) to scent the masjid on Fridays. It is reported from Imam Nuaim Al-Mujmir that Sayyiduna Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to order that the Masjid be perfumed on Friday, until before midday. [Zaadul Ma’aad – vol.1 pg.365; Qahirah / Raddul Muhtar – vol.3 pg.37]
SOME MERITORIOUS ACTS OF WORSHIP ON THIS DAY
There are various forms of worship, which are specially reserved for this day of Jumu’ah, or if done on this day, they accrue tremendously more rewards in comparison to other days. A few of these are mentioned below:
- EVERY FRIDAY – A HAJJ AND UMRAH
Rasulullah (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has mentioned, ‘‘Certainly every one of you has (an opportunity of attaining the merit of) a Hajj and Umrah every Friday. The Hajj is fulfilled by performing the Jumuah Salah and the Umrah is completed by anticipating the Asr Salah upon the completion of the Jumu’ah Salah.’’ [Sunanul Kubra Lil-Baihaqi – vol.3 pg.241; Multan / Shu’abul Iman #2784]
- BECOME SINLESS AS AN ANGEL
“Whoever recites Surah ‘Haa Meem Ad-Dukhan’ (Surah:41) on this night (Thursday night) will be forgiven of his sins.” [Fadailul Quran Libnid-Durais – pg.102]
- PROTECTION FROM DAJJAL AND EXTENDED LIGHT
Whoever recites Suratul Kahf (Surah:18), will not be influenced by Dajjal if the reciter happens to encounter him. In addition, there will be a special light created for the reciter, extending from him until Makkah. [Sunanul Kubra Lin-Nisaai #10790]
- COMPLETE PROTECTION
Rasulullah (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah, Most High, will protect the person who recites Surah Ikhlas (Surah:112), Surah Falaq (Surah:113) and Surah An Naas (Surah:114) seven times, after the Jumuah Salah, from all evil till the following Jumuah. ” [Al Azkaar – pg.170; Beirut]
- BE AN INHABITANT OF PARADISE
” Allah, Most High, will consider the one who performs five acts in one day, from among the inhabitants of Jannah (Paradise): to visit the sick, attend a funeral, fast on this day, perform the Jumuah Salah, and free a slave.”[Sahih Ibn Hibban #2771] NOTE: Together with the fast of Friday, it is advisable to fast on either Thursday or Saturday.
- BE THE CLOSEST TO THE PROPHET (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him)
Nabi (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has stated, “…Increase (sending) salutations upon me on the day (and night) of Jumuah. Certainly, the salutations of my ummah (nation) are presented to me on Friday. Whoever has sent the most amount of salutations upon me will be the closest to me (on the day of resurrection).” [Shu’abul Iman #277]
- THE FRIDAY FAJR
Every fard (obligatory) salah must be performed and each one has its own unique virtues. However, the most virtuous of all is the Fajr salah of Friday. The Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has said, “The most virtuous salah, in the sight of Allah, is the Fajr Salah performed with jamat (in congregation) on a Friday.” [Shuabul Iman #2783] Amongst other salahs, one should make an earnest attempt in performing this salah as well.
NOTE: It is also preferable to perform the Salatut Tasbeeh on this day.
Rasulullah (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Indeed there is a specific time during the day of Jumuah, wherein Allah, Most High, grants the good that one requests of Him.’’ [Muslim #852]. From among the various opinions, as to when that blessed time when dua is so readily accepted, is that the time occurs between Asr and Maghrib. That view is given preference to by many scholars. [Zaadul Ma’aad – vol.1 pg.171] Sayyidah Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her), the daughter of Nabi (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), used to be very observant of this blessed time. Her servant use to inform her of the time just before sunset. Leaving all her duties, she used to become engrossed in dua and repentance to Allah, Most High, before sunset. [Ihya – vol.1 pg.243]
THE STATUS OF THE JUMUAH KHUTBAH AND RELATED ISSUES
Allah, Most High, mentions in the Noble Quran, “When the call for Salah is proclaimed on Friday (at the time of the first azan or call to prayer), hasten towards the remembrance of Allah, and leave commerce…’’ The intent of this verse is to ban all activities of buying and selling after the first azan. However, the Jurists of the Ummah unanimously agree that the word selling (in the above-mentioned verse) refers to all such activities that can hinder preparing and proceeding for the Jumuah Salah. [Ma’ariful Quran – vol.8 pg.456]
NOTE: It is strictly prohibited to conduct any business activities after the first azan.
As regards the khutbah (before salah), one must uphold the relevant laws and etiquettes. These laws and etiquettes have been stressed upon and explained in detail by the scholars, in numerous books. Here are some of these pertinent guidelines which should be heeded and implemented:
- THE CUT-OFF TIME OF THE ANGELS
The Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has mentioned, “The angels sit at the entrance of the masjid writing the names of the people, in sequence, as they enter. This continues until the imam emerges (to deliver the khutbah) then the pens are raised (those coming thereafter are regarded as though they were not present for the khutbah).” [Musnad Ahmad #22143]
We should therefore make an earnest attempt to come early to the Masjid.
- RULES PERTAINING TO THE LISTENER
The following activities are forbidden when the Imam approaches to begin the khutbah and during the khutbah until after the prayer has been completed:
Salah – This includes all types of salah. If while offering the four raka’at Sunnah, before the Jumuah salah, the imam approaches to begin the khutbah, then one should complete the first two raka’ats only, and thereafter listen to the khutbah. However, if one has already commenced with the third raka’at, in this case, the entire four raka’ats should be completed, immediately, then only should one join the khutbah. [Ahsanul Fatawa – vol.4 pg.131; Karachi]
Talking – It is prohibited to speak, for any reason – even to command the good or prohibit evil, while the khutbah is in progress. This prohibition of talking includes actually saying “amin” with the tongue (as opposed to saying it in one’s mind which is permitted) during the duas of the khutbah. Likewise, reciting salawat on the Messenger of Allah (durud) (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), again with the tongue, upon the mention of the name of the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), is also prohibited (again if it is “done” only in the mind it is permitted).
As was mentioned, it is even forbidden to command others towards good and prohibit them from evil, during the khutbah. However, there is no harm if this is done by mere indication of the hand or head.
- If one is greeted or someone sneezes during the khutbah, then it is better not to reply, as this may disrupt one’s concentration in listening to the khutbah.
- Usually, it is mustahab (preferable and meritorious) to repeat the words of the muazzin when the azan is being called out. However, during the second azan of Jumuah, which is called out immediately before the khutbah, the words of the azan should not be repeated. One should remain silent at that time.
- During the khutbah, it is best for one to be seated, facing the Qibah. [Fatawa Mahmudiyyah – vol.9 pg.137]
- Sleeping during the khutbah is forbidden (one should not even sit in any such manner that induces sleep).
NOTE 1: Any action that may disrupt one from being attentive during the khutbah is prohibited.
NOTE 2: It is forbidden to begin one’s journey after the first azan of Jumuah. One should perform the Salah and thereafter commence the journey unless doing so would cause one to miss one’s travel party or means of travel when no other reasonable alternative is possible. [Hashiyatut Tahtawi – pg.520]
NOTE 3: It is also wajib (compulsory) to listen attentively to the khutbahs of both Eids (Fitr and Adha), the khutbah of Nikah, and during the occasion of the completion of the Qur’an.
[The above-mentioned masaail have being sourced from, Raddul Muhtar – vol.3 pg.35, unless stated otherwise]
BLESSINGS IN BUSINESS AND TRADE AFTER THE JUMUAH SALAH
As stated earlier, conducting business transactions after the first azan of the Jumuah Salah is prohibited. However, the Quran encourages man to search for his sustenance, by means of his commerce and other halal endeavors, after the Jumuah Salah. That is why when Sayyiduna Iraak Ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) used to complete his Jumuah Salah, he would stand on the doorstep of the Masjid, and supplicate: “O Allah, I responded to Your call and performed the salah which You have prescribed upon me. Now I am going out (as you have commanded me) in search of livelihood, so grant me my livelihood out of your kindness. Moreover, You are the best Provider of sustenance.” The famous Imam Ibn Katheer (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) has reported from the righteous elders that, Allah, Most High, favors the one who conducts his commercial activities after the Jumuah Salah with seventy blessings. [Tafseer Ibn Katheer – vol.4 pg.444; Karachi]
AVOIDING INCORRECT PRACTICES
- HARMING OTHERS IN THE PERSUIT OF VIRTUE IS PROHIBITED
It is a very common practice nowadays that the latecomers for the Jumuah Salah, attempting to find a spot close to the imam, cause a tremendous amount of inconvenience to others. This inconvenience occurs when a latecomer, with a noble intention to attain the tremendous rewards of sitting in the front rows, tramples and steps over fellow congregants. As a rule, upon entering the Masjid, one should sit at the closest seat available. However, if there is an empty place in front, which necessitates crossing over others, then in this case it will be permissible to step over the congregants, provided this is done before the commencement of the khutbah. It is strictly prohibited to move around while the khutbah is in progress.
Secondly and also as a rule, harm should not be caused to others, whether by trampling on them or their garments. The reason for this prohibition is that sitting in the front rows is mustahab (desirable and rewarding). However, causing harm to others is haram (strictly forbidden). Therefore, abstaining from harming others will take precedence over fulfilling a desirable act. The same prohibition will apply for a person who, while preparing for salah (straightening the rows), forces himself into a row but squeezes and inconveniences others around him. In this case, standing in the back rows, without inconveniencing others, will be more meritorious. To avoid all these inconveniences, the first person to enter the Masjid should sit in the first row, at the closest available spot from the imam, and then so on in order that the first row will be occupied, thereafter the second and so on. This will ensure that no jostling occurs at the time of offering the sunnahs as well as before the khutbah. Those coming later would also find the appropriate place available.
And Allah knows best.
This article was further edited before publication on MuslimVillage.