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The Excellence of Friday and Some Rulings for Jumuʿah Prayer

Shaykh Mūsá Richardson

A reminder about the lofty status of the day of Jumuʿah (Friday), and some of the most important rulings connected to observing it. A Khuṭbah given at Masjid al-Furqān (TROID), in February, 2017.

Allāh the Mighty and Majestic has said in His Magnificent Book:

۞ ذَٲلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمۡ شَعَـٰٓٮِٕرَ ٱللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقۡوَى ٱلۡقُلُوبِ ۞
‘And whosoever honours the Symbols of Allāh, then it is truly from the piety of the hearts.’
[al-Ḥajj, 32:22]

The believer upholds these symbols and considers them to be great and lofty, and is not ashamed of them in any way, making them uppermost through the speech of his tongue and through his actions, and thus attaining honour. The great scholar of tafsīr, and student of the Companions, Imām al-Qatāda (raḍiAllāhu ʿanhu) said: ‘Verily Allāh has selected some very choice and pure affairs from His creation. He has selected from amongst the angels messengers, and some of the people have been chosen as messengers, and He has selected from all speech His Reminder and Speech; He has selected and favoured from amongst all the places on the earth the Masjid, and He has selected and chosen from amongst all the months of the year the month of Ramaḍān, as well as the sacred months; and He has selected from amongst the days the day of Jumuʿah, and he has chosen from the nights the night of Qadr in Ramaḍān; so give high reverence to all of those things which Allāh has taught and given great importance to, for verily the considering of certain matters as great and honouring and revering them as Allāh has honoured them, then this is an affair done by the people of understanding and intellect’.

Allāh has chosen the day of Jumuʿah from amongst the days and given it a lofty rank, and every believer who believes in Allāh honours that which Allāh has honoured and mentioned. The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) said, ‘The best day the sun has ever risen upon is the day of Jumuʿah; on that day Ādam was created, and on that day he was placed in paradise and on that day he was exiled from it.’ (Narrated by Muslim on the authority of Abū Hurayrah raḍi Allāhu ʿanhu)

In another narration it mentions, ‘…And the Last Hour will not take place except on a day of Jumuʿah.’ It is also narrated in Muslim on the authority of Huḍayfah (raḍi Allāhu ʿanhu) that the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) said: ‘Allāh misled the people who came before us from the virtues of the day of Jumuʿah, and so the Jews had Saturday and the Christians had Sunday, and then Allāh brought us the day of Jumuʿah and guided us to recognising the greatness of the day of jumuʿah, and so He made it so it is Jumuʿah first, then Saturday and then Sunday, and in that order they will follow us on the Day of Judgement. You are the last of the nation from the worldly life and the first of people on the Day of Standing to judged in favour of.’

From the great virtues and loftiness of this day is that Allāh has made it a day honoured in His Book, alongside special and specific orders and acts of worship, with even a Sūrah revealed in its name, hence giving it distinction over all other days. He has forbidden from this day, during a certain a hour, the business transactions of buying and selling, and has made that an amazing outward sign of the presence of Islām within a community. When you witness within the land of the Muslims where Islām is implemented, the hour of Jumuʿah has come and the call is made, everyone shuts down their businesses, and the people turn away from their trade that they need and love so much, and turn to the remembrance of Allāh. It is this day which every believing heart recognises and honours, and the more pious the heart and worshipper is the more reverence you will find in his speech and actions for this day; a day when the angels are present at this gathering. The Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘Whoever takes a bath on the day of Jumuʿah, (a full bath like that performed after intercourse) and he goes out (i.e. the earliest time for jumuah) , it is as if he has slaughtered a camel, and whoever goes out in the second hour it as if he slaughtered a cow, and whoever goes out in the third hour it is as if he has slaughtered a goat, and whoever goes out in the fourth hour it is as though he slaughtered a chicken, and whoever goes out in the fifth hour, the last hour before the Jumuʿah, it is as though he has slaughtered an egg; and when the Imām comes out the angels attend and listen attentively to the reminder.’ (Bukhāri and Muslim)

Also from the virtues of this day is that there is an hour where, if the believer were to ask Allāh from His favours he would be granted what he seeks, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘There is an hour on the day of Jumuʿah where a Muslim does not ask Allāh for something except that Allāh shall grant that thing to him.’ (Bukhārī and Muslim)

This virtuous and important day has attached to it important rulings comcerning what is to be upheld in terms of actions and statements. Your Lord has commanded,

۞ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِذَا نُودِىَ لِلصَّلَوٰةِ مِن يَوۡمِ ٱلۡجُمُعَةِ فَٱسۡعَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ ذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ وَذَرُواْ ٱلۡبَيۡعَ‌ ذَٲلِكُمۡ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّكُمۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ ۞

O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Ṣalāt (prayer) on Friday (Jumuʿah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allāh [Jumuʿah religious talk (Khuṭbah) and Ṣalāt (prayer)] and leave off business (and every other thing), That is better for you if you did but know!
[al-Jumuʿah: 62: 9]

This verse shows the obligation of abandoning buying and selling transactions, and outlines the importance of hastening to the Jumuʿah prayer at its earliest time. The Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhu wa-sallam) has also mentioned a number of sunan and guidelines for this noble day, from them:

  • If a person bathes, perfumes and adorns himself in the best of garments, and then comes to the ṣalāh without stepping over the shoulders of the people, and neither speaks with false speech during the khuṭba, then for him will be an expiation of sins between the two Jumuʿah (this one and the one before it).
  • Whoever speaks during Jumuʿah and steps over the people, then for him it is written like a dhuhr prayer for him, and he will not be rewarded the reward of Jumuʿah. It is recorded in Sunan Abū Dāwūd, that when the Prophet (ﷺ) saw a person stepping over the people he said, ‘sit down, for you have caused harm and arrived late.’
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said in an authentic narration, ‘when one of you comes to the Jumuʿah prayer and the Imām is giving the khuṭbah, then let him pray two units of prayer and let him pray them short and quick.’
  • The Messenger (ﷺ) provided further guidance for when a person feels sleepy during the khuṭbah saying, ‘If one of you feels as though he is falling asleep, let him trade places with his companion so he may remain attentive.’
  • The Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘Send salutations upon me on the day of Jumuʿah.
Published: April 27, 2017
Edited: January 6, 2022

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