Like Christians have the day of Sunday when all go to church to attend the mass, there is the Friday among Muslims – a day on which Muslims go to offer Juma’ah prayer in congregation and listen to the Khutba. Going for Juma’ah prayer does not mean that Muslim do not offer any other prayer in congregation, rather every Muslim prayer is encouraged to be offered in congregation, however, the Juma’ah prayer is special because of the day itself and the Khutba that comes with the prayer.
The Juma’ah Salat is very important for each Muslim, because it is their weekly Salat and it is a blessing that Allah bestowed on the people of Muhammad (SAW).
Importance of Coming to Juma’ah (Surah Juma’ah)
O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah (God), and leave off business (and trade): That is best for you if you only knew! Quran (62:9)
Coming to Juma’ah is and should be a priority for each and every one of us. Whether we have work, class or other things, try your best to see how to accommodate around it. Most of the time it will work. Don’t give yourself any excuses.
The Prophet (SAW) said, “The five daily prayers, and praying one Friday prayer and the next, and the fasting of Ramadan, result in the expiation of the sins committed between them, so long as major sins are avoided.” This does not, however, mean that the Muslims should come to the Masjid only on Fridays, neglecting it at other times. This does not mean either that Muslims should indulge in sins at will, thinking that they will be forgiven anyhow.”
With regards to Jummah prayers, there are key factors which one should consider as etiquettes. The lines below discuss those etiquettes so that a Muslim can ensure them and offer the Jummah prayer as well as celebrate the day in the best possible manner.
1. Getting to the mosque early:
Rasulallah (Pbuh) said: “On the day of Jummah, the angels stand at the entrance of that Masjid in which Jummah salaat is to be offered. They write down the name of the person who enters the Masjid first, and thereafter the name of the person who follows, and they continue doing this. The person who entered first will receive the reward of sacrificing a camel in the path of Allah; the one who followed him will get the reward of sacrificing a cow, thereafter a chicken, thereafter the reward of giving an egg as charity in the path of Allah. Once the khutbah commences, the angels close the register and begin listening to the khutbah. “ (Bukhari and Muslim)
This should encourage us to go early to the Masjid on Friday for salat. All of us go early to the marketplace to trade. Why then do we not do the same with Friday prayers, which benefit our salvation and help us to attain paradise?
2. Feeling fresh:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Umar: Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, “Anyone of you attending the Friday (prayers) should take a bath.” (Bukhari)
(Doing ghusl on Fridays is mustahabb, not obligatory, according to the majority of fuqaha’, although some of them were of the view that it is obligatory.)
3. Arriving on Time:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “When it is a Friday, the angels stand at the gate of the mosque and keep on writing the names of the persons coming to the mosque in succession according to their arrivals. The example of the one who enters the mosque in the earliest hour is that of one offering a camel (in sacrifice). The one coming next is like one offering a cow and then a ram and then a chicken and then an egg respectively. When the Imam comes out (for Jumua prayer) they (i.e. angels) fold their papers and listen to the Khutba.”
Prophet SAW forbade people from going over worshippers’ shoulders when trying to reach the front rows; and forbade us from interrupting prayers in any form. He also asked us to sit in the front-most rows to show the intention of sincerity, the need for knowledge, and show humility for Allah. Coming to khutbah early will help us avoid this situation and earn the extra rewards.
4. Arriving at the mosque calmly:
The day of Jummah is special and so are its preperations. However, it has been observed that people on this day and close to the Jumah prayer timings get frantic about the preparations and it is in this frenzy that they pursue everything hastily. When it comes to offering prayers hastily, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in a hadith:
“If the prayer started do not run for it but just walk for it calmly and pray whatever is missed.” (reported by Abu Huraira)
5. Raka’ats of Masjid:
It is narrated that once Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was giving the Friday sermon that a man entered the mosque and sat. the Prophet (PBUH) asked him: “Have you prayed?” The man replied in a negative, to which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Get up and pray two Rakats (of tahayyatul masjid).” (Bukhari)
This hadith shows that whoever goes for Jummah prayer, in addition to listening the sermon and then offering the obligatory prayer, he must offer two Rakats of Tahayyatul masjid. These are the prayers which one offers when he enters the mosque. The thing to notice in this regard is that offering these two rakats is only possible when one goes to the mosque before the start of the Khutbah, as when the Khutbah starts one should refrain from doing anything which includes prayers as well. Therefore, a Muslim must try going to the mosque as early as possible and offer Tahayyatul Masjid Rakats there before anything.
6. Listening attentively:
Concentrating and internalizing the message of the khutbah for this is the entire purpose of the gathering. Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messanger (SAW) said, “When the Imam is delivering the Khutba, and you ask your companion to keep quiet and listen, then no doubt you have done an evil act.”
So even talking to others to make them quite is not allowed showing you the importance of paying attention and listening to the khatib. Not playing with the carpet or its designs or text messaging or checking the internet on the phones. Any distraction as small as this can nullify your prayer. Knowing that the khutbah is part of the prayer and so respecting it the same way one respects their conversation with Allah.
7. Meet and Greet
Show brotherly love towards one another.
8. Reflection and Introspection
Reinforcement of message, many things you might already know, but as you hear them again the messages are reinforced and refreshed in your memory.
Secondly it’s a time to weekly recalibrate yourself. If you learnt something this week, and you apply it then assess where you stand the week after. After hearing Allah’s message it should recalibrate you to everything your doing. Third, share and discuss the positive things you have learnt with family and friends. This will make you remember what you learnt but you will receive ajar for sharing it with others.
9. Recite Surat Al-Kahf
It is very rewarding to recite Surat Al-Kahf on Fridays before the salat. The Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever reads Surat Al-Kahf on Fridays, there will be a bright light to shine for him between the two Fridays.”
In conclusion, Friday is the most blessed day of all and the prayer of Jummah is the jewel in the crown of this day. A Muslim must make special preparations on Friday for the prayer and consider the listening of Khutba an integral part of the whole Jummah prayer package in order to gain maximum blessings in this virtuous day.
Have a blessed friday insha’Allah!