Friday Prayers – A Weekly Date at the Mosque
In cities in every country across the world, mosques come alive on Friday afternoons. Workers take off from their offices, factories and other places of work to fulfil their obligations as Muslims, approaching the mosques to listen to the khatibs deliver the sermons and pray together in congregation.
The Friday prayers are obligatory on all adult Muslim males residing in an area, and their importance and benefits to the Muslims is supported amply by the Qur’an and Hadith.
“O you who believe! When the call for Friday prayer is made, hasten towards the remembrance of Allah Most High and leave all transactions. This is best for you if only you know.”
Surah Al-Jumu’ah, verse 9[/box_light]
There are various adab related to Friday prayers from the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, among them making ghusl on Friday morning, wearing one’s best clothing, applying perfume and listening intently to the khutbah.
“The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The person who has a bath on Friday, purifies himself as far as possible, applies oil to his hair, applies perfume, leaves for the mosque, when he arrives at the mosque he does not sit down by removing anyone from his place, offers as many nafl prayers as possible, when the imam delivers the khutbah he remains silent – then his sins from the previous Friday till now will be forgiven.”
Image Source: Kokkai
Prayer in jama’ah, especially in a mosque, is of course a highly recommended and praiseworthy act. However, due to work, school or other responsibilities, not everyone is able to perform this sunnah. Similarly, the pursuit of religious knowledge is a commendable act for all Muslims. However, not everybody is able to attend classes or listen to lectures at other times.
Friday prayers provide an avenue for Muslims to fulfil the congregational prayer at least once a week, insha Allah building a sense of community among the ummah. The khutbah provides the opportunity for all listening to be reminded of the essentials of their faith. Needless to say, the khutbah should not be taken as an opportunity to be texting or playing Angry Birds on your phone.
“The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, “One who distracts himself with pebbles during the Khutbah will not get the (Jumu`ah) reward”.
The performance of the Friday prayers has benefits which extend to all members of the jama’ah, regardless of their age, background or grounding in the religion.
For students and working adults, it gives one an opportunity to step back from the stress and tribulations of everyday life and concentrate on the truly important things in life; following and applying the Qur’an and Sunnah in our lives, becoming better Muslims and members of our communities and attempting to attain the pleasure of Allah.
Retirees of course are unencumbered by the constraints of responsibilities and fulfil the sunnah of coming early to the mosque for Friday prayers, and use the time productively to engage themselves in acts of ibadah such as making dhikr, du’a, reading the Qur’an, and sending blessings upon the Messenger of Allah.
“The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “On the day of Friday, the angels stand at the entrance of that mosque in which Friday prayer is to be offered. They write down the name of the person who enters the mosque 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)[/box_light]
Like the Haj, praying the Friday prayers in congregation promotes equality between the different strata of society. The CEO prays next to the construction worker. The alim prays next to the one who is only just learning how to pray. The Malay man prays next to the Bangladeshi. All hoping that their prayers are accepted by their Lord.[divider]
Ahmad Zhaki Abdullah
Ahmad Zhaki holds a degree in English Literature from the University of London. He is a full-time executive at a local training institute and a part-time writer.