By Solahudeen AbdulJeleel
Friday, 11 May 2012
“O ye who believe, when the call is made on Friday (the day assembly), hasten to the (mosque) remembrance of Allah and shun (all forms of business), that is the best for you if indeed you know; And when the prayer is over, traverse the earth seeking the bounties of Allah and remember Allah most frequently that you may prosper” Q62:9-10.
Today, Friday is the day when all the Muslim throughtout the world gather in their various communities mosques for the worship of Allah. Islam as a divine religion enjoins togetherness and abhors individualism or segregation Muslims in every locality worship Allah five times daily observing their prayers in congregation because of its merit. In its bid to foster unity amongst the Muslims, adherents meet in a relatively large congregation every Friday to listen to the words of Allah and guidance from the Holy Prophet on matter affecting their spiritual and mundane endeavours.
It is obligatory to observe the Jum’ah prayer as enjoined in the opening verse. The importance of attending this glorious occasion cannot be over emphasized because of its numerous virtues. Apart from the fact that it attends to our spiritual needs, our educational standard is further boosted by the sermon. Our moral status gets elevated and our social challenges are addressed surmounted. The Khutbah (sermon) which forms about half of the Jum’ah prayer is an integral part of the service which the imam prepares to take care of the aforementioned issues. Jum’ah (Friday) is the day Almighty created our great ancestor - Prophet Adam (May Allah’s blessing be upon him).
The holy prophet (SAW) was reported by Abu Hurairah as saying: the best day in which the sun rises (on daily basis) is Jum’ah, on this day Adam was created, on the same day (Jum’ah) was he made to enter Al-Jannah, he was also sent out of Al-Jannah on the day of Jum’ah, the day of judgement shell not come to pass but it be on Friday Jum’ah (Muslim). Further on the virtues of this glorious day, the Holy Prophet (saw) said, “whosoever takes its (ritual bath) on Friday, then matches gently to the mosque for prayers and observes as many superogatory prayers as destined written for him , then remains silent (mute) while the sermon goes on till the Imam ends the khutbah and then observes the obligatory prayer with the Imam will have his previous sins forgiven (Muslim). The hadith relates that the Friday prayer is an atonement for our sins much as we abstain from the major ones.
Buttressing the essence of the obligatory nature of the Jum’ah prayer the best of mankind was reported by Abu Usamah bin zayd that “whosoever voluntarily omits three consecutive Jum’ah prayers without any (genuine excuse) shall have his name written among the hypocrites (Munafiqun).
Since Jum’ah prayer is a large gathering when compared with the local five daily Salaat, a Muslim is expected to take a birth, perfume himself (male only),adorn himself in a beautiful attaire then go out early enough to the mosque to present himself for the service of his magnificent lord.
Saliman Al-Farsi narrated that the Holy Prophet said, “No man takes bath on Friday, cleans himself up, rub his body with oil, perfumes himself then moves to the mosque before noon never separates between two men (already seated) then prays whatever has been destined for him (nawafil) listens to the Khutbah but Allah forgives him what is between that Friday and the next. (Al-bukhari and Ahmad). Part of the etiquette of the Friday prayer is to arrive in the mosque as early as possible to earn extra reward from Allah. The earliest attendant shall be given the extra reward of giving a camel in charity, while those who follow them shall earn the reward of those who gave a cow in charity then a goat for those who follow them and final the reward of those who give an egg in charity. When the Imam ascends the minbar this extra reward closes according to the saying of our noble Prophet.
It is highly discouraged for anybody, no matter how highly placed to disturb those already seated listening to the in whatever form, the worst being stepping over their shoulders. This act is frowned at and highly odious. The most unfortunate thing is that many Muslims fail to heed this call thus violating the rules every Friday by taking off very late when the Imam is rounding off the Khutbah. There is the need for us to turn a new leaf. May Allah (SWT) forgive us all.
It is also highly discouraged to talk to anybody or verbally respond to the Imam’s questioning during the cause of the Khutbah. The holy prophet (SAW) forbids speaking to your neighbour or asking him to keep quiet even if he engages in such act. “Saying keep quiet to a discussant in the process of Khutbah is a vain talk”.