What is the importance of Friday and what are the deeds of worship to be performed on that day?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The reason why that day is called Friday is being a day of coming together.

"…When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic)..." (al-Jumu'a, 62/9)

The verse above in the chapter of al-Jumu’a indicates that the day was called like that before Friday prayer was rendered fard and that it is a day of meeting.

According to what is understood from various hadiths, Friday was determined as the day of weekly worship for Jews and Christians before but they fell into dispute about it and Jews adopted Saturday and Christians adopted Sunday for weekly meeting and worship. Allah enabled Muslims to have Friday as the day of weekly worship and to attain the truth regarding the issue. (Muslim, Jumu'a, 19-23). Thus, Friday was chosen as the day of weekly worship in congregation and it is clearly stated in several narrations that it is a day of eid (feast). (Bayhaqi, as-Sunanul-Kubra, 3/243; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Zadul-Masir, 1/369)

"The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday; Adam was created on that day. He entered Paradise on that day and he was expelled from Paradise on that day. Doomsday will take place on Friday." (Muslim, Jumu'a, 18)

The Prophet (pbuh) expressed the specialty of that day with the hadith above. Allah stated that He would allow His slaves to visit Him in Paradise on "yawmul-mazid" corresponding to Friday in the world (Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, I, 369-372, 408-410), and that the prayers said at a certain time (time of answering) on Friday would be accepted.

Various views were put forward about the exact time of answering like the period from zawal time to the start of the Friday prayer, from imam’s ascending the pulpit to the start or end of the Friday prayer, from adhan to the end of Friday prayer, from dawn to sunrise and from the afternoon prayer to sunset. Based on the hadith of the Prophet "I knew it but I was made forget it afterwards like the night of Qadr (Power)." (Hakim, Mustadrak, 1/279), it is stated that the time of answering was kept a secret so that people would worship Allah all day on Friday like ism al-a’zam (the greatest name) of Allah being kept secret among His beautiful names and the night of Qadr (Power) being kept secret among the last ten days of Ramadan.

It is stated that the sins of a person who cleans himself on Friday, goes to mosque, listens to the sermon and performs Friday prayer between that Friday and the next Friday will be forgiven (Bukhari, Jumu‘a 6, 19; Muslim, Jumu'a, 26), and that the heart of a person who leaves Friday prayer (continuously) for three Fridays on account of slackness will be stamped. (Abu Dawud, Salah, 204)

When the day of Arafah is on Friday, hajj, which is the greatest congregational deed of worship that brings together Muslims from all around the world, is called "hajj al-akbar" (the greatest hajj).

Due to those properties, the following things are regarded as sunnah to do in addition to Friday prayer, which is fard, on Friday, which is very important as individuals and the community in terms of Muslims:

To make ghusl (it is fard according to some scholars), to shorten the mustache, to trim nails, to do other bodily cleaning, to clean teeth with a miswak or brush, to wear nice clothes, to go to the mosque early, to read the chapter of al-Kahf, to clean the mosque and to make it smell nice, to read the chapters of as-Sajdah and ad-Dahr in the morning prayer, to read the chapters of al-Jumua and al-Munafiqun or al-Ala and  al-Ghashiya in Friday prayer, to say prayers and make dhikr a lot, to utter salawat for the Prophet.

To perform Friday prayer is fard for every sane Muslim man who has reached the age of puberty. (al-Jumu’a, 62/9-10). When adhan is called, it is necessary to go to mosque at once without being busy with anything else.  

Since Friday is the day of feast, it is makruh to fast only on Friday, without adding the day before or after it. It is also regarded makruh to enter the mosque after adhan, to be busy with shopping or other worldly affairs from the time the imam ascends the pulpit when adhan is called to the time the Friday prayer is performed unless there is an obligation and to set off for a journey after the time period for the Friday prayer starts without performing Friday prayer.

During the sermon, A person who speaks unnecessarily and who deals with other things is deprived of thawabs; to go to mosque before adhan, not to disturb the believers, to listen to the sermon with awe, to perform the prayer in awe will be atonement for the sins committed between the previous Friday and that Friday and for three more days. For Allah Almighty states the following in the Quran:

“He that doeth good shall have ten times as much to his credit.” (al-An’am, 6/160)

Therefore, a Muslim should increase the righteous deeds on Friday. Muslims, who are declared as brothers by Allah, should perform worship, which is the purpose of their creation (adh-Dhariyat 51/56) and to compete to do good deeds, which is the command of Allah (al-Baqara 2/148), on Friday like the other holy days and nights. Let us end the issue with a saying of scholars related to Friday:

“Friday is the criterion for the week, Ramadan for the year and hajj for the life.”

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