What is the importance of Friday prayer?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Friday is a very valuable and blessed day. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following regarding the issue:

"We are the last compared to the People of the Book but we will be the first in terms of virtue on the Day of Resurrection. They were given the Book before us and we were given after them. The day Allah rendered fard for them was Friday but they disagreed and showed respect to other days. Allah guided us aright to show respect to Friday. They were left behind us regarding the issue. The day of worshipping of Jews is Saturday and of Christians Sunday." (Tajrid, III/3)

"Adam was created on Friday; he was made to enter Paradise on that day; he was expelled from it on that day. And the last hour will take place on that day. All of the creatures except human beings and jinn are alert between dawn and sunrise on Friday, fearing that Doomsday will strike on that day. There is a time on Friday when Allah will definitely accept the wish of a person who will perform Friday prayer and ask what he needs from Allah." (Tajrid, III/4­5; Muslim, Jumu'a, 17)

Due to the hadiths like the ones above about the virtue of Friday prayer, there are some nice statements mentioned by Islamic scholars and accepted by people like proverbs. One of them is as follows: 

"Friday is the criterion for the week, Ramadan for the year and hajj for one’s life."

That is, a person who performs Friday prayer consciously and who benefits from Friday in accordance with the information in the Islamic literature will live under the blessing of it during the week; as he repeats it every Friday, he will lead a blessed life until he dies.

Similarly, a believer who benefits from the month of Ramadan in the light of the verses of the Quran and hadiths can benefit from all of the months and days of the year with its blessing.  

If a rich believer for whom hajj worship is fard fulfils this duty sincerely, his sins will be forgiven and if he uses the spiritual light that he gets during hajj well, he will be happy in the remaining part of his life.  

The following is also stated for Friday:

"The time of answering (the moment when prayers and requests are accepted) on Friday is like the Night of Power in Ramadan."

It is regarded as good to make ghusl (have a bath), to do other necessary bodily cleansing, to brush teeth, to wear nice light perfume, to wear clean clothes, to smile and to look happy on Friday. When the Prophet (pbuh) saw the people coming to Madinah from the villages around in dust and smell of sweat, he said,

"I wish you would have a bath and clean yourselves for Friday." (Muslim, Jumu'a, 9)

The Prophet recited the chapters of as-Sajdah and ad-Dahr in the morning prayer on Friday because those chapters mention what happened and will happen on Friday. Therefore, when those chapters are read, the incidents that took place and will take place on Friday like the creation of Hz. Adam, the description of life in the hereafter, the resurrection of the people in the hereafter will be remembered and belief in them will be renewed.   

After stating that the Quran was sent down to warn people, Allah Almighty reminds people of the creation of heavens and earth and asks:

"…Ye have none, besides Him (Allah), to protect or intercede (for you): will ye not then receive admonition?" (as-Sajdah, 32/4)

Then, He mentions the creation of man and warns people:

"... And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give." (as-Sajdah, 32/9)

Later in the chapter, Allah reminds us that those who went astray denied resurrection in the hereafter when they were in the world and describes their regret in the hereafter as follows:

"If only thou couldst see when the guilty ones will bend low their heads before their Lord, (saying:) ‘Our Lord! We have seen and we have heard: Now then send us back (to the world): we will work righteousness: for we do indeed (now) believe.’" (As-Sajdah, 32/12)

On the other hand, those who believe in the verses of Allah praise Allah Almighty without feeling conceited, pray to Him in fear and hope, and spend the sustenance that Allah grants them. Another fact mentioned in the chapter of as-Sajdah is as follows: "Those who turn away when the Signs (verses) of Allah are recited to them are those who do wrong the most." Allah addresses the deniers as follows at the end of the chapter:

"Does it not teach them a lesson, how many generations We destroyed before them, in whose dwellings they (now) go to and fro? Verily in that are Signs: Do they not then listen? And do they not see that We do drive rain to parched soil (bare of herbage), and produce therewith crops, providing food for their cattle and themselves? Have they not the vision?" (as-Sajdah, 32/26, ­27)

In the first verses of the chapter of “ad-Dahr (al-Insan)", Allah Almighty states that He created man from a nutfah, that man was given the ability to see and hear and that he was shown the way to see the truth. As it is explained in the verses that follow, human beings are in a test in this world but some of them thank Allah while others act ungratefully. Beginning from verse 5 of this chapter, Allah describes the endless rewards good people will encounter in the hereafter:

"As to the Righteous, they shall drink of a Cup (of Wine) mixed with Kafur,- A Fountain where the Devotees of Allah do drink, making it flow in unstinted abundance. They perform (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil flies far and wide. And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive,- (Saying),

"We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks. "We only fear a Day of distressful Wrath from the side of our Lord." But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that Day, and will shed over them a Light of Beauty and (blissful) Joy. And because they were patient and constant, He will reward them with a Garden and (garments of) silk. Reclining in the (Garden) on raised thrones, they will see there neither the sun´s (excessive heat) nor (the moon´s) excessive cold. And the shades of the (Garden) will come low over them, and the bunches (of fruit), there, will hang low in humility. And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and goblets of crystal,- Crystal-clear, made of silver: they will determine the measure thereof (according to their wishes). And they will be given to drink there of a Cup (of Wine) mixed with Zanjabil,- A fountain there, called Salsabil." (al-Insan, 76/5-­18)

Friday and Friday prayer are among the greatest signs and symbols of Islam.  The believers who come together in Arafat for hajj on the day of Arafa, one day before eid al-fitr, join the greatest annual meeting of the Muslims all over the world. Apart from hajj, the other great meetings of the believers are eid and Friday prayers. Since Friday prayer is repeated every week, it is of great importance for Muslims to come together every week with the joy of a festival. 

It is fard for the believing men to go to mosque on Friday when adhan is called. Allah Almighty states the following:

"O ye who believe! 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): That is best for you if ye but knew! And when the Prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of Allah: and celebrate the Praises of Allah often (and without stint): that ye may prosper." (al-Jumu'a, 62/9­, 10)

Therefore, it is explained in hadiths that those who are not aware of worship on this great day will be regarded as heedless, negligent people. As a matter of fact, it is stated by the Prophet (pbuh) himself that it is a big sin to abandon Friday prayer. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

"People must cease to neglect the Friday prayer or Allah will seal their hearts and then they will be among the negligent." (Muslim, Jumu'a, 40)

"Allah will seal the heart of a person who abandons three Friday prayers negligently and without any excuse." (­Taj, I/273)

One gets great thawabs when he utters salawat for the Prophet (pbuh) on Friday and the night before it. For, the believers are indebted to him for their belief and Islam. Allah Almighty granted both worldly and otherworldly happiness to believers for his sake. The divine grace and grants they will receive will be granted to them on Friday and they will be sent to their places in Paradise on Friday. “The day of mazid (more/extra)” when believers will be given divine bounties and boons much more than they expected in Paradise is Friday.

In addition, Friday is a feast day for believers in the world. Those who pray Allah Almighty sincerely on that day will not be rejected because the time (hour) of answering prayers is on Friday. The house in which that day is celebrated with the consciousness of a feast day will be filled with blessing and joy. They are all fruits of belief in the Prophet (pbuh) and following his trace without leaving it. It will be appropriate for believers to utter salawat for the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) a lot on Friday and the night before it. As a matter of fact, according to what is written in the resources, the Prophet (pbuh) advised us to send greetings to him and utter salawat for him on Friday and stated that greetings and salawat sent to him would be presented to him on Friday. 

To sum up, Friday is the weekly holy day of Muslims; the virtues of Friday are innumerable. Therefore, Muslims need to be careful about worshipping on Friday and send greetings and salawat to the Prophet (pbuh). In addition, they need to love him more and try to understand his hadiths. Those who read the chapter of al-Kahf on Friday are given the glad tiding of rewards in the hereafter; it is stated that every Friday prayer is atonement for sins up to the next Friday prayer. The money donated to the poor on Friday will gain a person a lot of thawabs. Friday is a day of preaching. The topics mentioned in the preaching before Friday prayer and in the sermon should shed light on the important issues of Muslims and everybody should try to correct their mistakes and improve themselves in this spiritual brightness.

Allah Almighty chose Friday among days as He chose Ramadan among months, Night of Power (Qadr) among nights, Makkah among the places in the world and Hz. Muhammad among people.  

(see Hüseyin ALGÜL, Mübarek Gün ve Geceler)

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