Friday is a very important day for Muslims. It is more
significant and more beneficial than any other day of the week. It is the day
that Muslims gather together to pray in congregation. Directly before the
prayer they listen to a lecture designed to empower them with valuable
knowledge about God, and the religion of Islam. It is a blessed day that has
been designated as such by God, Almighty; no other day of the week shares its
A believer’s entire life is one of worship; even
celebrations are conducted as worship. While there is no special place or
special time to worship God, there are moments, days, or times that God has
made more superior; Friday is one of those times.
From the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy
and blessings of God be upon him, we learn that “The best day in the sight of
God is Friday, the day of congregation”. Congregational prayers (obligatory for men) are one of the
most strongly emphasized duties in Islam. It is a time when Muslims come
together to worship One God, and find strength and comfort by standing
shoulder to shoulder and reaffirming their faith and devotion to Him.
“O you who believe! When the call to prayer is proclaimed on
Friday hasten earnestly to the remembrance of God, and leave aside business. That
is best for you if you but knew.” (Quran 62:9)
In many predominantly Muslim countries Friday is a
weekly holiday, sometimes combined with either Thursday or Saturday. However
there is no mandatory closing of businesses except during the time of the
congregational prayer. In western countries many Muslims try to take their
lunch break during the time for prayer, usually in the very early afternoon.
Prophet Muhammad told his followers that “The five
daily prayers, and from one Friday prayer till the next, serves as an expiation
for whatever sins have been committed between them, provided one does not
commit any major sin.”
It is important that a Muslim not neglect Friday Prayer
due to work, study, or other worldly matters. Believers should make attending
this prayer a priority since ignoring it three times in a row, with no valid
reason, will cause a believer to stray from the straight path.
While it is only men who are obliged to attend the
Friday congregational prayer there are also many recommended acts that can be
performed by men, women or children during this day. These acts include,
taking a bath and wearing clean clothes, saying numerous supplications to God,
sending blessings upon Prophet Muhammad, and reading Chapter 18 of the Quran,
which is entitled ‘The Cave’.
Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be
upon him, said, “There is no day more virtuous than Friday. In it there is an
hour in which no one will pray to God except that God will hear his prayer”.
"Friday consists of twelve hours, one of which is
the hour where supplications are granted for believers. This hour is sought during
the last hour after Asr (the third prayer in the day)."
"Whoever recites ‘The Cave’ on Friday, God will
give him a light to the next Friday."
"The best day on which the sun rises is Friday. It
is the day Adam was created. It is the day when Adam entered the Heavenly
Gardens, the day when he was expelled from it and also the day he died. Friday
is the day on which the Day of Resurrection will take place.”
Friday is also the day on which one of the greatest
verses in the Quran was revealed.
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed
My Favor upon you, and have chosen Islam as your religion.” (Quran 5:3)
A story from the life of the second Caliph Omar,
illustrates the significance of Friday. A learned person from among the Jews
said to Omar Ibn Al Khattab “In the Quran you people read a certain verse; if
that verse had been revealed to us, we would have celebrated that day annually.”
Omar asked, “Which verse is that?” The man replied, “This day, I have
perfected your religion for you’. Omar then said, “Verily I remember the
day and the place where this verse was revealed. It was already a double
celebration for us. Firstly it was Friday-a day of Eid (celebration) for all
Muslims and secondly, it was the day of Arafat – the most important day of the
Hajj.” Omar further stated that this verse was revealed after Asr (afternoon
prayer) while Prophet Muhammad was sitting on his camel.
Friday is a special day; the congregational prayer
performed on this day holds special significance in the life of a Muslim. This
is well noted and discussed by Islamic scholars both past and present.
Thirteenth century Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The most excellent day
of the week is Friday according to the consensus of scholars” and his student Ibnul -Qayyim mentions 32 special
characteristics of Friday in his book Zad Al- Ma’ad. Prophet Muhammad said
“Verily, this is the Eid day (day of celebration) that God has prescribed for
Believers would be wise to take advantage of the blessings God sends down to
His slaves on Friday. This is a day of congregation, a day of celebration and
a day of contemplation and supplication.