The Merit And Importance of Jumu`ah/Friday (فضل وأهمية الجمعة)
All praise and thanks are due to Allaah. We praise Him, ask His help and forgiveness, and seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our souls and our sinful acts, for he whom Allaah guides aright, there is none to mislead him, and he who is led astray, there is none to guide him (aright). I bear witness that none has the right to be worshiped except Allaah; He is the Lord with no associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger and bondsman who has conveyed the message, fulfilled the trust, and striven in the cause of Allaah as he ought to strive, until there came unto him from his Lord the hour that was certain.
The best of talk is embodied in the Book of Allaah, the best of guidance is that of Muhammad sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, the most evil things are innovations in religion (bid`ah), every act of bid`ah leads to falsehood, and every falsehood leads to the Hellfire. O Allaah, protect us from the Hell and its severe torture and from the condition of its people.
O servants of Allaah! You should know –may Allaah have mercy on us out of His Absolute Benevolence – that Allaah made for His servants certain occasions for acquiring bonus good deeds. Thus, they draw near to Him through performing what He has enjoined upon them in these occasions of all acts of worship, and win the favors and bounties which Allaah the Ever-Generous bestows on them on such occasions. As a result they will lead a righteous life as Allaah says which means: “(Namely) those whose lives the angels take in a state of purity, saying (to them), "Peace be on you; enter ye the Garden, because of (the good) which ye did (in the world)."” (Al-Nahl: 32). Also, He says which means, "And find in their Hereafter nothing but goodness.”(An-Naba': 36). And, “The Truth (comes) from thy Lord alone; so be not of those who doubt.”(Ar-Rahmaan: 60) The reward is dependant on the kind of action “Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.” (Az-Zalzalah: 7-8).
O servants of Allaah! You should know- may Allaah lead us to what pleases Him – that Allaah, out of His great wisdom, diverted those who were before us from the best day on which the sun has risen and gave the nation of Islaam the guidance for it. Allaah says which means: “Such is the Bounty of Allaah, which He bestows on whom He will: and Allaah is the Lord of the highest bounty.” (Al-Jumu'ah: 4). He also says which means, “It is never the wish of those without Faith among the People of the Book, nor of the Pagans, that anything good should come down to you from your Lord. But Allaah will choose for His special mercy whom He wills for Allaah is Lord of grace abounding.” (Al-Baqarah: 105). Also, “Such is the bounty from Allaah; and sufficient is it that Allaah knoweth all.” (An-Nisaa': 70).
The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “We (Muslims) are the last (to come) but (will be) the foremost on the Day of Resurrection though the former nations were given the Holy Scriptures before us. And this was their day (Friday) the celebration of which was made compulsory for them but they differed about it. So Allaah gave us the guidance for it (Friday) and all the other people are behind us in this respect: the Jews’ (holy day is) tomorrow (i.e Saturday) and the Chrisitans’ (is) the day after tomorrow (i.e. Sunday)”. (Bukhaari & Muslim)
The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “It was Friday from which Allaah diverted those who were before us. For the Jews (the day set aside for prayer) was Saturday, and for the Christians it was Sunday. In this order would they (Jews and Christians) come after us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last of (the nations) among the people in this world and the first among the creatures to be judged on the Day of Resurrection”. (Muslim)
Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam also said: “The most virtuous of your days is Jumu`ah. On that day, Aadam was created and on that day he died, (on that day) the horn will be blown and the people will be dumbfounded! Increase your prayers upon me as your prayers upon me will be presented to me” The people said: “O Messenger of Allaah, how will our prayers be presented to you when you have passed away?” He said: “Allaah has prohibited the earth from eating the bodies of the Prophets”. (Ahmad, Abu Daawood, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan & Al-Haakim)
Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday; on it Allaah created Aadam. On it, he was made to enter paradise, on it he was expelled from it. And the last hour will take place on no day other than Friday”. (Ahmad & Tirmithi)
In his Muwatta’ Imaam Maalik reported that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “The best of days on which the sun rises is the day of Jumu`ah. On it Aadam was created, and on it he fell from the Garden, on it he was forgiven, and on it he died. On it the Hour occurs, and every moving thing listens from morning till sunset in apprehension of the Hour except jinn and men. In it is a time when Allaah gives to a Muslim servant standing in prayer whatever he asks for”
You should know, servants of Allaah, that it was the practice of your prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam to honor this day and hold it in high esteem by performing certain acts of worship on it alone. Following are some of them:
1- The Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam used to recite in the Morning prayer on Friday Surat Alif-Lam-Mim As-Sajdah’ (Chapter 32) ‘Surely there came over the man a time’ (Chapter 76) (Muslim, Abu Daawood, Tirmithi, Nasaa'i & Ahmad).
2- It is preferred to pray for Allaah’s blessings on the prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam during the day and night of Jumu`ah as the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “Make many prayers upon me during the day of Friday and the night of Friday” (Al-Bayhaqi).
3- The performance of Jumu`ah prayer which is among the most important Islamic obligations and among the greatest gatherings of Muslims and he who neglects it Allaah will seal their hearts from accepting the guidance.
4- The command of performing ghusl on this day is stressed heavily.
5- Putting on perfume on this day, which is given preference over applying it on any other day of the week.
6- The use of siwaak (tooth-stick).
7- Going early to Salaatul-Jumu`ah (Friday prayer).
8- Keeping one's self occupied with the remembrance of Allaah, supplication, and recitation until the Imaam begins his khutbah.
9- Listening to the Khutbah is obligatory. If he does not listen, he does an evil act and as a result has no reward. Allaah’s prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said:“When the Imaam is delivering the Khutbah, and you ask your companion to keep quiet and listen, then, no doubt you have done an evil act”. (Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, Maalik, and Abu Daawood)
10- “The reciter of Surat al-Kahf on Jumu`ah will be blessed with a light that will rise from underneath his feet to the peak of the sky. This will be a light for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be forgiven for what is between the Jumu`ah (and the next) Jumu`ah” (Al-Haakim in his Mustadrak, Al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan, and Ad-Daarami in his Musnad).
11- Recitation of Surat al-Jumu`ah and al-Munaafiqoon or al-Ghaashiyah and al-A`la during the Jumu`ah prayer, as the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam used to recite them in the Jumu`ah prayer. (Muslim, Tirmithi, and Ibn Maajah)
12- It is the weekly feast-day for Muslims as reported in Ahmad’s Musnad, Al-Haakim’s Mustadrak, and other books of Sunnah.
13- It is preferred that a Muslim wear the best of his clothes on that day. It is reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “A man who performs ghusl on Friday, perfumes himself if he has perfume, wears form the best of his clothes, then goes to the mosque covered with calmness until he reaches the mosque, and offers two rak’ahs of prayer if he wishes, and does not harm anybody, and then listens quietly while the Imaam speaks until he offers the prayer, all his sins between that Friday and the next Friday will be forgiven” (Ahmad)
14- It is not permissible for the one upon whom Jumu`ah is obligatory, to travel on its day before attending it if its time is due.
15- It is prefered to perfume the mosque with incense on Friday for it is reported that Ibn `Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to perfume the mosque of Al-Madinah with incense every Friday at midday.
16- The one who goes to attend the Jumu`ah will be given the full reward of fasting the days of a year and observing night-vigil on its nights for every one of his steps. It is reported that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “Whoever performs ghusl on Friday after having sexual intercourse with his wife and then goes early to the mosque and attends from the beginning of the Khutbah and draws near to the Imaam and listens to him attentively, then Allaah will give him the full reward of fasting the days of a year and observing night-vigil on its nights for every one of his steps” (Musannaf, Ahmad)
17- On Friday, one’s sins are expiated, for it is reported in the authentic hadith that one who attends Jumu`ah will be forgiven for what is between the Jumu`ah (and the next) Jumu`ah as long as he avoids grave sins.
18- The Blazing fire is kindled to intensify its heat everyday, except on Friday.
19- In it is a time when Allaah gives to a Muslim servant whatever he asks for. This is reported in the two Saheeh books of hadeeth.
20- There are special conditions and rulings which are restricted to Jumu`ah only, such as residence, Khutbah, etc.
21- Giving Sadaqah (charity) on that day is preferred to giving it on any other day.
22- In paradise, the believers will see Allaah and visit Him on Friday.
23- It is the best day which Allaah has chosen from the days of the week, just as he has chosen Ramadan as the best of the months and Laylat al Qadr (the night or power) as the best of the nights and Muhammad as the best of His creatures.
24- It is Makrooh (undesirable) to observe fast on it alone as mentioned in many authentic hadiths.
25- The Khutbah of Jumu`ah should basically include stating the pillars of belief, that is belief in Allaah, his Angels, His books, His Messengers, in the Last Day; the mention of paradise and the Hellfire; the bounty and everlasting pleasures which Allaah has prepared for his servants and friends; and the punishment and everlasting torture that He has made for His enemies who disobey Him.
Scholars of the past and present have stressed the importance of the Khutbah of Jumu`ah and its great effect on Da`wah to Allaah, provided that it is employed properly and the orator fulfils the following conditions:
1- Devotion to Allaah: for it is the basic condition for the acceptance of one’s actions and attaining their fruits. Therefore, if the khutbah is not meant to attain the reward of Allaah, be it directing people to what embodies their pleasure and happiness both in this world and the hereafter, their words will not exceed the ears of the audience as they proceed only from their tongues. In contrast, what proceeds from the heart reaches the heart directly.
2- Following in the footsteps of Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam with respect to his way and guidance, in general, and his guidance regarding the Khutbah ofJumu`ah, in particular. Allaah says which means, “Say: "If ye do love Allaah, follow me: Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins; for Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Aal 'Imraan: 31). He also says which means, “Deem not the summons of the Messenger among yourselves like the summons of one of you to another: Allaah doth know those of you who slip away under shelter of some excuse: then let those beware who withstand the Messenger's order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous Penalty be inflicted on them.” (An-Noor: 63). Thus he supports the Sunnahof the Prophet and does his utmost in reviving it and fights against Bid`ah and removes it.
3- Scientific efficiency through Fiqh (comprehension) of religion and broad readings: so that the orator may be able to benefit his audience of Muslims, for one cannot give what he does not possess.
4- Good and excellent example: Allaah says which means: “And those who pray, "Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.” (Al-Furqaan: 74), i.e. a good example. Also the khutbah is meant to admonish the hearts and affect the feelings and emotions, and this cannot be achieved unless the adviser or commander practices what he preaches. Allaah says which means: “Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people, and forget (to practise it) yourselves. And yet ye study the Scripture? Will ye not understand?” (Al-Baqarah: 44).
One cannot give what he does not possess. Our righteous predecessors were aware of this fact and many of their stories in this respect are narrated. Once the slaves of Madinah came to Imaam Maalik Ibn Anas, the Imaam of Daar Al-Hijrah (the home of migration), may Allaah have mercy upon him, and complained about the severity of slavery. They asked him to deliver a khutbah encouraging people to free the slaves and explaining the merit of this act. He promised them to do something good. He waited for a short period and did not deliver a khutbah concerning their complaint except after a month. When he delivered the khutbah he encouraged people to free slaves and explained the great reward which Allaah prepared for him who frees a slave seeking the reward of Allaah. His words affected people greatly, to the extent that people got out of the mosque and freed great numbers of slaves. The freed slaves came to him to blame and thank him. They blamed him for he delayed his khutbahconcerning their complaint for that period and thanked him for their freedom as a result of his khutbah.
His answer to their blame indicated the importance of setting a good example for the orator and Daa`iyah and its effect on his words and Da`wah. He said: “As for delaying the talk about your issue, when you asked me that, I found that I did not possess a slave to set free before speaking about freeing slaves and its merit. So I worked until I earned enough money to buy a slave and then I freed him. Thereupon I delivered my khutbah which in turn affected people’s souls. So praise be to Allaah who is the source of all favors."
5- Being acquainted with the condition of the audience, so he knows what is suitable to them and how to affect them like rabbaani (godly) scholars. Allaah describes them saying, which means, “It is not (possible) that a man, to whom is given the Book, and Wisdom, and the Prophetic office, should say to people: "Be ye my worshippers rather than Allaah's": on the contrary (he would say): "Be ye worshippers of Him Who is truly the Cherisher of all: for ye have taught the Book and ye have studied it earnestly.” (Aal 'Imraan: 79). A Rabbaani is the scholar who is well acquainted with how to teach and admonish people, so he teaches them the clear, general, basic principles of knowledge before the ambiguous, specific, and branch issues of knowledge.
6- Show a reaction to the words he says in his khutbah: which indicates that the khateeb is affected by the issues that he is tackling which are concerned with the hopes and pains of his nation. Thus he affects the audience, attracts their attention, and makes them responsive to him. This is the Prophetic guidance, for Imaam Muslim reported:“When Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam delivered the khutbah, his eyes became red, his voice rose, and his anger increased so that he was like one giving a warning against the enemy and saying: ‘The enemy has made a morning attack on you and in the evening too” But the state of some orators, who are unimpressive in their khutbahs to the extent of being boring and causing the audience to sleep, their act is undoubtedly in contrast with the guidance of the Prophet."
O servants of Allaah! Be pious and conscious of Allaah, and thank Him for what He conferred on you alone of the blessings of this day from among all nations. So fulfil what He made obligatiory for you on it and on the other days, so that you shall attain happiness in this world and win the pleasure of Your Lord in the Next. O Allaah! Help us so that we may thank You, for the blessings and favors You conferred on us, remember You, thank You, and worship you in the best way. I ask Allaah’s forgiveness for me and you, so ask His forgiveness, repent to Him, for he who repents to Allaah after committing a sin will have his sin forgiven.
All praise and thanks are due to Allaah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds. May Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, His household, his companions, and those who follow in his footsteps and pursue his guidance and call to Islam until the Day of Judgment. O Allaah! Make us with them out of Your Benevolence, Generosity and Bounty, O Lord of The Worlds.
Servants of Allaah! We have mentioned some of the characteristics of Friday and some of the conditions to be fulfilled by the orator. Now we will discuss some of the conditions of the khutbah itself:
1 – It should include praising Allaah as He deserves to be praised, teaching the pillars of Islaam, its laws and ethics, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. The prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam used to praise Allaah with His due praise and then say: “He whom Allaah guides aright, there is none to mislead him, and he who is led astray, there is none to guide him (aright). The best of talk is embodied in the Book of Allaah” Then, he used to say the tashahhud (i.e. to bear witness that there is no god but Allaah) and then say, “to commence”. He also would command or forbid his companions if the occasion necessitated this, even while delivering the khutbah. Once he commanded the man who entered the mosque (while he was delivering the khutbah) to offer two rak`ahs as reported by Al-Bukhaari.
2 – It should include what benefits Muslims concerning their religion and worldly life, by reminding them of Allaah’s great blessings in that He guided them to Islam and sent the honorable prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam to them, and of the Days of Allaah; warning them against His wrath and punishment; asking them to be pious and conscious of Him and do what makes them nearer to Him, His pleasure and Gardens; and forbidding them from what makes them nearer to His wrath and Hellfire.
It should not be used as a means to decry and defame certain personalities by name. During his speech about the required methodology of admonition and delivering khutbahs, Sheikh `Abdullaah Ibn Qa`ood, may Allaah preserve him, said: “.. Thus, it is clear that the way of decreasing the praising of Allaah in the khutbah to the least amount of praise which appears in the khutbah, as a means to praise certain persons by name or defame others by name, contradicts the way of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, his Companions, and those who followed on their footsteps. Thus we should follow in their footsteps with complete devotion to Allaah, so that Allaah may accept from us our obedience and we achieve the purpose for which the khutbah is meant. This purpose consists of reminding people from time to time, showing them the right path, knowing their problems and the diseases of their hearts in order to solve and cure them by the cure that Allaah prescribed for them in His saying (which means): “O mankind! There hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts, and for those who believe, a Guidance and a Mercy. Say: "In the Bounty of Allaah. And in His Mercy, in that let them rejoice": that is better than the (wealth) they hoard.” (Yoonus: 57- 58)
3 – Shortness of the khutbah, without failing to fulfill its purpose by choosing eloquent words, avoiding difficult, strange words and terms which common people do not understand. Also, the lengthening of prayer, in such a way that is not boring, is recommended. For the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: “The lengthening of prayer by a man and the shortness of the khutbah (sermon) is the sign of his understanding (of faith)” (Muslim and Ahmad).
Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Whoever reflects on the khutbahs of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam and those of his Companions finds them sufficient to explain the guidance and monotheism, the Attributes of Allaah, and the general principles of faith and Da`wah to Allaah. They showed the favors of Allaah which make His creatures love Him, and His Days which make them fear His punishment. Moreover, they included the command to remember and thank Him so that He may love them, mentioned of His Attributes and Names…what makes them love Him, and Commanded them to obey, thank, and remember Him so that He may love them. As a result, the audience will leave having loved Allaah and Him having loved them. Then long ages passed over them and the light of prophetood disappeared, to the extent that the laws and commands became mere formal practices, performed without being conscious of their purposes and objectives. Thus, they made these forms and practices sanctified that should not be neglected, while they neglected their objectives which really deserved their attention. They became concerned with ornamenting their khutbahs with rhymed prose and good style, and thus, the share of hearts from them decreased or even disappeared, and they failed to fulfil their objective."
 It is preferred for a married Muslim to have sexual intercourse with his wife and then perform ghusl on Friday for this will help him to lower his gaze while going to the mosque.