Etiquettes of Jumu’ah, Part 1 (January 21, 2011)

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“Etiquettes of Jumu’ah” was the topic of Friday’s sermon delivered by Ameer Mustapha Elturk on January 21, 2011 at the IONA Center in Warren, Michigan.

       After praising and glorifying Allah (SWT), invoking Him to shower His blessings upon the last and final messenger Muhammad (SAW), reciting few verses from the Qur’an, and making supplications, Ameer Mustapha began his sermon by informing the congregation that his khutbahh would mainly deal with the importance and virtues of Jumu’ah and the etiquettes that should be observed on Jumu’ah.

       Ameer Mustapha said that he was impelled to speak on this topic because of the careless and casual attitude of some of the brothers who come to the Masjid to perform their Jumu’ah prayers but do not observe the etiquettes that should be observed, especially during the time when the khutbahh is being delivered. He said that on one Jumu’ah in the IONA Masjid, he had the privilege to be among the audience while another imam delivered the khutbah and led the Jumu’ah prayers. Ameer Mustapha said that he noticed a few things that he felt were not only inappropriate but against the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). While the khutbah was being delivered, he saw few people in the back rows exchanging Salams, shaking hands, and talking as if they were socializing in a café or a club. He also observed someone taking out his ringing cell phone while praying Sunnah to see the caller’s number and then putting it back in his pocket. These brothers, the Ameer said, appeared to be unmindful of the importance of honoring Jumu’ah as it should be honored.

       Ameer Mustapha then explained the significance of Jumu’ah describing it as a day when Muslims come together and remember Allah (SWT) collectively. Addressing the believers, the Qur’an says, O you who believe! When the call to prayer is made on the day of congregation, hurry towards the reminder of God and leave off your trading––that is better for you, if only you knew (al-Jumu’ah, 62:9). Jumu’ah is Fard ‘Ain (individual obligation) upon all believers who are able to and have reached the age of maturity to come to the Masjid and pray in congregation.

       Speaking about the virtues of Jumu’ah, Ameer Mustapha said that Friday was the best day of the week and the most virtuous day in the sight of Allah (SWT). He cited a few ahadith, which described Jumu’ah as being the best, the most prominent and the most honored day in the sight of Allah (SWT), being even more honored than the day of breaking of the fast (Eid al-Fitr) and the day of sacrifice (Eid al-Adha). Jumu’ah has five significant merits because it was on the day of Jumu’ah that (1) Allah (SWT) created Adam, (2) Allah (SWT) sent Adam down to earth, (3) Allah (SWT) caused Adam to die, (4) There is a time during which if one asks anything of Allah (SWT), it is granted to him unless he asks for something which is forbidden, and (5) The Hour will come to pass. In one of the Prophetic traditions, it is narrated that any Muslim who dies on the night of or during the day of Jumu’ah, Allah (SWT) saves him or her from the punishment of the grave. According to a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, it is reported that Allah (SWT) deprived the Jews and the Christians who came before us from the blessings of Friday. The Jews had Saturday and the Christians had Sunday. Then Allah (SWT) brought us and guided us to Friday. We are the last of the people of this world but will be the first one on the Day of Resurrection and will be dealt with before all others. It is also reported by Ibn Abbas (RAA) that the ayah, Today I have perfected your religion for you, completed My blessing upon you, and chosen for you Islam as the acceptable system of faith and worship (al-Ma’idah, 5:3), was revealed on two Eids, i.e. the day of Jumu’ah, which also happened to be the day of Arafah during the last farewell sermon of the Prophet (SAW). We are also aware of the well-known hadith that speaks about the expiation (kaffarah) of sins from one Friday to the other. The Prophet (SAW) giving a stern warning said that whoever missed three Jumu’ah prayers in a row out of negligence will have a seal put over his heart by Allah (SWT).

       The Jumu’ah prayers are not obligatory on the following: (1) Women and children—women, however, are encouraged to attend with the permission of their husbands. In this time and age, the khutbah of Jumu’ah is perhaps one of the only occasions that some religious education based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah is imparted to Muslims, (2) The person who is ill and faces hardship in going to the Masjid and feels that by doing so, the recovery from illness will be delayed. This also includes a person who is nursing a very ill person, especially when the ill person cannot manage in the absence of the nursing person, (3) The traveler—this is based on the practice of the Prophet (SAW) who while travelling did not pray Jumu’ah but prayed Zuhr and Asr prayers together during the time of Zuhr prayers, (4) Environmental restraints such as rain, mud, extreme cold, and so on. These categories of people are not obliged to pray the Jumu’ah prayers but they are obliged to pray the Zuhr. There is no Zuhr on the day of Jumu’ah. Only those who miss their Jumu’ah prayers have to pray the regular Zuhr prayer instead. As for the Sunnah prayers on Jumu’ah, these are offered after the Jumu’ah prayers; four rak'as, if offered in the Masjid and two rak'as if offered at home.

       Ameer Mustapha next addressed the question of how to get the maximum benefit out of Jumu’ah. On the day of Jumu’ah, one should offer the Fajr prayers in congregation in the Masjid. This is the best prayer that a Muslim can pray during the week. Performing ghusl (bath) is also highly recommended on the day of Jumu’ah. It is preferred for anyone; man or woman, elderly or young person, a traveler or resident who desires to attend Salat ul-Jumu’ah or any gathering of the people, Salat ul-Eid for example to cleanse oneself by bathing, to brush one’s teeth, to put on one’s best attire, and to apply perfume. We learn from a hadith of the Prophet (SAW) that it is the right of Allah (SWT) on every Muslim that he should bathe, head to toe at least once every week. It is also recommended that one clips one’s nails on Fridays.

       Perfecting one’s wudu (ablution) is also incumbent upon every Muslim because wudu is a shart (condition) for salah. The Qur’anic injunctions regarding wudu are mentioned in Surah al-Ma’idah as follows: O you, who believe, when you are about to pray, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, wipe your heads, wash your feet up to the ankles (al-Ma’idah, 5:6). I t is absolutely essential that these instructions are followed very strictly or the wudu will remain imperfect, as a consequence of which, the prayers will become null and void. It is often observed that people are somewhat casual as regards perfecting their ablution—they do not, for example wash their entire face which includes washing from where the hair grows on the top of the forehead to the chin, from one side of the ear to the other, and letting water get through the wrinkles on the face so that every part of the skin gets wet. Likewise they often wash their arms short of their elbows and their feet short of their ankles. It has to be ensured that the arms are washed up to the elbows and the feet up to the ankles. The head too has to be wiped.

       The brushing of teeth or using the miswak is also highly recommended as according to a hadith brushing the teeth purifies the mouth and brings the pleasure of the Lord. The Prophet (SAW) has emphatically urged the strict observance of oral hygiene at all times. In a hadith, he is reported to have said that if he had not found it hard for the people, he would have ordered them to clean their teeth with siwak (toothbrush) before every prayer. The need for oral hygiene among other reasons is also emphasized because we recite the Qur’an or Kalamullah (the words of Allah) through our mouth. It entails, therefore, that we keep our mouth clean all the time and especially during prayers. We have to ensure that there is no bad or foul odor emitted from our mouths. This is the reason why it is undesirable to enter the masjid after eating raw garlic, onion or anything that may produce foul smell. It is reported that the Prophet (SAW) would ask his companions to turn away those people from the Masjid whose mouths smelled bad. A bad odor is odious to people as well as angels, what to speak of Allah (SWT).

       Dressing well on the day of Jumu’ah is another area which needs our attention. We have to dress our best on Eid and Jumu’ah is an Eid day for Muslims. The Prophet (SAW) insisted that we should put on our finest cloths on Friday. It is reported that the Prophet (SAW) while he was on the pulpit one Friday said that it would do no harm if one were to buy two gowns—one for Jumu’ah and another for normal days.

       Sending salutations (Durud and Salam) upon the Prophet (SAW) during the night and day of Jumu’ah is also highly recommended. The Prophet (SAW) is reported to have urged his ummah to increase their prayers and salutations upon him on Fridays as these are presented to him. When the people enquired him as to how will their prayers be presented to him after he had passed away, the Prophet (SAW)’s reply was that Allah (SWT) had prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of the Prophets. After all, it is the Prophet (SAW) who brought guidance to us. He guided us from darkness to light. He purified our hearts by the grace of Allah (SWT). In gratitude and appreciation for the great blessing we received through him from Allah (SWT), it is obligatory upon us to keep invoking Allah’s blessing upon the Prophet (SAW), especially on the day and night of Jumu’ah.

       Towards the end of his sermon, Ameer Mustapha said that, in sha Allah, he would continue to speak on the same topic next Friday covering those issues that had not been covered and would also try to recapitulate the main issues discussed in the two khutbahs.


Prepared by Dr. Munawar Haque
IONA Research & Publications
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