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The Excellence of Friday Prayer

Allah, the Exalted, says:


"Then when the (Jumu`ah) Salat is ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allah (by working), and remember Allah much: that you may be successful.'' (62:10)


1147. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday. On that day Adam was created, he was admitted to Jannah, and he was expelled therefrom.'' [Muslim].


Commentary: This Hadith tells us of the excellence of Jumu`ah. Many achievements were made on this day which also go to prove its excellent position in Islam.


1148. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "If anyone performs Wudu' properly, then comes to the Friday prayer, listens to the Khutbah (religious talk) attentively and keeps silent, his (minor) sins between that Friday and the following Friday will be forgiven, with the addition of three more days; but he who touches pebbles has caused an interruption. '' [Muslim].



1. "If anyone performs ablution properly'' means does it in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), that is to say, one should not exceed the prescribed limits, nor should one use water extravagantly. One should wash every organ of the body involved in "Wudu'', at the most for three times. One should neither use water in excess of the need nor leave any of the organs unwashed or partly washed in Wudu'. This Hadith also makes it evident that it is more meritorious to perform Wudu' at home.


2.Sins of ten days are pardoned because every virtue has at least ten-times reward. Here sins means minor sins as the major ones are not forgiven without sincere repentance nor are Huquq-ul-`Ibad i.e., (rights of people) forgiven without compensation.


3.One should listen to the Khutbah quietly with full attention. One must avoid toying with anything (such as straws, one's watch, etc.) as this is a useless exercise, which will doubtlessly deprive one of the Friday reward.


1149. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him)reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The five daily (prescribed) Salat, and Friday (prayer) to the next Friday (prayer), and the fasting of Ramadan to the next Ramadan, is expiation of the sins committed in between them, so long as major sins are avoided.''



Commentary: This Hadith makes it clear that the good actions mentioned in it are means of forgiveness of sins but only if one saves oneself from major sins. Thus, it is abundantly clear that the sins which are pardoned through these good actions are minor sins. Major sins will not be forgiven by means of Salat and Saum (fasting). Sincere repentance for them is indispensable.


1150. Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: We heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying (while delivering Khutbah on his wooden pulpit), "Either some people (i.e., hypocrites) stop neglecting the Friday prayers, or Allah will seal their hearts and they will be among the heedless.'' [Muslim].


Commentary: "They will be among the heedless'' means those who will become utterly unmindful of the remembrance of Allah and His Orders. Such people are Munafiqun (hypocrites), whose abode will be Hell. It means that negligence of Jumu`ah for a long time is such a serious offence that it can even seal a man's heart, which finishes all hopes and chances of one's improvement.


1151. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When one of you intends to come for the Friday prayer, he should take a bath.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


1152. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Taking a bath (before coming to Friday prayers) is obligatory on every adult.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


Commentary: On the strength of this Hadith, some `Ulama' have regarded bath for Salat-ul-Jumu`ah as Wajib (obligatory), and those who differ from this view, like Imam An-Nawawi, to resort the interpretation of Wajib made here. Whether Ghusl is Wajib or desirable, it applies to women as well, if they like to go to the mosque for Salat-ul-Jumu`ah. The manner of taking a bath for the Friday prayer is similar to the manner of performing Ghusl after sexual intercourse.


1153. Samurah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "It suffices to perform Wudu' properly for the Friday prayer; but it is better to take a bath.'' [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].


Commentary: This Hadith supports the contention of those who do not hold the Ghusl obligatory for two reasons. Firstly, it allows one to perform Wudu'. In fact, it has been regarded good. Secondly, the Ghusl has been regarded better, from which one can safely infer the permission to leave it. In any case, there is no doubt about its being Masnun (Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH)) and Mustahabb (desirable). The time of the Ghusl is from the daybreak to the time of Salat-ul-Jumu`ah.


1154. Salman (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "If a man takes bath on Friday, (or) purifies himself as much as he can with Wudu', oils his hair, applies whatever perfume available in his house, sets forth for the mosque, does not separate two people (to make a seat for himself), performs Salat what is prescribed for him, remains silent when the Imam speaks, his (minor) sins between that Friday and the following Friday will be forgiven.'' [Al-Bukhari].


Commentary: This Hadith stresses the following four points:


1.The need to purify oneself as much as possible on Jumu`ah. One must use hair oil and perfume so that others do not feel any irritation on the bad smell which may rise from one's clothes.


2.One is advised to go for Salat-ul-Jumu`ah early so that he has not to jump over the shoulders of others, nor has to sit tightly between two persons. If a person goes to the mosque late, then he should occupy the available seat and observe full manners.

3.One should perform Nawafil after reaching the mosque.


4.One should listen to the Khutbah quietly. A person who observes all the manners mentioned in this Hadith will receives full benefits of Salat-ul-Jumu`ah.


1155. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who takes a bath on Friday, like the bath for ceremonial purity, and then goes (to the mosque), he is like one who offers a camel as a sacrifice to seek the Pleasure of Allah; and he who comes at the second hour is like one who offers a cow to win the Pleasure of Allah; and he who comes at the third hour is like one who offers a ram with horns (in sacrifice); and he who comes at the fourth hour is like one who offers a hen; and he who comes at the fifth hour is like one who offers an egg. And when the Imam ascends the pulpit, the angels (who write the names of those who come to the mosque before the coming of the Imam) close (their record) in order to listen to the Khutbah.''

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


Commentary: This Hadith mentions the merits of going early for Salat-ul-Jumu`ah and narrates inducements provided for it. The earlier a person goes for it, the greater his reward will be. In fact, the reward for it goes on diminishing in proportion to the delay that he makes in reaching the mosque for this purpose so much so that he who reaches the Masjid after the Khutbah, will be totally deprived of the benefits which go with it because his name does not figure in the register which shows men of merits.


Salat-ul-Jumu`ah is also attended by angels. This fact shows the eminence for the Khutbah of Salat-ul-Jumu`ah and the Salat itself.


The Ghusl performed on Jumu`ah should be done with the same meticulous care as is done in Ghusl Janabah (post-coition bath).



1156. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said while talking about the merits of Friday, "There is a time on Friday at which a Muslim, while he (or she) is performing Salat and is supplicating, will be granted whatever he (or she) is supplicating for.'' And he (PBUH) pointed with his hand to indicate that this period of time is very short. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


Commentary: This Hadith mentions another distinction of Jumu`ah, namely a moment in which every prayer that a person then makes is granted with the condition that what one is asking for is good and lawful. It is a very short moment and its time has also not been revealed. For this reason one should remember Allah frequently and pray to Him on Jumu`ah so that one attains that moment when prayers are answered. Prayers can also be answered outside Salat if one happens to be supplicating at the specified moment.


1157. Abu Burdah bin Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: `Abdullah bin `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said to me: "Did you hear your father narrating something from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about the special moment during Friday?'' I said: "Yes, I heard him report from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH): `It occurs between the time when the Imam sits down (on the pulpit after the first Khutbah) and the time Salat is over.''' [Muslim].


Commentary: There is a difference of opinion among `Ulama' in respect of this moment. Some `Ulama' prefer the version given in this Hadith, that is, this moment could be any time in the period from the time the Imam sits down after the first Khutbah and the end of Salat-ul-Jumu`ah. But Sheikh Al-Albani has regarded this Hadith as "Mauquf'' (its chain of narrators does not reach up to the Prophet (PBUH)) (See Riyadh-us-Saliheen edited by Sheikh Al-Albani). For this reason other `Ulama' have inclined to a Marfu` Hadith (i.e., its chain of narrators reaches up to the Prophet (PBUH)) and urged to find this moment in the last hour of `Asr before the Maghrib.


1158. Aus bin Aus (May Allah be pleased with him)reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Among the best of your days is Friday. On that day pray to Allah to exalt my mention frequently, for your such supplications are presented to me.'' [Abu Dawud].


Commentary: This Hadith brings forth the following three points:


1.The auspiciousness of time further enhances the merits of virtuous deeds, as is evident from the stress on reciting more and more salutation on the Prophet (PBUH) on Friday.


2.On Jumu`ah, salutation is presented to the Prophet (PBUH). This statement goes to prove that he does not hear salutation of anyone directly, either from near or from far. There is a famous Hadith which says that he hears it from near but this is not "Sahih'' technically. Therefore, the truth of the matter is that he does not hear it directly. It is the angels who convey it to him.


3.The most well-worded is "Ibrahimi salutation'' because the Prophet (PBUH) himself taught it to his Companions. The salutation is:


Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin wa `ala ali Muhammadin, kama sallaita `ala Ibrahima, wa `ala ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidun Majeed. Allahumma barik `ala Muhammadin wa `ala ali Muhammadin, kama barakta `ala Ibrahima, wa `ala ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidun Majeed.


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