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Importance of Jummah Prayer


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Ruhi_Rose
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« on: January 06, 2011, 03:29:22 pm »

 BismEm


Jummah prayer or Friday congregational prayer:

You might hear many modernists say that the Quran does not mention anything about the Friday congregational prayer.  But they are wrong.  They say this because they read the Quran without understanding it, or by purposely distorting the translations.

"O ye who believe! When the call is heard for the prayer of the day of congregation, haste unto remembrance of Allah and leave your trading. That is better for you if ye did but know."  [62:9]  Surah Al-Jumu'ah

As we can see for ourselves, in the above Verse the Noble Quran doesn't only refer to the Jummah prayer but also gives a lot of importance to it.  The Arabic word "Jumu'ah" or "Jamm'ah" (جمعة) means 'congregation.'   This congregational prayer is offered once a week in the afternoon and it replaces the regular afternoon Zohr (or Dohr) prayer offered on other days.  It's known as salaat-al-Jummah.  It comes on the day known as 'Friday' in the list of the 7 christian week names.  

The Jummah prayer is an obligation (fard) for men and is recommended for women to be performed at a mosque along with the congregation (jamm'ah or jamm'at). Women also have the option of performing the Zohr prayer instead, either privately or in a mosque. Anyone who is unable to join a congregation for jumu'ah is required to make up the prayer with a regular Zohr prayer.  The purpose of this weekly congregational prayer is to give believers a chance to offer prayers together once a week, so that they can see and meet the people of their community at a common venue .. and indeed the masjid is the best common venue for a believer.  

For Muslims living in the West it might be harder to attend congregational prayer in the afternoon, even though it's only once a week, primarily because of the long distances, the absense of masjids in all neighborhoods and no additional breaks on Fridays at workplaces.  That's indeed unfortunate.  But let such folks try to attend the Friday prayers to the best of their abilities.  After all, Allah sees our efforts and intentions a lot more than what we actually achieve.  He is infinitely Merciful.

The method of offering Jummah prayer is exactly the same as all other prayers, except that it's shorter than the regular Zohr prayer and consists of only 2 rakats like the Fajr prayer.  The Jummah prayer is preceded by a sermon known as 'khutba' in Arabic.  The sermon can be in any language which is understood by the majority in the congretation.  

By reading Verse 62:11 of the same Surah, Al-Jumu'ah, it seems very possible that the system of delivering the khutba (sermon) was done by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم ).

"But when they spy some merchandise or pastime they break away to it and leave thee standing. Say: That which Allah hath is better than pastime and than merchandise, and Allah is the Best of providers."  [62:11] Surah Al-Jumu'ah

The above Verse is said to refer to an incident when the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم   was explaining and talking to the people of the congregation during the Jummah prayer (which was very likely the sermon) when most people of this congregation got distracted by the noise of a celebration going on outside and ran to see it, leaving the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم   by himself.
 
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2011, 11:43:25 pm »

Very nice piece sister Rose.  Yes, the Jum'ah or Friday prayers are very much a Quranic commandment .. much more for men than women I would think.  Nowadays with this mass immigration of Muslims in non-Muslim countries, many Muslims end up missing Friday prayers in congregation on almost every Friday.  It's really sad but these folks can't help it either.  Either the distance to the nearest masjid is too much or they just can't get that extra time.  And considering the very tough situation for Muslims in America today, I'm sure they would be sacked from their workplaces if they asked for even 20 minutes of extra time on Fridays for joining a congregational prayer.  In some workplaces where there is a large number of Muslim workers, they would have their own congregational prayers within the premises of the workplace.  But after 9/11 and all this hatred against the Muslim community, no non-Muslim workplace allows this any longer. 
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2011, 11:50:47 pm »

Btw, it's obvious that the name Jum'ah given to that day is on account of the Jam'ah or congregation prayers.  Apparently that particular day selected by the Prophet (S) for offering congregational prayer at that time came to be known as Jum'ah.  But most people seem to miss this point.  They think it's the other way round, as if one of the days called Jum'ah already existed and the congregational prayer was fitted into it. 
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 12:19:31 am »

Btw, it's obvious that the name Jum'ah given to that day is on account of the Jam'ah or congregation prayers.  Apparently that particular day selected by the Prophet (S) for offering congregational prayer at that time came to be known as Jum'ah.  But most people seem to miss this point.  They think it's the other way round, as if one of the days called Jum'ah already existed and the congregational prayer was fitted into it. 

This is a good point you've stated sister Heba.  I agree with your perception.

Also, thanks sister Rose, for this reminder on congregational prayers.  Yes, it's definitely a Quranic commandment.  It's become a bit hard for Muslims living in non-Muslim lands to abide by it.  This is really unfortunate.  What else can one say  Sad   I hope these Muslims keep trying as much as they can to attend the Jum'ah prayers.  After all, effort and intention are more important than the action itself.   
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