The Friday prayer
Each of the five prayers that a Muslim and a Muslim woman should perform daily is important. Above all, however, the midday prayer – or the Dhur prayer – on Friday has a special meaning. On one hand we are following the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him). Tradition reports that he recommended the whole body washing (ghusl) and made Friday prayer the highest priority on Friday. The weekday Friday has always been very important in Islam. In Arabic this day of the week is called الجمعة (Al-Jum‘a), which comes from the root of the word jamaa ‘. Translated, this means “to bring together” or “to collect together”.
This root of the word occurs in many verses of the Koran, which emphasizes this word and gives it importance. Exactly what the word Jum‘a means also happens with every Friday prayer. The Muslims come together; unite into the community that they are. They exchange ideas, greet each other and look forward to the upcoming lecture and the common prayer in the mosque. The Duhr prayer usually consists of four units. However, if you pray the Friday prayer with your siblings in the mosque, the prayer is shortened to two units. Before that, a sermon will be held, which either deals with current topics related to Islam or with topics relating to the general coexistence of Muslims and optimal behaviour. The lecturer, the imam of the mosque, teaches his listeners to reflect on what they have learned and apply it. At the end of each lecture, the Imam says supplications, which the Muslims agree to. Immediately afterwards the Duhr prayer begins. It is compulsory for men to attend prayer unless they have other duties. Women are advised to come, and many women also follow this recommendation. Sick, weak and old people do not have to come and can perform prayer at home. But if they want to come, the doors of the mosque are of course open to them.
It is a blessed day marked as such by God Almighty; no other day of the week shares its values.
The whole life of a believer is one of worship, even celebrations are practiced as worship. While there is no particular place or time to worship God, there are moments, days, or times that God has emphasized over others. Friday is such a time.
Abu Huraira (Allaah will be pleased with him) reported: “Allaah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said”
“The best day on which the sun rises is Friday: on a Friday Allah created Adam (Allah’s pleasure in him), on a Friday he was admitted to Paradise, and on a Friday he was expelled from Paradise.” Narrated by Muslim)
In many predominantly Muslim countries, Friday is the weekly public holiday, sometimes in combination with either Thursday or Saturday. However, it is not a duty to close shops except during the time of compulsory prayer. In western countries, many Muslims try to use their lunch break to pray, usually in the early afternoon.