IMPORTANCE OF FRIDAY IN ISLAM - Explained by Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Friday, is primarily the Day of Assembly, the weekly meeting of the Congregation, when we show our unity by sharing in common public worship, preceded by a Khutbah, in which the Imām (or Leader) reviews the week's spiritual life of the Community and offers advice and exhortation on holy living. Notice the gradations of social contact for Muslims if they followed the wise ordinances of their Faith.

(1) Each individual remembers God for himself or herself five or more times everyday in the home or place of business, or local mosque, or open air, as the case may be.

(2) On Friday in every week there is a local meeting in the central mosque of each local centre-it may be a village, or town, or ward of a big city.

(3) At the two Ids every year, there is a large local area meeting in one centre.

(4) Once at least in a lifetime, where possible, a Muslim shares in the vast international assemblage of the world, in the centre of Islam, at the Meccan Pilgrimage.

A happy combination of decentralisation and centralisation, of individual liberty and collective meeting, and contact at various stages or grades. The mechanical part of this ordinance is easy to carry out. Are we carrying out the more difficult part?-the spirit of unity, brotherhood, mutual consultation, and collective understanding and action?

The idea behind the Muslim weekly "Day of Assembly" is different from that behind the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) or the Christian Sunday. The Jewish Sabbath is primarily a commemoration of God’s ending His work and resting on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2; Exod. 20:11): we are taught that God needs no rest, nor does He feel fatigue (2:255).

The Jewish command forbids work on that day but says nothing about worship or prayer (Exod. 20:10); our ordinance lays chief stress on the remembrance of God. Jewish formalism went so far as to kill the spirit of the sabbath, and call forth the protest of Jesus: "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark, 2:27). But the Christian Church, although it has changed the day from Saturday to Sunday, has inherited the Jewish spirit: witness the Scottish Sabbath; except insofar as it has been secularised.

Our teaching says: 'When the time for Jumu'ah Prayer comes, close your business and answer the summons loyally and earnestly, meet, pray, consult and learn by social contact: when the meeting is over, scatter and go about your business'.

[Failure to respond to Call for Prayers] The immediate and temporal worldly gain may be the ultimate and spiritual loss, and vice versa.

Edited from:
Tafsir Abdullah Yusuf Ali 
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