Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Salaathul Juma'a, the friday congregation

Salaathul Juma'a
(The Friday Congregation)

The Holy Prophet S.A.W.S. has informed us,
We are the last (Ummah  to enter Islam)
but we will be the foremost on the Day of Resurrection.
Although the earlier nations were given the Holy Books
(the Scriptures) before us and
we were given the Holy Qur'an after them,
they disputed with regard to this day (Friday).
So the day next to it (Saturday) was prescribed for the Jews
and the day following it (Sunday) for the Christians.

“It is obligatory for every Muslim to have a full bath,
at least once a week, on a Friday".
(Narrated by Abu Huraira R.A.A. and recorded  in Sahih Bukhari)

Islam renews itself every Friday in the hearts and minds of Muslims all over the world.

This day, and on the night before and after it, we rededicate ourselves to Allahu Sub'hanahu va ta Aala and His Beloved Messenger Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S.

Our lives assume a new meaning, a new signficance, a new mission.  We resolve and aspire earnestly to be perfect human beings and to be truly Muslim, the chosen of Allah. 

We rejoice in, and abide by, His Commands in the Holy Qur'an:

“And He (Allah) gives you all that you ask for.  (Indeed) if you (try to) count the favors of Allah (upon you), you will never be able to complete the job”. (Surath Ibrahim:  34). 

And in the Surath al Juma'a:  "O, you, who believe!  When the call is proclaimed for prayer on Friday (the Day of Congregation), hasten in earnest to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business and worldly affairs.  That is best for you if you only knew. 

"And when the Prayer is finished, then you may reach out through the land and seek the bounty of Allah.  (And)  Remember Allah much that you may prosper. And Allah is the Best Who provides for (and fulfills) all your needs".

Prayer in Jama’ath (congregation) is obligatory on Fridays when:

We are in good health
We are in a town or a village
We are male
We are sane and above 9 years of age
We are not lame or blind
It is Friday afternoon.
The sun has passed the meridian and it is time for Salaathuz Zuh’r.
The Imam is rendering the Quth’baa (sermon)
Beside the Imam, there are at least three members forming
the congregation.              

On hearing the first Aza'an of the Salaathul  Juma'a, we must halt all business dealings and put off worldly concerns and proceed to the Masjid.  Promptness in this response is Wa'ajib (second only in priority to Far’d, which is obligatory and its non-observance is penalised).

At the second Aza'an, the Imam ascends the Mimber, pulpit, and the Quth'bah, sermon, commences.  Everyone sits enwrapped in awe and silence and listens to the Imam.

During the sermon, it is forbidden to perform any Salaah, or talk to or chastise anyone.

However, according to a Hadith, if we are a late arrival at the Masjid, we must perform two rakaah’s Sunnah Thahiyyathul Masjid and then sit down and listen to the Quth'bah.

We must look forward to the Juma'a prayers and be in the Masjid on time.  It is Far’d, obligatory, to listen to the Quth'bah and be included in the Salaathul Juma'a (which is performed only in Jama’ath, congregation). 
The rewards are so bountiful that it would be a grievous loss to miss them. The Prophet S.A.W.S. has told us that from one Salaah to another, the Rah’math, shelter of compassion, from Allah rests on our heads. 

When we have performed the Juma'a prayer satisfactorily, we are assured of Allah's help and protection right up to the next Friday.

Anyone who deliberately misses, three times in a row,  the invaluable opportunity that every Friday provides us (to perform the Salaathul Juma’a and earn bounties from  Allah), will be listed among the Munafiqeen, the hypocrites, and the record will not be changed.  This is a warning from the Mishka’th  collection of Hadith.

There are 14 Rakaah’s in the Jumaa'a prayers:

On entering the Masjid in a state of Wudu, that is, after a bath and ablution, we pray:

Salaah Thahiyyathul Masjid:  2 Rakaah’s.

Next, if  the Imam has not yet ascended the pulpit for sermon, we pray:
Salaah Qab'l al Juma'a:   4 Rakaah’s

And we sit down and listen to the Quth'bah in rapt attention.

The sermon is rendered in two parts. The transliteration of a standard Quth'bah, is given at the end of the chapter. 

When the first part is finished, the Imam sits down for a while on the pulpit.  We must recite Darood-e-Shareef and pray to Allah for the reward we seek most. Insha Allah, our prayers will be granted.

The Imam now delivers the second part of the Sermon and we must recite Darood-e-Shareef every time the glorious name of Sydina Mohammed S.A.W.S.  is pronounced.

The Holy Qur'an bears witness that Allah and His angels send blessings upon the Holy Prophet S.A.W.S.. 

It calls upon the believers to bless Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S.  likewise, that is, to recite the Darood-e--Shareef whenever we hear his blessed name. 
Every Darood-e-Shareef we recite entitles us to great blessings in return.  The Holy Prophet S.A.W.S. has confirmed to us that every time we send Darood-e-Shareef  to him, he reciprocates the blessings. 

What greater fortune can there be for us than to be entitled to the blessings of our Glorious Master S.A.W.S.?

On Fridays, the blessings from Allahu Sub’hanahu va tha Aalaa to us are ten times or even more bountiful than on other days for our good deeds.

The rendering of Darood-e-Shareefe Shareef on this blessed day will undoubtedly be a most excellent investment that we make for a glorious life here and in the herafter to us and to our family.

With the sermon concluded, the Imam descends from the pulpit and takes his stand before the Mehra'b to lead us in the all important Salaathul Juma’a. 

The Muezzin gives the Iqamah call and we pray in congregation two rakaah’s Far’d.
The congregation disperses and we perform indiviDuaally four rakaah’s Sunnah Baad al Juma'a.
We conclude with two rakaah’s Naf’l (optional prayers). 

After this, we may perform any number of Naf’l prayers. These are best performed in our homes so the women and children are also inspired to follow our example as good Muslims.

Every Salaah, every good deed, every charity rendered on a Friday brings us much more reward from Allah than on other days. 

Every Juma’a is so auspicious to us that its blessings commence and last even through the nights that precede and succeed it.

From Salaah’s Maghrib of Thursday through Faj’r of Saturday, Muslims are endowed a magnificent opportunity to prove their devotion to Allah.

We must guard ourselves against sins, perform prayers and good deeds and recite the Holy Qur’an with earnestness. Certainly we will gain the richest of rewards from Our Glorious Creator.