Friday is the best day of the week. Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that Rasoolillah (SAW) had said, “We (Muslims) came last and yet we are the first on the day of judgment. They have received the books before us (meaning Torah and Injil). We have received the book after them (meaning the Qur’an). Friday was their day to be glorified. However, they disputed on that while Allah had told us Friday is the day to glorify. Thus they will follow us. The Jews glorify Saturday, and the Christians glorify Sunday.”
Also reported by Imam Muslim, Abu Dawud, Al-Nisai, and Al-Tirmidhi, that Rasoolillah (SAW) had said, “The best day during which the sun have risen is Friday. It is the Day Adam was created. It is the day when Adam entered paradise and also when he was taken out from it. It is also the day on which the day of judgment takes place.”
Actions to be undertaken on Fridays
Men are obligated to participate in Friday Prayer. Allah (SWT) said in Surah Al-Jumauah, (verse 9), what can be translated as, “O’ you who believe! When the call is proclaimed to Prayer on Friday hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business. That is best for you if you but knew.”
In addition, Rasoolillah (SAW) had warned from not attending Friday Prayer. Imam Muslim and Ahmad had reported that Rasoolillah (SAW) said about people who do not attend Friday Prayer, “I wanted to ask a man to lead people in the prayer so that I may go and burn houses of men who did not attend the Friday Prayer with us” He also said reported by Imam Muslim, Ahmad and Al-Nisai, “Either they (meaning people who do not attend the Friday prayer) stop neglecting Friday prayers or Allah will set a seal on their hearts so they can not find the right path again.” In another authentic hadith reported by Abu Dawod, Tirmidhi, Al-Nisai, and Ibn-Majah, that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Who ever does not attend three Friday prayers, (without a valid excuse) Allah will set a seal on his heart”
It is also recommended to increase supplication especially at the last hour of the day since it is the hour when requests are replied by Allah. In an authentic hadith reported by Imam Al-Nisai, Abu-Dawod, and Al-hakim, that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Friday has 12 hours, one of which is the hour where cries are granted for Muslim believers. This hour is sought at the last hour after Asar.”
It is encouraged to send salaam upon the Messenger of Allah (SAW) during Fridays and Friday’s night because of an authentic hadith reported by Imam Abu-Dawod, Al-Nisai, and Ibn-Majah, that the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said, “The best day is Friday. On Friday Adam was created, and died. On Friday is the first time the trumpet is blown (meaning when every creature dies) and the second time the trumpet is blown (referring to resurrection). So increase the number of times you wish peace upon me since this prayer will be shown to me.” They asked him, How will our prayers be shown to you after you have vanished. He replied, “Allah has prohibited earth to cause the body of Prophets to decay.”
It is also recommended that Muslims recite Surah Al-Kahf, because of the authentic hadith reported by Imam Al-Baihaqee and Al-Hakim, that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had said, “Who ever recites Surah Al-Kahf on Friday, Allah will give him a light to the next Friday.”
It is also recommended that Muslims clean and wash themselves and make sure they smell nice when they attend Friday Prayers. Imam Muslim and Bukhari reported that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Every Muslim is obligated to wash on Fridays and wear his best cloth. Also, he should use perfume if he has any.”
It is important to come early to the Friday prayer. All of the hadith collectors, except Ibn-Majah, reported in an authentic hadith that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “If one washes himself and then went to Friday Prayer, it is considered as if he donated a camel for the sake of Allah. However, If he went in the second hour then it is considered as if he donated a cow and if the third hour then as if he donated a big sheep and if the fourth hour then as if he donated a chicken and if the fifth hour then as if he donated an egg. Then when the Imam starts delivering the speech the angels come and listen to it.” Also in anther authentic hadith reported by Imam Abu-Dawod that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “On Friday the angels come to stand on the doors of the mosque (masjid), the angels record who comes first, if the Imam starts delivering the speech, the angles close their files and come to listen to the speech.”
It is forbidden to work on Fridays after the call for the prayer was announced because Allah says in Surah Al-Jumu’ah, (verse 9), what can be translated as, “When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business.”
Also, it is forbidden to talk during the Khutbah. Several sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) covers this subject. In an authentic hadith reported by the group of Ahadith collectors except Ibn-Majah, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “If you told your friend to pay attention on Friday while the Imam is delivering the speech then you committed a sin of vain talk.” Another authentic hadith which was reported by Imam Ibn-Majah and Attermizi that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Even who touches the gravel on the floor then he committed vain talk, and he who does commit that there will be no (Jumuah) Friday for him.”
It is also disliked to walk between sitting people during Friday gathering unless there is an empty spot to fill. In an authentic hadith reported by Imam Abu-Dawod, Al-Nisai, and Ahmad that, A man came and started walking between people during a Friday gathering while Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was delivering his speech, so the Prophet told him, “Sit because you caused harm to other people and came in late.”
It was not legislated to consider Friday as a day off and not work during it. Because Allah (SWT) said in Surah Al-Jumu’ah, (verse 10), what can be translated as, “And when the prayer is finished, then you may disperse through the land and seek of the bounty of Allah.” It was not a habit of any of the companions to consider Friday as a day to take off work. On the contrary Imam Malik(rh) said, “It is disliked to take Friday off since we will be resembling the Jews and Christians for taking, respectively, Saturday or Sunday off.”
Finally , there are two important matters for us in this country to be cautioned of. First of all, we must not neglect Friday Prayers because of work, study, or other matters. Every Muslims should make attending Friday Prayer as his top priority. It is important to do so since ignoring it three times with no valid reason will cause the heart to be sealed from the right path.
The second matter to watch for is the losing of one’s interest in the importance of Friday. This is especially important for the growing generation who are used to the concept of weekend being Saturday and Sunday and know almost nothing about the importance of Friday in the eyes of Muslims. So it is our duty to remind them and ourselves about this great day which is the best day of the week and try to spend it according to Islamic teaching.