4 Lessons From the Quranic Reference to Friday Prayer (Jumu’ah)

In the last three verses (62:9-11) of the Quranic surah, or chapter, Al-Jumu’ah (Friday), the Quran mentions the obligation of the Jumu’ah Prayer (Friday Prayer). It presents several educational and ethical considerations on the subject.

Obviously, the surah is called thus because of those three verses and their content.

The following are four lessons extracted therefrom.

The Prophet’s Sunnah as a Source of Legislation

There are people who believe that the Quran is the only source of legislation. The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) does not enjoy that prerogative. Those who subscribe to this view are sometimes called Qur’aniyyun (those who rely only on the Quran).

However, this belief is utterly un-Islamic. It may yet take a person out of the fold of Islam. So categorical is the Quran about the role of the Sunnah as its interpreter and explainer, and as an independent source of legislation, that negating it as such means negating and rejecting the Quran itself.

The last three verses of Al-Jumu’ah chapter represent perhaps the strongest evidence on the position and role of the Sunnah.

In verse 9, Allah says:

O you who have believed, when (the adhan) is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew (Al-Jumu’ah, 9).

When those verses were revealed, both the Jumu’ah Prayer and the adhan (call to prayer) were for quite some time established as religious observances. Here the Quran legislates neither of them. It only confirms what was already there, providing a further educational and ethical guidance about them.

Listen to Verses from Chapter 62:

Both the Jumu’ah Prayer and the adhan were legislated by the Prophet soon after his migration to Madinah. He did so independently from the Quran, albeit in full conformity with it and with the heavenly will and support.

The Quran says about this norm:

Take only what the Messenger gives to you and desist from what he forbids you (Al-Hashr, 7).

And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought (Al-Nahl, 44).

All that was possible because the Prophet did not speak from his own inclination; it was but revelation sent down to him (Al-Najm, 3-4).

“Hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade.”

Islam as a way of life strikes a balance between the needs of the body and soul, matter and spirit, and between this world and the Hereafter. Everything is to be given its due, but spirituality takes precedence over everything else.

Moreover, matter is no more than a means for attaining a spiritual wellbeing. Almighty Allah’s pleasure and His Jannah (Paradise) are the goals of a believer’s struggle. They are the end of all other ends.

This philosophy is summed up in those three verses of Al-Jumu’ah chapter. Allah says that when the adhan is given for the Jumu’ah Prayer – as one of the most fundamental obligations in Islam – people should not just react. Rather, they should hasten to the prayer and leave trade.

However, this should not be understood literally, for approaching prayer in a state of running is not recommended. One should approach it walking and with calmness – as advised by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

That means that when the adhan is given, one should be quick in ending all his engagements in worldly matters, and should proceed immediately with his preparations for and joining the congregation.

Trade is mentioned as a symbol of association with this world. Leaving it is reminiscent of leaving the world and all its potential hindrances. It means emancipation from the fetters of matter and vanity.

Read the full article here.

About Dr. Spahic Omer
Dr. Spahic Omer, an award-winning author, is an Associate Professor at the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). He studied in Bosnia, Egypt and Malaysia. In the year 2000, he obtained his PhD from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur in the field of Islamic history and civilization. His research interests cover Islamic history, culture and civilization, as well as the history and theory of Islamic built environment. He can be reached at: [email protected].