Surah Al Jumu’ah (Arabic: الجمعة) or Surah Juma is the 62nd chapter of the Qur’an composed of 11 ayats or verses. It is classified as a Medinan Surah and is titled in English as “Friday”.
This Surah discusses the negligence of Bani Israel in listening to Allah as they became too involved in hedonism (i.e. seeking pleasures). They were given the message and had the book of Allah but failed to follow the guidance. Muslim’s are urged to keep Friday prayer and don’t get too involved in business that you forget Allah.
Below you can read Surah Jumuah in English with Sahih international translation and with transliteration. At the end of the Surah we’ve added different Tafseer to provide commentary for those looking to learn in detail about Surah Jumuah.
“What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers.”
Surah Jumuah Ayat 11
Read Surah Jumu’ah with Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّهِ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ٱلْمَلِكِ ٱلْقُدُّوسِ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْحَكِيمِ
Yusabbihu lilaahi maa fis samaawaati wa maa fil ardil Malikil Quddoosil ‘Azeezil Hakeem
1. Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is exalting Allah, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى ٱلْأُمِّيِّۦنَ رَسُولًۭا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا۟ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ
Huwal lazee ba’asa fil ummiyyeena Rasoolam min hum yatloo ‘alaihim aayaatihee wa yuzakkeehim wa yu’allimuhumul Kitaaba wal Hikmata wa in kaano min qablu lafee dalaalim mubeen
2. It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom – although they were before in clear error –
وَءَاخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا۟ بِهِمْ ۚ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
Wa aakhareena minhum lammaa yalhaqoo bihim wa huwal ‘azeezul hakeem
3. And [to] others of them who have not yet joined them. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ ٱللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلْفَضْلِ ٱلْعَظِيمِ
Zaalika fadlul laahi yu’teehi many-yashaaa; wallaahu zul fadlil ‘azeem
4. That is the bounty of Allah, which He gives to whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.
مَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا۟ ٱلتَّوْرَىٰةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ ٱلْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًۢا ۚ بِئْسَ مَثَلُ ٱلْقَوْمِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
Masalul lazeena hum milut tawraata summa lam yahmiloonhaa kamasalil himaari yah milu asfaaraa; bi’sa masalul qawmil lazeena kaazzaboo bi aayaatil laah; wallaahu laa yahdil qawmazzaalimeen
5. The example of those who were entrusted with the Torah and then did not take it on is like that of a donkey who carries volumes [of books]. Wretched is the example of the people who deny the signs of Allah . And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.
قُلْ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ هَادُوٓا۟ إِن زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ لِلَّهِ مِن دُونِ ٱلنَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا۟ ٱلْمَوْتَ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـٰدِقِينَ
Qul yaaa ayyuhal lazeena haadoo in za’amtum annakum awliyaaa’u lilaahi min doonin naasi fatamannawul mawta in kuntum saadiqeen
6. Say, “O you who are Jews, if you claim that you are allies of Allah, excluding the [other] people, then wish for death, if you should be truthful.”
وَلَا يَتَمَنَّوْنَهُۥٓ أَبَدًۢا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌۢ بِٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
Wa laa yatamannaw nahooo abadam bimaa qaddamat aydeehim; wallaahu ‘aleemum biz zaalimeen
7. But they will not wish for it, ever, because of what their hands have put forth. And Allah is Knowing of the wrongdoers.
قُلْ إِنَّ ٱلْمَوْتَ ٱلَّذِى تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُۥ مُلَـٰقِيكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَـٰلِمِ ٱلْغَيْبِ وَٱلشَّهَـٰدَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
Qul innal mawtal lazee tafirroona minhu fa innahoo mulaaqeekum summa turaddoona ilaa ‘Aalimil Ghaibi wash shahaadati fa yunabbi’ukum bimaa kuntum ta’maloon
8. Say, “Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you about what you used to do.”
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِذَا نُودِىَ لِلصَّلَوٰةِ مِن يَوْمِ ٱلْجُمُعَةِ فَٱسْعَوْا۟ إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ وَذَرُوا۟ ٱلْبَيْعَ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌۭ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo izaa noodiya lis-Salaati miny yawmil Jumu’ati fas’aw ilaa zikril laahi wa zarul bai’; zaalikum khayrul lakum in kuntum ta’lamoon
9. 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.
فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةُ فَٱنتَشِرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱبْتَغُوا۟ مِن فَضْلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًۭا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
Fa-izaa qudiyatis Salaatu fantashiroo fil ardi wabtaghoo min fadlil laahi wazkurul laaha kaseeral la’allakum tuflihoon
10. And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah, and remember Allah often that you may succeed.
وَإِذَا رَأَوْا۟ تِجَـٰرَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا ٱنفَضُّوٓا۟ إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَآئِمًۭا ۚ قُلْ مَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌۭ مِّنَ ٱللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ ٱلتِّجَـٰرَةِ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ خَيْرُ ٱلرَّٰزِقِينَ
Wa izaa ra’aw tijaaratan aw lahwanin faddooo ilaihaa wa tarakooka qaaa’imaa; qul maa ‘indal laahi khairum minal lahwi wa minat tijaarah; wallaahu khayrur raaziqeen
11. But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, [O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, “What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers.”
Tafseer of Surah JumuahThe Qur’an was revealed as a book of proof that Islam is the one true religion and to be a book of guidance for the believers. We’ve added this section to provide those interested in reading a commentary of Surah Jumuah and learn about its message.
Tafsir of Surah Jumu’ah by Ibn Kathir
Ibn `Abbas and Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger used to recite Surat Al-Jumu`ah and Surat Al-Munafiqin during the Friday Prayer. Muslim collected this Hadith in his Sahih.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(Glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise) (17:44) Allah said,
(the King, the Holy,) meaning that He is the Owner and King of the heavens and the earth Who has perfect control over their affairs. He is the Holy, free of all shortcomings, His attributes are perfect,
(the Almighty, the All-Wise.) whose explanation is already discussed in many places.
Allah the Exalted said,
(He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves,) the word `unlettered’ here refers to the Arabs. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(And say to those who were given the Scripture and those who are illiterates: “Do you submit yourselves If they do, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the message; and Allah is All-Seer of (His) servants.) (3:20) Mentioning the unlettered ones in specific here does not mean that Muhammad was only sent to them, because the blessing to the Arabs is greater than that of other nations. In another Ayah, Allah said,
(And verily, this is indeed a Reminder for you and your people) (43:44). Surely, the Qur’an is also a reminder for those other than Arabs to take heed. Allah the Exalted said,
(And warn your tribe of near kindred.) (26:214) These Ayat do not negate Allah’s statements,
(Say: “O mankind! verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah.) (7:158), and,
(that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach.) (6:19) and in His statement about the Qur’an,
(But those of the groups that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place.) (11:17) There are other Ayat that indicate that his Message is universal. He, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, was sent to all people, mankind and the Jinns alike. We mentioned this meaning before in Surat Al-An`am producing various Ayat and Hadiths. All praise and thanks are to due to Allah. This Ayah testifies that Allah has indeed accepted the invocation of His friend Ibrahim when he supplicated Allah to send a Messenger to the people of Makkah from among them their own. One who will recite to them Allah’s statements, purify them and teach them the Book and the Hikmah. So, Allah — all praise and thanks be to Him — sent him when the Messengers ceased and the way was obscure. Indeed it was a time when it was most needed. Especially since Allah hated the people of the earth, Arabs and non-Arabs alike, except for a few of the People of the Scripture, who kept to the true faith Allah the Exalted sent to `Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon him. This is why Allah said,
(He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His Ayat, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the Hikmah. And verily, they had been before in manifest error.) In ancient times, the Arabs used to adhere by the religion of Ibrahim, peace be upon him. They later changed, corrupted and contradicted it, choosing polytheism instead of Tawhid and doubts instead of certainty. They invented a religion that Allah did not legislate, just as the People of the Scriptures did when they changed and corrupted their Divine Books. Allah sent Muhammad , with a great divine legislation, perfect religion that is suitable for all humans and Jinns. In it, there is guidance and explanations of all that they need in this life and the Hereafter. It draws them closer to Paradise and Allah’s pleasure and takes them away from the Fire and earning Allah’s anger. In it, there is the final judgement for all types of doubts and suspicion for all major and minor matters of the religion. In Muhammad , Allah gathered all the good qualities of the Prophets before him, and gave him what He has never given the earlier and later generations of mankind. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on Muhammad until the Day of Judgement.
(And others among them who have not yet joined them. And He is the Almighty, the All-Wise.) Imam Abu `Abdullah Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy upon him, recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “We were sitting with the Prophet , when Surat Al-Jumu`ah was revealed to him;
(And others among them who have not yet joined them.) They said, `Who are they, O Allah’s Messenger’ The Prophet did not reply until they repeated the question thrice. At that time, Salman Al-Farisi was with us. So Allah’s Messenger placed his hand on Salman, saying,
(If faith were on Ath-Thurayya (Pleiades), even then some men or a man from these people would attain it.)” Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa`i, Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir collected this Hadith. This Hadith indicates that Surat Al-Jumu`ah was revealed in Al-Madinah and that the Messenger’s Message is universal. The Prophet explained Allah’s statement,
(And others among them) by mentioning Persia. This is why the Prophet sent messages to the kings of Persia and Rome, among other kings, calling them to Allah the Exalted and to follow what he was sent with. This is why Mujahid and several others said that Allah’s statement,
(And others among them who have not yet joined them.) refers to all non-Arabs who believe in the truth of the Prophet. Allah’s statement,
(And He is the Almighty, the All-Wise.) asserts that He is Almighty and All-Wise in His legislation and the destiny He appoints. Allah’s statement,
(That is the grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is the Owner of mighty grace.) refers to the great prophethood that He granted Muhammad and the qualities that He favored his Ummah with, by sending Muhammad to them.
Friday is called Al-Jumu`ah because it is derived from Al-Jam`, literally, gathering. The people of Islam gather weekly, on every Friday in the major places of worship. It was during Friday when Allah finished the creation, the sixth day, during which Allah created the heavens and earth. During Friday, Allah created Adam, and he was placed in Paradise, and ironically, it was a Friday when he was taken out of Paradise. It will be on a Friday when the Last Hour will commence. There is an hour during Friday, wherein no faithful servant asks Allah for something good, but Allah will give him what he asked for. All of this is based upon Hadiths in the authenic collections. In the ancient language Friday was called, `Arubah. It is a fact that previous nations were informed about Friday, but they were led astray from it. The Jews chose Saturday for their holy day, but Adam was not created on Saturday. The Christians chose Sunday, which is the day the creation was initiated. Allah chose Friday for this Ummah, because it is the day the creation was finished.Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(We are the last (to come) but the first on the Day of Resurrection, though the former nations were given the Scriptures before us. And this was their day (Friday) the celebration of which was made compulsory for them, but they differed about it. So, Allah gave us guidance to it, and all other people are coming after us: the Jews tomorrow and the Christians the day after tomorrow.” This is the wording of Al-Bukhari in another narration of Muslim;
(Allah diverted those who were before us from Friday. For the Jews there was Saturday, and for the Christians there was Sunday. Allah then brought us and guided us to Friday. He made them; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and it is in this order they will come after us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last of among the people of this world and the first among the created to be judged on the Day of Resurrection.)
Allah commanded the believers to gather to worship Him on Friday,
(O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed for the Salah on Al-Jumu`ah (Friday), then hasten (Fas`aw) to the remembrance of Allah) meaning, go to it and head for it. The meaning of Sa`y (hasten) here does not refer to walking quickly. It only refers to the importance of it. `Umar bin Al-Khattab and Ibn Mas`ud – may Allah be pleased with them – recited it; (فَامْضُوا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللهِ) (“Then proceed to the remembrance of Allah.”) As for walking in haste to the prayer, that was indeed prohibited, since it was recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,
(When you hear the Iqamah, proceed to offer the prayer with calmness and solemnity and do not rush. And pray whatever you catch, and complete whatever you have missed.) This is the wording with Al-Bukhari. Abu Qatadah said, “While we were praying behind the Messenger of Allah he heard commotion. At the end of the prayer, the Prophet said;
(What is the matter with you) They said, `We hastened to the prayer.’ The Prophet said,
(Don’t do that. When you come for prayer, there should be tranquility upon you. Pray what remains of the prayer and complete what you have missed.)” The Two Sahihs collected this Hadith. Al-Hasan commented, “By Allah! Hastening to the prayer is not accomplished by the feet. Indeed they were prohibited from coming to prayer without tranquility and dignity. Rather it is about the hearts, the intention, and the submission.” Qatadah said,
“(then hasten to the remembrance of Allah) means that you have to hasten to the prayer with your heart and actions, and walk to it.” It is recommended for those coming to the Friday prayer to perform Ghusl (taking bath) before they come. It is collected in the Two Sahihs that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that Allah’s Messenger said,
(When one of you comes to the Friday prayer, then let him perform bath.) The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Sa`id said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Ghusl on the day of Jumu`ah is Wajib (required) from every Muhtalim. ) Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger said,
(It is Allah’s right on every Muslim to bathe during every seven days, by washing his head and body.) Muslim collected this Hadith. Jabir narrated that Allah’s Messenger said,
(Within every seven days, every Muslim man has the obligation to perform Ghusl at least one day, the day of Jumu`ah.) Ahmad, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Hibban collected this Hadith.
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Aws bin `Aws Ath-Thaqafi said that he heard Allah’s Messenger say,
(Whoever performs Ghusl (well) on the day of Jumu`ah, leaves early, walking not riding, and sits close to the Imam and listens without talking, will earn the reward of fasting and performing standing (in prayer) for an entire year for every step he takes.) This Hadith has various chains of narration, the compilers of the Four Sunan collected it, and At-Tirmidhi graded it Hasan. The Two Sahihs also recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Any person who takes a bath on Friday like the bath for sexual impurity and then goes for the prayer in the first hour, it is as if he had sacrificed a camel. Whoever goes in the second hour, it is as if he had sacrificed a cow. Whoever goes in the third hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a horned ram. If one goes in the fourth hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a hen. Whoever goes in the fifth hour, then it is as if he had offered an egg. When the Imam appears, the angels present themselves to listen to Allah’s remembrance.) It is recommended that one cleans his body, performs Ghusl, wears his best clothes, applies perfume and uses Siwak (tooth stick) for Jumu`ah. We mentioned that Abu Sa`id narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Ghusl on the day of Jumu`ah is Wajib (required) from every Muhtalim and also using Siwak and applying some of his household’s perfume.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say, w
(Whoever performs Ghusl on Friday and applies perfume, if he has any, wears his best clothes, then goes to the Masjid and performs voluntary prayer, if he wishes, does not bother anyone, listens when the Imam appears until he starts the prayer. Then all of this will be an expiation for whatever occurs between that Friday and the next Friday.) Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded in their Sunans that `Abdullah bin Salam said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say, while on the Minbar:
(What harm would it cause if one of you bought two garments for the day of Jumu`ah, other than the garment he wears daily) `A’ishah said that during a speech he gave on a Friday when he saw people wearing Nimar garments, the Messenger of Allah said,
(When one of you has wealth, he should keep two garments for Friday, other than the two garments he has for his daily wear.) Ibn Majah collected this Hadith.
(When the call is proclaimed for the Salah on Friday,) referring to the Adhan which was called, during the time of the Prophet , when he came out of his house and sat on the Minbar. The Adhan would be called before the Prophet near the door of the Masjid. As for the earlier Adhan that the Leader of the faithful, `Uthman bin Affan added, it was done because the Muslims increased in number during his time. Al-Bukhari recorded that As-Sa’ib bin Yazid said, “In the lifetime of the Prophet , Abu Bakr and `Umar, the Adhan for the Friday prayer was pronounced while the Imam sat on the pulpit. But during `Uthman’s later time when the Muslims increased in number, an additional call was pronouced upon Az-Zawra’, meaning the Adhan was called upon the house which was called Az-Zawra”’ Az-Zawra’ was the tallest house in Al-Madinah near the Masjid.
(and leave off business.) means, hastening to the remembrance of Allah and abandoning business, when the call to the Friday prayer is made. Therefore, the scholars of Islam agree, it is prohibited for Muslims to engage in business transactions after the second Adhan. Allah’s statement,
(That is better for you if you did but know!) means, `your abandoning buying and selling, and instead, corcentrating your attention to Allah’s remembrance and the prayer are better for you in this life and the Hereafter, if you but knew.’ Allah’s statement,
(Then when the Salah is complete,) means, when the Friday prayer is finished,
(you may disperse through the land, and seek the bounty of Allah,) After Allah forbade Muslims from working after hearing the Adhan and ordered them to gather for the Friday prayer, He allowed them to spread throughout the earth and seek bounty after the prayer is finished. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that when the Friday prayer finished, `Irak bin Malik would stand by the gate of the Masjid and invoke Allah, saying, “O Allah! I have accepted and complied with Your Call, performed the prayer You ordered and dispersed as You ordered me. Therefore, grant me of Your favor and You are the best of those who grant provisions.” Allah’s statement,
(and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.) means, while you are buying and selling, giving and taking, remember Allah much and do not let this life busy you from what benefits you in the Hereafter. There is a Hadith that states,
(Whoever enters a marketplace and says, “La ilaha illallah, He is alone without partners, His is the sovreignty and His is the praise, and He is Able to do all things.” Then Allah will record a thousand-thousand (a million) good deeds for him and will erase a thousand-thousand evil deeds.) Mujahid said, “A servant (of Allah) will not be among those who remember Allah often, until he does so while standing, sitting and lying down.”
Allah criticizes what happened during one Friday sermon, when a caravan arrived at Al-Madinah and the people rushed out to the merchandise. Allah said,
(And when they see some merchandise or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave you standing.) meaning, on the Minbar, delivering the Khutbah. Several of the Tabi`in said this, such as Abu Al-`Aliyah, Al-Hasan, Zayd bin Aslam and Qatadah. Muqatil bin Hayyan said that the caravan belonged to Dihyah bin Khalifah before he became a Muslim, and there were drums accompanying it.So they rushed to the caravan and left Allah’s Messenger standing on the Minbar. Only a few remained, according to the authentic Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir said, “Once, a caravan arrived at Al-Madinah while Allah’s Messenger was giving a Khutbah. So, the people left, and only twelve men remained ﴿with the Messenger ﴾. Then Allah sent down this Ayah,
(And when they see some merchandise or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it,)” The Two Sahihs also recorded this Hadith. Allah’s statement,
(And leave you standing.) proves that the Imam should deliver the speech on Friday while standing. In his Sahih, Imam Muslim recorded that Jabir bin Samurah said, “(During Jumu`ah,) the Prophet gave two speeches, and he used to sit between them. The Prophet would recite the Qur’an and remind the people (of Allah).” Allah’s statement,
(Say: “That which Allah has…”) means the reward that is with Allah in the Hereafter,
(is better than any amusement or merchandise! And Allah is the best of providers.) means, for those who trust in Him and seek His provisions when they are allowed to do so.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Jumu`ah. All praise and thanks are due to Allah and from Him comes the success and immunity from error.
[62:1] proclaim the purity of Allah, the Sovereign, the Supreme in Holiness, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّـهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ (All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth proclaim the purity of Allah,…62:1] Surahs of the Qur’an that begin with ‘sabbaha’ or ‘yusabbihu’ [proclaiming Allah’s purity] are called Musabbihat, in all of which it is established that everything in the heaven and earth proclaims the purity of Allah.
That all creatures in the heavens and the earth declare the purity of Allah in a symbolic way is understandable. Everyone may understand that every single particle created by Allah bears testimony to the wisdom and power of the Wise Creator in their circumstantial language, which is their tasbih (proclamation). However, the fact is that, everything proclaims tasbih in its real sense in its own way, because Allah has bestowed some sort of sense and perception to every particle of this universe, even to stones and trees, according to their ability. Since the first demand upon sense and perception is to recognize its Creator and Maker, and glorify Him, therefore, it is not far-fetched to conceive that everything in nature really declares the purity of Allah in its own peculiar language, though human ears might not be able to hear it. Thus the Qur’an on one occasion says: وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ (…but you do not understand their extolling …[17:44] At the commencement of most Surahs called Musabbihat the past indefinite tense sabbaha is employed. Only at the beginning of Surahs Al-Jumu’ah and At-Taghabun the present form yusabbihu is used. The different forms at the beginning of different Surah have fresh rhetorical elegance and refinement. The past tense connotes certitude, and therefore mostly this tense has been used. The present form connotes continuity, which is employed in two places for this purpose.
[62:2] He is the One who raised amidst the unlettered people a messenger from among themselves who recites to them His verses, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the wisdom, although they were in an open error before.
هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ (He is the One who raised amidst the unlettered people a messenger from among themselves…62:2) The word ummiyyin is the plural of ummiyy, which denotes ‘unlettered’. The Arabs were known by this title, because they did not know how to read and write. Very few of them had the knowledge of reading and writing. The Arabs in this verse are specially referred to in order to express the great power of Allah. The Holy Prophet ﷺ is also sent amongst them, who is himself unlettered. The duties and reformative functions of a Prophet [as set out in the forthcoming verse] are based on knowledge and education. These reforms are such that no unlettered individual can ever teach them, nor is it possible for an unlettered nation to learn. It was only through the Divine Supreme Power and the miracle of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that when these reforms started, great scholars, intellectuals, men of letters, savants and sages were born among the unlettered people, and their knowledge, wisdom, sagacity and erudition was recognized by the entire world.
The Three Objectives of the Advent of the Prophet ﷺ
يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ (…to recite His verses to them, and to make them pure, and to teach them the Book and the Wisdom….62:2) In the context of the Divine blessings bestowed to the mankind, three qualities of the Holy Prophet ﷺ have been mentioned. One, to recite the verses of the Qur’an to his Ummah. Two, to purify them of all the outer and inner defilements. This includes outer purification that relates to one’s body and dress, and also the inner purification that relates to one’s faith, actions and moral attitude. Three, to teach the Book and the wisdom. These three factors are Divine blessings to the mankind on the one hand, and these are the basic objectives and the terms of reference of the Holy Prophet ﷺ for which he was sent to this world.
يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ (…to recite His verses to them) The word tilawah lexically signifies ‘to follow, to obey’ but in the terminology of the Qur’an, it signifies ‘recitation or reading of the Divine Words’. The word ‘at refers to the verses of the Qur’an. The prepositional phrase ` alaihim [to them] signifies that one of the objectives or duties of the Prophet ﷺ is to recite the verses of the Qur’an to the people.
In the current verse, the second objective of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is to: يُزَكِّيهِمْ (make them pure) which is derived from tazkiyah and it means ‘to make pure’. Often it is used exclusively for inner cleanliness, that is, to be free from such inner adulterating matter as kufr, shirk and free from inner moral defilement. But occasionally, it is used in the general sense of both outer and inner cleanliness. Probably, in this context it is used in the general sense of the term.
يُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ (…to teach them the Book and the Wisdom…62:2) The word al-Kitab refers to the Holy Qur’an, and the word al-hikmah refers to all the teachings and guidance that have been received from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ orally or practically. As a result, many of the commentators have interpreted the word hikmah as the Approved Way [Sunnah of the Holy Prophet ﷺ .
A Question and its Answer
A question arises here that the natural order of wording in the verse should have been thus:  recitation or teaching of words; followed by  teaching of meaning; and consequently  making pure by inculcating righteous deeds and high morals. However, in most places the Qur’an has changed the sequence by inserting ‘ tazkiyah or making pure’ between ‘ tilawah (recitation) and ‘ ta` lim (teaching). Ruh-ul-Ma’ani explains that if the natural order of wording were to be maintained in all verses, all three elements would have combined together and become ‘one’, as it happens in pharmaceutical mixing of many substances, the aggregate of which loses the separate identity of each element, and becomes a single ‘compound’ whereas probably Allah wanted to maintain separate identities of the Divine blessings and the three Prophetic duties separately identifiable. By changing the natural order in most places, the Holy Qur’an has probably alluded to this fact.
Please see Ma` arif–ul-Qur’an Vol. 1/pp 331-343, under the Surah Al-Baqarah Verse 129, for fuller explanation of this verse.
[62:3] And (this Messenger is sent also) to others of them who did not join them so far, and He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
وَآخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ (…And [this Messenger is sent also] to others of them who did not join them so far. And He is the All-mighty, the All-wise…62:3) The word ‘akharin means ‘other people’ and the phrase لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ means ‘those people who have not yet joined the unlettered people’. This refers to all those Muslims who will enter the fold of Islam until the Last Hour [as transmitted by Ibn Zaid, Mujahid and others]. This indicates that the succeeding generations of Muslims will be appended to the earlier generations of believers, that is, the noble Companions. This is great good news for the succeeding generations of Muslims. [Ruh].
Grammatically, there are two views regarding the conjoining of the word ‘akharin. One view holds that it is conjoined to ummiyyin and it means that ‘Allah has sent His Messenger ﷺ among the unlettered people and also among those who have not yet joined them’. Sending the Prophet ﷺ among the present unlettered people is quite obvious, but ‘sending him among those who have not yet come’ needs explanation. Bayan-ul-Qur’an explains that ‘sending among them’ stands for ‘sending for them’ because the preposition fi in Arabic is also used in the sense of ‘for’. According to some other grammarians, however, the word ‘akharin is conjoined to the objective pronoun him attached to the verb yu’allimu-hum, in which case the interpretation would be ‘the Prophet ﷺ teaches the unlettered people and also the people who have not joined them so far’. [Mazhari prefers the latter interpretation].
Sayyidna Abu Hurairah رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ narrates, as recorded in Bukhari and Muslim, that they were sitting in the company of the Holy Prophet ﷺ when Surah Al-Jumu’ah was revealed. He recited it to them, and when he reached the verse وَآخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ (…and others of them who have not joined them so far…62:3) they asked him who are these ‘others’. He remained silent. They asked him the second time and he remained silent. They asked him the third time, and he put his blessed hand on the back of Sayyidna Salman Al-Farisi ؓ [who was at that time in the gathering] and said: “If faith were on Pleiades, even then some men or a man from these people would attain it.” [Mazhari]. This narration does not specify people of Persia, but it does prove that they are included in the general sense of ‘others’. This narration speaks greatly of all non-Arabs who embrace Islam. [Mazhari].
[62:4] That is Allah’s bounty that He gives to whomsoever He wills, and Allah is the Lord of the great bounty.
[62:5] The example of those who were ordered to bear (the responsibility of acting upon) the Torah, then they did not bear it, is like a donkey that carries a load of books. Evil is the example of those who have rejected the verses of Allah. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.
مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا (The example of those who were ordered to bear (the responsibility of acting upon) the Torah, then they did not bear it, is like a donkey that carries a load of books…5) The word asfar is the plural of sifr, which means a ‘large book’. The preceding verses described that the Holy Prophet ﷺ was raised up among the unlettered people having three main objectives of his mission. The previous Divine Book Torah described the Holy Prophet ﷺ almost with the same qualities as are described in the Qur’an, which required that as soon as the Jews saw the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، they should have recognized him and believed in him. But the material position and possessions blinded them to the teachings of Torah. Despite their knowledge of Torah, they acted as practical ignoramus. The verse describes their block-headed behaviour with the example of a donkey loaded with weighty tomes. The donkey carries its loads, but it is neither aware of its subject-matter, nor does it benefit by it. Similarly, the Jews carry around the Torah for material gains and to seek position and status among people, but they do not benefit by its guidance.
The Example of a Non-Practicing Scholar
Commentators have stated that the example given by the verse for Jews applies to any religious scholar who does not act upon his knowledge. A Persian poet has put it thus:
نہ محقق بود نہ دانش مند چار پایے برو کتابے چند
‘He is neither a scholar, nor a knowledgeable person.
He is but an animal of four legs, carrying the load of some books’
[62:6] Say, “0 those who are Jews, if you claim that you are the friends of Allah to the exclusion of all other people, then express your desire for death, if you are true.
قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ هَادُوا إِن زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ لِلَّـهِ مِن دُونِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا الْمَوْتَ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
(Say, “O those who are Jews, if you claim that you are the friends of Allah to the exclusion of all other people, then express your desire for death, if you are true…62:6)
Friends of Allah to the exclusion of all other people, then express your desire for death, if you are true…62:6)
Despite their kufr, shirk and moral aberration, the Jews claimed نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّـهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ (…We are the sons of Allah and His favourites) [5:18] and they also claimed لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن كَانَ هُودًا (…no one shall ever enter Paradise unless he is a Jew) [2:111]. In other words, they believed themselves to be safe and immune from the punishment of the Hereafter, and thought that the blessings of Paradise are their personal property. Obviously, if a person believes that the blessings of the Hereafter are a zillion times better than the blessings of this world, he must, of necessity, wish for death, so that he is able to enter Paradise sooner and start enjoying its blessings forthwith. He sees with his own eyes that this world is not free from miseries, sorrows and hardships and one has to suffer from certain diseases as long as he is living here. Then if he believes that, as soon as he dies, he will certainly receive those numerous and eternal blessings, a wise man should naturally wish for death in his heart, so that he may be set free from this miserable world and reach the next world where he will reside forever in eternal peace and comfort. That is why the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is instructed in the present verse to challenge that if they are Allah’ s children and His beloved ones they do not have any fear of punishment in the Hereafter, then the reason demands that they should wish for death. Then the Holy Qur’ an itself falsified them in the following words:
[62:7] And they will never express this desire, because of what their hands have sent ahead. And Allah is fully aware of the wrongdoers.
وَلَا يَتَمَنَّوْنَهُ أَبَدًا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ (And they will never express this desire, because of what their hands have sent ahead…62:7) . In other words, they will not wish for death because of the kufr and shirk and the evil deeds they have committed. They fully know that there will nothing for them in the Hereafter but the punishment of Hell. Their claim that they are Allah’ s children and His loved ones is absolutely false, a claim that they themselves know is false. They make such claims for worldly and material gains. They also know that if they accept the Holy Prophet’ s ﷺ challenge and invoke death upon themselves, it would be readily accepted and they would die instantly. Being convinced of the falsity of their position, the Jews will refuse to accept the challenge. A Prophetic Tradition reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ has stated that if any one of them at that time had wishes for death, he would have died instantly. [Ruh]
Is Longing for Death Permissible?
This subject has been fully discussed in Surah Al-Baqarah. Traditions forbid anyone to wish for death. The most important reason behind this is that no one has the right to believe that as soon as he dies, he will certainly enter Paradise and will have no fear of any punishment. Wishing for death in such a state of mind is tantamount to show bravery before Allah.
[62:8] Say, “Indeed, the death from which you (try to) run away has to visit you, then you will be sent back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will tell you what you used to do.
قُلْ إِنَّ الْمَوْتَ الَّذِي تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ مُلَاقِيكُمْ (Say, “ Indeed, the death from which you [try to] run away has to visit you,…62:8). In other words, the Jews’ running away from longing for death despite their aforesaid claim is tantamount to running away from death itself. The Holy Prophet ﷺ is instructed in the verse to tell them that the death from which they are fleeing would inevitably catch up with them. If that would not happen instantly, it would certainly happen sometime later. Thus it is impossible for anyone to avoid or avert death in any way.
Laws pertaining to Avoiding the Causes of Death
There are many normal causes of death, from which both reason and Shari’ ah require man to avoid. Once the Holy Prophet ﷺ passed under a bent wall [as if it was about to fall down or collapse] and he passed it quickly, lest it should fall down or collapse on him. Likewise, if fire breaks out at some place, both reason and shari’ ah dictate that one should run away from there. These circumstances of fleeing from death do not fall under fleeing from death denounced in the above verse, if our faith is sound and we believe that when the predetermined time of our death will approach, we will not be able to escape. Since we do not know for sure whether fire, or poison, or some other obnoxious thing will be the destined cause of our death in a particular situation, running away from them would not amount to fleeing from death that is denounced in the verse.
As for as bubonic plague or epidemic is concerned, it is a separate issue. The details appear in books of jurisprudence and Hadith which may be consulted. The author of Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani has on this occasion discussed this issue exhaustively and clarified it to a great degree. Some of its details have already been given in this book under the verses 2:243 to 244. See vol. 1, pp. 619-622.
[62:9] O you who believe, when the call for salah (prayer) is proclaimed on Friday, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business. That is much better for you, if you but know.
یا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ
O you who believe, when the call for salah (prayer) is proclaimed on Friday, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business…[62:9]
The Arabic word for Friday is ‘Yaum-ul-Jumu’ ah1 and is so called because it is the day of congregation for Muslims. Allah created the heavens, the earth and the entire universe in six days, and Friday was the last day when the creation was completed. Prophet ‘Adam (علیہ السلام) was created on that day; he was admitted into Paradise on that day; he was sent down to the earth on that day; the Last Hour or the Day of Resurrection will occur on that day; and one the same day there is moment when supplications are readily accepted. All this is established on the authority of authentic Traditions. [Ibn Kathir]
Allah had appointed Friday as the day of congregation and festivity for the people, but the previous nations were not fortunate enough to appoint it as their sacred day. The Jews regarded Saturday as their day of congregation. The Christians made Sunday their day of congregation. Allah gave this Ummah the ability to elect Friday as their day of congregation. [as transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim on the authority Abu Hurairah ؓ as quoted by Ibn Kathir]
During the Days of Ignorance, Friday was known as ‘Yaum-ul-‘Arubah’. The first Arab to change the name of this day to ‘Yaum-ul-Jumu’ ah’ was Ka’ b Ibn Lu’ ayy. The Quraish used to gather or congregate on this day, and Ka’ b ibn Lu’ ayy used to deliver his sermon. This happened 560 years before the advent of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Ka’ b ibn Lu’ ayy was among the Holy Prophet’ s ﷺ forefathers. Even during the Days of Ignorance, Allah had kept him away from idol worship and granted him the ability to believe in the Oneness of Allah. He has also given people the glad tidings of the advent of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . His greatness among Quraish may be judged from the fact that the year of his death, which occurred 560 years before the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، was marked as the new calendar era for computation of dates. In Arabia, at first the calendar era was established when Ka’ bah was built and dates were computed accordingly. Then Ka’ b ibn Lu’ ayy’ s death marked another era, and the date were computed on that basis. When the Event of the Elephant occurred in the year of the birth of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، that set in a new era of Arab calendar, and the dates were computed accordingly. In sum, the importance of ‘Yaum-ul-Jumu’ ah’ had been that set in a new era of Arab calendar, and the dates were computed accordingly. In sum, the importance of ‘Yaum-ul-Jumu’ ah’ had been recognized in Arabia before Islam in the time of Ka’ b ibn Lu’ ayy, to whom is ascribed the naming of the day as ‘Yaum-ul-Jumu’ ah’. [Mazhari] According to some narrations, the Ansar of Madinah used to gather and pray, before migration, on Friday before Jumu’ ah prayer became obligatory, and they organized this on the basis of their own Ijtihad (assessment). [as transmitted by Abd-ur-Razzaq with an authentic chain of narrators on the authority of Muhammad Ibn Sirin, as quoted by Mazhari’
إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ (…when the call for salah (prayer) is proclaimed on Friday, hasten for the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business…62:9). The word nida’ refers to adhan or call for prayer. In the sentence فَاسْعَوْا إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ (…hasten to Allah’ s remembrance…) the word sa’ y means to ‘run or rush’ as well as to ‘take care of a task consciously’. In this context, the word is used in the latter sense, because the Holy Prophet ﷺ has prohibited to go to prayer running or walking quickly. He said when anyone hears the iqamah, he should proceed to offer the prayer with calmness and dignity. The verse implies that when believers are called ot prayer on the Day of Jumu’ ah, they should proceed to the remembrance of Allah, that is, they should carefully go to the mosque for Jumu’ ah prayer and its Sermon. Just as a person running towards something does not pay heed to anything else, a Muslim should not pay attention, after the call, to anything besides adhan and khutbah.[ibn Kathir]. The phrase ذِکرِ اللہِ (…Allah’ s remembrance…) could refer to Jumu’ ah prayer as well as of Jumu’ ah Sermon, which is one of the conditions of the validity of Jumu’ ah prayer. Therefore, the phrase may most appropriately be interpreted as referring to the package of Jumu’ ah prayer and Jumu’ ah Sermon. [Mazhari and others]
وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ (…and leave off business…) The literal meaning of the word ‘bai’ is ‘sale’. Although the intent is to ban all activities of buying and selling, the verse has mentioned ‘sale’ only, because when one aspect of trading is abandoned, the other aspect would automatically come to an end. If there is no one to sell, there will be no one to buy, because trade is a bilateral transaction.
The verse under comment indicates that the bar on the activities of buying and selling after the adhan of Jumu’ ah needs to be implemented for particular purposes in such a way that the shops are closed at that particular time, so that all trading activities automatically come to a halt. The underlying wisdom is that there are uncountable number of customers and buyers, and it would not be possible to stop them all. The sellers and shopkeepers, however, are limited and they can be stopped. It they are stopped from selling, the buyers automatically will stop buying. Hence, the verse deemed it sufficient to impose the bar on ‘sale’.
The purport of the verse is to forbid, after the adhan of Jumu’ ah, all activities that hamper preparation for Jumu’ ah prayer and sermon activities such as trading, agriculture, labour or anything else, – but the Qur’ an mentions only selling. This could imply that only people living in towns and cities are commanded to offer the Jumu’ ah prayer, and not the people residing in small villages, rural areas and jungles. Thus activities that are carried out by people in towns and cities, such as agricultural activities, are generally carried out in rural areas where Jumu’ ah prayer is not required. Therefore, such activities are not mentioned here. However, The jurists of the Ummah unanimously agree that the word ‘ba’ occurring in the verse does not refer only to ‘selling’ but to all such activities that can hinder preparing for and proceeding to the Jumu’ ah prayer. Thus eating, drinking, sleeping, talking, and even studying are forbidden after Jumu’ ah adhan. Only activities related to Jumu’ ah may be carried out.
Adhan of Jumu’ ah
In the beginning, there was only one adhan for Jumu’ ah, which was called at the time of the Khutbah in front of the Imam. This situation existed in the time of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، and this practice continued in the time of Sayyidna Abu Bakr and Umar ؓ . However, the Muslim population grew by leaps and bounds in the time of Sayyidna ‘Usman ؓ and spread in the outskirts of Madinah. The adhan that was given in front of the Imam at the time of khutbah could not be heard by the large Muslim population in the distance. He therefore initiated another adhan that was called in the trading area further from the mosque at his house in az-Zaura’, which could be heard throughout Madinah. None of the noble Companions objected to this. Thus this first adhan by consensus of the Companions became instituted. All trading and other activities that were forbidden after the Jumu’ ah adhan before the Imam are now forbidden after the Jumu’ ah adhan before the Imam are now forbidden after the first adhan introduced by Sayyidna ‘Usman ؓ ، taking into account the wordings of the Qur’ an نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ (when the call for salah (prayer) is proclaimed on Friday,). Details are available in the canonical collections of Traditions, commentaries and jurisprudence. There is no disagreement on the issue.
There is consensus of the entire Ummah that on Friday Salat-ul-Jumu’ ah shall be performed instead of Salat-uz-duhur and there is also consensus that is not like the five daily prayers. There are some additional pre-requisites attached to it. The five daily prayers can be performed in congregation with only two individuals. Salat-ul-Jumu’ ah, on the other hand, is not valid without congregation. There is disagreement among the jurists about the number of individuals that can constitute a congregation. The five daily prayers may validly be held anywhere, on the sea, ocean, and mountains or in the jungles. But Salat-ul-Jumu’ ah, on the other hand, is not valid in jungles or deserts according to any of the jurists. It is not obligatory on women, the sickly or the wayfarers. The latter should perform Duhur prayer instead of Jumu’ ah. There is disagreement among the jurists about the type of locality where Jumu’ ah prayer may be held. According to Imam shafi’ i, Salat-ul-Jumu’ ah is not valid in a habitation where forty free, sane and adult men reside. If there are less than forty such men, it is not valid. According to Imam Malik (رح) ، the habitation must be such as to have houses adjacent to one another, and it must also have a bazaar or a market-place. According to Imam Abu Hanifah (رح) ، for Salat-ul-Jumu’ ah to be held validly the following pre-requisites are necessary. The habitation must be a town, city or a very large village which has streets, market places, a Muslim ruler and a judge who can restore the rights of people and decide cases of dispute.
This is no occasion to go into details of the issue and proofs thereof. Venerable scholars have written separate books on the topic and clarified the position.
In brief, the generality of the command to attend Salat-ul-Jumu’ ah is restricted to a specific sector of the addressees. It is not obligatory on every member of the Muslim community, but for it to be compulsory, there are some conditions and pre-requisites. The disagreement exists only in identifying the pre-requisites. But where the pre-requisites apply and Salat-ul-Jumu’ ah becomes obligatory according to any school of thought, it is very important to observe it, and there is grave warnings for those who neglect it without any vaid reason in terms of Shari’ ah. On the other hand, there is a promise of great reward and blessings for those who offer in fulfilling all its conditions and pre-requisites.
[62:10] Then once the salah is finished, disperse in the land, and seek the grace of Allah. And remember Allah much, so that you may be successful.
Blessings in Business after Jumu’ ah
فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَاةُ فَانتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِ اللَّـهِ (Then once the salah is finished, disperse in the land, and seek the grace of Allah…62:10). The preceding verses prohibited trading and all other worldly activities, after the adhan of Jumu’ ah. The present verse permits those activities after the Jumu’ ah prayer is over; we are allowed to spread throughout the land in search of our livelihood and sustenance.
When Sayyidna ‘Irak Ibn Malik (رح) finished his Jumu’ ah prayer, he would come out and, standing on the threshold of the mosque, he would pray:
اَللّٰھُمَّ اِنِّی اَجَبتُ دَعوَتَکَ وَ صَلَّیتُ فرِیضَتَکَ وَ اَنشَرتُ کَمَا اَمَرتَنِی فَارزُقنِی مِن فَضلِکَ وَاَنتَ خَیرُ الرَّازِقِینَ ۔ (رواہ ابن ابی حاتم، از ابن کثیر)
“ O Allah, I responded to Your call and performed the Salah which You hve prescribed for me as an obligation, and O a, going out as You have commanded me in search of livelihood. So, grant me my livelihood out of Your grace. And You are the best giver of sustenance.” [Transmitted by ibn Hatim, as quoted by Ibn Kathir].
It is reported from the righteous elders that whoever carries out his commercial activities after prayer of Jumu’ ah is favoured by Allah with seventy blessings. (Ibn Kathir)
وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّـهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (And remember Allah much, so that you may be successful – 62:10). It means that commercial activities are though allowed after the prayer, one should not neglect Allah’ s remembrance during these activities as the infidels do. Even during such activities one must remain mindful of Allah and His remembrance.
[62:11] And when they see some merchandise or amusement, they break away to it, and leave you standing. Say, “ What is with Allah is much better than the amusement and the merchandise, and Allah is the best giver of sustenance.”
Admonishing those who abandon the Imam while he is delivering the Jumu’ ah Khutbah [Sermon]
وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا ۚ قُلْ مَا عِندَ اللَّـهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
And when they see some merchandise or amusement, they break away to it, and leave you standing. Say, “ What is with Allah is much better than the amusement and the merchandise, and Allah is the best giver of sustenance.” (62:11)
The verse admonishes those who once abandoned the Friday sermon and attended some trade activity. Imam Ibn Kathir says that this incident took place when the Holy Prophet ﷺ used to deliver the Friday sermon after the Jumu’ ah prayer, as it happens on ‘Idain عِیدَین even in our days. It once happened that the Friday prayer had finished and the Holy Prophet ﷺ was delivering his sermon. Suddenly a trading caravan arrived in the market-place of Madinah. Drums were beaten to announce the arrival of the caravan. The Friday prayer had finished and the sermon was in progress. Many of the noble Companions went away to the market-place. Only a few of them had remained behind with the Holy Prophet ﷺ who were about twelve in number [according to a narration in Marasil of Abu Dawud]. According to some narratives, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “ If all had gone, the entire valley of Madinah would have been filled with the fire of punishment”. [Transmitted by Abu Ya’ la, as quoted by Ibn Kathir].
Muqatil, the leading scholar of Qur’ anic commentary, says that this was the trading caravan of Dihyah Ibn Khalaf Kalbi, which had come from Syria. This caravan normally came to Madinah with all the essentials, especially essential foodstuff. Whenever it arrived in Madinah, and the people came to know about it, men and women all rushed towards it. Dihyah Ibn Khalaf was not a Muslim until then. He became a Muslim later on.
Hasan al-Basri (رح) and Abu Malik said that that was a time when there was scarcity and dearth of things. [Mazhari] There were several factors on account of which a large group of the blessed Companions left the mosque when they heard the sound of the caravan. First, the fard prayer had already finished, and they did not know until then the status of the Friday sermon whether it was part of the fard prayer. Second, there was scarcity and dearth of essential goods and items. Third, buyers would rush to the caravan and they feared that if they did not make it in time, they would not be able to obtain their essentials. As a result, the noble Companions committed the mistake and the above Tradition sounded a warning, that is, if all of them had gone the Divine punishment would have overtaken them. The current verse إِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً was revealed to admonish them and put them to shame. For this reason, the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، since that day, changed the order of Friday sermon and prayer, delivering the sermons before the prayer. This is now the approved way [Sunnah]. [Ibn Kathir]
The verse under comment instructs the Holy Prophet ﷺ to tell the people that what is with Allah is better than the merchandise and amusement of this world, that is, the reward of the Hereafter. It is not far-fetched to conceive that people who forsake business and earning of livelihood for the sake or prayer and sermon will attract ample blessings in their provision from Allah, even in this world, as was cited earlier from the righteous elders on the authority of Ibn Kathir.
The Commentary on
Surah Al-Jumu’ ah
Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi
62. Surah Al Jumuah (The Friday Congregation)
It is derived from the sentence idha nudiya-lis-salat-imin-yaum-il- Jumu’ati of verse 9. Although in this Surah injunctions about the Friday congregational Prayer also have been given, yet “Jumu’ah” is not the title of its subject-matter as a whole, but this name too, like the names of other Surahs, is only a symbolic title.
Period of Revelation
The period of the revelation of the first section (vv. 1-8) is A. H. 7, and probably it was sent down, on the occasion of the conquest of Khaiber or soon after it. Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i and Ibn Jarir have related on the authority of Hadrat Abu Hurairah that he and other Companions were sitting in the Holy Prophet’s assembly when these verses were revealed. About Abu Hurairah it is confirmed historically that he entered Islam after the truce of Hudaibiyah and before the conquest of Khaiber, and Khaiber was conquered, according to Ibn Hisham, in Muharram, and, according to Ibn Sa`d, in Jamadi al-Awwal, A.H. 7. Thus presumably Allah might have sent down these verses, addressing the Jews, when their last stronghold had fallen to the Muslims, or these might have been revealed when, seeing the fate of Khaiber, all the Jewish settlements of northern Hijaz had surrendered to the Islamic government.
The second section (vv. 9-11) was sent down shortly after the emigration, for the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) had established the Friday congregational Prayer on the 5th day after his arrival at Madinah. The incident that has been referred to in the last verse of this section must have occurred at a time when the people had not yet received full training in the etiquette of religious congregations.
Theme and Subject Matter
As we have explained above, the two sections of this Surah were sent down in two different periods. That is why their themes as well as their audiences are different. Although there is a kind of harmony between them on account of which they have been put together in one Surah, yet we should understand their themes separately before we consider the question of their harmony.
The first section was sent down at a time when all Jewish efforts to obstruct the message of Islam during the past six years had failed. First. in Madinah as many as three of their powerful tribes had done whatever they could to frustrate the mission of the Holy Prophet, with the result that one of the tribes was completely exterminated and the other two were exiled. Then by intrigue and conspiracy they brought many of the Arab tribes together to advance on Madinah, but in the Battle of the Trench they were all repulsed. After this, Khaiber had become their stronghold, where a large number of the Jews expelled from Madinah also had taken refuge. At the time these verses were revealed, that too was taken without any extraordinary effort, and the Jews at their own request agreed to live there as tenants of the Muslims. After this final defeat the Jewish power in Arabia came to an end. Then, Wad-il-Qura, Fadak, Taima’, Tabuk, all surrendered one after the other, so much so that all Arabian Jews became subdued to the same Islam which they were not prepared to tolerate before. This was the occasion when Allah Almighty once again addressed them in this Surah, and probably this was the last and final address that was directed to them in the Qur’an. In this they have been reminded of three things:
“You refused to believe in this Messenger only because he was born among a people whom you contemptuously call the “gentiles.” You were under the false delusion that the Messenger must necessarily belong to your own community. You seemed to have been convinced that anyone who claimed to be a prophet from outside your community, must be an impostor, for this office had been reserved for your race, and a messenger could never be raised among the “gentiles.” But among the same gentiles Allah has raised a Messenger who is reciting His Book in front of your very eyes, is purifying souls, and showing the Right Way to the people whose misdeeds are well known to you. This is Allah’s bounty, which He may bestow on anyone He may please. You have no monopoly over it so that He may bestow it over whomever you may please and may withhold it from whomever you may desire it to be withheld”.
“You had been made bearers of the Torah, but you did not understand your responsibility for it nor discharged it as you should have. You are like the donkey which is loaded with books, and which does not know what burden it is bearing. Rather you are worse than the donkey, for the donkey is devoid of sense, but you are intelligent. You not only shirk your responsibility of being bearers of Allah’s revelations deliberately, Yet, you are under the delusion that you are Allah’s favorites and the blessing of apostleship has been reserved for you alone. More than that, you seem to entertain the notion that whether you fulfill the demands of Allah’s message or not, Allah In any case is bound not to make any other than you the bearer of His message.”
“If you really were Allah’s favorites and you were sure of having a p!ace of honor and high rank reserved with Him, you would not have feared death so much as to prefer a life of disgrace to death. It is only because of this fear of death that you have suffered humiliation after humiliation during the past few years. Your this condition is by itself a proof that you are fully conscious of your misdeeds, and your conscience is aware that if you die with these misdeeds, you will meet with a greater disgrace before Allah in the Hereafter than in this world.”
This is the subject-matter of the first section. The second section that was sent down many years later, was appended to this Surah because in it Allah has bestowed Friday on the Muslims as against the Sabbath of the Jews, and Allah wanted to warn the Muslims not to treat their Friday as the Jews had treated their Sabbath. This section was sent down on an occasion when a trade caravan arrived in Madinah right at the time of the Friday congregational service and hearing its din and drum the audience, except for 12 men, left the Prophet’s Mosque and rushed out to the caravan, although the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) at that time was delivering the Sermon. Thereupon it was enjoined that after the call is sounded for the Friday Prayer all trade and business and other occupations become forbidden. The believers should then suspend every kind of transaction and hasten to the remembrance of Allah. However, when the Prayer is over, they have the right to disperse in the land to resume their normal occupations. This section could be made an independent Surah in view of the commandments that it contains about the congregational service on Friday, and could also be included in some other Surah, but, instead, it has been included here particularly in the verses in which the Jews have been warned of the causes of their evil end. Its wisdom in our opinion is the same as we have explained above.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-4 Allah appointed Muhammad as a Rasool
(62:1) All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth extols the glory of Allah, the Sovereign, the Holy, the All- Mighty, the All-Wise.1 (62:2) He it is Who has sent to the gentiles a Messenger from among themselves,2 one who rehearses to them His verses, purifies their lives, and imparts to them the Book and the Wisdom3 although before that they were in utter error;4 (62:3) and (He has also) sent him to those others who have not yet joined them.5 He is the Most Mighty, the Most Wise.6 (62:4) Such is Allah’s favour: He bestows it on whomsoever He pleases. Allah is the Lord of abounding favour.
1. For explanation, see (E.Ns 1, 2 of Surah Al-Hadid), and (E.Ns 36, 37, 41 of Surah Al-Hashr). This introduction bears a deep relevance to the theme that follows. In spite of the fact that the Jews of Arabia were witnessing clear signs of Prophethood in the person of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his high character and works and in spite of the clear good news given by the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) in the Torah, which only applied to him, they were denying him only because they did not want to acknowledge the prophethood of a person who did not belong to their own community and race. They openly proclaimed that they would believe only in that which had come to them, and would not accept any teaching, which came through a non-Israelite prophet, even if it was from God. For this attitude in the following verses they have been reproved. Hence the reason for beginning the discourse with the introductory sentence. First, it says that everything in the universe is glorifying Allah; that is, the entire universe testifies that Allah is free from all those faults and weaknesses because of which the Jews have formed the concept of their racial superiority. He is not related to anyone. He has nothing to do with favoritism. He treats all His creatures with equal justice, mercy and care. No particular race and nation is His favorite so that He may be bound to bless it whatever it may do. And He is not prejudiced against any race or nation so that He may deprive it of His bounties even if it possesses all the good qualities. Then, it says that He is the Sovereign; that is, no worldly power can restrict His authority and powers, as if to say: You, O Jews, are His servants and subjects. It is not for you to decide whom He should appoint His Messenger, and whom He should not, for your guidance. Then, it says that He is Holy; that is, He is far exalted and glorified that His judgments may be mistaken. Human judgments may have mistakes but His decrees are perfect. In the end, two more attributes of Allah have been mentioned. That He is All-Mighty, i.e. none can fight Him and win and that He is All-Wise, i.e. whatever He does, it is always the very demand of wisdom, and His plans and designs are so wellplanned that none in the world can hinder and frustrate them.
2. Here the word ummi (gentile) has been used as a Jewish term and there is a subtlety in it. The verse means: The All- Mighty and All-Wise Allah has raised a Messenger (peace be upon him) among the Arabs whom the Jews contemptuously consider the gentiles and much below themselves, The Messenger (peace be upon him) has not risen of his own wish and will, but has been raised by Him Who is the Sovereign of the universe, Who is All-Mighty and All-Wise, Whose power can be resisted and opposed only to one’s own loss and peril.
One should know that the word ummi has occurred in the Quran at several places but in different meanings at different places. At one place it has been used for the people who do not possess any revealed scripture, which they may he following, as in (Surah Al-Imran, Ayat 20), where it has been said: Ask those who possess the Book and those who do not possess (ummis); Have you accepted Islam. Here, the ummis imply the Arab polytheists, and they have been regarded as a separate class from the followers of the Book, i.e. the Jews and the Christians. At another place, it has been used for the illiterate people among the Jews and Christians, who are ignorant of the Book of Allah, as in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 78): Among the Jews there are some illiterate people (ummis) who have no knowledge of the Book but are guided by mere conjecture and guesswork. At still another place, this word has been used purely as a Jewish term, which implies all the non-Jewish people, as in (Surah Al-Imran, Ayat 75) (The actual cause of this dishonesty of theirs is that they say): We are not to be called to account for out behavior towards the non-Jews (ummis). This third meaning of ummi is implied in the verse under discussion. It is a synonym of the Hebrew word goyim, which has been translated gentiles in the English Bible and implies all the non-Jewish or the non-Israelite people of the world.
But the real significance of this Jewish term cannot be understood only by this explanation of it. The Hebrew word goyim originally was used only in the meaning of a nation, but gradually the Jews reserved it first for the nation other then themselves, then they gave it the special meaning that all the nations other than the Jews were un-civilized, irreligious, unclean and contemptible; so much so that in its connotations of hatred and contempt this word even surpassed the Greek term barbarian which they used for all the non-Greeks. In rabbinical literature, goyim are such contemptible people, who cannot be considered human, who cannot be made companions in a journey, who cannot be saved even if one of them is drowning. The Jews believed that the Messiah of the future would destroy all the goyim and burn them to annihilation (For further explanation, see( E.N. 64 of Surah Aal-Imran).
3. These characteristics of the Prophet (peace be upon him) have been mentioned at four places in the Quran and everywhere with a different object. These have been mentioned in (Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 29) to tell the Arabs that the mission of the Prophet, which they were regarding as a calamity and affliction for themselves, was indeed a great blessing for which the Prophets Abraham and Ishmael (peace be upon them) had been praying for their children. In (Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 151), these have been mentioned to exhort the Muslims to recognize the true worth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and to derive full benefit from the blessing which they had been granted in the form of his Apostleship. These have been reiterated in (Surah Aal-Imran Ayat 164) to make the hypocrites and the people of weak faith realize what great favor Allah had done to them by raising His Messenger (peace be upon him) among them, and how foolish they were in not appreciating this. Now, here in this Surah these have been repeated for the fourth time with the object to tell the Jews: The mission that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is performing in front of you, is evidently the mission of a Messenger. He is reciting the revelations of Allah, the language, themes and style of which testify that these are indeed divine revelations. He is purifying and reforming the lives of the people, cleansing their morals and habits and dealings of every evil element, and adorning them with the finest moral qualities. This is the same task which all the Prophets before him have been performing. Then he does not rest content only with the recitation of the revelations, but he is making the people understand the real aim of the divine Book by word and deed and by the practical model of his life and imparting to them the wisdom and knowledge which none but the Prophets have imparted so far. This very character and way of life and practical model is the conspicuous characteristic of the Prophets by which they are recognized. Then how stubborn you are that you refuse to recognize and believe in the Messenger (peace be upon him) whose truth is manifestly proved by his wonderful works only because Allah has not raised him among you but among the people whom you call the ummis (gentiles).
4. This is another proof of his prophethood, which has been presented to open eyes of the Jews. These people had been living in Arabia for centuries and no aspect of the religious, moral, social and cultural life of the Arabs was hidden from them. Referring to the state of their previous life it is being said: You are an eyewitness of the revolution that has taken place in the life of this nation within a few years under the guidance and leadership of Muhammad (peace be upon him). You are fully aware of the condition in which these people were involved before embracing Islam. You are also aware of their transformation afterwards, and you are also witnessing the condition of those people of this very nation, who have not yet embraced Islam. Is the clear and manifest difference which even a blind man can perceive not enough to convince you that this revolution can be brought about by none but a Prophet.
5. That is, the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not restricted only to the Arabs but is meant for other nations and races as well, who have not yet joined the believers, but are going to be born till the Last Day. The word minhum (of them) in the original can have two meanings:
(1) That those other people will be of the ummis i.e. the non-Israelite nations of the world.
(2) That they will be believers in Muhammad (peace be upon him), though they have not yet joined the believers, but will join them later on. Thus, this verse is one of those verses which explicitly state that the Message of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is meant for all mankind forever. The other places where this theme has occurred in the Quran are: (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 19); (Surah Al-A’raf Ayat 158); (Surah Al-Anbiya Ayat 107); (Surah Al-Furqan Ayat 1); (Surah Saba, Ayat 28). (For further explanation, see (E.N. 47 of Surah Saba).
6. That is, it is a manifestation of Allah’s own power and wisdom that among an un-civilized, un-lettered people He has raised a great Prophet (peace be upon him), whose teachings are so revolutionary and contain such eternal and universal principles as can provide a sound basis for the whole of mankind to be a single unified community, which can obtain guidance from those principles forever. An impostor, however hard he may have tried, could not have attained this position and rank. Not to speak of a backward people like the Arabs; even the most intelligent and talented man of the most advanced nation of the world cannot have the power that he may revolutionize a nation so completely, and then give such comprehensive principles to the world that all mankind may follow it as one community and be able to run a universal and all-pervasive system of one way of life and one civilization forever. This is a miracle which has taken place only by Allah’s power, and only Allah on the basis of His wisdom has chosen the person, the country and the nation for it.
5-8 Allah rebutted the claim of Jews to be the favorites of God to the exclusion of others
(62:5) The parable of those who were charged with the Torah and then they failed to live up to it7 is that of a donkey8 laden with books. Even more evil is the parable of the people who gave the lie to the Signs of Allah.9 Allah does not direct such wrong-doers to the Right Way. (62:6) Tell them: “O you who have become Judaised,10 if you arrogantly fancy that you are Allah’s favourites11 to the exclusion of all people, then wish for death, if you are truthful in your claim.”12 (62:7) But they shall never wish for death because of the (evil) deeds they have committed.13 Allah is well aware of these evil-doers. (62:8) Tell them: “The death from which you flee will certainly overtake you. Then you will be returned to Him Who fully knows what is hidden and what is manifest. Thereupon He will let you know all that you used to do.”
7. This sentence has two meanings, a general meaning and a special meaning. The general meaning is that the people who were entrusted with the knowledge and practice of the Torah and with the responsibility of guiding the world according to it, neither understood this responsibility nor discharged it as they should have. The special meaning is being the bearers of the Torah these people should have been foremost to join hands with the Messenger (peace be upon him), good news about whose advent had been already given in the Torah, but, instead, they have been in the forefront to oppose him and have thus failed to fulfill the demand of the teaching of the Torah.
8. That is, just as a donkey loaded with books does not know what it is loaded with, so are these people loaded with the Torah and they do not know what this Book was sent for and what are its demands.
9. That is, they are even worst than a donkey, who is without sense and therefore is excusable. But these people have intelligence, they read and teach the Torah and are fully aware of its meaning. Yet they are turning away from its guidance and refusing willfully to acknowledge and believe in the Prophet (peace be upon him) who even according to the Torah teaches the truth. They are guilty not because of ignorance but because of denying Allah’s revelation deliberately.
10. This point is noteworthy. It has not been said: O Jews. But: O you who have became Jews, or who have adopted Judaism, the reason being that the way of life brought by the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and the Prophets after and before him, was Islam itself. None of those Prophets was a Jew, nor had Judaism been born in their time, but Judaism as such came into being much later. It is ascribed to the tribe which descended from Judah, the fourth son of the Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him). When after the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him), his kingdom broke into two parts, this tribe became ruler over the state which came to be known as Judea. The other tribes of the Israelites established their separate state which became famous as Samaria. Then Assyria not only destroyed Samaria but also wiped out those Israelite tribes which had founded that state. After that only the decedents of Judah besides those of Benjamin remained. Who because of the predominance of the descendants of Judah, began to be called the Jews. Judaism is the name of the framework of the doctrines, customs, and religious rules and regulations which the priests, rabbis and learned men of this race prepared according to their own ideas, theories and trends for many centuries. This framework started being shaped in the 4th century B.C. and continued to develop till the 5th century A.D. It contains a very small element of the divine guidance brought by the Messengers of Allah, and even that element has been corrupted. That is why at many places in the Quran they have been addressed as alladhina hadu, O you who have become Jews. All of these were not the Israelites but there were among them also converts who had embraced Judaism. Whenever in the Quran the children of Israel have been addressed, the words are: O children of Israel, and where the followers of Judaism have been addressed, the words are; alladhina hadu, O you who have become Jews.
11. At several places in the Quran, their claim has been described in detail, as in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 111), they say: none shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew. In (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 80): The fire of Hell is not going to touch us, and even if it does at all, it will be only for a few days, and in (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 18): We are the sons of Allah and His beloved ones. Same such claims are also found in the books of the Jews themselves. The world at least knows that they regard themselves as the chosen people of God, and cherish the false notion that Cod has a special relationship with them, which is not shared by any other human group or class.
12. This has been stated for the second time in the Quran, addressing the Jews. First, in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 94- 96), it was said, Say to them: If the abode of the Hereafter with Allah is exclusively reserved for you and not for the rest of mankind, then you should long for death, if you are sincere in your claim. Believe it that they will never wish for it, for (they are fully aware of) what they have sent before them for the Hereafter. And Allah knows well the mentality of the transgressors. You will find that of all mankind, they are the greediest for life; any they are even greedier than the idolaters. Each one of them longs to have a life of a thousand years, but a long life can by no means remove them away from the doom, for Allah is watching whatever they are doing. Now the same thing has been repeated here. But this is not a mere repetition. In the verses of Surah Al-Baqarah, it was said when no war had yet taken place between the Muslims and the Jews. In this Surah it was reiterated at the time when after several battles their power in Arabia had been finally and absolutely crushed. These battles and their results proved by experience and observation that what had been said in Surah Al-Baqarah was correct. In Al-Madinah and Khaiber, the Jewish strength was much superior to that of the Muslims both in numbers and in resources. Then they had the pagans of Arabia and the hypocrites of Al-Madinah also as their allies who were bent upon wiping out the Muslims. But in spite of this great disparity in numbers the Muslims overwhelmed the Jews mainly because they were least afraid of dying for the cause of Allah. They were rather fond of it, and would enter the battlefield fully prepared to embrace death. For they believed that they were fighting in the way of God and had complete faith that the one who fell martyr in His way would be blessed with Paradise. Contrary to this, the Jews were not prepared to fight and lay down their life for any cause, neither the cause of God, nor the cause of their nation nor for their own self, properties and honor. They only loved to live, in whatever way or fashion it be. This had made them cowardly.
13. In other words, their flight from death is not without a reason. Whatever they may say, their conscience is fully aware of how they are behaving towards Allah and His religion and what consequences can be expected of the misdeeds they are committing in the world. That is why they are afraid to appear at the court of God.
“9-11 Commandment relating to the obligation of Friday Prayers
(62:9) Believers, when the call for Prayer is made on Friday,14 hasten to the remembrance of Allah and give up all trading.15 That is better for you, if you only knew. (62:10) But when the Prayer is ended, disperse in the land and seek Allah’s Bounty,16 and remember Allah much17 so that you may prosper.18 (62:11) Yet no sooner than they saw some trading or amusement, they flocked to it and left you standing by yourself.19 Tell them: “That which is with Allah is far better than amusement and trading.20 Allah is the Best Provider of sustenance.”21
14. Three things in this sentence are particularly noteworthy:
(1) That call to the Prayer is mentioned here.
(2) That the mention is of the call to such a Prayer as has to be performed particularly only on Fridays.
(3) That these things have not been mentioned so as to suggest that the call is to be made for the Prayer and a particular Prayer is to be performed on Friday, but the style and context clearly show that the call to the Prayer and the particular Prayer were both already being performed and practiced on Friday.
The people, however, were being negligent in that on hearing the call to the Prayer. They would not hasten to it but would remain occupied in their worldly activities and trade and business transactions. Therefore, Allah sent down this verse to make the people realize and appreciate the importance of the call and the Prayer and to exhort them to hasten to perform it as a duty. If these three things are considered deeply, they prove this absolute truth that Allah enjoined on the Prophet (peace be upon him) certain commands which were not revealed in the Quran, and these commands were also as obligatory as those revealed in the Quran itself. The call to the Prayer is the same as adhan which is being called the world over five times daily in every mosque. But neither its words have been stated anywhere in the Quran nor the method of calling the people to the Prayer has been taught. Its method was prescribed by the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Quran has only confirmed it twice, here and in Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 58. Likewise, this particular Prayer of Friday, which the Muslims of the entire world are performing has neither been enjoined in the Quran nor its time and method of performance described anywhere. This was also prescribed by the Prophet (peace be upon him), and this verse of the Quran was revealed only to stress its importance and obligatory nature. In spite of this express argument anyone who claims that the Shariah commandments are only those which have been stated in the Quran, is not in fact a denier of the Sunnah but of the Quran itself.
Before proceeding further, let us understand a few other things also about Jumuah (the Friday congregational Prayer):
(1) Jumuah is an Islamic term. In the pre-Islamic days of ignorance the Arabs called it the Arabah day. In Islam when it was declared as a congregational day of the Muslims, it was re-named as Jumuah. Although according to the historians, Kab bin Luayy, or Qusayy bin Kilab, also had used this name for this day, for he used to hold an assembly of Quraish on this day (Fath-al-Bari), yet by this practice the ancient name did not change, and the common Arabs continued to call it the Arabah Day. The real change took place when Islam gave it this new name.
(2) Before Islam, setting aside of a day in the week for worship and regarding it as an emblem of the community was prevalent among the followers of the earlier scriptures. Among the Jews the Sabbath (Saturday) had been fixed for this purpose, because on this day Allah had delivered the children of Israel from the bondage of the Pharaoh. In order to distinguish themselves from the Jews the Christians took Sunday as their distinctive emblem. Although it had neither been enjoined by the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) nor mentioned anywhere in the Gospel, yet the Christians believe that after his death on the Cross the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) had risen from the grave on this day and ascended to heaven. On this very basis the later Christians ordained it as the day of worship, and then in 321 A.D. the Roman Empire instituted it as a holiday by decree. In order to distinguish its community from both these communities, Islam adopted Friday as the day of collective worship as against Saturday and Sunday.
(3) It is known from the tradition reported by Abdullah bin Masud and Abu Masud Ansari that the Friday congregational Prayer had been enjoined on the Prophet (peace be upon him) some time before the Hijrah in Makkah itself. But at that time he could not act on it, for in Makkah it was not possible to perform any worship collectively. Therefore, he sent a written instruction to the people who had emigrated to Al-Madinah before him that they should establish the Friday congregational Prayer there. Thus, Musab bin Umair, the leader of the earliest emigrants, offered the first Friday Prayer at Al-Madinah with 12 followers. (Tabarani, Daraqutni). Kaab bin Malik and Ibn Sirin have reported that even before this the Muslims of Al-Madinah had decided mutually, on their own initiative, that they would hold a collective service on one day in the week. For this purpose they had selected Friday as against the Sabbath of the Jews and Sunday of the Christians, and the first Friday Prayer was led by Asad bin Zurarah at the place of Bani Bayadah and 40 Muslims participated in it. (Musnad Ahmad Abu Daud, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Abd bin Humaid, Abdur Razzaq, Baihaqi). This shows that the Islamic taste and trend at that time was itself demanding that there should be a day on which maximum number of Muslims should gather together and worship collectively. And this was also a demand of the Islam itself that it should be a day other than Saturday and Sunday so that the symbol of the Muslim community should be distinctive from the emblems of the Jewish and the Christian communities. This was a wonderful manifestation of the Islamic trends and tastes of the Prophet’s companions that many a time it so happened that even before a thing was enjoined their taste proclaimed that the spirit of Islam demanded its introduction.
(4) The establishment of the Friday congregational Prayer was one of the earliest things that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did after his emigration to Al-Madinah. After leaving Makkah he reached Quba on Monday and stayed there for four days. On the fifth day, which was a Friday, he preceded to Al-Madinah. On the way at the place of Bani Salim bin Auf, time came for the Friday Prayer and he performed the first Friday congregational Prayer at this very place. (Ibn Hisham).
(5) The time appointed by the Prophet (peace be upon him) for this Prayer was after the declining of the sun, the same time which is for the Zuhr Prayer. The written instruction that he had sent to Musab bin Umair before the hijrah was: Seek nearness to Allah by means of two rakahs of the Prayer when the sun declines after midday on Friday. (Daraqutni). This same instruction he gave orally after hijrah as well as practically led the Friday Prayer at the same time. Traditions on this Subject have been related on the authority of Anas, Salamah bin Akwa, Zubair bin al- Awwam, Sahl bin Saad, Abdullah bin Masud, Ammar bin Yasr and Bilal in the collection of Hadith, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to perform the Friday Prayer after the declining of the sun: (Musnad Ahmad Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Nasai, Tirmidhi).
(6) This is also confirmed by his practice that on this day the Prophet (peace be upon him) led the Friday congregational Prayer instead of the Zuhr Prayer, and this Prayer consisted of two rakahs and he gave the Sermon before it. This was the only difference between the Friday Prayer and the Zuhr Prayer on other days. Umar says: According to the command enjoined by the tongue of your Prophet (peace be upon him) the traveler’s Prayer consists of two rakahs, the Fajr Prayer consists of two rakahs, and the Friday Prayer consists of two rakahs. This is the complete, not the shortened Prayer and the Friday Prayer has been shortened only because of the Sermon.
(7) The call to the Prayer that has been mentioned here implies the call that is made just before the Sermon, and not the call that is made much before the Sermon to announce that the prayer time has begun. There is a tradition in the Hadith from Saaib bin Yazid to the effect that in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) there used to be only one call that was made after the Imam (leader in Prayer) had taken his seat on the pulpit. The same practice also continued in the time of Abu Bakr and Umar. When population increased in the time of Uthman, he ordered another call to be made in the bazaar of Al- Madinah at his house, Az-Zaura. (Bukhari, Abu Daud, Nasai, Tabarani).
15. In this command remembrance implies the Friday sermon, for the first thing that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do after the call was to deliver the sermon, and he always led the Prayer after delivering the sermon. Abu Hurairah has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The angels on Friday go on writing down the names of the people as they arrive. Then, when the Imam comes out to deliver the sermon, they stop writing the names and turn their attention to the remembrance (i.e. the sermon). (Musnad Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Nasai). This Hadith also shows that the remembrance implies the sermon. The exhortation of the Quran itself points to the same thing. First, it says: Hasten to the remembrance of Allah; then a little below it says: Then, when the Prayer is over, disperse in the land. This shows that on Friday the order of the service is that first there is the remembrance of Allah and then the Prayer. The commentators also agree that remembrance either implies the sermon, or the sermon and the Prayer both.
Using the word dhikr-Allah for the sermon by itself gives the meaning that it should contain themes relevant to the remembrance of Allah. For instance, praising and glorifying Allah, imploring Him to bless His Messenger (peace be upon him), exhorting and instructing the audience to obey His commands and follow His Shariah, commending His pious and righteous servants, etc. On this very basis, Zamakhshari writes in al-kashshaf: Praising the wicked and tyrannical rules in the Friday Sermon, or mentioning their names and praying for them, has nothing to do with the remembrance of Allah; this would be the remembrance of Satan.
Hasten to the remembrance of Allah does not mean that one should come to the mosque running, but it means that one should make haste for it. The commentators also agree on this very meaning. Hastening, according to them means that on hearing the call one should immediately start making preparations to attend the mosque. The Hadith even forbids coming to the mosque for the Prayer running. Abu Hurairah has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When the Prayer has begun, one should come walking to it with calm and dignity, and not running. Then, one should join in whatever remains of the Prayer, and should make up whatever he has missed independently later. In Sihah Sittah, Abu Qatadah Ansari says: Once we were offering the Prayer under the leadership of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when suddenly we heard some people coming to join the Prayer running. When the Prayer was concluded, the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: What was the noise about. They replied; We came running for the Prayer. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said; Don’t do that, whenever you come for the Prayer, come with calm and dignity. Join behind the Imam in whatever remains of the Prayer, and make up whatever you have missed independently. (Bukhari, Muslim). Leave off your trading also includes every other worldly activity and business which prevents one from getting ready for the Prayer with full attention and care. Buying and selling has been particularly forbidden, for commerce flourishes on Fridays. People from the surrounding areas gather together at a central place, the merchants also arrive with their merchandise, and the people become occupied in buying the necessities of daily use. The prohibition however is not restricted only to buying and selling, but it applies to all other occupations as well. And since Allah has forbidden these, jurists of Islam agree that after the call has been sounded for the Friday Prayer all forms of trade, business and worldly occupation become forbidden.
This command absolutely confirms the obligatory nature of the Friday Prayer. In the first place, the exhortation to hasten for it after one has heard the call is by itself a proof of its being obligatory. Then, the prohibition of a lawful thing like trade and business at the time of the Prayer also shows that it is obligatory in nature. Moreover, the elimination of the obligatory Zuhr Prayer on Friday and its being replaced by the Friday Prayer is a clear proof that it is obligatory in nature. For, an obligatory duty becomes eliminated only when the duty replacing it is more important. This very thing has been supported in many Ahadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) exhorted the Muslims in most emphatic words to attend the Friday Prayer and has declared it in clear words to be obligatory. Abdullah bin Masud has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I feel I should ask somebody to stand in my place to lead the Prayer, and I myself should go and set fire to the houses of the people who do not come for the Prayer. (Musnad Ahmad, Bukhari). Abu Hurairah, Abdullah bin Abbas and Abdullah bin Umar say: We heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say this in the Friday Sermon: The people should refrain from giving up the Friday Prayer; otherwise Allah will seal up hearts and they will become totally heedless. (Musnad Ahmad, Muslim, Nasai). From the traditions reported by Abu al-Jad Damri, Jabir bin Abdullah and Abdullah bin Abi Aufa from the Holy Prophet one comes to know that Allah seals up the heart of the person who abandons three Friday Prayers, one after the other, without a genuine reason and lawful excuse. Rather, in one tradition the words are to the effect: Allah turns the heart of such a one into the heart of a hypocrite. (Musnad Ahmad, Abu Daud, Nasai, Tirmidhi Ibn Majah Darimi, Hakim, Ibn Hibban, Bazzar, Tabarani in al-Kabir. Hadrat Jabir bin Abdullah says that the Prophet said: From today till Resurrection the Friday Prayer is obligatory on you. Allah will neither bless nor set right the condition of the one who abandons it disregarding it or considering it an ordinary thing. Note it well: the Prayer of such a one will be no prayer at all, his zakat will be no zakat at all, his Hajj no Hajj, his fasting no fasting, and no good done by him will be good, until he repents. Then, for the one who repents, Allah is Most Forgiving. (Ibn Majah, Bazzar). Another tradition, which is very close in meaning to this has been cited by Tabarani in Auset from Ibn Umar. Furthermore, there are many traditions in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) has declared the Friday Prayer as obligatory in clear words. Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas has related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The Friday Prayer is obligatory on every person who hears the call to it. (Abu Daud Daraqutni). Jabir bin Abdullah and Abu Saeed Khudri say that he said in a Sermon: Know that Allah has enjoined the Friday Prayer as a duty on you. (Baihaqi). However, He has exempted the women, children, slaves, the sick and the travelers from this duty. Hafsah has reported that the Prophet said: Attendance at the Friday Prayer is obligatory on every adult male. (Nasai). Tariq bin Shihab’s tradition contains this saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): The Friday congregational Prayer is obligatory on every Muslim except the slave, women, children and the sick. (Abu Daud, Hakim). In the tradition of Jabir bin Abdullah, his words are to the effect: Friday Prayer is obligatory on the person who believes in Allah and the Last Day unless it is a woman, or a traveler, or a slave, or a sick man. (Daraqutni, Baihaqi). On account of these very exhortations of the Quran and the Hadith the entire Ummah is agreed that the Friday congregational Prayer is of obligatory nature.
16. This does not mean that after the Friday is over, it is obligatory to go in search of livelihood, but it only implies permission. As it was ordered to stop all worldly business as soon as the call was made for the Prayer, so it is allowed that after the Prayer is over, the people may dispose and resume or pursue whatever occupation or business they may like. It is just like the prohibition of hunting in the state of ihram, but after ihram is put off, one is told to hunt. (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 2). That does not mean that one must hunt, but that one may hunt if one so likes. Or, for instance, in Surah An-Nisa, permission to marry more than one wife has been given, saying: Marry two or three or four women whom you choose. Here, although the verb is in the imperative mood, no one has taken it in the meaning of a command. This gives the principle that the imperative form of the verb does not always imply an obligation or command. It sometimes implies the permission and sometimes exercise of choice or preference. The context determines where it implies the command, where the permission and where Allah’s approval of the act, and not that the act is obligatory. Immediately after this very sentence itself, it has been said: And remember Allah much. Here also the verb is in the imperative mood, but obviously it implies exercise of one’s choice and not that it is a duty or compulsion.
Here, another thing worthy of mention is that although in the Quran, Friday has not been declared a public holiday like the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday, yet no one can deny that Friday is a symbol of the Muslim community precisely in the same way as Saturday is a Jewish and Sunday a Christian symbol. And if declaring a day in the week a public holiday be a cultural necessity, then just as the Jews naturally select Saturday for it and the Christians Sunday, so a Muslim (if he has any Islamic feeling) will necessarily select only Friday for this purpose. The Christians did not even hesitate to impose their Sunday on some other countries where Christian population was negligible. When the Jews established their state in Palestine, the first thing they did was to announce Saturday as the weekly holiday instead of Sunday. In pre-partitioned India one conspicuous distinction between British India and the Muslim states was that in one part of the country Sunday was observed as a closed holiday and in the other Friday. However, where the Muslims lack Islamic values, they hold to Sunday even after attaining to sovereign power as we see in Pakistan. In case of excessive westernization, Friday is replaced by Sunday as the weekly holiday as was done by Mustafa Kamal in Turkey.
17. Remember Allah much: Do not forget Allah even when you are otherwise occupied, but remember Him under all circumstances and remain conscious of Him at all times. (For explanation, see( E.N. 63 of Surah Al-Ahzab).
18. At several places in the Quran, after giving an instruction or an admonition or a command words to the effect: “perhaps you achieve success” or “perhaps you may be shown mercy” have been used. The use of “perhaps” on such occasions does not mean that Allah, God forbid, is entertaining a doubt, but it is in fact a royal style of address. It is just like a kindly master’s giving out hope to his servants to continue doing their best so that they may achieve and win the desired goal and reward, It contains a subtle promise which fills the servant with hope and he carries out his duties and obligations with enthusiasm.
As the commands pertaining to the Friday congregational prayer come to an end here, it would be useful to give a resume of the injunctions that the four schools of juristic thought have derived from the Quran, the Hadih, traditions of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the general principles of Islam.
According to the Hanafi school of thought, the time for the Friday Prayer is the same as for Zuhr Prayer. The Friday Prayer can neither be held before it nor after it. Business and trade become forbidden with the first call to the Prayer and not with the second call which is made after the Imam has taken his place on the pulpit, for the words of the Quran in this regard are explicit and definite. Therefore, whichever call is made for the Friday Prayer after the declining of the sun when the Prayer time begins, the people should stop conducting business on hearing it. However, if a person has made a bargain at that time, it will not be void, but will only be a sin. The Friday Prayer cannot be held in every settlement but only in the misr- Jami which has been defined as a large town or city where there are market places, adequate security arrangements, and which has large enough population so that if all the people upon whom attendance at the Friday Prayer is obligatory gather together, they should be too many for the principal mosque to hold. The people who live outside the city will have to offer the Prayer in the city only in case the call to the Prayer reaches them, or if they live within six miles of the city. The Prayer may not necessarily be held in the mosque, it may also be held in the open field and also on a ground which is outside the city but a part of it. The Friday Prayer can be validly held only in a place where any and every person may come to attend it without any hindrance. It will not be valid if it is held in a restricted place where every person is not allowed to join in no matter how many people may gather together. For the Prayer to be valid there should at least be three men (according to Imam Abu Hanifah beside the imam, or two men including the imam (according to imams Abu Yusuf and Mohammad), upon whom it is obligatory to attend the Friday Prayer. A person will be exempt from the Prayer if he is on a journey, or is so ill that he cannot walk to attend it, or is disabled of both the legs, or is blind (but according to Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, a blind person will be exempt from the Prayer duty only in case he does not find a man who can take him along for the Prayer), or he apprehends a danger to his life and honor, or an unbearable financial loss from a tyrant, or it is raining heavily and there is slush and rainwater on the way, or he is a prisoner. For the prisoner and the disabled, it is undesirable that they should perform the Zuhr Prayer on Friday in congregation. For those also who have missed the Friday Prayer it is undesirable to perform the Zuhr Prayer collectively, The sermon is one of the pre-requisites of the Friday Prayer to be valid, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) never performed the Friday Prayer without the sermon. The sermon must necessarily precede the prayer, and there should be two sermons. From the time the Imam steps towards the pulpit for the sermon, every kind of speech becomes forbidden till he brings it to an end; no prayer may be performed during it, whether one can hear the imam at the place where one is sitting or not. (Hedayah, Al-Fath ul-Qadir; al-Jassas: Ahkam al-Quran; Al-Fiqh alai-Madhahib al-Arbah; Umdat al-Qari).
According to the Shafeis, the time of the Friday Prayer is the same as of the Zuhr Prayer. Trade and business become forbidden and hastening to the remembrance of Allah becomes obligatory from the time the second call is sounded, i.e. the call which is sounded after the imam has taken his place on the pulpit. However, if a person carries out a transaction at this time, it does not become void. The Friday Prayer can be held in every such settlement among the permanent residents of which there are 40 such men upon whom it is incumbent to perform the Prayer. Attendance at the Friday Prayer is obligatory for those people of the suburbs whom the call may reach. The Friday service must be held within the bounds of the settlement, but it may not necessarily be held in the mosque. Thus, it is not obligatory for nomadic peoples who live in tents in the desert. For the Prayer to be valid there should at least be 40 such men including the imam in the congregation upon whom the Prayer is incumbent. A person would be exempt from the Prayer if he is on a journey, or intends to stay at a place for four or less than four days provided that the journey is lawful, or he is old or sick and cannot go to attend the Prayer even by a conveyance, or is blind and does not find a man who can take him along for the Prayer, or apprehends danger to life or property or honor, or is a prisoner provided that this imprisonment has not been caused by his own crime. There should be two sermons before the Prayer. Although it is according to the sunnah to sit quiet during the sermon, yet speech is not forbidden. For the person who is sitting close to the imam so that he can hear the sermon, speech is disapproved, but he can respond to a greeting, and can recite prayer on the Prophet (peace be upon him) aloud when he hears his name being mentioned. (Mughni al-Muhtaj Al-Fiqh alal- Madhahib al-Arbah).
According to the Malikis, the Friday Prayer time begins from the declining of the sun and lasts till such time in the evening that the sermon and the Prayer can be concluded before sunset. Business transactions become forbidden and hastening becomes obligatory with the second call. If a transaction takes place after it, it would be void and sinful. The Friday Prayer can be held in the settlements, residents of which live in permanent houses and do not migrate in the summer or the winter, and whose needs and requirements are met in the same settlements, and who can defend themselves on the basis of their strength. In temporary dwelling places the Friday Prayer cannot be established even though many people may be staying there and staying for long periods. Attendance at the Prayer is obligatory for the people who live within three miles of the settlement where the Prayer is held. The Prayer can be held only in the mosque, which is inside the settlement or adjoining it, and the building of which is not inferior to the houses of the common residents of the place. Some Malikis have also imposed the condition that the mosque should be roofed, and arrangements for offering collective Prayer five times daily should also exist in it. However, the better known view of the Malikis is that for the Prayer to be valid the mosque’s being roofed is no pre-requisite. The Friday Prayer can also be held in a mosque which has been built only for the Friday Prayer and no arrangements exist in it for the five daily Prayers. For the Prayer to be valid there must at least be 12 other men, apart from the imam, in the congregation upon whom the Friday Prayer is incumbent. A person would be exempt from it if he is on a journey, or intends to stay for less than four days at a place during the journey, or is so ill that he cannot come to the mosque, or has an ailing mother or father, or wife, or child, or he is nursing a stranger who has nobody else to nurse him, or has a close relative who is seriously ill, or at the point of death, or apprehends an unbearable loss to property, or a danger to his life or honor, or is hiding from fear of imprisonment or punishment, provided that he is a wronged and oppressed person, or it is raining heavily and there is slush and rainwater on the way, or the weather is oppressive due to excessive heat or cold. The Prayer has to be preceded by two sermons; so much so that if the sermon is given after the Prayer, the Prayer has to be repeated, and the sermons must necessarily be delivered inside the mosque. It is forbidden to offer a voluntary Prayer after the imam has stepped towards the pulpit, and to talk when the sermon has begun, even if one is not hearing it, However, if the imam indulges in meaningless and absurd things in the sermon, or uses abusive language for a person who does not deserve it, or starts praising a person for whom praise is unlawful, or starts reciting something irrelevant to the sermon, the people have the right to protest. Furthermore, it is reprehensible that a prayer be made in the sermon for the temporal ruler, unless the imam apprehends danger to his life. The imam must necessarily be the same person who leads the Prayer; if another person than the one who gave the sermon led the Prayer it would be void. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi ila-sh-Sharh al-Kabir, Ibn Arabi, Ahkam al-Quran; Al-Fiqh alal-Madhahib al- Arba’h).
According to the Hanbalis, the Friday Prayer time begins when the sun has risen about a spear’s length high and lasts till the beginning of the Asr Prayer time in the afternoon, but performing the Prayer before the declining of the sun is just permissible but after it obligatory and meritorious. Business transactions become forbidden and hastening to the Prayer becomes obligatory with the second call, A transaction contracted after it has no effect in the law. The Prayer can be held only at a place where 40 men on whom the Friday Prayer is incumbent have permanently settled in houses (and not in tents) and are not nomadic tribesmen. For this purpose, it will not make any difference if the houses of the settlement or its different parts are scattered or compact; if their combination is called by one name, it will be one settlement even if its different parts are miles apart. Attendance at the Prayer will be obligatory for the people who live within three miles of the settlement. The congregation should consist of 40 men including the imam. The Prayer may not necessarily be performed in the mosque; it may be performed in the open as well. A person will be exempt from it if he is on a journey and intend to stay in the settlement for four or less than four days, or is so ill that he cannot come to the mosque even by a conveyance, or is blind unless he can grope his way to the mosque; (it is not obligatory for the blind man to come for the Prayer with another man’s help), or he is prevented by extreme weather or heavy rain or slush and rainwater, or he is hiding to escape persecution or apprehends danger to life or honor, or fears an unbearable financial loss, The Prayer should be preceded by two sermons. The person who is sitting so close to the imam that he can hear him, is forbidden speech; however, the one sitting far away, who cannot hear the sermon, can speak. The people have to sit quiet during the sermon whether the person delivering the sermon is a just man or an unjust man. If Eid falls on a Friday, the people who have performed the Eid Prayer will be exempt from the Friday Prayer. In this matter, the viewpoint of the Hanbalis is different from that of the other three Imams. (Ghayat al-Muntaha; Al-Fiqh alal-Madhahib al-Arbah).
All jurists agree that if the person upon whom the Friday Prayer is not incumbent, joins in the Prayer, his Prayer would be valid, and he would be absolved from the Zuhr Prayer.
19. This is the incident because of which the commandments pertaining to the Friday congregational Prayer have been enjoined in the preceding verses. Its narrative as related in the collections of Hadith, on the authority of Jabir bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abu Hurairah, Abu Malik, and Hasan Basri, lbn Zaid, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan is as follows: A trade caravan from Syria arrived in Al-Madinah right at the time of the Friday Prayer and its people started playing their drums to announce their arrival. The Prophet (peace be upon him) at that time was delivering the sermon, Hearing the drum the people in the congregation became impatient and rushed out towards Baqi where the caravan had halted, except for 12 men. The most authentic tradition in this narrative is of Jabir bin Abdullah, which has been related by Imam Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Uwanah, Abd bin Humaid, Abu Yala and others through reliable channels. The only diversity is that in some traditions it is stated that the incident took place when the Prayer was in progress; in others that it happened when the Prophet was delivering the sermon. However, what appears to be correct when the tradition of Jabir and those of others are read together is that it happened during the sermon. Where Jabir says that it happened during the Friday Prayer, he in fact has used the word Friday Prayer for the combination of the sermon and the Prayer. According to the tradition of Abdullah bin Abbas, seven women had remained behind with 12 men. (Ibn Marduyah). Qatadah says that one woman remained with 12 men, (lbn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim). According to the tradition of Daraqutni 40 individuals remained, of Abd bin Humaid 7 individuals and of Farra 8 individuals. But all these are weak traditions. The tradition of Qatadah that such a thing happened thrice is also weak. (Ibn Jarir). The authentic tradition in this regard is of Jabir, according to which the number of those who remained behind is stated to be 12. Apart from one tradition of Qatadah, all traditions of the other companions and their followers agree that this happened only once. When read together different traditions about those who remained behind show that they included Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, AIi, Abdullah bin Masud, Ammar bin Yasir, Salim (slave of Hudhaifah) and Jabir bin Abdullah. The tradition related by Hafiz Abu Yala from Jabir bin Abdullah says that when the people rushed out like that and only 12 companions were left behind, the Prophet (peace be upon him) addressed them, saying: By Him in Whose hand is my life, if all of you had left, and none had remained behind, this valley would have overflowed with fire. A theme resembling this has been cited by Ibn Marduyah from Abdullah bin Abbas and by Ibn Jarir from Qatadah.
The Shiite scholars have used this incident also for taunting and finding fault with the companions. They say that abandoning the sermon and the Prayer by such a large number of the companions for the sake of worldly gain and amusement is a proof that they preferred the world to the Hereafter. But this is a misplaced objection that can be raised only if one keeps his eyes closed to realities. As a matter of fact, this incident took place just after the migration. At that time, on the one hand, the collective training of the companions was in the initial stages, and on the other, the disbelievers of Makkah had subjected the people of Al-Madinah to a strict economic blockade because of which necessities of life had become scarce in the city. Hasan Basri says that the people at time were starving and the prices had risen abnormally high. (Ibn Jarir). Under such conditions when a trade caravan arrived, the people rushed out to buy things of daily need lest these were sold out before the Prayer was concluded. This was a weakness and error which became suddenly manifest due to insufficient training and severity of the conditions. But whoever sees the sacrifices made by the companions for the cause of Islam afterwards and sees what piety and righteousness they displayed in the matter of worship and dedication and dealings can never dare bring against them the allegation that they preferred the world to the Hereafter unless he himself bears malice against the companions.
However, just as this incident does not support the critics of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), so it also does not support the ideas of those people who cherish exaggerated notions about them and claim that they never committed any error, or if they committed some, it should not be mentioned, for making mention of their error and calling it an error is derogatory and it reduces one’s reverence and respect for them, and its mention goes against the verses of the Quran and the Hadith, which state that the companions are Allah’s favorite people and have already been forgiven all their errors and mistakes. All this is exaggeration for which there is no basis in the Quran and the Hadith. Here, everyone can see for himself that Allah Himself has mentioned the error that happened to have been committed by a large number of the companions, in the Book that will be read by the entire ummah till Resurrection, and in the same Book which speaks of their having been forgiven and being chosen people of Allah. Then in the books of the Hadith and commentary also details of this error have been described by all scholars, from the companions to the major scholars among the followers of the Sunnah. Does it mean that Allah has made this mention in order to destroy the reverence for the same companions whose reverence and esteem He wants to instill in all our hearts? And does it mean that the companions and their followers and the traditionists and commentators have mentioned these details of this incident because they were unaware of the religious aspect of the matter which these zealots show and describe? And have the people who read Surah Al-Jumuah and study its commentary really lost reverence and esteem for the companions from their hearts? If the answer to each of these questions is in the negative, and it is surely in the negative, then all those exaggerated ideas and notions, which some people express and show in regard to the reverence of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companions, are erroneous.
The truth is that the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were not supernormal beings: they were only human born in this very world. Whatever they attained, they attained through the persistent training imparted by the Prophet (peace be upon him) over many years. The method of this training as we learn from the Quran and the Hadith was; Whenever a weakness appeared in them, Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) turned immediate attention to it, and a program of education and training was established to overcome and eradicate it. In the matter of this very Friday Prayer, we see that when the incident of the trade caravan occurred, Allah sent down this section of the verses of Surah Al-Jumuah to administer warning and teach the etiquette of the Friday Service. Along with this the Prophet (peace be upon him) impressed on the people the importance of the obligatory nature of the service continuously in his sermons as explained in( E.N. 15) above. All these instructions are found in the Hadith in clear words. Abu Saeed Khudri says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Every Muslim must have full bath on Friday, should clean his teeth, put on the best available clothes, and use perfume if possible. (Musnad Ahmad Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Nasai). Salman Farsi says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The Muslim who has bath on Friday, cleans and purifies himself as far as possible, applies oil to his hair, or uses perfume if available, and comes to the mosque and takes his place without disturbing others, then offers the (voluntary) Prayer that Allah has destined for him, then listens quietly when the imam speaks, he will have his sins and errors committed since the previous Friday forgiven. (Bukhari, Musnad Ahmad). Traditions containing almost the same theme have been reported by Abu Ayub Anati, Abu Hurairah and Nubaishat alHudhali also from the Prophet (peace be upon him). (Musnad Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Tabarani). Abdullah bin Abbas says that the Prophet said: The person who speaks when the imam is delivering the sermon is like the donkey loaded with books, and the person who tells him to keep quiet has also rendered his own Prayer void. (Musnad Ahmad). Abu Huraira says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If on Friday during the sermon you said to a person, keep quiet, you too behaved wrong. (Bukhari, Muslim, Nasai, Tirmidhi, Abu Daud). Traditions closely resembling this have been related by Imam Ahmad, Abu Daud and Tabarani from Ali and Abu ad-Darda. To the person delivering the sermon also the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed that he should not deliver a lengthy sermon to try the people’s patience. His own practice on Friday was that he gave brief sermons and led short Prayers. Jabir bin Samurah says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would never give a lengthy sermon, he was always very brief. (Abu Daud). Abdullah bin Abi Aufa says: The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) sermon used to be shorter than the Prayer, and the Prayer a little longer than the sermon. (Nasai). According to Ammar bin Yasir, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The prolongation of the Prayer and the brevity of the sermon are a sign that the Imam has deep insight in religion. (Musnad Ahmad, Muslim). Almost the same theme Bazzar has related from Abdullah bin Masud. All this shows how the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught the people the etiquette of the Friday congregational service till it began to be performed in the unique manner unknown in the congregational worship of any other people in the world.
20. This sentence by itself shows what was the nature of the error committed by the companions. God forbid, if it had been due to any weakness of the faith, or due to giving the world preference over the Hereafter, Allah’s wrath and displeasure and reprimand would have been much severer. But since there was no such weakness, and whatever happened was only due to insufficient training, Allah first taught the people the etiquette of the Friday service, then, after pointing out the error, promised them that the reward they would get with Allah for listening to the sermon and performing the Prayer would be much greater than worldly gains and amusements.
21. That is, Allah is by far the best of all those providers who become a means of providing sustenance in the world, though only metaphorically. Sentences such as this have occurred at several places in the Quran, At some places Allah has been called the best of Creators, at others the best of Forgivers, the best of Rulers, the best of those who show mercy, or the best of Helpers. At all these places the reference of providing, creating, forgiving, showing mercy and offering help to the creatures is metaphorical, and to Allah real. It means that Allah is the best Provider, Creator, Forgiver, Helper and Bestower of Mercy of all those who appear to be giving you wages and means of sustenance, or who appear to be making things by their skill and workmanship, or who seem to be pardoning the errors of others, or showing mercy and helping other in this world.