What is the Friday Prayer (Jummah)?

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday”. On this special day, the usual midday prayer is replaced with the Friday prayer, or ‘Salat al-Jumu’ah’ in Arabic. Read the history and find out more!

Islam can be understood through two key aspects: faith (Imaan) and actions (A’maal). Muslims follow the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith, prayer, charity, fasting during Ramadan and pilgrimage to Makkah. Additionally, the "Six Articles of Faith" are the fundamental beliefs that Muslims hold, including belief in the oneness of Allah, Angels, Divine books, Prophets, Day of Judgment and Predestination. Together, these articles of faith and acts of worship shape the comprehensive way of life for Muslims, encompassing their spiritual beliefs and daily practices. 

Students Attending Friday Prayer November 3rd 2023 

The first pillar, the Shahadah (Declaration of Faith), serves as a constant reminder of the oneness of Allah in His Lordship, names, attributes and deserving of worship. It also affirms the prophethood of Muhammad, influencing Muslims’ decisions, actions and priorities. The second pillar, Salat (Prayer), involves five daily prayers, encouraging regular moments of reflection and connection with Allah throughout the day. Zakat (Charity), the third pillar, promotes generosity and social responsibility by giving a portion of wealth to help the less fortunate, fostering a sense of community and compassion. Sawm (fasting during Ramadan), the fourth pillar, is prescribed to attain Taqwa (God consciousness). Finally, the Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) serves as a physical and spiritual journey, reinforcing unity among Muslims worldwide and strengthening their connection to the historical and spiritual roots of their faith.

Significance of the Friday Prayer 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday”. It was on a Friday that Adam, the first man, was created, and it will be on a Friday that all of mankind will be brought to Judgement. On this special day, the usual midday prayer is replaced with the Friday prayer, or ‘Salat al-Jumu’ah’ in Arabic. This prayer can only be offered in congregation, which is something that differentiates it from the usual daily prayers that can also be prayed alone. The Quran mentions “O believers! When the call to prayer is made on Friday then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business. That is best for you, if only you knew” [62:9]. Friday prayers are an obligation on Muslim men, whilst optional for women.  

Before attending the Friday prayer, Muslims are encouraged to take a shower, cut their nails, use a ‘miswak’ (tooth cleaning stick), wear nice clothes, and for men, to wear perfume. Cleanliness is very important in Islam, such that it has been mentioned in the Quran and Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH) many times. The Friday Prayer itself occurs after the sun has passed its zenith and the call to prayer is given. To begin, two ‘khutbahs’ (sermons) are given by the Imam (leader of the prayer). As the Imam stands and faces the seated congregation, he eloquently reminds them of their worship to Allah (God) and can address relevant issues. During the sermons there is complete silence from the worshippers, allowing everyone to attentively listen to the Imam. As the sermons conclude, the congregation is called to stand up for the prayer, whereby everyone stands shoulder to shoulder in rows behind the Imam.

Imam delivering a sermon on Friday Prayer  

Alongside the Friday prayer, there are many recommended acts Muslims may carry out to make the most of this blessed day, some of which include increasing in their supplication to Allah, especially in the last hour of the day where it is believed that supplications are answered, sending salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and reciting specific chapters of the Quran such as surah Kahf [‘The Cave’ chapter in the Quran]. 

No matter the age, race, status or what job one may have, all are seen as equal by Allah as they stand side by side in their rows, all carrying out the same actions, present for the same purpose.

Student Testimonials  

“Friday jummah prayers at uni hold a special place in my heart. It's our weekly spiritual reset, a moment to connect with Allah (SWT), ground ourselves and find strength and solace in each other. It's a precious time to reconnect with our faith and with one another, deepening our bonds as sisters in faith. It’s so heartening to see all sisters across different courses and year groups come together Ma’Sha’Allah.” - Sister, 3rd year Biochemistry student

“Friday Jummah prayer is extremely important to Muslims and is treated as such at QMUL. It’s a day for Muslim brothers to come and pray together as one Ummah [community] and reflect on ourselves and the state of the world Allah (SWT) gave us to live in. Jummah is easily accessible at QMUL and continues to show the strength of the Muslim community here. The khutbahs [sermons] are always insightful and engaging. University tends to be a time where iman [faith] is tested so Jummah always helps ground people into the faith. It definitely helps me in my own connection with Islam and unifies myself and my fellow brothers at the ISOC, Allahumma Barik” - Brother, 1st year International Relations student

Setting up for Friday Prayer in Library Square 

“Every Friday is a very special day for Muslims everywhere. As someone who recently moved to London, I feel especially grateful that QMUL does Jumu’ah prayer as the sense of belonging and community is so strong. I barely know anyone there but we’re all there together, learning about our Deen (religion). Jumu’ah is important because it uplifts you as a person, allowing you to be reminded of your shortcomings so you may improve upon your character. As a person who found Islam only last year, Jumu’ah quickly became a very important part of my life, helping me to get mentally stronger and wiser, making me become a more grateful person for the life I’ve been given.” - Sister, 1st year Geography student

 

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