Jum’ah: The Friday Prayer

Friday is called Yawm al-Jum’ahFriday is called Yawm al-Jum’ah in Arabic, meaning the Day of Assembly. On this day, Muslims pause from their work at mid-day to gather for congregational worship. The regular mid-day prayer on Friday is supplemented by a two-part sermon known as the kh... in ArabicClassical Arabic is the language of revelation in Islam as recorded in the Qur’an. Muslims consider every word of the Qur’an to be a direct utterance of God. The Arabic language itself is regarded as perfectly suited as the instrument for God’s comm..., meaning the Day of Assembly. Muslims gather for congregationalThe congregational form of Protestant Christianity has traditionally affirmed the autonomy and authority of the local congregation in calling and ordaining its ministers and organizing its affairs. In the 17th century, the English Puritans introduced cong... worship during the Friday midday prayerPrayer is the vocal or silent address to the Divine. It may consist of fixed words, spontaneous words, or rest in silence with no words at all. Some forms of prayer are accompanied with specific postures or gestures, while others are not.. Jum’ah is not a “sabbath” on which no work is done; rather, Muslims take just enough time off from work or school to attend a service at a neighborhood masjidMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit.... The Friday prayer is commanded by GodGod is a term used to refer to the Divine, the Supreme being, Transcendent deity, or Ultimate reality. in the Qur’anThe word Qur’an literally means “recitation.” Revealed orally to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel, he recited it to his followers. These recitations collected in written form are arranged in 114 surahs, generally from longest to shortest. Muslims consi...:

“O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (The Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of AllahAllah is the word for God in Arabic, used by Arabic-speaking Christians, Jews, and Muslims. According to Islam, Allah is the creator and ruler of the entire universe, the ultimate judge of all human beings, characterized by mercy and compassion. By means ..., and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew!” (SurahThe text of the Qur’an is divided into 114 surahs or chapters, arranged roughly from the longest to the shortest. They include praises, warnings of judgment, exhortations, directives, and occasional short narratives. Every Muslim must learn to recite th... 62:9, King Fahd transTransgender is a term that refers to a range of unconventional relationships to gender. Transgender people do not identify with the sex and gender roles they were assigned at birth, and they may feel that their psychological gender and physical bodies are....)

The Friday prayer is exactly like the ritual prayersPrayer is the vocal or silent address to the Divine. It may consist of fixed words, spontaneous words, or rest in silence with no words at all. Some forms of prayer are accompanied with specific postures or gestures, while others are not., or salatSalat is the ritual prayer Muslims perform five times daily: at dawn, midday, afternoon, sunset, and nightfall. While it is preferable to pray in a mosqu. with fellow believers, one may pray alone in any clean place. All Muslims pray in the direction of t..., performed during the rest of the week, except that on Friday the imamImam means “leader,” particularly the person who leads the daily ritual prayer or, more broadly, to the one who serves as a leader of the community because of his religious learning. In Shi’i Islam, it refers to one of a succession of direct descend... or prayer leader delivers a two-part sermon known as the khutbah, with a pause between the two parts of the sermon to allow for a time of personal prayer, or du’a. Whoever the community considers the most learned person in matters of religion can serve as the imam, since there exists no official “clergy” in IslamIslam in Arabic literally means “submitting” or “submission.” One who submits or surrenders his or her will to God is called a Muslim. While the whole of God’s creation is described as being inherently Muslim, human beings must choose whether to.... Some U.S. communities hire professional imamsImam means “leader,” particularly the person who leads the daily ritual prayer or, more broadly, to the one who serves as a leader of the community because of his religious learning. In Shi’i Islam, it refers to one of a succession of direct descend... who have been trained in Islamic universities overseas. The imam usually reads and explains Qur’anic verses relevant to community concerns and encourages the congregation to remember their obligations to GodThe term god with a small “g” is used to refer to a deity or class of deities whose power is understood to be circumscribed or localized rather than universal, or to refer to a plurality of deities. and to each other, offering guidance and advice on how to live as a true Muslim in daily life.

In the United States, where Saturday and Sunday are the standard days off from work, it is often difficult for Muslims to obtain permission from their employers to attend prayers in the middle of a workday. Some Muslim communities have tried to raise awareness of their religious needs in schools, businesses and public institutions, so that they may gather for the central act of community prayer. Less than twenty years ago, many young communities would gather to perform their prayers in local parks, storerooms, or other makeshift locations until they could build a mosqueMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit... (masjid). In larger American cities, Muslims have developed simple storefront “commuter mosques” close to their places of business so they may pray during their lunch hour. Today, it is not uncommon for American mosquesMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit... to bring together over 1,000 worshippers for Jum’ah, whether in the Silicon Valley, Manhattan’s upper east side, or at the Islamic CenterAn Islamic center will typically include a mosque, school, and area for social and cultural activities. When a new Islamic center is being organized in the United States, attention is paid to community needs, including a weekend or full-time school, indic... in Washington, D.C. At these centers, and at other mosques around the U.S., Jum’ah prayers bring together a spectrum of people as one community, united in prayer.


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