The Bestowal of Friday upon the Ummah of Muhammad

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Allah, The Exalted, endowed the Ummah of Muhammad with distinct characteristics – in this worldly life and the Hereafter – that were not conferred upon any of the nations before it. Although it is the last nation to arise in this worldly life, it surpasses all preceding nations in status, for it is a witness over them all. Its divine law (Sharee‘ah) and its divine book (the Quran) will not be abrogated unto the Day of Resurrection, and all previous nations were commanded to follow its religion, in addition to many other special merits. It was narrated on the authority of Bahz ibn Hakeem, narrating from his father, from his grandfather, that the Messenger of Allah said: “On the Day of Resurrection, we will complete seventy nations, of whom we are the last and the best.” [Ibn Maajah, Al-Albaani: Hasan]

He also said: “My nation was made the best of all nations.” [Ahmad, Al-Albaani: Hasan]

Moreover, it was narrated on the authority of Mu‘aawiyah ibn Haydah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he heard the Prophet say: “You are the completion of seventy nations, and you are the best of them and the most honorable of them in the Sight of Allah.” [Ibn Maajah, Al-Albaani: Hasan]

Despite existing after the past nations, the Muslim Ummah precedes them all in merit, and this is an honor for its Prophet the master of mankind. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind.} [Quran 3:110]

Ibn Katheer said: “The Muslim Ummah attained such unparalleled precedence in all aspects of goodness because of its Prophet, Muhammad for he is the noblest of creation and the most honorable Messenger in the Sight of Allah, who sent him with the perfect and complete Sharee‘ah that was never given to any Prophet or Messenger before him. By following his Sunnah, a few deeds thereof are more rewardable than the many deeds performed by other nations.”

It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “We (Muslims) are the last (nation to arise) but (we will be) the foremost on the Day of Resurrection, though the former nations were given the Scriptures before us, and this (Friday) was their day, the celebration of which was made obligatory on them but they differed about it so Allah guided us to it, and the people came after us with regard to it: the Jews tomorrow (Saturday) and the Christians the day after tomorrow (Sunday).” [Muslim]

Ibn Hajar said: “It means that this Ummah, even though it was the last nation to emerge, shall surpass all past nations in the Hereafter. Muslims will be the first people to be gathered on the Day of Resurrection, the first to be reckoned, the first to be judged among, and the first to enter Paradise.”

Al-Qaadhi ‘Iyaadh said: “As for his saying, ‘We (Muslims) are the last (nation to arise) but (we will be) the foremost on the Day of Resurrection,’ it was said that the Muslim Ummah is the last nation in time but it exceeds all previous nations in merit, and Muslims shall be the first among whom Allah, The Exalted, will judge on the Day of Resurrection, and they will enter Paradise before all nations as well.”

Ibn Al-Jawzi said: “We are the last nation in time, but we shall be the first to enter Paradise. It was also said that since the Jews chose Saturday (Sabbath) and the Christians chose Sunday and Allah guided us to Friday, which precedes those two days, then we precede them in this worldly life and shall precede them in the Hereafter as well.”

Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy upon, said: “His saying, ‘We (Muslims) are the last (nation to arise),’ means the last chronologically; the Prophet was the last Prophet of Allah and his Ummah is the last of all the nations. His saying, ‘but (will be) the foremost,’ means that it surpasses all nations in merit and honor in the Sight of Allah. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind.} [Quran 3:110]

 

 

The Bestowal of Friday upon the Ummah of Muhammad:

Friday is the master of days and the best day upon which the sun rises. It is a day of celebration for Muslims that recurs every week. It was narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said: “This is a day of ‘Eed (a day of celebration) which Allah has chosen for the Muslims. So whoever comes to the Friday prayer, let him perform Ghusl (ritual bath) and if he has perfume then let him apply some; and I urge you to use the Siwaak (tooth stick).” [Ibn Maajah, Al-Albaani: Hasan]

Allah, The Exalted, singled out the Muslim Ummah with the distinct bestowal of Friday and misguided the Jews and Christians from this honor, as they favored instead Saturday and Sunday respectively. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “We are the last (nation to emerge) but the foremost on the Day of Resurrection, and are the first to enter Paradise, even though they were given the Book before us and we were given it after them. They disagreed and Allah guided us aright on whatever they disagreed regarding the truth. And it was this day of theirs about which they disagreed, but Allah guided us to it, and that is Friday. So today (Friday) is for us, tomorrow is for the Jews, and the day after tomorrow is for the Christians.” [Muslim]

An-Nawawi said: “As for his saying, ‘it was this day of theirs about which they disagreed, but Allah guided us to it,’ Al-Qaadhi said, ‘It seems that the veneration of Friday was deemed obligatory on them without specification, and it was left to be determined by their Ijtihaad (scholarly reasoning) to perform their rituals on it, but they disagreed and Allah did not guide them to it while He ordained it upon this Ummah clearly and did not leave it to be determined by their Ijtihaad; accordingly, they [the Muslims] won the privilege of venerating Friday.”

Ibn Hajar said: “The Hadeeth clearly underlines the merits of this Ummah that exceed the merits of the previous nations, may Allah bless it.”

Ibn Al-Qayyim said in the course of discussing Friday: “... It is superior to all days of the week because of the obligatory and recommended acts of worship that are especially performed on it ... In comparison to other days, Friday is like the month of Ramadan to other months. The hour in which supplication is answered on Friday is like Laylatul Al-Qadr (Night of Decree) in Ramadan. Therefore, whoever avails himself of Friday as due, will avail himself of his whole week; whoever avails himself of Ramadan as due, will avail himself of his whole year, and whoever avails himself of his Hajj as due, will avail himself of his whole life span. This is because Friday is the standard of the week, Ramadan is the standard of the year, and Hajj is the standard of the lifetime.”

There are many Ahaadeeth (pl. of Hadeeth) that highlighted the virtues and distinct characteristics of Friday, including the following ones:

- It was narrated on the authority of Aws ibn Aws, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said: “Among the most excellent of your days is Friday; on it Adam was created, on it he died, on it the Trumpet will be blown (to announce the Hour), and on it all creatures will swoon (sink into a fainting with horror), so invoke more blessings on me that day, for your prayers will be presented to me.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, how will our prayers be presented to you when your body has decomposed?” He said: ‘Allah, The Exalted, has forbidden the earth from consuming the bodies of the Prophets.” [Abu Daawood, Al-Albaani: authentic]

 

It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said: “The best day the sun rises over is Friday; on it Adam was created; on it he was admitted to Paradise; and on it he was expelled from it.” [Muslim] The author of Riyaadh Al-Afhaam fee Sharh ‘Umdat Al-Ahkaam said: “It seems that these specified events are not mentioned in the context of enumerating the virtues of Friday, because expelling Adam from Paradise and the occurrence of the Last Hour cannot be classified as virtues. Rather, it is a listing of significant events that happened or shall happen on that day (Friday) to urge the slave of Allah to be well-prepared for it by performing righteous deeds qualifying him to receive the mercy of Allah, The Exalted, or to be spared potential adversities.”

- The forgiveness of sins and misdeeds committed between the two Fridays for those who attended the Friday prayer, as evidenced by a Hadeeth cited by Al-Bukhari. It was narrated on the authority of Salmaan Al-Faarisi, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said: “Any man who performs Ghusl on Friday, cleans himself as best as he can, oils his hair or applies whatever perfume available in his house, sets forth for the mosque, does not separate two people (to make a seat for himself), and offers the voluntary prayers he wishes to offer then listens attentively while the Imaam delivers the sermon, he will have all his sins between that time and the last Friday forgiven.” [Muslim]

The version cited by Muslim reads: “He who performed ablution well then came to the Friday prayer and listened attentively (to the Khutbah), his sins between that time and (the last) Friday would be forgiven with three days extra; and he who touched pebbles has committed Laghw (engaged in futile activity).”

- Friday includes an hour during which the supplications of a Muslim are definitely answered. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “There is an hour on Friday during which if a Muslim is standing in prayer asking Allah for something good, Allah will give it to Him.” [Muslim]

- Whoever attends the Friday prayer from its start (the first hour) earns abundant rewards, as evidenced by the Hadeeth narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said: “The one who performs Ghusl (similar to the Ghusl) of Janaabah on Friday and then goes (to the mosque to perform the Friday prayer) is like one who offers a camel as a sacrifice, and the one who comes at the second hour is like one who offers a cow, and the one who comes at the third hour is like one who offers a horned ram, and the one who comes at the fourth hour is like one who offers a hen, and the one who comes at the fifth hour is like one who offers an egg. And when the Imaam comes out, the angels come and listen to the mention of Allah (the Khutbah).” [Al-Bukhari]

Since Allah, The Exalted, singled out the Muslim Ummah with Friday, the Prophet used to venerate it and perform special acts of worship and good deeds on that day in particular. One of the special acts of worship prescribed for that day is invoking peace and blessings on the Messenger of Allah abundantly (more than on other days of the week). It was narrated on the authority of Aws ibn Aws, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said: “Among the most excellent of your days is Friday, so invoke more blessings on me that day for your prayers will be presented to me.” [Abu Daawood, Al-Albaani: authentic] Moreover, it was narrated on the authority of Abu Ad-Dardaa’, may Allah be pleased with him that the Prophet said: “Invoke blessings upon me abundantly on Friday, for it is a witnessed day; the angels witness it.” [Ibn Maajah and At-Tabaraani, Al-Albaani: Hasan]

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “The Messenger of Allah is the master of all people, and Friday is the master of days, and therefore invoking peace and blessings on him on that day in particular is superior to invoking them on him on any other day. Another wisdom is that all the good bestowed on his Ummah in the worldly life and what will be conferred upon them in the Hereafter they received it at his hands. Allah, The Exalted, combined for his Ummah all good in this worldly life and the Hereafter, and the greatest honors bestowed upon them take place on Friday. On Friday, they will be resurrected and sent to their homes and palaces in Paradise, and it is the day when the believers will see their Lord after they enter Paradise. Moreover, it is an ‘Eed for them in this worldly life, a day on which Allah, The Exalted, grants them their requests, fulfills their needs, and does not turn down whoever invokes Him. All these virtues have been conferred upon them because of him and through his agency and the knowledge of which was conveyed to them by him, and therefore we should invoke peace and blessings upon him on Thursday night and throughout Friday to express our gratitude to him and fulfill some of his due rights over us. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.} [Quran 33:56]

Allah, The Exalted, favored Friday with many virtues and Ibn Al-Qayyim brilliantly listed and enumerated them in his book Zaad Al-Ma‘aad. Allah singled out the Muslim Ummah with this blessed day, and it is known that He favored some days over others, some months over others, some places over others, just as He favored some of His Prophets and Messengers over others. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {Those messengers - some of them We caused to exceed others.} [Quran 2:253] Undoubtedly, there is a great wisdom behind it; He Says (what means): {He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned.} [Quran 21:23]

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