By Marwan Ibrahim Al-Kaysi
The Muslim’s behavior on Fridays: dos and don’ts
1- Though Friday, according to Islam, is the best day on which the sun has ever risen, and the lord of days, it is not the Islamic Sabbath, because Sabbath does not exist in Islam.
2- A Muslim should bathe or purify himself with wudu’ as perfectly as possible before going to prayer. Though bathing is not obligatory, it has a more cleansing effect; though wudu’ is good, bathing is more excellent.
3- Best clothes should be worn and perfume applied, if this is available, or pleasant-smelling oil should be put on the hair.
4- A tooth stick or toothbrush should be used to ensure that the mouth is clean and has a pleasant odor. This is more important on Fridays before leaving for prayer than on other days.
5- Before leaving for prayer, nails should be cut and cleaned, and one should ensure that clothes are clean and beard and mustache tidy.
6- The Friday prayer in congregation is a necessary duty for every Muslim, with certain exceptions, e.g. children, women, invalids and those too ill to perform prayer.
7- If there is more than one mosque available, it is yet better to say the Friday prayer together at one mosque.
8- Going as early as possible to the mosque on Friday is recommended. Walking to the mosque, if this is possible, and not driving is also more worthy.
9- On entering the mosque, the rules of behavior in the mosque as discussed in Chapter 16, must be observed.
10- Care should be taken to avoid annoying others in the mosque; for example, squeezing between two men or stepping on others.
11- Most mosques on Fridays become full of worshippers. No individual has the right to make another get up and then move into his place. He should politely ask those present to make room for him.
12- While in the mosque, the worshipper must avoid any sitting position which could cause him to drowse, to sleep, or which would invalidate his wudu’.
13- If a worshipper should find himself dozing, he should try to change his place. In this case, he should change places with his neighbor.
14- A worshipper should avoid taking any position that would uncover his body between the navel and the knees.
15- Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) forbade worshippers to sit together in a circle in the mosque before Friday prayer, because this hinders straight rows, and reduces the available space.
16- Facing the imam while he is giving khutbah from the minbar (pulpit) is polite conduct.
17- When the imam asks God’s blessings, etc. for the Muslims, he should not raise his hands in an attitude of supplication.
18- When the Friday prayer is finished worshippers should not rush to leave the mosque, or crowd the exits.
19- As mentioned above, a Sabbath does not exist in Islam, therefore, it is not required that a Muslim abandons working during the whole of Friday. What is required, is to stop working during prayer time.
20- A worshipper should listen to the imam as soon as he starts his khutbah, and keep silent until he finishes. To attend prayer with a frivolous attitude is against the aim of the Friday prayer.
21- It is undesirable to fast on Friday alone; to fast on Friday, however, in conjunction with Thursday or Saturday is allowed.
22- It is neither necessary nor required to abandon travel on Friday.
23- Friday is a good occasion to remember the Prophet (peace be on him) and invoke a blessing on him by saying: Allahuma Salli `ala Muhammad wa ‘ala ali Muhammad (O God, bless Muhammad and Muhammad’s family).
24- Reading Surat Al-Kahf (The 8th chapter of the Qur’an) every Friday is recommended.
The article is excerpted from the author’s book Morals and Manners in Islam (A Guide to Islamic Adab) published by The Islamic Foundation- 1986.
Dr. Marwan Al-Kaysi is Lecturer of Islamic Culture at Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan.