Jumu’ah and the Integrity of Congregational Worship!

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. (Qur’an 62:9)

The establishment of Jumu‘ah Salâh was one of the first institutions that were established soon after the arrival of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam in Madinah. This indicates the pivotal role Jumu‘ah Salâh plays in Muslim society by fostering bonds of unity, brotherhood and a sense of being part of a larger community.

The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa is concerned about a growing trend, especially among school learners, who misuse the opportunity to attend the Jumu‘ah Salaah in the Masjid thereby undermining the concession given to them. Such behaviour is a poor reflection of the Muslim community in the eyes of non-Muslim school officials.

Much effort has been put in securing concessions such as early release or a longer break to attend Jumu‘ah Salaah in the Masjid. Parents are urged to encourage learners to diligently attend Jumu‘ah Salaah, lest this opportunity be lost.

Furthermore, it has been a practice in Muslim lands for centuries that Jumu‘ah Salâh is performed in the central Masjid of a city while smaller Salâh facilities are only utilised for the five daily Salâh.

Lately, it has become a trend that Jumu‘ah Salâh is being established at venues other than Masâjid without the pressing need for it. This too is against the spirit of congregating in the Masjid for Jumu‘ah Salâh.

According to Ubayy bin Ka’ab Radhi-Allahu ‘anhu the Holy Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

“If the people come to know of the great rewards and benefits of the congregational prayer, they would never stay back but would rush to the masjid for it. The first row merits the highest reward. Two persons praying together merit greater reward than the same praying individually, the rule being that the bigger the congregation the higher its worth in the Sight of Allah.” (Abu Dawud)

When we have the opportunity to attend Jumuah in large congregations as is required in the ideal case, let us not squander it.