The Friday Prayer Service
The Friday prayer is held at the time of zuhr (noon) for it takes the place of the Sabbath of some other religion, and it substitutes the stated zuhr. Prayer. The four rak’âts said in the zuhr are reduced to two rak’âtspreceded by a khutba (sermon), given by the imâm (chaplain of the mosque), exhorting the Muslims to goodness and to be dutiful to God, and showing them the means of their moral elevation and dwelling upon their national and communal welfare.
Salât ej-jum’a or Friday service is enjoined on Muslims by Divine command in the Koran, Chapter LXII (9-11), where the believers are required, when the call is made to prayer on Friday:
“to hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off traffic for the time being; and when the prayer is ended they can disperse in the land to rejoin their material and physical activities.”
The Friday service must be said in a mosque, if any. Or in a congregation, but not performed in private. If a Muslim cannot join the public Friday service for any lawful reason, he has to reform by saying the normal zuhr (noon) prayer of four rak’âts. The reasons freeing a Muslim of attending the public Friday prayer are either sickness or heavy rainfall causing great difficulty in going to the mosque.
The qunût is a prayer recited at the close of the ‘isha (night) stated prayer, while the worshipper is still assuming his standing position (see Fig. 4) at the third rak’a of the witr posture. The most well-known qunût is the following: -
Allâhumma ih-dina fi-man hadayta, wa a’fina fi-man a’fayta, wa tawallana fi-man tawal-layta, wa bârik lanâ fi mâ a’tayta wa qina shar-ra mâ qadyta fa-in-naka taqdî wa la yuqda ‘alayka wa in-na-hu lâ yazillu man wal-layta wa lâ-ya-‘izzu man qâdayta, nastaghfi-ruka wa natûbu ilayka wa sallal-lâhu ‘alâ nabiyinâ Muhammad wa ‘alâ âlihi wa sahbihi wa sallam.
“O Allah! Guide us among those whom Thou hast guided aright, and preserve us among those whom Thou hast preserved in good health and befriend us among those whom Thou hast befriended, and bless us in all Thou has granted to us; and protect us from the evil of all Thou hast judged as evil; for surely Thou art the only judge, and none can judge against Thine judgment. O Allah! We invoke your increasing blessings and favours upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and upon his disciples.” (Translation)
Another Recommended Style of Qunût.
The following supplication of qunût is also commonly adopted: -
Allâhmuma innâ nasta’înu-bika wa nastaghfiruka wa nu’minu bika wa natawakkalu ‘alayka wa nuthni ‘alaykal-khayra wa nashkuruka wa lâ nakfuruka wa nakhla’u wa natruku man yafjuruka. Allâhumma iyyâka n’abudu wa laka nusalli wa nasjud wa ilayka nas’a wa nahmid wa narjû rahmataka wa nakhâfu ‘azâbaka inna ‘azabaka bilkuffâri muhlik. (Transliteration)
“O Allah! We beseech Thy help and Thy forgiveness as we are faithful to Thee and depend wholly upon Thy Divinity. We laud Thee in the best. We thank Thee and shall never forget Thy favours. We cast off and forsake him who is unmindful to Thee. O Allah! We worship none but Thee. To Thee we pray and make obeisance and to Thee do we flee promptly. We hope for Thy mercy and we fear Thy punishment for surely Thy punishment overtakes the infidel.” (Translation)
In addition to the stated daily prayers and the Friday prayer, there are special services for special occasions as given below: -
1. Salâtul-Musâfir (Prayers for the Traveller). Two rak’âts instead of the usual number of the meridian, afternoon, and night prayers; the maghrib (evening prayer) always remaining the same, i.e. three rak’âts.
2. Salâtul-khauf (Prayers of Fear). – This is said in war-time. They are two rak’âts recited first by one regiment or company and then by the other.
3. Salâtul-Tarawîh. – Eight rak”âts are performed every evening during Ramadan, the fasting month, immediately after the fifth daily prayer, the ‘isha, or before the dawn.
4. Salâtul-Istikhâra (Prayers for Guidance). The person who is about to undertake any special business performs two rak’âts for which he seeks guidance.
5. Salâtul-Janâzah (Prayers at a Funeral for the Dead). – This liturgical special service is founded upon very minute instruction given by the Prophet, which are recorded in the hadîth. (traditions). The Muslim funeral service is not recited in the graveyard, but either in a mosque or in some open space near the dwelling of the deceased person or the graveyard. The nearest relative is the proper person to lead the service, but it is usually conducted by the family imâm, or by a learned man.
The following is the order of the service:
Someone present calls out: “Here begin the prayers for the dead.”
Then those present arrange themselves in one, two or three rows or more, as the case permits, opposite the corpse, with their faces qibla-wards (i.e. towards Mecca). The imâm or leader stands in front of the ranks opposite the head of the corpse.
The whole attendants having taken the standing position, the imâm open the service by saying:-
“I purpose to perform for this dead person prayers to God consisting of four takbîrs.”
Then, placing his hands to the lobes of his ears, he recites the first takber: God is Greater. Afterwards, he folds his hands below his breast, and recites the tasbih or Holiness to God, thus:
Wabi hamdika wa
Wa la ilaha ghairûk.
“Holiness to Thee O Allah!
And to Thee be praise!
Blessed is Thy name.
High is Thy greatness.
There is no deity but Thee.”
Next, he recites the fâtiha, (the Opening Chapter of the Koran). Here ends the first takbir.
Then follows the second takbîr: God is greater.
The imâm recites, thereafter, the salatu-‘ala-Nabi (prayer for the Prophet), thus: -
“O Allah, we invoke your increasing blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family, as Thou didst bestow your blessings and peace upon the Prophet Abraham and his family; O Allah, thou art praised and Thou art great.”
Here ends the second takbîr: then follows the third takbir God is the Great., after which the following prayer is recited: -
“O Allah, we beseech you to forgive the sins of this dead person and have mercy upon him/her. He/she was faithful to Islam, he/she believed in Thine oneness and in the Message of Thine Prophet.”
Here ends the third takbir. Then follows the fourth takbîr: God is the Great, after which the following prayer is recited: -
“O Allah, forgive our living and our dead and those of us who are present and those who are absent. O Allah, those whom Thou dost keep alive amongst us, keep alive in Islam, and those whom Thou causest to die, let them die in the Faith of Islam.
Turning the head round to the right, the imâm says the salâm: Peace and mercy be to Thee.
Turning the head round to the left, he repeats the salâm: Peace and mercy be to Thee.
The takbîrs are recited by him aloud, but the tasbîh, the salâm, and the prayers are recited by him and by the people attending the funeral in a low voice.
The attendants then raise their hands in silent prayer reading the fâtiha on behalf of the deceased soul, and afterwards, addressing the relatives, they say: “It is the decree of God”, to which the chief mourner replies: “I am pleased with the will of God.” He then gives permission to the people to retire by saying: “God rewards you for your attendance”, and they reply by saying: “God grants you better rewards and give you patience and long life.”
Those who wish to return to their own business may do so at that time, and the rest proceed to the grave. Lastly the corpse is placed on its back in the grave, with the head to the north and feet to the south, the face being turned towards the qibla (Mecca). The persons who place the corps in grave repeat the following sentence: “We commit Thee to earth in the name of God and in the religion of the Prophet.”
The bands of the shroud having been loosened, the recess, which is called lahd, is closed in with unburnt bricks and the grave filled in with earth. In most Muslim countries, it is customary to recite the verse 57 of the XXth Chapter of the Koran while throwing the clods of earth into the grave. The verse may be rendered as follows:
“From it (the earth) have We (God) created you, and unto it will We return you, and out of it will We bring you forth the second time.”
May peace and mercy of Allah be showered upon the faithful dead! May Almighty God grant the believers such a long life to be spent as it should be in the worship of Him and in the service of humanity!