“O Believers, when the call is proclaimed for the prayer on Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business, that is better for you if you but did know.” (Qur’an, 62:9)

Purifying and cleaning
The person intending to perform the Friday prayer is greatly encouraged to perform Ghusl (full bath or shower). The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that the Ghusl for the Friday prayer is recommended (Sunnah) and not obligatory. It can be performed starting from the time of Fajr Prayer. Also, if a person performs Ghusl and then later invalidates his Wudhu (ablution), he need not repeat the Ghusl. Doing Wudhu is sufficient. Furthermore, one Ghusl is enough for both Janabah (sexual impurity) and the Friday prayer.

Going early to the Masjid
There is a great reward in going early to the Friday prayer, beginning after sunrise. By leaving early, one gets the reward of waiting for the Prayer, making Dhikr (remembering Allah) and offering voluntary prayers during that time. Abu Umamah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “The angels sit at the doors to the Masjids and with them are scrolls in which they record the people (who come). When the Imam appears, the scrolls are rolled up.” Abu Umamah was asked, “Does the one who comes after the Imam still have a Friday Prayer?” he said, “Certainly, but he is not one of those who is recorded (as coming early).” (Ahmad and Al-Tabarani)

Dressing well
This is a special time that requires Muslims to appear in the best manner possible. One should therefore put on his best attire for the Friday prayer.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If one has the means, he should buy two pieces of clothing, other than his work clothes or (everyday clothing), to wear on Friday.” (Abu Dawood)

Performing Tahiyyat
If a person comes late to the Friday Prayer while the Imam is delivering the Khutbah, should he pray the two Rak’ah of Tahiyyat Al-Masjid (prayer of greeting the mosque) and then sit or should he simply skip them? The strongest opinion is to perform the Tahiyyat Al-Masjid based on the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “If one of you comes to the Masjid, he should pray two Rak’ah before he sits.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) However, Tahiyyat Al-Masjid is not required of the person giving the Khutbah. Also, this requirement is limited only to prayers offered in a Masjid.

Other etiquette

1. Walking to the Masjid whenever feasible as there is a reward for every step taken to the Masjid.

2. Avoiding stepping over people to get to a particular spot in the Masjid.

3. Avoiding dividing two people who are sitting together.

4. Not making someone stand and taking his place.

5. Not clasping one’s hands and intertwining one’s fingers while waiting for the prayer.

6. Sitting in the front row and close to the Imam whenever possible.

7. Remaining quiet while the Imam is delivering the Khutbah. This actually includes listening to the Imam and not engaging with anything else while the Imam is speaking.

8. Going to the Masjid in a state of calmness and not being in a hurry.

9. Reciting Surah Al-Kahf, as an authentic Hadith states: “For whoever recites Surah Al-Kahf on Friday, it will be a light for him from that Friday to the next.” (Al-Bayhaqi and Al-Hakim) The Surah could be read any time of the day.

Indeed, the Friday prayer is one of the most important acts of worship in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has described the wonderful blessings and benefits that Allah has vouchsafed for Muslims through this meritorious act.

Knowing how important this prayer is in Allah’s sight, Muslims must do their best to perform it in the best way possible. They should strive and sacrifice for the sake of this Prayer.

– AlJumuah magazine