Friday has many distinguishing features and virtues that Allaah has bestowed upon this day and not others.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah and Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah led those who came before us away from Friday. The Jews had Saturday, and the Christians had Sunday. Then Allaah brought us and Allaah guided us to Friday. So there is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and thus they will follow us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last of the people of this world but we will be the first on the Day of Resurrection, and we will be dealt with before all others.” Narrated by Muslim, 856.
Al-Qaadi said: The apparent meaning is that it was obligatory for them to venerate Friday but this was not stated clearly; the matter was left to their own reasoning… But they did not manage to work it out and Allaah did not guide them to it. It was enjoined clearly upon this ummah, and was not left to their own reasoning, thus they were blessed with it … It was narrated that Moosa enjoined Friday upon them and told them of its virtues, but they disputed with him and argued that Saturday was better, and it was said to him, ‘Let them be.’
Al-Qaadi said: if there had been a clear command, their arguing with him would not have been valid, rather it would have been said to him that they were going against the command. I say: it may be that that was clearly enjoined upon them but they disputed as to whether it was something they had to adhere to or they could change it to another day; they decided to change it to another day and they erred greatly thereby.
It comes as no surprise that Friday was specifically enjoined upon them and they went against that.
Al-Haafiz said: How can it be otherwise when they are the ones who said “We hear and we disobey”?
It was narrated from Aws ibn Aws that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of your days is Friday. On that day Adam (peace be upon him) was created; on that day he died; on that day the Trumpet will be blown and on that day all of creation will swoon. So send a great deal of blessings upon me, for your blessings will be shown to me.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, how will our blessings upon you be shown to you when you have turned to dust?” He said, “Allaah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets, peace be upon them.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1047; classed as saheeh by Ibn al-Qayyim in his comments on Sunan Abi Dawood, 4/273; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 925.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best day on which the sun rises is Friday. On it Adam was created, on it he was admitted to Paradise and on it he was expelled therefrom.”
Narrated by Muslim, 1410.
This hadeeth includes some of the reasons why Friday is regarded as special.
Al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad said: The apparent meaning is that these virtues do not mean that Friday is regarded as special because Adam was expelled on a Friday and the Hour will begin on a Friday. Rather it is meant to explain what momentous events took place and will take place on this day, so that people will make the most of this day to do righteous deeds, so as to attain the mercy of Allaah and ward off His punishment. This is the view of al-Qaadi. Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi said in his book al-Ahwadhi fi Sharh al-Tirmidhi: All of these events are good and add to the virtue of Friday. The expulsion of Adam from Paradise is the reason why his offspring and the Messengers, the Prophets, the righteous and the awliya’ exist. He was not expelled from it as such, but rather it was for a purpose, then he will return to it. With regard to the Hour beginning on a Friday, the reason is so that the reward may be hastened for the Prophets, believers in truth, awliya’ and others, and their honour and high status may be made manifest. This hadeeth points to the virtues of Friday and its high status in relation to the other days.
It was narrated that Abu Lubaabah ibn ‘Abd al-Mundhir said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Friday is the master of days, and the greatest of them before Allaah. It is greater before Allaah than the day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr. It has five characteristics: on this day Allaah created Adam, on it He sent Adam down to the earth, on it Allaah caused Adam to die, on it there is a time when a person does not ask Allaah for anything but He gives it to him, so long as he does not ask for anything haraam, and on it the Hour will begin. There is no angel who is close to Allaah, no heaven, no earth, no wind, no mountain and no sea that does not fear Friday.”
Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1084; classed as hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 2279
“They fear Friday” means they fear the onset of the Hour. This indicates that all created beings are aware of the days and they know that the Day of Resurrection will come on a Friday.
The virtues of this day include the following:
1 – On it is Salaat al-Jumu’ah (Friday prayer), which is the best of prayer.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salaah (prayer) on Friday (Jumu‘ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumu‘ah religious talk (Khutbah) and Salaah (prayer)] and leave off business (and every other thing). That is better for you if you did but know!”
Muslim (233) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The five daily prayers and from one Jumu’ah to the next is an expiation for whatever sins come in between them, so long as one does not commit a major sin.”
2 – Praying Fajr in congregation on Fridays is the best prayer that the Muslim can pray during the week.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best prayer before Allaah is Fajr prayer on Friday in congregation.”
Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Eemaan; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1119
One of the special features of Fajr prayer on Friday is that it is Sunnah to recite Soorat al-Sajdah in the first rak’ah and Soorat al-Insaan in the second.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite in Fajr prayer in Fridays Alif-Laam-Meem Tanzeel (Soorat al-Sajdah) in the first rak’ah and Hal ata ‘ala’l-insaan heenun min al-dahr lam yakun shay’an madhkooran (Soorat al-Insaan) in the second.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 851; Muslim, 880.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said:
It was said that the reason why these two soorahs are recited is because they mention the creation of Adam and what will happen on the Day of Resurrection, because that will come to pass on a Friday.
3 – Whoever dies during the day or night of Friday, Allaah will protect him from the trial of the grave.
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no Muslim who dies during the day of Friday or the night of Friday but Allaah will protect him from the trial of the grave.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1074; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz, p. 49, 50