We should appreciate the value of the Friday prayers because Allah(Azawaljal) has dedicated the surahs of the Quran just to this topic .i.e. just to Jumu’ah & the climax of the surah is its conclusion, at the end of the surah the three ayats that are dedicated specifically for the subject matter of the Friday prayer. Surah Jummah is a small surah; in total it has 11 ayahs / verses. It is one speech / khutbaah of Allah (Azawaljal). Allah says towards the end: “those of you who claim to have faith, those of you who believe it is called forth from a part of a day of Friday (you’re NOT asked to give the entire Friday, you are asked to give a PART of it) Allah (Azawaljal) is emphasizing His favours on us because Allah (Azawaljal) says in the same surah: “it is the favour of Allah”, what is the favour of Allah? You DON’T have to give up your whole day, just a small part of the day. Allah emphasizes this Himself & this is a big deal for us, because if you & I start thinking… “coming to the Friday prayer is such a drag man, gota come through the traffic, walk a couple of miles, I am going to get late for work, college & all the other stuff, well Allah is saying am not asking you a lot, because previous nations were asked to do much more, the nation of Bani Israeel were asked the ENTIRE day & it’s no surprise that right before the ayats the passage right before this one is Bani Israeel ; “the example of those who were burden with the responsibility of Torah, the previous revelation and they didn’t carry that responsibility” Allah tells us about the mistake of the Jewish community before we are being given responsibility – Allah talks about the Jews first before talking to us. There is a very interesting transition. Surah Jummah is broken in to 3 parts – 1st section, 2nd sections- taking about the Jews and Bani Israeel & 3rd section – talks about Friday prayers. The 1st passage of the surah Allah says: “All whatever is in the heavens and all whatever is in the earth proclaims the Purity of Allah, the King, the Most Pure, the Most Honourable, the Wise”. This is not the only place in the Qur’an where Allah (Azawaljal) says that everything in the skies & the earth will continue to declare His perfection but usually when Allah ends a surah he ends it with two names. But in this surah He ends it with four of his names, usually you will find in the ayats of the Qur’an (the ayats of praising Allah) ending with: Ghaffur- ur- Rahim, Aziz-zul-Hakim etc. It is making us remember Allah more & guess what? Friday is the day of the week where WE are suppose to remember Allah MORE. From the beginning of the surah it is setting our minds in to remembering Allah more. The first ayah/ verse goes on to praise Allah in four ways; King, Most Pure, Most Honourable One & Wise. Then it says that everyone in the universe understands this but the human beings were heedless & amongst them the most heedless of them are the people who don’t even have access to books / literature, so there was a group of people living in the desert surrounded by the civilisation of literature – the Persians are a civilisation of poetry and literature, the Romans & Greeks are a civilisation of poetry, mythology etc. What do the Arabs have? How are the Arabs going to get enlightened when they don’t even know how to read books? They are unlettered; Allah says He sent the messenger among them with the verses and the ayats. The four names of Allah mentioned in the first ayah: King, Pure, Honourable & Wise sums up the entire strategy of the Prophet (SAW) on how to introduce GOD to humanity. In fact you can summarise the entire seerah in this one ayah of Surah Jummah. When we read the seerah we realise that the society was changed like no other society has ever changed, they changed from the bottom up, down up, middle down anyways you like to look at it, economically, socially, morally, eating habits, waking up, going to sleep habits what they love what they hate, how they dress, how they go to the bathroom EVERYTHING changed. In human history there’s never been a change in society like this. NEVER. This surah tells us, how do you make this change happen? How was the messenger of Allah able to bring this ability to change the people & society? This beautiful surah also has an announcement about us. The congregation of the Prophet (SAW) is full of companions but they are not in their 100s or 1000s. How many people attend Jummah Prayer today across the planet, across the country, across the state? Allah tells the Prophet (SAW) you’re going to have lots of people joining you, don’t worry, you’re going to have lots of followers, we, sitting here in jummah are a fulfilment of that promise. The 2nd section Allah talks about the Jews. All of a sudden; Allah was just talking about us, Muslims, the people that come together, But Allah says “by the way you’re not the ONLY people, there were nations before you, who had a book, a messenger & the formula was never different. “Those who were burden with the responsibility of the Torah, they didn’t carry it” they were given the same responsibility as you, your messenger gave the book they got the book but they didn’t take it seriously so what is Allah telling us? Just because you’re going to have large numbers don’t forget to take it seriously because if you DON’T take it seriously you will just be like the failures of the past. Like donkeys carrying loads of books, the books are there but they DON’T benefit you, they DON’T affect you, they DON’T purify you etc. Friday prayer is like a soul wash (carwash) you bring yourself to Friday prayers your heart is cleaned up, when the heart is cleaned the heart is reminded that we are NOT here forever you & I are reminded that, this life is not all, that there is MORE. Our heart becomes content with that. Those people who don’t believe, they don’t like talking about death they get scared. The believers when they hear about death, they don’t get scared, they don’t get depressed, they know that this is just a stop on the train. The next stop is resurrection it’s just a journey. If your heart is not reminded at least on weekly bases then, the heart forgets about the next life and ONLY thinks about THIS life. And if this is the ONLY life you think about then you will HATE death. What disease did Allah describe the Jews with? Why don’t you wish for death? You people think you are going to go to Jannah so then why don’t you wish for death? No they will never wish for it, let them run away death will come and get them. One of the great functions of jummah prayer is to remember where we are heading. There are 3 training exercises for Judgement Day in the life of a Muslim. 1st – daily salah- when you stand in front of GOD & you’re NOT looking around your ONLY doing what you have been told that’s like judgment day because that’s how we are going to stand in front of Allah. Every salah is a reminder of what? JUDGEMENT DAY. 2nd- reminder for Judgement Day is FRIDAY PRAYERS. You HAVE to come to pray, there are no excuses, you gota be there. Discipline your life & make sure you DO attend the prayers don’t be like “oh am parking outside because if I park in the parking lot I won’t be able to get out soon enough so I’ll park two blocks up the road, walk slowly so I don’t hear the Quran being recited I should make it just in time for the 2nd Rak’ah. Finish. Basically do a hit and run mission” NO NO NO. You have to come early. Discipline yourself. This is training. The 3rd training – Hajj, where you’re literally dressed as if you’re going to be buried. This is the BIGGEST exercise for Judgement Day. Our religious practices all involve around us, NOT forgetting death. It is one the most fundamentals of Friday prayer. So you and I don’t lose sight of why we are alive. Why we take these breaths in and out. The final section of the Surah Jummah: “those of you who claim to believe when the call is made for the part of the day of Friday then rush to remember Allah” Don’t take your time. RUSH. Come early, so you can tell Allah. “Ya Allah I rushed, I came early to Friday prayer” A day will come when humanity will be rushing to Allah whether they like it or not, you & I better be from the people who are rushing to Allah because we like to, because we were doing that when we were alive on THIS earth. Leave the sales, Allah didn’t say leave business. Why? business is made out of a lot of responsibility business has taxes, rent, tracks of the sales, track of the invoice you haven’t made yet there are so many things you got to think of when doing business. People who are in business are always thinking….BUT there’s one part of business that makes it all worth it…you know when Friday comes you have to write the pay cheques, every time your signing the cheques you will feel bleeding in your ribs (LOL) when you rip the paper of the cheque book feel as though someone’s done a root cannel surgery on you. Its hurts, you feel the pain. But when a customer walks in the door….oh man, that feeling….e.g. pound shops, imagine you’re a manager of a pound shop its 1:30 and a customer walks in, he’s looking at the bike which has been in your store for about a year, its Friday you’re looking at your watch…”jummah time…..so this man goes around putting stuff in the trolley but then you have to SHUT the store……it’s going to be so hard for you to SHUT the store, if you were writing the pay cheques for your staff you would leave a little extra early but when it comes to the time where you’re about to make a sale then it’s hard to leave. Allah says “leave the sale” leave the juicy part. And Allah (Azawaljal) tested the nation before us; they were not supposed to do business on Sabbath (Saturday). The fish would literally jump from the water wink at the Jews “you going to catch me or what?” and they wouldn’t be able to touch it because it was Saturday. Allah will test you no doubt. Leave everything; leave the project, the sale. Attend the Friday prayers, the Friday prayers is the project. “When the prayer is done, you are allowed to leave, go, go have fun” stop making excuses for jummah prayer, you’re not going there to be entertained, you’re coming to jummah because Allah has told you to come. You’re rushing here because Allah has told you to rush here. Why are you still on your cell phone, Face Book, text messages when khutbaah is going on? What is wrong with you? Are you here to talk to Allah or the people? People get distracted even at the Prophet’s (SAW) time people use to get distracted, you can’t complain “ Ya Allah I have problem with concentrating, only can concentrate for a short amount of time…etc. When you’re watching the football game do you have a problem then? Someone gets in the way of the TV. for 2 seconds and that’s it “Hey hey move! You’re blocking the view…” at the Prophet’s (SAW) time Jummah was prayed outdoors. Imagine, today if Jummah was outside, if a car went past all 100 heads would look towards the car. “when they saw business, any sort of entertainment they ran towards it & they left you standing there (SAW)” Look how this surah began – the messenger teaching you the book, purifying you & not paying attention to the khutbaah, being distracted Allah describes this “they left you standing by yourself” paying attention to the Friday prayer & giving its right is an act of loyalty towards the messenger of Allah (SAW) the reason people don’t care about the Friday prayer is because they don’t know how BIG of a deal it is to Allah. May Allah make us people who rush to His remembrance who fulfil the rights of Jummah , may Allah accept all our ibaadah and worship.