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Surah Jumu’a

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Surah Jumu’a, meaning Friday, is the 62nd surah of the Noble Quran, revealed in Medina, and located in juz 28. The surah gets its name from the verses that talk about the Friday prayer and the importance of attending it. In this article on Islam4u, by exploring this surah from different perspectives, we will gain a deeper understanding of its message.

Facts About Surah Jum’ah

The surah is called Jumu’a and Jum‘a due to the verses that invite Muslims to attend the Friday congregational prayer.

Allah revealed Surah Jumu’a to Prophet Muhammad (s) in the holy city of Medina. Surah Jumu’a has 11 verses, 177 words, and 768 letters. It is one of the Musabbihat surahs, meaning a surah that begins with the glorification of Allah.

Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Jumu’a


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful.

يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّهِ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ٱلْمَلِكِ ٱلْقُدُّوسِ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْحَكِيمِ ‎﴿١﴾

Whatever there is in the heavens and in the earth glorifies Allah, the Sovereign, the All-holy, the All-mighty, the All-wise.

هُوَ ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى ٱلْأُمِّيِّـۧنَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا۟ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِى ضَلَٰلٍ مُّبِينٍ ‎﴿٢﴾

It is He who sent to the unlettered [people] an apostle from among themselves, to recite to them His signs, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and wisdom, and earlier they had indeed been in manifest error.

وَءَاخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا۟ بِهِمْ ۚ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ ‎﴿٣﴾

And to others from among them [as well] who have not yet joined them. And He is the All-mighty, the All-wise.

ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ ٱللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلْفَضْلِ ٱلْعَظِيمِ ‎﴿٤﴾

That is Allah’s grace, which He grants to whomever He wishes, and Allah is dispenser of a great grace.

مَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا۟ ٱلتَّوْرَىٰةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ ٱلْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارَۢا ۚ بِئْسَ مَثَلُ ٱلْقَوْمِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ ‎﴿٥﴾

The example of those who were charged with the Torah, then failed to carry it, is that of an ass carrying books. Evil is the example of the people who deny Allah’s signs, and Allah does not guide the wrongdoing lot.

قُلْ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ هَادُوٓا۟ إِن زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ لِلَّهِ مِن دُونِ ٱلنَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا۟ ٱلْمَوْتَ إِن كُنتُمْ صَٰدِقِينَ ‎﴿٦﴾

Say, ‘O Jews! If you claim that you are Allah’s favourites, to the exclusion of other people, then long for death, should you be truthful.’

وَلَا يَتَمَنَّوْنَهُۥٓ أَبَدَۢا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمُۢ بِٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ ‎﴿٧﴾

Yet they will never long for it, because of what their hands have sent ahead, and Allah knows best the wrongdoers.

قُلْ إِنَّ ٱلْمَوْتَ ٱلَّذِى تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُۥ مُلَٰقِيكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَٰلِمِ ٱلْغَيْبِ وَٱلشَّهَٰدَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ‎﴿٨﴾‏

Say, ‘The death that you flee will indeed encounter you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the sensible and the Unseen, and He will inform you about what you used to do.’

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِذَا نُودِىَ لِلصَّلَوٰةِ مِن يَوْمِ ٱلْجُمُعَةِ فَٱسْعَوْا۟ إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ وَذَرُوا۟ ٱلْبَيْعَ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ‎﴿٩﴾

O you who have faith! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, hurry toward the remembrance of Allah, and leave all business. That is better for you, should you know.

فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةُ فَٱنتَشِرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱبْتَغُوا۟ مِن فَضْلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ‎﴿١٠﴾

And when the prayer is finished disperse through the land and seek Allah’s grace, and remember Allah much so that you may be felicitous.

وَإِذَا رَأَوْا۟ تِجَٰرَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا ٱنفَضُّوٓا۟ إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَآئِمًا ۚ قُلْ مَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ ٱللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ ٱلتِّجَٰرَةِ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ خَيْرُ ٱلرَّٰزِقِينَ ‎﴿١١﴾

When they sight a deal or a diversion, they scatter off towards it and leave you standing! Say, ‘What is with Allah is better than diversion and dealing, and Allah is the best of providers.’

Whatever Is in the Heavens and the Earth Glorify Allah

Verse one of Surah Jum’a reads:

يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّهِ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ٱلْمَلِكِ ٱلْقُدُّوسِ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْحَكِيمِ ‎﴿١﴾‏

Whatever there is in the heavens and in the earth glorifies Allah, the Sovereign, the All-holy, the All-mighty, the All-wise. (1)

Allah begins the surah by stating that everything one can imagine glorifies Allah. Every living and non-living being glorifies Allah. The sky, the sun, the moon, mountains, clouds, animals, birds, and believing human beings all glorify Allah day and night, even though we may not understand the exact way they glorify Him.[1] Allah is the Sovereign of the universe. He owns the entire universe. At the same time, He is compassionate and wise and knows how to deal with His creatures.

The Unlettered Apostle Mentioned in Surah Jumu’a

Allah states in the second verse of Surah Jumu’a:

هُوَ ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى ٱلْأُمِّيِّـۧنَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا۟ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِى ضَلَٰلٍ مُّبِينٍ ‎﴿٢﴾

It is He who sent to the unlettered [people] an apostle from among themselves, to recite to them His signs, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and wisdom, and earlier they had indeed been in manifest error. (2)

The verse alludes to the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (s). His greatest miracle was reciting the verses of the Quran to his people. The Prophet (s) was unlettered, meaning no one had taught him how to read or write. Such a person was selected by Allah among the unlettered Arabs to guide them to the straight path, purify them, and teach them the Quran and wisdom. Previously, they were in manifest error. They believed in superstitions, had pagan beliefs, and worshipped idols. The Prophet (s) came and taught them the true religion of Allah, namely Islam, and showed them how to get closer to Allah.

Islam Is a Worldwide Religion

Verse three of Surah Jumu’a reads:

وَءَاخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا۟ بِهِمْ ۚ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ ‎﴿٣﴾

And to others from among them [as well] who have not yet joined them. And He is the All-mighty, the All-wise. (3)

The verse talks about the group of people who come after the Arabs, that is, people of other countries, cultures, and ethnicities. The religion of Islam is not limited to the tribe of Prophet Muhammad (s) but rather a global religion that invites all humans to itself.

Allah’s Grace in Surah Jumu’a

ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ ٱللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلْفَضْلِ ٱلْعَظِيمِ ‎﴿٤﴾

That is Allah’s grace, which He grants to whomever He wishes, and Allah is dispenser of a great grace. (4)

Allah grants His grace to those whom He wishes. Prophet Muhammad (s) and His teachings are of the greatest graces that Allah has bestowed on people, and Allah has bestowed His grace on the Prophet (s) as well by making him the guide and teacher of people.

The Carriers of the Torah in Surah Jumu’a

Allah in the fifth verse of Surah Jumu’a talks about those People of the Book who do not abide by what is written in their holy scriptures, specifically the Torah. Allah states:

مَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا۟ ٱلتَّوْرَىٰةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ ٱلْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارَۢا ۚ بِئْسَ مَثَلُ ٱلْقَوْمِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ ‎﴿٥﴾

The example of those who were charged with the Torah, then failed to carry it, is that of an ass carrying books. Evil is the example of the people who deny Allah’s signs, and Allah does not guide the wrongdoing lot. (5)

The verse talks about the followers of Moses (a) who were charged with carrying out the commandments of Allah written in the Torah. However, they did not carry them out. As a result, Allah draws an analogy and says they are no different from donkeys that carry books on their backs, not knowing what they are and what purpose they serve. This verse is also a warning to Muslims so that they, too, do not become like those people who only read the Quran and do not act upon it.

Are the Jews Truthful Saints of Allah?

The verse continues its discussion about the Jews, saying:

قُلْ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ هَادُوٓا۟ إِن زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ لِلَّهِ مِن دُونِ ٱلنَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا۟ ٱلْمَوْتَ إِن كُنتُمْ صَٰدِقِينَ ‎﴿٦﴾

Say, ‘O Jews! If you claim that you are Allah’s favourites, to the exclusion of other people, then long for death, should you be truthful.’ (6)

The verse harshly rebukes those Jews who pretend they are Allah’s favorites and saints, yet do not show it in their actions. Allah says if you are truthful, then they must long for death. A person who is a saint of Allah does not fear death and longs for it because by dying, one meets their Lord and will be rewarded if they are good.

They Will Never Long for Death!

The next verse reads:

وَلَا يَتَمَنَّوْنَهُۥٓ أَبَدَۢا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمُۢ بِٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ ‎﴿٧﴾

Yet they will never long for it, because of what their hands have sent ahead, and Allah knows best the wrongdoers. (7)

The verse is very straightforward in saying that such people will try their best to safeguard their lives and will never long for death. Allah knows who the wrongdoers are, and a dreadful fate awaits them.

Everyone Shall Meet Their Death

Verse eight of Surah Jumu’a continues the discussion about death:

قُلْ إِنَّ ٱلْمَوْتَ ٱلَّذِى تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُۥ مُلَٰقِيكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَٰلِمِ ٱلْغَيْبِ وَٱلشَّهَٰدَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ‎﴿٨﴾‏

Say, ‘The death that you flee will indeed encounter you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the sensible and the Unseen, and He will inform you about what you used to do.’ (8)

No one can escape death, and all of us will eventually die. When we die, we will meet our Lord and will be brought to account for our deeds in this world. If we will be rewarded for our good deeds and punished for our evil deeds.

The Friday Prayer in Surah Jumu’a

The ninth verse of Surah Jumu’a speaks about the Friday prayer:

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِذَا نُودِىَ لِلصَّلَوٰةِ مِن يَوْمِ ٱلْجُمُعَةِ فَٱسْعَوْا۟ إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ وَذَرُوا۟ ٱلْبَيْعَ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ‎﴿٩﴾‏

O you who have faith! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, hurry toward the remembrance of Allah, and leave all business. That is better for you, should you know. (9)

The Friday prayer is an extremely important congregational prayer that is performed on Fridays. It consists of two sermons before the prayer itself. In the two sermons, Muslims are invited to practice piety. Moreover, the social, political, and spiritual affairs of Muslims and their duties are explained in each sermon. It is followed by a two-unit prayer in which Surah Fatiha and another surah are recited loudly, unlike the zuhr prayer where they are recited quietly. This verse states that when the call to the Friday prayer is made, one should leave all other things, including trade, business, and transactions, and hurry to attend the prayer.

Going Back to Work After the Friday Prayer

Verse ten of Surah Jumu’a reads:

فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةُ فَٱنتَشِرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱبْتَغُوا۟ مِن فَضْلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ‎﴿١٠﴾

And when the prayer is finished disperse through the land and seek Allah’s grace, and remember Allah much so that you may be felicitous. (10)

Islam is a religion that gives importance not only to acts of worship but also to work and effort in making a livelihood. The above verse mentions that after the prayer is finished, Muslims must go back to work while seeking Allah’s grace. At the same time, they must not forget Allah and always remember Him, as in this way, they will become prosperous. It is said that seeking halal sustenance is like jihad in the way of Allah. The Noble Prophet (s) has said, “Whoever remembers Allah sincerely while they are at work while people are negligent of Allah and are busy with their work, Allah will write a thousand good deeds for them and will forgive them on the Day of Qiyamah.”[2]

The Prophet (s) Must Not Be Left Alone

Verse 11, the last verse of Surah Jumu‘a reads:

وَإِذَا رَأَوْا۟ تِجَٰرَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا ٱنفَضُّوٓا۟ إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَآئِمًا ۚ قُلْ مَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ ٱللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ ٱلتِّجَٰرَةِ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ خَيْرُ ٱلرَّٰزِقِينَ ‎﴿١١﴾

When they sight a deal or a diversion, they scatter off towards it and leave you standing! Say, ‘What is with Allah is better than diversion and dealing, and Allah is the best of providers.’ (11)

Certain people left the Prophet (s) standing when they saw an opportunity for making business deals or any other diversion and vain act. The above verse severely reprimands them and says what they did was wrong. The reward and blessings that one receives during the Friday prayer by listening to the wise words of the Prophet (s) are incomparable with anything else. If people fear that participating in the Friday prayer instead of making a deal cuts off their sustenance, they are clearly misguided because Allah is the best sustainer.

Benefits and Virtues of Reciting Surah Jumu’a

  • Allah will give ten rewards per every person who attends the Friday prayer for anyone who recites Surah Jumu‘a.[3]
  • Whoever recites Surah Jumu‘a every Friday eve, their sins will be forgiven from that day until the next Friday.[4]
  • Reciting Surah Jumu‘a in one’s dawn, zuhr, and asr prayers is mustahabb (recommended) on Fridays.[5]
  • It is said that recitation of this surah wards off fear and the temptations of Satan.[6]

Conclusion

Surah Jumu‘a begins with the glorification of Allah. It then talks about how the Prophet (s), an individual who was among the unlettered people of Arabia, was sent to purify them and teach them wisdom and the book of Allah. This surah also speaks about Jews who carry the Torah yet do not act upon it, likening them to donkeys that carry books. It also mentions how they should long for death if they claim to be the saints of Allah, something they shall never do.

Then, Surah Jumu’a highlights the importance of the Friday prayer, emphasizing the need to leave all other activities behind and rush toward the remembrance of Allah. After the prayer, Muslims are encouraged to seek Allah’s grace while engaging in lawful business and to remember Allah in their work. The text also stresses the importance of not leaving the Prophet (s) alone and valuing the spiritual benefits of the Friday prayer over worldly pursuits. These teachings promote a balanced and harmonious approach to both spiritual and worldly matters in a Muslim’s life.


References

[1] Cf. Quran 17:44.

[2] Tafsir Majma‘ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 44.

[3] Tabarsi, Majma‘ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 427.

[4] Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 1403 AH, vol. 86, p. 362.

[5] Saduq, ‘Ilal al-Shara’I‘, 1385 AH, vol. 2, p. 356.

[6] Bahrani, al-Burhan, 1416 AH, vol. 5, p. 371.

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