Whatcha Know About Jummah Prayer?

As Salam Alaikum friends and Jummah Mubarak (blessed)!!! What a great sunshiny day as the song goes. But anyway, it’s a beautiful Friday and it’s time to talk about Friday prayer or “Jummah”. How fitting that the sun is extra shiny today and supposed to be in the 70’s where I am (USA East Coast).

I was sitting here drinking my coffee with my cat Izzy sitting next to me and realized, “Oh , it’s Friday already!” Then a little thought came to mind, why not write a blog about Jummah and the importance of this day? So, I listened to my little voice and here I am πŸ™‚

Salaat-ul-Jummah or Friday Prayer is offered in congregation. It is offered in place of Dhuhr Prayer. Each week on Friday, Muslims are required to take a bath, dress in their best clean clothes, wear perfume and assemble in the mosque for Friday Prayer. The Holy Quran and the Sunnah speak highly of the blessings of Jummah Prayer. If a Muslim spends Friday in the remembrance of God Almighty, supplicating before his Lord, he is abundantly rewarded by Allah.

Friday Prayer is an occasion for the assembly of the Muslims of a whole city or a town. In a large city, Friday Prayer can be offered in more than one place for the convenience of the Muslim community. It gives them an opportunity to meet together to discuss and solve their individual as well as community problems. Getting together once a week develops unity, co-operation and cohesiveness among Muslims. Friday Prayer is also a demonstration of Islamic equality.

It gives the Imam a chance to advise all Muslims at the same time on urgent matters that face them. The Imam’s sermon gives them guidance in Islamic teachings. Friday Prayer is an obligatory Prayer for every adult male Muslim. However, those who are sick, blind or disabled, those on a journey, and women, are exempt from the obligation of attending the Prayer at the mosque. They can join in the Prayer if they so wish, but if they cannot attend the Friday Prayer, they have to offer Dhuhr (noon) prayer instead, as the Friday Prayer is offered in place of Dhuhr (noon) prayer.

There are two Adhans for Friday Prayer. The first Athan is recited when the sun begins to decline and the second is recited just before the Imam stands up before the congregation to deliver his sermon.

The sermon consists of two parts. In the first part the Imam, after the recitation of Att’-awwuz and Surah Fatiha, advises the gathering to act upon the commandments of Allah and also about the duties they have to perform to become good Muslims. The sermon can also deal with any other matter of importance. This part of the sermon can be delivered in any language.

After delivering the first part of the sermon, the Imam sits down for a short while, then stands up again and starts with the second part which is in Arabic and which reads as follows:

All praise is due to Allah. We laud Him, we beseech help from Him and ask His protection; we confide in Him, we trust Him alone and we seek protection against the evils and mischief of our souls and from the bad results of our deeds. Whomsoever He guides on the right path, none can misguide him; and whosoever He declares misled, none can guide him onto the right path. And we bear witness that none deserves to be worshiped except Allah. He is alone and has no partner. We bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. O servants of Allah! May Allah be merciful to you. Verily, Allah commands you to act with justice, to confer benefits upon each other and to do good to others as one does to one ‘s kindred and forbids evil which pertain to your own selves and evils which affect others and prohibits revolts against a lawful authority.

He warns you against being unmindful. You remember Allah; He too will remember you; call Him and He will make a response to your call. And verily divine remembrance is the highest virtue.

After the sermon comes the prayer. Jummah prayer is 2 rakas , where Dhur prayer is 4. (see my other post on how to pray and wudu) After the prayer is over you may sit and talk or you may leave. Please do not talk during the sermon…its not permitted, although some people do. It distracts those who are listening and its rude πŸ˜›

And there you have it…Jummah! If I left anything out please feel free to comment below…help is always appreciated from other knowledgeable brothers and sisters πŸ™‚

Until next time….May Allah keep you blessed, happy , healthy and safe Ameen.

Love Amani xoxox

Surah Juma’h

1. Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth declares the glory of Allah, the King, the Holy, the Mighty, the Wise.

2. He it is Who raised among the inhabitants of Mecca an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, although they were before certainly in clear error,

3. And others from among them who have not yet joined them; and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

4. That is Allah’s grace; He grants it to whom He pleases, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.

5. The likeness of those who were charged with the Taurat, then they did not observe it, is as the likeness of the ass bearing books, evil is the likeness of the people who reject the communications of Allah; and Allah does not guide the unjust people.

6. Say: O you who are Jews, if you think that you are the favorites of Allah to the exclusion of other people, then invoke death If you are truthful.

7. And they will never invoke it because of what their hands have sent before; and Allah is Cognizant of the unjust.

8. Say: (As for) the death from which you flee, that will surely overtake you, then you shall be sent back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will inform you of that which you did.

9. O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading; that is better for you, if you know.

10. But when the prayer is ended, then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah’s grace, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.

11. And when they see merchandise or sport they break up for It, and leave you standing. Say: What is with Allah is better than sport and (better) than merchandise, and Allah is the best of Sustainers.

Just a few Islamophobic leading politicians and opinion makers in the USA….See their comments….

As Salam Alaikum friends! I hope you are all having a great morning so far.

So, Ive been thinking about prejudices and phobics lately. We all know there are prejudices against all types of people, races, religions, etc, but I found a couple to be most disturbing while reading lately. Islamophobia is on the rise and here are a just a few leading politicians and opinion makers in the United States (my own country!) comments on Islam and Muslims, etc.

  • “The nation has been invaded by a fanatical, murderous cult… We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.” – Syndicated columnist Ann Coulter, National Review Online, September 2001
  • “We’re not attacking Islam, but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God. He’s not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It’s a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion.” – Franklin Graham, NBC Nightly News, November 2001
  • “Islam is, quite simply, a religion of war, and Muslims should be encouraged to leave. They are a fifth column in this country.” – Lloyd Lind, Free Congress Foundation
  • “I think Mohammed was a terrorist.” – Jerry Falwell, on CBS 60 Minutes, October 2002
  • “I believe that Muslims in this country are a fifth column…The vast majority of Muslims in this country are very obviously loyal, not to the United States, but to their religion…the reason they are here is to take over our culture and eventually take over our country…You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them.” – Jay Severin, host of a popular Boston area morning talk show on WTKK-FM, April 2004
  • “Muslims attacked us because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and roots are Judeo-Christian and the enemy is a guy named Satan…We in the army of God, in the house of God, in the kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this,” – LT. General William G. Boykin, October 2003

Can’t ya just feel the hate here? Wow…well the statements speak for themselves and these are the types of people of our news stations, media, government and MILITARY!!! No wonder Americans who don’t know Islam are swayed to think of it as evil :/

In closing…May Allah keep you happy, healthy and safe Ameen

Love, Amani

 

What Happened to our Ummah?!

As Salam Alaikum friends. I hope you are well today and having a great day. I’m actually having a very good day today because I got to spend some time with a woman who is looking to studying Islam and eventually revert. Masha’Allah! She’s actually a neighbor of mine and I believe Allah brought us together under odd circumstances though, none the less lol. She has asked me to help her study! Alhamdulilah, masha’Allah…what an honor to teach someone the deen!

I felt compelled for a while now to write whats been in my heart about our Muslim community (ummah). Ummah, an Islamic Arabic term, means “community” or “nation”. Now the reason I wanted to write about this today is because the sister I am helping told me that she could not find any other willing sisters to help her study and learn our beautiful Islam! I was shocked but in a way I wasn’t.

It never ceases to amaze me anymore, with all the “every man/woman for him/herself” mentality going around. This is not Islam brothers and sisters. Our ummah is in trouble and has been for many years. My belief is that after our beloved Prophet died, and his companions, so did our ummah. No longer can we count on each other to take time out of our days to help another in need. Yet, we can be on Facebook (me too) and watch T.V., or any other thing that we do that takes away from our duties as Muslims. I am also guilty of this as well, which lead me to change in a small way by helping this young woman out. It makes me feel wonderful knowing dawah is happening! I also consider her a friend as well which as we know Allah brings us together for many reasons.

Next time you see someone sitting alone in the masjid, please, at least say your salams and maybe ask how they are. Especially if they are a new face. In my previous blog about my recent trip to the masjid, I stressed that it was an unpleasant experience, as it was. And it wasn’t the first time no one spoke to me while being alone and after giving my salams. This is exactly what I’m talking about. UMMAH!!! What happened to it?!!

What’s the solution? There may be many ways to help the situation. First off, passing judgement on other brothers and sisters of Islam ruins community (ummah). Lets face it, who wants to learn from or be around someone who is always judging them. Instead politely correct if you can, those things that you see may be wrong. It’s then up to the person to correct and for Allah to judge. Another way is to, again, reach out to others in need. Welcome new reverts with open arms as they are the fragile ones and there is currently no care for them. They take their shahada….everyone is all “Masha’Allah!!”, then BAM!, everyone’s gone! Where did everyone go. It doesn’t stop at the welcome into Islam. It should be a constant help towards those in need. I need to remind myself in this also as with everything I am writing, which is why I wanted to blog this topic.

Also, if you can, volunteer in the Muslims community for things such as helping other learn Arabic or English, which ever you speak and depending on the need. Help others learn some surahs to help them with their prayers. Teach someone that’s just reverting the 5 pillars of Islam as they are the fundamentals.

There are many other ways that I may not even be aware of but I ask if you can please comment with your suggestions. Also, what are your feelings about the state of our Ummah?

As always, May Allah keep you happy, healthy and safe. Ameen.

Love, Amani

 

Learning the Five Pillars of Islam part 5 – Hajj

As Salam Alaikum friends! I hope you are all well.

Now we are down to the last pillar in Islam out of five total. Hajj (the Islamic pilgrimage), is the 5th pillar.

Performance of the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is required of every adult Muslim, male or female, if physically and financially possible. Many Muslims spend their entire lives saving and planning for this journey; others make the pilgrimage more than once if they are able.

The requirements for performing the pilgrimage are as follows:

  • Maturity and sound mind, in order to understand the significance of the pilgrimage experience;
  • Physical capability to travel and perform the pilgrimage rites;
  • Financial stability, free of debt, so that one is able to bear the pilgrimage expenses as well as provide for dependents during travel.

For one who meets these criteria, performing the pilgrimage is obligatory.

When undertaking the pilgrimage, Muslims shed all signs of their wealth and societal distinctions by donning simple white garments, commonly called ihram. The required pilgrimage dress for men is two white cloths, one of which covers the body from the waist down, and one that is gathered around the shoulder. Women usually wear a simple white dress and headscarf, or their own native dress. The ihram is a symbol of purity and equality, and signifies that the pilgrim is in a state of devotion.

While wearing ihram, there are other requirements that Muslims follow in order to focus their energy on spiritual devotion. Harming any living thing is forbidden — no hunting, fighting, or vulgar language is permitted. Vanity is discouraged, and Muslims approach pilgrimage in as natural a state as possible: excessive perfumes and colognes are not used; hair and fingernails are left in their natural state without trimming or cutting. Marital relations are also suspended during this time, and marriage proposals or weddings are delayed until after the pilgrimage experience is completed.

Every year, millions of Muslims from around the world make the journey to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the annual pilgrimage (or Hajj). Dressed in the same simple white clothing to represent human equality, the pilgrims gather to perform rites dating back to the time of Abraham.

During these historic days, white, brown and black people, rich and poor, kings and peasants, men and women, old and young will all stand before God, all brothers and sisters, at the holiest of shrines in the center of the Muslim world, where all will call upon God to accept their good deeds. These days represent the zenith of every Muslim’s lifetime.

The Hajj resembles the re-enactment of the experiences of the Prophet Abraham, whose selfless sacrifice has no parallel in the history of humankind.

The Hajj symbolizes the lessons taught by the final prophet, Muhammad, who stood on the plain of Arafat, proclaimed the completion of his mission and announced the proclamation of God: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam, or submission to God, as your religion” (Quran 5:3).

This great annual convention of faith demonstrates the concept of equality of mankind, the most profound message of Islam, which allows no superiority on the basis of race, gender or social status. The only preference in the eyes of God is piety as stated in the Quran: “The best amongst you in the eyes of God is most righteous.”

During the days of the Hajj, Muslims dress in the same simple way, observe the same regulations and say the same prayers at the same time in the same manner, for the same end. There is no royalty and aristocracy, but humility and devotion. These times confirm the commitment of Muslims, all Muslims, to God. It affirms their readiness to leave the material interest for his sake.

The Hajj is a reminder of the Grand Assembly on the Day of Judgment when people will stand equal before God waiting for their final destiny, and as the Prophet Muhammad said, “God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances, but he scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.”

The Quran states these ideals really nicely (49:13): “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other)). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).”

Insha’Allah we can all make Hajj one day. I know I can’t wait until I am able insha’Allah πŸ™‚

Love Amani. May Allah bless you and keep you happy , healthy and safe. Ameen

Learning the Five Pillars of Islam Part 3 Zakat or Charity

As Salam Alaikum friends! First let me apologize for this post being out-of-order. I made a simple mistake in the order of the Islamic pillars and seems I got ahead of myself, but all is well now lol πŸ™‚

So, the 3rd pillar in Islam is Zakat or charity. The definition of Zakat is literally means to purify. How is Zakat related to purity? The material world has the potential to distract us from our primary mission: to surrender ourselves to God. Therefore, when we are made to let go of some of our worldly possessions, we learn to force ourselves to let go of some of our greed. Thus, purify! It is written that those who are saved from the greed of their own selves, they are the ones who will prosper. (Quran 59:9)

Zakat does not only purifies the property of the contributor but also purifiesΒ  the heart of the recipient from envy and jealousy, from hatred and uneasiness and it fosters instead good-will and warm wishes for the contributors.

As Muslims pay the Zakat they have the genuine feeling that it is an investment and not a debit helping to establish economic balance and social justice in the society.

In general terms, what remains over and above the meeting of needs and expenses, and is hoarded for the full span of one year, is liable to Zakat. Zakat is the right of the poor in the wealth of the rich and is neither optional charity nor philanthropy.

Zakat has a deep humanitarian and social-political value; for example, it frees society from class welfare, from ill feelings and distrust and from corruption. Although Islam does not hinder private enterprise or condemn private possession, it does not tolerate selfish and greedy capitalism. Islam adopts a moderate but positive and effective course between individual and society, between the citizen and the state, between capitalism and socialism, between materialism and spiritualism.

How is Zakat calculated?

Zakat is a proportionately fixed contribution collected from the surplus wealth and earnings of the Muslim.

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. Zakat is paid on the net balance after paying personal expenses, family expenses, due credits, taxes, etc. Every Muslim male or female who at the end of the year is in possession of the equivalent of 85 grams of gold (approx. $1400 in 1990) or more in cash or articles of trade, must give Zakat at the minimum rate of 2.5%. Taxes paid to government do not substitute for this religious duty. The contributor should not seek pride or fame but if disclosing his name and his contribution is likely to encourage others, it is acceptable to do so.

Other gains and profits have their respective formula, such as proceeds from industry, agriculture and animal husbandry, real estate, etc. as thoroughly detailed in specialized references.

Note the obligatory nature of Zakat; it is required. Muslims can also go above and beyond what they pay as Zakat, in which case the offering is a strictly voluntary charity (sadaqa). Sadaqa is given preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as ‘voluntary charity’ it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said ‘even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity’.

The Prophet said: ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim’. He was asked: ‘What if a person has nothing?’ The Prophet replied: ‘He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity’. The Companions asked: ‘What if he is not able to work?’ The Prophet said: ‘He should help poor and needy persons.’ The Companions further asked ‘What is he cannot do even that?’ The Prophet said ‘He should urge others to do good’. The Companions said ‘What if he lacks that also?’ The Prophet said ‘He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.’

So we see the positive aspects of Alms giving (zakat) and how it helps our society and Allah knows best πŸ™‚

May Allah keep you happy healthy and safe. Ameen

Love, Amani

 

Correction in one of my posts regarding the Five Pillars in Islam

As Salam Alaikum my friends. Hope you are all doing well.

Well, looking back through my posts, I realized I made a rather simple mistake in the order of our pillars.The 3rd pillar of Islam is actually Zakat or charity. It seems, even though I know this, I must have gotten ahead of myself. With that being said, I will edit that post to be the 4th part of our pillars. I will be doing the 3rd pillar on Zakat shortly. Thanks for your understanding. I must have missed that one lol πŸ™‚

Many blessings, Amani

My Recent Experience at the Masjid (Mosque)

As Salam Alaikum friends! Hope you are all doing well today.

Today I’m breaking away from the technical stuff associated with Islam and posting a personal story of mine, my recent trip to the masjid. VERY UNCOMFORTABLE EXPERIENCE!

Now, everyone knows Muslims go to the masjid to pray and seek Allah primarily, but, there is a social aspect to it as well. Many people like to see friends and chat for a while before or after prayer. That’s normal. It’s a way to connect with our community. Sadly, we are losing our community to selfishness and rude behavior and I am a witness to that.

So, last Friday I went to Jummah prayer. I haven’t been to the masjid in a while before that day. That in itself should not matter as to how fellow Muslims treat you. Anyway, I walk into the prayer area and give my salams to the entire group of women in the room. Loud enough so that everyone can hear of course. What I get in return…..almost silence! A few salams back but nothing what I expected. Now, you might be thinking, “so what”, but, you have to understand this isn’t the first time this has happened to me.

I remember when I first reverted and would go to the masjid pretty often, even days other than Fridays. I would see the same faces. There were a couple sweet sisters who would chat with me, but the majority stuck to their little clicks. This is not what our ummah is supposed to be about. We are supposed to support each other, offer assistance when needed, give our salams, respect each other….what happened to all of this!

This is a real problem with new Muslims , as they need alot of assistance in learning the deen. When I first reverted , there were a few wonderful sisters who offered to help out but they have since stopped going to the masjid for whatever reason. Maybe the same reason I am choosing not to go back. YES, I said it…I am not going back. Women aren’t obligated to go anyway and if I am going to be treated like a piece of furniture, to be ignored, then I choose to pray to Allah in the comfort of my own home.

Now that I think about it, it may just be the masjid I attend but that’s doubtful. You see this treatment even outside of the masjid, on the streets even.

So, now my rant is over. I may consider looking into a different masjid or not. Right now I am bitter towards the whole idea. Allah will not reward me any less if I don’t attend so why feel uncomfortable while I am praying! Ugh.

Well friends, thanks for letting me vent and for reading. May Allah keep you happy, healthy and safe. Ameen

Salam, Amani

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