Allah the Exalted admonishes the Jews who were entrusted with the Tawrah and were ordered to abide by it. However, they did not abide by it, and this is why Allah resembled them to the donkey that carries volumes of books. Surely, when the donkey carries books, it will not understand what these books contain because it is only carrying these books using its strength. This is the example of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah; they read its letter but did not understand its meanings nor abided by them. Rather, they even corrupted and changed the Tawrah. Therefore, they are worse than the donkey, because the donkey cannot understand. They, on the other hand, could have understood using their minds, but their minds were of no benefit. This is why Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless.) (7:179), and said,
(How bad is the example of people who deny the Ayat of Allah. And Allah does not guide the people who are wrongdoers.) Allah the Exalted said,
(Say: "O you Jews! If you pretend that you are friends of Allah, to the exclusion of other people, then long for death if you are truthful.'') meaning, `if you claim that you are on the correct guidance and that Muhammad and his Companions are being led astray, then invoke Allah to bring death to the misguided group among the two, if you are truthful in your claim.' Allah said,
(But they will never long for it, because of what their hands have sent before them!) meaning because of the disbelief, injustice and sins that they commit,
(And Allah knows well the wrongdoers.) We mentioned this challenge to the Jews before in Surat Al-Baqarah, where Allah said,
(Say: "If the home of the Hereafter with Allah is indeed for you specially and not for others, of mankind, then long for death if you are truthful.'' But they will never long for it because of what their hands have sent forth before them. And Allah is Aware of the wrongdoers. And verily, you will find them the greediest of mankind for life and (even greedier) than those who ascribe partners to Allah. One of them wishes that he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from punishment. And Allah is Seer of what they do.) (2:94-96) We explained these meanings there, stating that the challenge was for the Jews to invoke Allah to destroy the misguided group, either they or their enemies. We also mentioned a similar challenge against the Christians in Surah Al `Imran,
(Then whoever disputes with you concerning him (`Isa) after (all this) knowledge that has come to you, say: "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves -- then we pray and invoke the curse of Allah upon those who lie.'')(3:61) and against the idolaters, in Surah Maryam,
(Say whoever is in error, the Most Gracious will extend (circumstances) for him.)(19:75) Imam Ahmad (may Allah be pleased with him) recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Abu Jahl, may Allah curse him, said, `If I see Muhammad praying at the Ka`bah, I will step on his neck.' When the Prophet heard of that, he said,
(Had he done so, the angels would have snatched him away in public. Had the Jews wished for death, they would all have perished and saw their seats in Hellfire. Had those accepted for invoking the curse of Allah with Allah's Messenger, they would not have found families or property when they returned home.)'' Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i recorded it. His saying;
(Say: "Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will inform you about what you used to do.'') is like His saying in Surat An-Nisa':
(Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high.)
(9. O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed for the Salah on Al-Jumu`ah (Friday), then hasten (Fas`aw) to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business. That is better for you if you did but know!) (10. Then when the Salah is complete, you may disperse through the land, and seek the bounty of Allah, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.)
Friday is called Al-Jumu`ah because it is derived from Al-Jam`, literally, gathering. The people of Islam gather weekly, on every Friday in the major places of worship. It was during Friday when Allah finished the creation, the sixth day, during which Allah created the heavens and earth. During Friday, Allah created Adam, and he was placed in Paradise, and ironically, it was a Friday when he was taken out of Paradise. It will be on a Friday when the Last Hour will commence. There is an hour during Friday, wherein no faithful servant asks Allah for something good, but Allah will give him what he asked for. All of this is based upon Hadiths in the authentic collections. In the ancient language Friday was called, `Arubah. It is a fact that previous nations were informed about Friday, but they were led astray from it. The Jews chose Saturday for their holy day, but Adam was not created on Saturday. The Christians chose Sunday, which is the day the creation was initiated. Allah chose Friday for this Ummah, because it is the day the creation was finished. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(We are the last (to come) but the first on the Day of Resurrection, though the former nations were given the Scriptures before us. And this was their day (Friday) the celebration of which was made compulsory for them, but they differed about it. So, Allah gave us guidance to it, and all other people are coming after us: the Jews tomorrow and the Christians the day after tomorrow.'' This is the wording of Al-Bukhari in another narration of Muslim;
(Allah diverted those who were before us from Friday. For the Jews there was Saturday, and for the Christians there was Sunday. Allah then brought us and guided us to Friday. He made them; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and it is in this order they will come after us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last of among the people of this world and the first among the created to be judged on the Day of Resurrection.)
Allah commanded the believers to gather to worship Him on Friday,
(O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed for the Salah on Al-Jumu`ah (Friday), then hasten (Fas`aw) to the remembrance of Allah) meaning, go to it and head for it. The meaning of Sa`y (hasten) here does not refer to walking quickly. It only refers to the importance of it. `Umar bin Al-Khattab and Ibn Mas`ud - may Allah be pleased with them - recited it; (فَامْضُوا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللهِ) ("Then proceed to the remembrance of Allah.'') As for walking in haste to the prayer, that was indeed prohibited, since it was recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,
(When you hear the Iqamah, proceed to offer the prayer with calmness and solemnity and do not rush. And pray whatever you catch, and complete whatever you have missed.) This is the wording with Al-Bukhari. Abu Qatadah said, "While we were praying behind the Messenger of Allah he heard commotion. At the end of the prayer, the Prophet said;
(What is the matter with you) They said, `We hastened to the prayer.' The Prophet said,
(Don't do that. When you come for prayer, there should be tranquility upon you. Pray what remains of the prayer and complete what you have missed.)'' The Two Sahihs collected this Hadith. Al-Hasan commented, "By Allah! Hastening to the prayer is not accomplished by the feet. Indeed they were prohibited from coming to prayer without tranquility and dignity. Rather it is about the hearts, the intention, and the submission.'' Qatadah said,
"(then hasten to the remembrance of Allah) means that you have to hasten to the prayer with your heart and actions, and walk to it.'' It is recommended for those coming to the Friday prayer to perform Ghusl (taking bath) before they come. It is collected in the Two Sahihs that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that Allah's Messenger said,
(When one of you comes to the Friday prayer, then let him perform bath.) The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Sa`id said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Ghusl on the day of Jumu`ah is Wajib (required) from every Muhtalim.) Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger said,
(It is Allah's right on every Muslim to bathe during every seven days, by washing his head and body.) Muslim collected this Hadith. Jabir narrated that Allah's Messenger said,
(Within every seven days, every Muslim man has the obligation to perform Ghusl at least one day, the day of Jumu`ah.) Ahmad, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Hibban collected this Hadith.
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Aws bin `Aws Ath-Thaqafi said that he heard Allah's Messenger say,
(Whoever performs Ghusl (well) on the day of Jumu`ah, leaves early, walking not riding, and sits close to the Imam and listens without talking, will earn the reward of fasting and performing standing (in prayer) for an entire year for every step he takes.) This Hadith has various chains of narration, the compilers of the Four Sunan collected it, and At-Tirmidhi graded it Hasan. The Two Sahihs also recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Any person who takes a bath on Friday like the bath for sexual impurity and then goes for the prayer in the first hour, it is as if he had sacrificed a camel. Whoever goes in the second hour, it is as if he had sacrificed a cow. Whoever goes in the third hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a horned ram. If one goes in the fourth hour, then it is as if he had sacrificed a hen. Whoever goes in the fifth hour, then it is as if he had offered an egg. When the Imam appears, the angels present themselves to listen to Allah's remembrance.) It is recommended that one cleans his body, performs Ghusl, wears his best clothes, applies perfume and uses Siwak (tooth stick) for Jumu`ah. We mentioned that Abu Sa`id narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Ghusl on the day of Jumu`ah is Wajib (required) from every Muhtalim and also using Siwak and applying some of his household's perfume.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,
(Whoever performs Ghusl on Friday and applies perfume, if he has any, wears his best clothes, then goes to the Masjid and performs voluntary prayer, if he wishes, does not bother anyone, listens when the Imam appears until he starts the prayer. Then all of this will be an expiation for whatever occurs between that Friday and the next Friday.) Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded in their Sunans that `Abdullah bin Salam said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say, while on the Minbar:
(What harm would it cause if one of you bought two garments for the day of Jumu`ah, other than the garment he wears daily) `A'ishah said that during a speech he gave on a Friday when he saw people wearing Nimar garments, the Messenger of Allah said,
(When one of you has wealth, he should keep two garments for Friday, other than the two garments he has for his daily wear.) Ibn Majah collected this Hadith.
(When the call is proclaimed for the Salah on Friday,) referring to the Adhan which was called, during the time of the Prophet, when he came out of his house and sat on the Minbar. The Adhan would be called before the Prophet near the door of the Masjid. As for the earlier Adhan that the Leader of the faithful, `Uthman bin Affan added, it was done because the Muslims increased in number during his time. Al-Bukhari recorded that As-Sa'ib bin Yazid said, "In the lifetime of the Prophet, Abu Bakr and `Umar, the Adhan for the Friday prayer was pronounced while the Imam sat on the pulpit. But during `Uthman's later time when the Muslims increased in number, an additional call was pronounced upon Az-Zawra', meaning the Adhan was called upon the house which was called Az-Zawra''' Az-Zawra' was the tallest house in Al-Madinah near the Masjid.
(and leave off business.) means, hastening to the remembrance of Allah and abandoning business, when the call to the Friday prayer is made. Therefore, the scholars of Islam agree, it is prohibited for Muslims to engage in business transactions after the second Adhan. Allah's statement,
(That is better for you if you did but know!) means, `your abandoning buying and selling, and instead, concentrating your attention to Allah's remembrance and the prayer are better for you in this life and the Hereafter, if you but knew.' Allah's statement,
(Then when the Salah is complete,) means, when the Friday prayer is finished,
(you may disperse through the land, and seek the bounty of Allah,) After Allah forbade Muslims from working after hearing the Adhan and ordered them to gather for the Friday prayer, He allowed them to spread throughout the earth and seek bounty after the prayer is finished. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that when the Friday prayer finished, `Irak bin Malik would stand by the gate of the Masjid and invoke Allah, saying, "O Allah! I have accepted and complied with Your Call, performed the prayer You ordered and dispersed as You ordered me. Therefore, grant me of Your favor and You are the best of those who grant provisions.'' Allah's statement,
(and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.) means, while you are buying and selling, giving and taking, remember Allah much and do not let this life busy you from what benefits you in the Hereafter. There is a Hadith that states,
(Whoever enters a marketplace and says, "La ilaha illallah, He is alone without partners, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Able to do all things.'' Then Allah will record a thousand-thousand (a million) good deeds for him and will erase a thousand-thousand evil deeds.) Mujahid said, "A servant (of Allah) will not be among those who remember Allah often, until he does so while standing, sitting and lying down.''
(11. And when they see some merchandise or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave you standing. Say: "That which Allah has is better than any amusement or merchandise! And Allah is the best of providers.'')
Allah criticizes what happened during one Friday sermon, when a caravan arrived at Al-Madinah and the people rushed out to the merchandise. Allah said,
(And when they see some merchandise or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave you standing.) meaning, on the Minbar, delivering the Khutbah. Several of the Tabi`in said this, such as Abu Al-`Aliyah, Al-Hasan, Zayd bin Aslam and Qatadah. Muqatil bin Hayyan said that the caravan belonged to Dihyah bin Khalifah before he became a Muslim, and there were drums accompanying it. So they rushed to the caravan and left Allah's Messenger standing on the Minbar. Only a few remained, according to the authentic Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir said, "Once, a caravan arrived at Al-Madinah while Allah's Messenger was giving a Khutbah. So, the people left, and only twelve men remained ﴿with the Messenger ﴾. Then Allah sent down this Ayah,
(And when they see some merchandise or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it,)'' The Two Sahihs also recorded this Hadith. Allah's statement,
(And leave you standing.) proves that the Imam should deliver the speech on Friday while standing. In his Sahih, Imam Muslim recorded that Jabir bin Samurah said, "(During Jumu`ah,) the Prophet gave two speeches, and he used to sit between them. The Prophet would recite the Qur'an and remind the people (of Allah).'' Allah's statement,
(Say: "That which Allah has...'') means the reward that is with Allah in the Hereafter,
(is better than any amusement or merchandise! And Allah is the best of providers.) means, for those who trust in Him and seek His provisions when they are allowed to do so. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Jumu`ah. All praise and thanks are due to Allah and from Him comes the success and immunity from error.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(1. When the hypocrites come to you, they say: "We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah.'' Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger, and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed.) (2. They have made their oaths a screen. Thus they hinder (others) from the path of Allah. Verily, evil is what they used to do.) (3. That is because they believed, and then disbelieved; therefore their hearts are sealed, so they understand not.) (4. And when you look at them, their bodies please you; and when they speak, you listen to their words. They are as blocks of wood propped up. They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies, so beware of them. May Allah curse them! How are they denying the right path)