The weekly convention of Friday Congregation is the most important service and is compulsory upon every Muslim who is required to observe the other prayers and has no reasonable excuses to abstain. It falls on Friday of every week and is especially important because:
- It is the occasion earmarked by Allah for the Muslim to express their collective devotion.
- It is an appointment to review our spiritual accounts of the week gone by and get ready for the following week just as people do in any other business.
- It is a convention for the Muslims to reassure themselves and confirm their religious bonds and social solidarity on moral and spiritual foundations.
- It shows how the Muslims give preference to the call of God over and above any other concern.
This prayer of Friday, or Juma Prayer, is marked by these features:
- Its time falls in the same times as that of the noon.
- It must be said in a congregation led by an Imam. No single person can offer it by himself.
- If any person misses it, he cannot make up for it. Instead, he has to offer the noon prayer, the original prayer which this service normally replaces.
- All kinds of normal work are allowed on Friday as on any other week day. For Muslims there is no Sabbath. They can carry on with their usual duties and activities provided they come to the congregational service in time. After the service is over, they may resume their mundane activities.
- This Friday Prayer must be performed in a mosque, if there is one available. Otherwise, it may be said at any gathering place, e.g. homes, offices, farms, parks, etc.
- When the time for prayer comes, the Adhan (Ezan) is said. Then, four units of prayer are offered as Sunnah (Sunnet), individually, in a low voice as in the noon prayer. When this part is completed, the Imam stands up facing the audience and delivers his sermon (khutbah - hutbe) which is an essential part of the service. While the Imam is taking nobody should talk or pray; everyone present should take a sitting position and listen to the sermon quietly to the end.
- The sermon (khutbah - hutbe) consists of two parts each beginning with words of praise of Allah and prayers of blessing for Prophet Muhammad. In the first part some Qur'anic passage must be recited and explained for the purpose of exhortation and admonition. At the end of the first part the Imam takes a short rest in the sitting posture, then stands up to deliver the second part of his sermon. General affairs of the Muslims may be discussed in either or both parts of the sermon. In the second part, especially, the Imam prays for the general welfare of all Muslims.
- After that the Iqamah is made and the two obligatory units are offered under the leadership of the Imam who recites the Fatihah and the other Qur'anic passage in an audible voice. When this is done, the prayer is completed. After that two other Sunnah (Sunnet) units are offered individually in a low voice.
The earlier four and the late two Sunnah (Sunnet) units may be offered at home. Also they may be replaced with one has to make up. Any participant in the weekly congregation or the Eid Prayers should do his best to be neat and tidy. Though there is no compulsory reason for a complete ablution, a bath is strongly recommended as it makes one fresher and more pleasant.