Jumu'ah (Arabic: جمعة)(also known as jum'ah, Friday prayer, etc.) is a congregational prayer (salat) that Muslims hold every Friday, just after noon in lieu of dhuhr. It is mentioned in the Qur'an as:
O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of God and leave off business; that is better for you, if you know. (Qur'an 62:9)
And when the prayer is ended, then disperse in the land and seek of Allah's bounty, and remember Allah much, that ye may be successful. (Qur'an 62:10)
The jumu'ah prayer is half the dhuhr prayer, for convenience, preceded by a khutba (a sermon as a technical replacement of the two reduced raka'ahs of the ordinary dhuhr prayer), and followed by a communal prayer, led by the imam. In most cases the khaṭīb also serves as the imam. Attendance is strictly incumbent upon all adult males who are legal residents of the locality, females are also permitted to go to the Mosque to perform the Friday prayers.
The muezzin makes the call to prayer, called the adhan, usually 15-20 minutes prior to the start of Jum'ah. When the khaṭīb takes his place on the minbar, a second adhan is made. The khaṭīb is supposed to deliver two speeches, stopping and sitting briefly between them. In practice, the first speech is longer and contains most of the content. The second speech is very brief and concludes with a du'a, after which the muezzin calls the iqama. This signals the start of the main two rak'at prayer of Jumu'ah.
Islamic Society of Michiana (ISM)
Jumuah Khutbah Imam Dr. A. Rashied Omar
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Dispenser of Grace
Islamic Society of Michiana (ISM)
Interfaith Harmony Week
Friday 1st February 2019/25th Jamad al-Awwal, 1440
During the first week of February religious communities across the world will once again be commemorating World Interfaith Harmony Week. World Interfaith Harmony Week was initiated by Prince Ghazi of Jordan and was officially adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 October 2010. In his speech to motivate his proposal at the UN General Assembly, Prince Ghazi stated that the aim of the Interfaith Harmony Week would be fulfilled by:
“permanently and regularly encouraging the silent majority of preachers to declare themselves for peace and harmony and providing a ready-made vehicle for them to do so … if preachers and teachers commit themselves on the record once a year to peace and harmony, this means that when the next interreligious crisis or provocation occurs, they cannot then relapse into parochial fear and mistrust, and will be more likely to resist the winds of popular demagoguery.”
In its proclamation of this worldwide annual observance of Interfaith Harmony Week, the United Nations has encouraged all communities to use the first week of February to spread “the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in churches, masajid, synagogues, temples and other places of worship.” The UN has furthermore called for the message of interfaith harmony to be based on “love of God and love of one’s neighbor (hubbu Allah wa hubbu al-jar), each according to their own religious traditions or convictions”.
It is my considered view that both the idea as well as the message of World Interfaith Harmony Week resonates fully with the teachings of Islam. A paradigmatic Qur’anic verse that supports my contention is verse 8 of Surah al-Mumtahina, Chapter 60, in which Allah, the Lord of Compassionate Justice, proclaims:
“God does not prohibit you from displaying kindness and justice to those who do not fight you for your faith
nor drive you from your homes.
For God loves those who are just and equitable.” (Q60:8)
In the above verse of the Glorious Qur’an, Allah, the Creator of All of Humankind, exhorts Muslims to treat those who do not share their faith but nevertheless wishes to live with Muslims in peace and harmony to reciprocate by displaying the highest form of benevolence and justice towards them.
Consonant with this goal, in my khutbah I would first and foremost like to lament the twin bombings that killed 21 people and maimed 112 others during a Catholic Church service in the Philippines last Sunday 27 January 2019. Second, encourage all of us to utilize Interfaith Harmony week to reach out with compassion and benevolence to our friends, neighbours and compatriots who do not share our faith commitment.
Qur’an 22:39-40 and the Protection of Places of Worship
It might be expedient to begin by reflecting on two important verses from the Glorious Qur’an, Surah al-Hajj, Chapter 22, verses 39 and 40, in which Allah, the Lord of Compassionate Justice proclaims:
“Permission (to fight) is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged, and indeed God has the power to help those who have been unjustly expelled from their homelands, for merely saying, ‘God is our Lord’. if God had not permitted people to defend themselves against (the aggression of) others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and masajid – in all of which God’s name is abundantly extolled and glorified - would have been destroyed”.
Most certainly God will support those who support Him; for God is All-Mighty and All-Powerful.” (Q22:39-40)
According to the majority of the commentators of the Qur’an the above were the first revealed verses, which permitted Muslims to engage in armed combat (jihad al-qital). The famous classical commentators of the Qur’an Mahmud al-Zamakhshari (d. 1144) and Fakhruddin al-Razi (1210) concur that the above verses of the Qur’an were revealed only after the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s everlasting peace and blessings be upon him) and his earliest followers had emigrated to Madina, and only after more than seventy verses had previously prohibited them from defending themselves through armed combat. The above verses thus mark the change-over of the early Muslim community’s passive resistance campaign in the face of severe persecution from their enemies to that of armed defense. After the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his earliest followers had endured severe persecution for close to 15 years, fled their homelands, migrated to Madina only to be relentlessly pursued by their enemies, they were finally given permission by Allah, the Lord of Compassionate Justice, to defend themselves through armed combat. These verses clearly underscore the fact that Islam is quintessentially a religion of peace and only permits the use of violence as an absolute last resort and only for defense purposes (bi annuhum zulimu), i.e. if we are oppressed and denied our human rights and religious freedom and have exhausted all peaceful options for redress.
Moreover, it is interesting to note that the above verses provide precedence to the protection of monasteries (sawam`i) of the Christian monks, churches (biya’) and synagogues (salawat) of the Jews over that of masajid in order to underline their inviolability and the duty of Muslims to safeguard them against any desecration or abuse, and protect freedom of belief in general. The aim of fighting, according to the above Qur’anic imperative is not only the defense of Islam and its sacred places, masajid, but also for religious freedom in general and the places of worship of other religions in particular.
Lamenting the Philippines Church bombings
In light of this clear Qur’anic injunction, it is difficult to comprehend that a so-called Muslim group claimed responsibility for exploding a bomb during the middle of a Christian Church service at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu Island, in the Philippines, on Sunday January 27, 2019, killing 21 worshippers and maiming 112 others?
On this the first day of Interfaith Harmony Week we unequivocally condemn the latest atrocity aimed at sowing hatred and division between Christians and Muslims. As conscientious Muslims it is our responsibility to uphold the key Islamic tenets of social justice and dignity for all human beings, regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation. As Muslims we should never tire from asserting loudly and clearly that the heinous acts of murder and violence perpetrated by Da`ish, Abu Sayyaf and their ilk are dishonorable and betray any expression of faith in Islam. Their claim to act in the name of Islam is an aberration of our faith and we therefore unswervingly and emphatically proclaim “Not in Our Name.”
It is ironic that the Church bombings comes a week after a referendum in which the majority of people voted for the creation of a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, which will include all of the Sulu Province, including the capital city of Jolo. This historic peace agreement has been welcomed by the vast majority of Muslim groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and has ended a more than 70-year old struggle by the Bangsamoro Muslims in the southern Philippines for equality and full recognition of their cultural traditions and religious rights, since the inception of the Republic of the Philippines in July 4, 1946.
The perverted souls who committed this abomination are definitely not advancing their own political cause through evil means and neither do they bear witness to the ethico-moral values of Islam. In Islamic ethics the end does not justify the means. We call on the perpetrators to change their depraved methods of seeking redress for perceived injustices.
Redoubling our Efforts for Interfaith Harmony
I would like to conclude by calling on Muslims to redouble their efforts at reaching out in compassion and love to their Christian neighbours and people of all other faith traditions and of none. I once again commend the Islamic Society of Michiana for the wonderful work they have been doing in building good neighbourliness and interfaith harmony over close to two decades. We need to continue these important bridgebuilding efforts in the future and we need more congregants to come forward and strengthen the Islamic Center of Michiana because it is the local platform from which we can address both local as well as global challenges and contribute towards the shaping of a more peaceful and just world.
Prayers for the People of the Philippines
At this sacred hour of jumu`ah we send our condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of the Philippines. We make du`a that Allah, the Lord of Compassionate Justice, will console the victims and grant them a speedy recovery.
At this time difficult time in global interfaith relations let us pray for interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence. Please join me in a special supplication for global interfaith harmony:
IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, THE MOST MERCIFUL
O Lord of all Cultures and all Nations, bestow compassion on the human family; fill our hearts and minds with passion and determination to stem the tide of violence, bigotry, racism and
hatred; reunite us in bonds of love and compassion; and make us your instruments to deliver your Divine Compassion and Justice. We pray that wisdom will guide world leadership to fashion a more peaceful and just world order. O Lord of Compassion, if we forget you, do not forget us. We ask all of this in your most holy and beautiful names. Amin.