The Importance of Observing Jummah in our Recovery
For many non-Muslims living in the West, such as UK and USA, Friday signifies the end of the week and the start of the weekend. “You got that Friday feeling”. Everything, somehow seems a little less depressing. The stresses of the week begin to disappear. Talks culminate around the office about where people are going at the weekend, for drinks or clubs. The girls discuss what they will wear, excitement is in the air. The atmosphere is buzzing. For a Muslim in recovery from substances, we need to let Friday take on a new meaning. But there is no reason why we should stop buzzing, just how we buzz!
What is a buzz anyway? Compare the buzz of something haram – forbidden – to something that is halal – permissible in Islam. A scholar once said that when think about sinning like its something tasty and desirable but once we bite into it, we realise it is bitter and disgusting. We see worship as something distasteful but once we have bitten into it we realise how wonderfully tasty it is. As we work deeds of righteousness our hearts are filled with faith and we taste its sweetness. This is where the true buzz is. That spiritual high gained from submitting to Allah can not be compared to any haram buzz we have ever chased in this world.
As recovering addicts we must look for ways to create a structure into our lives. Recovery thrives on routine day in day out, week in week out. Unlike the monotony of addiction, living a spiritual life brings happy memories, good times and good companions. The weekly Jummah prayer will help us refocus each week and keep striving for betterment.
The Sunnah of Friday:
Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) narrated that that the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The five daily prayers and from one Jumu’ah to the next is an expiation for whatever sins come in between them, so long as one does not commit a major sin.”
As with all matters in Islam, we follow the guidance of the Prophet, pbuh, and try to emulate his way on the Day of Jummah by taking a bath. This is itself has a spiritual effect by uplifting us awakening the soul, preparing ourselves for the prayer. Men are encouraged to wear nice perfumes like musk. Traditional perfumes make us feel pure and connect to the Prophet, pbuh, who used to love perfumes. As we leave our homes, or places of work to join the congregation, we spot other Muslims who are on their way. We feel that vibe, a sense of connection with the ummah, a feeling of belonging. This lifts the mood and makes us feel the love of brotherhood and sisterhood. We give salam – greetings of peace- and smile at our Muslim family and earn rewards just for that.
The Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, said: “On the day of Jummah, the angels stand at the entrance of that Masjid in which Jummah salaat is to be offered. They write down the name of the person who enters the Masjid first, and thereafter the name of the person who follows, and they continue doing this. The person who entered first will receive the reward of sacrificing a camel in the path of Allah; the one who followed him will get the reward of sacrificing a cow, thereafter a chicken, thereafter the reward of giving an egg as charity in the path of Allah. Once the khutbah commences, the angels close the register and begin listening to the khutbah. “ (Bukhari and Muslim)
With this above hadith in mind, we must strive to get to the mosque as early as we can, to earn the most reward and try to sit in the front row. Punctuality is a great virtue and we must practice this. We should strive for the best. We must not be lazy for laziness gets in the way of punctuality. Being early will help us to practise another virtue that will help us in our recovery from sinfulness: PATIENCE! As we wait for the other worshipers to arrive, and for the Imam to begin his speech, we can sit quietly, contemplating and reflecting. This is a perfect time for us to perform Muhassaba (self reflection) and think about the week.
When the Imam stands to talk, we must listen hard. Choose a mosque that offers a speech in your own language so you can really benefit. This might be the only opportunity some of get this week to hear some advise about Islam, so we must really concentrate. The Prophet, pbuh, ordered his companions not to talk, not even to return someones Salam, and not to fidget or fiddle with things in our hands. We lose rewards if we do this.
As we stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Muslims and perform the prayer we feel the closeness of our Muslim family. Addiction and sinfulness can take us to isolated places. Attending Jummah prayers helps us to see familiar faces in the congregation and gives us an opportunity to meet Muslims who strive for a good life. This is a good time to make new friends and seek companionship that will help us to stay on The Straight Path.
What about the ladies?
The Prophet Muhammad ordered his companions to never prevent women from attending the mosque to pray, however, this is not always practical for a woman for different reasons. Sisters, we must make effort to pray our Friday Dhuhr prayer on time and spend more time on this prayer than we might do on others. Take time to think and reflect. And for those sisters who are unable to pray due to our monthly cycles we must also try to keep the Jummah vibe going by encouraging the men in our lives to get to the mosque early and we can perform other good deeds, like sitting quietly, reflecting and supplicating to Allah. Friday is a perfect time for making duah and asking for Allah’s Help.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “There is such an hour on Friday that if any Muslim makes dua in it, his dua will definitely be accepted.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
It is mostly revered that this hour falls between Asr prayer and Maghrib every Friday. We must try to seek this out, especially in the winter when time is short. As Friday night approaches, a difficult time for Muslims who sin, if we have spent the afternoon in dhikr we have put relapse prevention into place. By the time the evening comes around, the desire to engage in sinful activities will have passed us by.
Sending peace on the Prophet
It is highly recommended to send peace and blessings upon the Prophet,pbuh, on Fridays
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no one who sends salaams upon me, but Allaah will restore to me my soul so that I may return his salaams.”(Abi Dawood, 1795)
Each time we sent salam on the Prophet, pbuh, he sends ten back to us. We receive the prayers of him for us. How amazing is that? Are we not in need of his intervention?
Make it last
Now we have got that
Friday Jummah feeling; the natural buzz, a spiritual high, let us take that vibe with us right through the weekend. Make this the booster that we need that can see us through and help us stay clean and serene throughout the weekend and the week to come. As the Prophet, pbuh, said “Jummah is the Eid of the week” so lets keep it real.