I seek refuge with Allaah, from satan the oucast;
With the name of Allaah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

The sermon on Friday.

There is no mention in Qur-aan about any sermon to be given on Friday. But so much importance has been given in our religious books about this sermon that as though if this sermon is not given, the Zuhr swalaah is not prayed on Friday. Had this sermon on Friday been such an important or necessary act, Allaah would have certainly mentioned it in Qur-aan, in which a chapter (Surah) has been named "Jumu'ah". But that very act, which is considered the exclusive act of Friday, does not find a mention in that Surah (or elsewhere in Qur-aan).

Allaah says in that Surah :

" O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the day of congregation), hasten unto remembrance of Allaah and leave trading. That is better for you if you knew." (62:9)

"And when the prayer is finished, then disperse in the land and seek of Allaah's bounty, and remember Allaah much, that you may be successful." (62:10)

Allaah orders that when the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday, hasten unto (or make efforts towards) the remembrance of Allaah and leave trading ; that is better for us if we knew.

Our books take the meaning of "remembrance of Allaah" as "sermon". In Surah Ta-ha. verse No. 14, Allaah says : " and establish prayer for My remembrance." Therefore, the meaning of "remembrance of Allaah" will be taken here as "prayer".

Even the purpose of being called unto is given as prayer : " When the call is proclaimed to prayer" and the act before dispersing in the land is also given as prayer : "And when the prayer is finished, then disperse in the land...". No other act has been indicated. Because it makes no sense that the call is towards one act and we have to do another act. An example of what has been said in the verse is like this: " When the call is given for the studies, run towards the lessons". These two words indicate one and the same thing and explain one another.

But taking the meaning of "remembrance of Allaah" as "sermon" is as if somebody saying :
"The meaning of Lessons is Lunch and therefore the meaning of the sentence is: When you are called towards the Lessons, run towards Lunch and when the Lessons are over, go out."

After they give the interpretation of "remembrance of Allaah" as "sermon", when we listen to most of the sermons in our areas, we come to know that in those sermons there is less mention of Allaah and more mention of those other than Allaah. The mention of poets and reciting of their poetry, the mention of the sayings and happenings to the elders of one's own division (firqah), etc. And then without the mention of the successors of the prophet and some of his companions (peace on them), our sermons are considered incomplete. Obviously, the prophet would not have mentioned these names, while they do so calling it a tradition of the prophet (peace on him).

Two adzaans (calls for prayer) are given instead of one and then it is told to us that the adzaan mentioned in Qur-aan is the second one, which is given when the khateeb (the priest) mounts the pulpit. Qur-aan tells us to discontinue trade when the call for prayer is given. The assumption is that at that time we will be in the market or office buying and selling merchandise. So we are being asked to discontinue the trade. The purpose of inventing a second adzaan and then saying that the Qur-aan refers to the second adzaan is to encourage us to do the trade even after hearing the one and the only adzaan which the Qur-aan mentions.

The sermons are also two. Sermon one and sermon two. In between them, the sermonizer sits down on the pulpit for a brief while and then gets up to deliver the second sermon.

The purpose of this act of sitting is done to deride the following verse of Surah Jumu'ah, in which Allaah says :

" But when they see some trade or pastime, they disperse towards it and leave you standing. Say: That which is with Allaah is better than pastime and than trade, and Allaah is the Best of providers." (62:11)

The derision is done by sitting for a while, to say that while the prophet's companions had left him standing and they went towards trade or pastime, he sat down during that time.

"They left you standing"; even with these words the tradition of the prophet having given sermons on Friday is not established. Because leaving him standing could only refer to the prayer, because Qur-aan mentions only the prayer.

The pulpit of the sermonizer is made of three or more stairs and he holds in his hand a staff (stick - 'asaa). The ridicule hidden behind this act is actually that of verse No.38 of Surah Al-Qasas :

"And Fir'aon said: O chiefs! I know not that you have a god other than me, so kindle for me (a fire), O Haamaan, to bake the mud; and set up for me a lofty tower in order that I may survey the God of Moosa ; and indeed I deem him of the liars." (28:38)

There should be something to enact the idea of Fir'aon; so a few stairs are constructed inside the mosque. And who is this person who surveys after mounting the stairs? He can be identified from his staff (stick or rod) : He is Moosa (peace upon him).

How many an act they get us to do, calling them the tradition of our prophet (peace upon him), which actually consist of an insult of Allaah's words.

Perhaps that explains why they attach so much importance to the sermon, as though it is the word of Allaah.

The Hadeeths attributed to the prophet say:
1. "When the sermonizer starts his sermon, listen to it quietly, so that you may receive mercy". (competition with the verse 7:204).
2. "The person who talks after the sermonizer has started his sermon, is like an ass on whom books have been laden." (competition with the verse 62:5).

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