Responding to the Azaan of Jumu’ah – The Responsibility of Commanding with Good and Forbidding from Evil – Part Sixteen

During the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), whenever the Azaan would be called out, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) would immediately respond to the call. Even if they were engaged in their business transactions and dealings, they would respect the call of the Azaan by proceeding to the musjid for salaah.

Once, Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) visited the market. He noticed that on hearing the Azaan at the time of salaah, every person closed his business and hastened towards the musjid for salaah. Witnessing this spectacle, he remarked, “These are the people whom Allah Ta‘ala has praised in the Qur’aan Majeed saying:

‘(They are) men whom neither commerce nor trade distracts them from remembering Allah Ta‘ala, from performing salaah (in the musjid with jamaat) and from discharging zakaat. (This is due to the fact that) they fear a Day (of Judgement) wherein the hearts and eyes will (fearfully) turn about.’” (Surah Noor v. 37 – Tafseer Qurtubi 15/294)

When the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) would show so much of importance to responding to the azaan of the five daily salaah by performing them with jamaat in the musjid, then we can well imagine the great importance they showed to responding to the Azaan of Jumu’ah by hastening to the musjid.

The reason for this is that from all the salaah, the Jumu’ah Salaah holds the greatest importance in deen.

The Position of the Jumu’ah Salaah in Deen

Such is the great importance of the Jumu’ah Salaah that in the Qur’aan Majeed, a special command has been given for the believers to respond to the Azaan of Jumu’ah by coming early to the musjid. Allah Ta‘ala says:

O you who believe! When the call for salaah (i.e. the Azaan) is proclaimed on the Day of Jumu’ah, then hasten towards the remembrance of Allah Ta‘ala and leave out trade (and business). That is better for you, if you only knew.” (Surah Jumu’ah v. 9)

Another reason for the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) attaching extreme importance to coming early to the musjid for the Jumu’ah Salaah is that they had heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explain the great virtues for those who come early for the Jumu’ah Salaah.

Reward for Coming Early for the Jumu’ah Salaah

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The one who performs a ghusl like the ghusl of janaabah (i.e. he thoroughly cleans himself in the manner one cleans himself when performing ghusl from janaabah), and thereafter he proceeds for Jumu’ah Salaah in the first time slot (i.e there are fixed time slots by Allah Ta’ala for receiving these rewards), then he receives reward equivalent to the one who sacrifices a camel for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, and whoever proceeds for Jumu’ah Salaah in the second time slot, then he receives reward equivalent to the one who sacrifices a cow for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, and whoever proceeds for Jumu’ah Salaah in the third time slot, then he receives reward equivalent to the one who sacrifices a sheep which has horns for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, and whoever proceeds for Jumu’ah Salaah in the fourth time slot, then he receives reward equivalent to the one who gives a chicken in charity for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, and whoever proceeds for Jumu’ah Salaah in the fifth and final time slot, then he receives reward equivalent to the one who gives an egg in charity for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #881)

Apart from this, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) understood the importance of coming for the Jumu’ah as they had heard grave warnings from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) for those who do not come for the Jumu’ah Salaah.

Seal Placed on the Hearts of those who do not come for the Jumu’ah Salaah

Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar and Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) both report that on one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) addressed the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) from the mimbar and said, “Those people who leave out coming for Jumu’ah Salaah must certainly refrain from doing so, or else Allah Ta‘ala will definitely place a seal upon their hearts. Thereafter, they will certainly become from those who are negligent (i.e. on account of their hearts being sealed, they will begin to neglect their other deeni obligations and eventually become from the losers).” (Saheeh Muslim #865)

The Fuqahaa explain that on hearing the Azaan of Jumu’ah, one should immediately cease all business transactions and proceed to the musjid. If any person continues to engage in trade and business at that time, then he will be violating the abovementioned command of the Qur’aan Majeed and will thus be sinful.

The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) Competing with One Another in Coming Early to the Musjid for the Jumu’ah Salaah

Hazrat Alqamah (rahimahullah) the illustrious Taabi’ee and student of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), mentions the following incident, regarding Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). He says:

On one occasion, on the Day of Jumu’ah, I accompanied Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to the musjid for the Jumu’ah Salaah. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) left early for the musjid, but it was slightly later than his normal time to leave for the Jumu’ah.

Upon arriving at the musjid, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) found that three people had come to the musjid before him, and he was thus the fourth person to enter the musjid. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was overcome by sorrow and exclaimed, “I am the fourth person from the four, and how far indeed is the fourth person (From the reward of the first person)!”

Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thereafter explained the immense virtue for coming early to the musjid for the Jumu’ah Salaah. He said, “Indeed, I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mention, ‘On the Day of Qiyaamah, people will be seated in positions of honour and enjoy proximity by Allah Ta‘ala, according to the sequence in which they would arrive for the Jumu’ah Salaah; the first (to come for the Jumu’ah will be seated in the position of greatest honour by Allah Ta‘ala), and then the second, and then the third.”

After narrating this Hadith, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) again lamented his being the fourth person to arrive for the Jumu’ah saying, “I am the fourth person from the four, and how far indeed is the fourth person (From the reward of the first person)!” (Sunan Ibnu Maajah #1094)

May Allah Ta‘ala grant us the same spirit of upholding Deen which He granted the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

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