Imagine the greatness and virtue of a day which according to authentic Ahaadith is:
The greatest of all days in the sight of Allah Ta‘ala. (Tirmizi #491)
Aadam (Alayhis salaam) was created on that day, entered into Jannah on the same day and also came down to earth on that very day. (Tirmizi #491)
It is blessed with such a moment that any Dua made therein is certainly accepted. (Tirmizi #491)
A person who passes away on this day is saved from the punishment of the grave. (Tirmizi #1074)
The day that encompasses all these virtues and such tremendous significance is the Day of Jumu‘ah (Friday). It is due to this special significance that the day of Jumu‘ah is among the shi‘aar of Islam (distinguishing signs by which Islam or a Muslim is identified). To respect the shi‘aar of Islam is to respect Islam itself while disregarding the shi‘aar of Islam brings severe consequences in this world and the Hereafter.
Preparing in Advance
The greatest ‘Ibadah on a Friday is Salaatul Jumu‘ah. Jumu‘ah Salaah is compulsory on every baaligh (adult) male (unless excused by Shariah due to severe illness, etc.) Due to the very special status of Jumu‘ah Salaah, we have been encouraged to prepare for it in advance, from Thursday evening. Among the preparations for Jumu‘ah is recitation of Durood Shareef in abundance, clipping one’s nails, taking a bath, wearing one’s best clothes, applying Itr (scent), etc.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “On Friday the angels stand at the door of the Musjid and note down, in order of arrival, the names of those who come early … When the Imaam proceeds towards the pulpit, the angels roll up their scrolls and listen to the Khutbah.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #929)
This hadeeth draws our attention to two aspects; the importance of going early for Jumu‘ah Salaah as well as the harm of going late. Once the Imaam proceeds to the Mimbar for the Khutbah, the angels stop recording the names of those who come later. Thus the one who comes after the Imaam proceeds for the Khutbah are, so to say, marked absent by the angels. Therefore, at the latest, upon commencement of the first Azaan everything must stop and one must immediately hasten directly to the Musjid.
Together with the virtues of Jumu‘ah Salaah, dire warnings have been sounded for neglecting Jumu‘ah Salaah. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) is reported to have said, “The one who leaves out three Jumu‘ahs due to neglect, Allah Ta‘ala will seal his heart (thus he will be deprived of the ability to do good actions).” (Tirmizi #500).
Therefore no Jumu‘ah Salaah should be missed without a valid shar‘ee reason.
It should be noted that missing Jumu‘ah Salaah due to school is not excusable at all. Proper arrangements should be made to attend Jumu‘ah Salaah on time. If this is not possible at all, one should move to another school. It is extremely tragic that many Muslim learners often miss the Jumu‘ah Salaah due to classes.
May Allah Ta‘ala enable us to give due importance to the day of Jumu‘ah and may He protect our Imaan, Ameen.