One of the many blessings of our faith is that there is always a special day in our week where we can earn divine points and push ourselves to boost our productivity: the day of Jumu’ah (or our mini-Eid!), which bears so many opportunities to reap rewards.
The Prophet Muhammad said:
“Whoever takes a bath on a Friday and does it well, and purifies himself and does it well, and puts on his best clothes, and puts on whatever Allah decrees for him of the perfume of his family, then comes to the mosque and does not engage in idle talk or separate (pushing between) two people; he will be forgiven for (his sins) between that day and the previous Friday.” [Sunan Ibn Majah].
Yet, so often I meet sisters, professionals and mothers who find it a battle to be able to have a smooth Friday routine where they can get the best out of this rewarding day.
In this article, we look at a suggested routine for your Friday (which you can adjust according to your local timings for sunrise, sunset, work, school, etc.) to help overcome some of the common challenges many sisters face, either at home or at the mosque. For our sisters who are blessed enough to have Friday as a day off (as is the case in most Muslim countries), you can still follow this routine, but of course you won’t have to factor in work or school runs! Instead, take this extra time to complete any important to-dos, but plan your day around the precious events of the day of Jumu’ah.
At dawn – Wake up for Fajr
06:30 – Recite Surat al-Kahf (at least first and last ten verses if you’re pressed for time)
07:30 – Shower and eat breakfast
08:30 – Get kids off to school or get ready for work
09:00 – Leave or arrive for work or complete household duties/tasks on to-do list
10:00 – Pray two rak’ah Salatul Duha and go back to work or other duties
12:30 – Put on your nice Friday outfit
At Dhuhr time – Head to masjid (avoid using a pram if mosque has little space) or prepare a quiet space at home
13:00 – 14:00 – Jumu’ah at mosque or Dhuhur at home in a quiet room
14:00 – 15:00 – Lunch with family or with the local sisters; or head back to work; or school run
Last hour before Maghrib – Make du’a during the hour of assured acceptance or sa’at istijabah (fit in Surat al-Kahf if you haven’t read it yet)
After Maghrib salah – Family time for reflection on Friday sermon
Of course, with hectic work schedules, kids and never-ending household chores, the day is not always this smooth. Here are my tips to make your Jumu’ah blessed and enjoyable:
1. Dump the bags, be bag-lite
Quite often, I have seen sisters take their shopping bags with them to Jumu’ah and it takes up lots of space that could otherwise be used for prayer. Try your best to go to the masjid ‘bag-lite’. When I go to the mosque, I try to take a small bag with only a few essentials. I also keep my shoes in a carrier bag, which makes it quick and easy for me to slip out after Jumu’ah instead of trying to find my shoes in that rush after prayer and avoid losing time especially when I have to go back to the office on a Friday afternoon.
2. Get the kids ready
We love to bring our children to the masjid to pray on Fridays to show them great examples of community and sisterhood, and expose them to good environments. However, children, especially when they begin to understand right from wrong, should be taught about the special ‘etiquettes’ they need to have in the mosque. Of course, children can inevitably cause disturbance, so teaching them masjid etiquette early will lead to a peaceful Jumu’ah for you and for others. They should even be treated with a gift for their good behaviour, so it instills a sense of excitement for the upcoming Jumu’ah. Additionally, as much as you are encouraged to bring the kids to the mosque, plan your trip beforehand or if suitable, gain the reward of praying at home, especially if your local masjid does not have the facility of a ‘women with children’ section.
Remember, sisters have the luxury of Jumu’ah not being an obligation for them as it was narrated that the Prophet Muhammad said:
“The Friday prayer in congregation is a necessary duty for every Muslim, with four exceptions; a slave, a woman, a boy, and a sick person.” [Al-Albani].
3. Fit in Surat Al-Kahf
There are many virtues and lessons to be gained from Surat Al-Kahf.
The Prophet Muhammad said:
Mums and working sisters may find it easier to ensure they recite the Qur’an in the early morning before the kids are up, or the manic work to-dos during the day pile up. Use this time to also reflect on your week and use it to spiritually boost you through to the next Friday. For sisters who are menstruating, you can still benefit from the next two tips.
4. Use the last hour for dua
That last hour before Maghrib on a Friday is very important as it is known as a time when duas are accepted (sa’at istijabah).
The Messenger of Allah said: “Friday is twelve hours in which there is no Muslim slave who asks Allah for something but He will give it to him, so seek it in the last hour after ‘Asr.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i].
So, plan your most desired duas and get away from the desk or kitchen for 10-15 minutes to ask Allah for all your needs during this precious time.
5. Have a special family Friday night
Finally, the end of the week is an opportunity for all the family to come together and catch up, especially as the week may go by with everyone being busy. After Maghrib salah is a good chance to reflect on the messages heard by your family members during the khutbah; it may even be that various members of your family went to different mosques and heard different messages, so this is a great chance to share these important gems with each other.
Remember, there are many other recommended sunan acts that sisters can perform during the blessed day of Jumu’ah, whether or not you can pray. These include having a bath, removing hair from the body and cutting nails, wearing your best clothes, using miswaak and abundant salawaat upon the Prophet Muhammad . In particular, incorporate salawaat as soon as you wake up, up until Maghrib, by uttering the words under your breath throughout the day. There are innumerable virtues of salawaat and some easy salawaat to recite are:
1) Saying “salAllahu alaihi wa sallam” after mention of his name.
2) Reciting “Allahumma salli wa sallim ‘alaa Nabiyyina Muhammad (O Allah send Your praise, prayers and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad ), recommended as part of your daily morning and evening adhkaar.
3) Reciting “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin, wa ‘ala ‘ali Muhammadin, kama sallaita ‘ala ‘ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid. Allahumma barik ‘ala Muhammadin, wa ‘ala ‘ali Muhammadin, kama barakta ‘ala ‘ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid. (O Allah, exalt the mention of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you exalted the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious.)” [Al Bukhari and Muslim].
So these are the top tips to incorporate into your Friday routine, making it a blessed and productive day In sha Allah. Share your thoughts below and any other tips that work for you!