Fruits for the Week

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The Prophet (saw) said: “The one who hears the call to prayer on Friday and does not come to it, Allah then will put a seal on his heart and make his heart the heart of a hypocrite.” (Baihaqi). 

The life of the heart can only be sustained by the regular worship of Allah. Consistent disobedience, on the other hand, slowly strips the heart of its virtues until it kills it. Disobedience builds a dark wall around the heart that shuts out the light of the truth.

Friday is the most important day of the week, Friday prayer is pivotal on that day. As the weekly Eid, Friday presents us with great rewards and opportunities for forgiveness throughout the day. We bathe, dress up, and men put perfume on before heading to the prayer, much like we do on the two annual Eids. Allah wants our Friday experience to be unlike the rest of the days of the week, and we should take care to make it so.

Eid is tied to the worship of Allah. Eids in Islam follow great worship (Ramadhan and Hajj) and include great worship in them (Eid prayers, Friday prayer, accepted supplication, forgiveness of sins). Eid in Islam is built on a unique theory and understanding of happiness. Festivals all possess a cause: why the day is special and why people are happy. The source of happiness in all the Islamic festivals is nearer to Allah. All other reasons that produce happiness on Eid (food, new clothes, and gifts) are expressions and experiences that flow from the main cause; they are secondary to the main cause of celebration.

Eid in Islam is not meaningless fun but recognition of the gifts of Allah that fill the heart with joy. Having fun and halal entertainment springs from this joy. This is why every Eid has a prayer and khutbah in it. Our Eid combines the benefits of the Hereafter and this world, piety and fun. 

Allah has blessed us with the Friday prayer and khutbah. It is the weekly session where we are asked to sit and learn as part of our worship of Allah. It is a weekly dose of reminders to stay on the path and not stray. And Allah made it compulsory to attend for men, so the community never stops learning and never strays too far from remembering Allah. The hearts dry up when they are not watered by Allah’s reminders

Allah (swt) said: “Hasn’t the time come for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by Allah’s reminder and the revealed truth, and not be like those who received the Scripture before, where a long time had passed for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were disobedient to Allah.” (Al-Hadid: 16)

When we are distant from Allah’s reminders, we lose our resistance to Satan and are sucked deeper into this world; we become the prisoners of our desires and its slaves. Friday prayer is this weekly lifesaver that keeps us from drowning in this world. The Prophet (saw) said: “Either some people will stop missing the Friday prayers or Allah will seal their hearts and they will be among the heedless.” (Muslim)

The life of the heart depends on the Friday prayer. The one who abandons this prayer does so out of disregard for what Allah deems important and significant. This attitude gradually kills their iman, religious practice and commitment. The Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever misses three Fridays out of negligence, Allah will place a seal over his heart.” (Abu Dawud)

The problem here is the disregard for what Allah loves and commands. When one does not care anymore, they will leave more and more of what Allah loves. When the neglect reached the level of missing three consecutive Fridays, the reservoir of Iman will have dried up. This is what causes the seal on the heart, hypocrisy, and heedlessness. Without the desire for iman, one will drift further away from Allah until they forsake all of Islam. This will help us understand what Ibn Abbas (ra) said: “Whoever misses Friday, three consecutive Fridays, has forsaken Islam behind his back.” 

Disobedience of Allah starts slow but builds up with time. And when it does, it moves to demolish the entire faith structure. Attending the Friday prayer, with observance of its sunnah and etiquettes, keeps us close to Allah (swt).

(Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim)