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So, I've lived in enough Muslim countries to understand that Friday and Saturday are, in fact, the closest thing there is to a weekend in the US (which would normally be Saturday and Sunday), but what I don't understand is why Muslim services are on Friday?

To be clear, I understand that Saturday is almost universally held as the end of Creation, and the original "Day of Rest." I understand that is why Jews (and some Christian denominations) celebrate their services on Saturday. I understand that in Christianity, however, the "Day of Rest" was celebrated on the day after the Sabbath, celebrating the Resurrection.

What motivated Islam to make Friday, rather than Saturday, its High Holy day of the week?

  • +1 good question - it's also worth noting that the idea of God needing rest from fatigue is contrary to the Qur'an: "And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six Days and nothing of fatigue touched Us." – Ansari Sep 21 '12 at 22:06
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The Friday holds importance in Islam for many reasons. We call Friday Al-Jumu'ah because it is derived from Al-Jam', literally meaning "gathering". That is when Muslims gather in places of worship for prayer, weekly. Following are some of the important events associated with Friday:

  • It was a Friday when Allah finished the creation, with the creation of Adam (alayhi salam).

  • Ironically, it was a Friday when Adam (alayhi salam) was taken out of the heaven.

  • It will be on a Friday that the Last Hour will commence.

Apart from this, there is a hour on Friday when if a Muslim prays and asks Allah for something, He will definitely meet his demands.

To answer the question, why Friday was chosen for prayer specifically for Muslims- We believe that Friday was the chosen day for prayer also for the other nations before Muslims i.e. for the nation of Moses (alayhi salam) and the nation of Jesus (alayhi salam). But they were led astray from it.

It is narrated by Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said:

It was Friday from which Allah diverted those who were before us. For the Jews (the day set aside for prayer) was Sabt (Saturday), and for the Christians it was Sunday. And Allah turned towards us and guided us to Friday (as the day of prayer) for us. In fact, He (Allah) made Friday, Saturday and Sunday (as days of prayer). In this order would they (Jews and Christians) come after us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last of (the Ummahs) among the people in this world and the first among the created to be judged on the Day of Resurrection. In one narration it is: ', to be judged among them".

  • So, just so I'm interpreting this correctly - Muslims chose Friday in order to show the order in which the various people of the Book will enter into paradise, no? (And thanks, btw!) – Affable Geek Sep 21 '12 at 22:36
  • @AffableGeek Umm..no. Muslims didn't choose Friday. Allah fixed friday for us because it was originally intended for jews and christians as well. Also, it is because the end of creation was on a friday. – Abdullah Sep 22 '12 at 6:15
  • @AffableGeek The order of judgement is just a consequence of the jews and christians not taking friday as their day of prayer. – Abdullah Sep 22 '12 at 6:16
  • Understood, and thanks for the clarification. Sometimes I find hadiths harder to understand than the literature I'm used to reading. Thanks! – Affable Geek Sep 23 '12 at 12:24

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