The way we observe the Contact Prayers has been guarded and preserved by God even though He didn't state the details in Quran. Quran teaches that the Contact Prayers and all other worshiping practices for Submitters were in existence before Quran and were initially delivered and practiced by Abraham (2:127-130, 2:132, 4:125, 22:78).
Afterwords, Muhammad delivered Quran which confirms all the existing rituals since Abraham. Quran commanded Muhammad to be a strict follower of the religion of Abraham (16:123). The word "Millat," used in 16:123 means "what a religion brings" in the Arabic language. Muhammad obeyed the command and followed the rites that had been practiced since Abraham.
We, thus, learn that our Contact Prayers were only confirmed in Quran. Quran dealt with whatever got tempered with since Abraham for the Contact Prayers to be purified and preserved for Submitters. The elements that were dealt with in Quran are limited to the tone we use for prayer (17:110), the basic steps of ablution and dry ablution (5:6), shortening the prayers and praying at war (4:101-102), praying under unusual circumstances (2:239), the times or names of our five daily contact prayers (24:58, 17:78, 2:238,11:114), how we must observe them regularly and within their designated time frames (70:34, 4:103), and the command of giving the utmost importance to the Friday Congregational Contact Prayer (62:9-11). Any details concerning our Contact Prayers that are not mentioned in Quran have been guarded and preserved and this is logically why they didn't get to be repeated in Quran.
Then, few hundred years after Muhammad's departure, Muslims started to inject their idol worshiping beliefs into the Contact Prayers, and they have been explicitly violating 72:18 and 7:29 since then, dedicating their Contact Prayers to their idols besides God. Following the divine system of purifying and preserving our rites, God has sent a messenger, Rashad, after a period of time, who purified and reconfirmed our Contact Prayers to be devoted absolutely to God alone (5:19, 33:7, 3:81). We are to immensely be appreciative of that.
God has defined contacting Him by the word Al-Salah or الصَّلَوةُ , translated as "the Contact Prayer". This word means "direct contact or getting in direct touch with" in Arabic language. When God refers to contacting Him, He always uses this word defined by one of the most powerful grammatical tools of definition, Al or ال or the. Besides the distinction it makes between the rite and command of contacting God and the casual praying or imploring one could do any time, any where, and in any manner, this defining tool, the/ال, assures us that the Contact Prayer/ Al-Salah/ الصَّلَوةُ is an already existing, well-known worshiping practice or rite that is much older than Quran and Muhammad. The Command of observing Al-Salah/ الصَّلَوةُ was first revealed to Muhammad as early as the 3rd revelation, in chapter 73 (73:20).
Friday Congregational Prayer, Salat Al- Jumu'ah, is one of THE Contact Prayers that follows the same above system of inheritance, preservation, and confirmation. In chapter 62, titled as Al-Jumu'ah, or "Congregating", God has highlighted its utmost importance knowing that its details have been correctly preserved and inherited since Abraham. It has been confirmed by the message in Quran, then purified and re-confirmed by Rashad. Friday Congregational Prayer is also referred by God as the Contact Prayer/ Al-Salah/ الصَّلَوةُ to deliver the fact that it is one among all the other Contact Prayers He decreed. It is to be observed weekly in a gathering of believers/submitters. In the following three verses of chapter 62, please note:
- the rite is titled as Al-Salah/ الصَّلَوةُ / the Contact Prayer (62:9, 62:10)
- the rite is a procedure that has a beginning and an end (فَإِذَا قُضِيَتْ الصَّلَوة ,(62:10
- the rite is of great importance and is to be given our utmost attention (62:9-11)
- the rite serves the same most important objective of all Contact Prayers given in 29:45 and 24:36-37 which is remembering and commemorating God (62:9)
[62:9] O you who believe, when the Congregational Prayer (Salat Al-Jumu`ah) is announced on Friday, you shall hasten to the commemoration of God, and drop all business. This is better for you, if you only knew. يَايُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُوا إِذَا نُودِي لِلصَّلَوةِ مِنْ يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
[62:10] Once the prayer is completed, you may spread through the land to seek God's bounties, and continue to remember God frequently, that you may succeed. فَإِذَا قُضِيَتْ الصَّلَوةُ فَانتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
[62:11] When some of them come across a business deal, or some entertainment, they rush to it and leave you standing! Say, "What God possesses is far better than the entertainment or the business. God is the best Provider." وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَرَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا قُلْ مَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ اللَّهْوِ وَمِنْ التِّجَرَةِ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَّزِقِينَ
Here are the verses that spell out the most important objective of all Contact Prayers:
[29:45] You shall recite what is revealed to you of the scripture, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), for the Contact Prayers prohibit evil and vice. But the remembrance of God (through Salat) is the most important objective. God knows everything you do. اتْلُ مَا أوحِيَ إلَيْكَ مِنْ الْكِتَبِ وَأقِمْ الصَّلَوةَ إنَّ الصَّلَوةَ تَنْهَى عَنْ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أكْبَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ
[24:36] (God's guidance is found) in houses exalted by God, for His name is commemorated therein. Glorifying Him therein, day and night - فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْاءصَالِ
[24:37] People who are not distracted by business or trade from commemorating God; they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they are conscious of the day when the minds and the eyes will be horrified. رِجَالٌ لَا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَرَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَوةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَوةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَرُ
While trying to gather the criteria that we must follow to observe the Friday Congregational Prayer as preserved and re-confirmed to us, reverencing the rites decreed by God stands out in a striking and conclusive effect:
[22:30] Those who reverence the rites decreed by God have deserved a good reward at their Lord. All livestock is made lawful for your food, except for those specifically prohibited for you. You shall avoid the abomination of idol worship, and avoid bearing false witness. ذَلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ حُرُمَتِ اللَّهِ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ وَأُحِلَّتْ لَكُمْ الْأَنْعَمُ إِلَّا مَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنْ الْأَوْثَنِ وَاجْتَنِبُوا قَوْلَ الزُّورِ
[22:32] Indeed, those who reverence the rites decreed by God demonstrate the righteousness of their hearts. ذَلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعئِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ
[23:1] Successful indeed are the believers; قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
[23:2] who are reverent during their Contact Prayers (Salat). الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَشِعُونَ
How do we possibly reverence the rite of Friday Congregational Contact Prayer?
- drop all business and hasten to remember God (62:9-11, 24:36-37)
- fight against all forms of distraction (62:9-11, 24:36-37). Commonsense would and should dictate to us what would distract us from remembering and commemorating God during (62:9) and after (62:10) the Jumu'ah Prayer. Friday Congregational Prayer is NOT a social function or an entertaining show to be put together by talented men who have linguistic or humorous presenting skills. Not at all. It is a rite decreed by God to gather as a community to commemorate Him and to deliver and ensure His truth and judgment using the language of His guidance, the most eloquent of all languages.
- because of the great importance emphasized by God of this weekly congregation and how it would have an impact on the health and well-being of a community, we must strive in God's cause with our time, effort, and knowledge to prepare the Friday sermons (2 khubah). The sermons should promote the valuable teachings of Quran and fully conform with the ethics of Quran. They should serve the community to prosper through the reminders and lessons of Quran. Submitters get inspired by well-prepared sermons and they also get charged with all positive energy when an effort is made to remind with the wisdom of Quran.
[33:70] O you who believe, reverence God and utter only the correct utterances. يَأيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا
[39:23] God has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for God's message. Such is God's guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided). As for those sent astray by God, nothing can guide them. اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَبًا مُتَشَبِهًا مَثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ
[6:51] And preach with this (Quran) to those who reverence the summoning before their Lord - they have none beside Him as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor - that they may attain salvation. وَأَنذِرْ بِهِ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْ يُحْشَرُوا إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِهِ وَلِيٌّ وَلَا شَفِيعٌ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ
[6:70] You shall disregard those who take their religion in vain, as if it is a social function, and are totally absorbed in this worldly life. Remind with this (Quran), lest a soul may suffer the consequences of its evil earnings. It has none beside God as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor. If it could offer any kind of ransom, it would not be accepted. They suffer the consequences of the evil works they earn; they have incurred hellish drinks, and a painful retribution because of their disbelief. وَذَرِ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا دِينَهُمْ لَعِبًا وَلَهْوًا وَغَرَّتْهُمْ الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا وَذَكِّرْ بِهِ أَنْ تُبْسَلَ نَفْسٌ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ لَيْسَ لَهَا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيٌّ وَلَا شَفِيعٌ وَإِنْ تَعْدِلْ كُلَّ عَدْلٍ لَا يُؤْخَذْ مِنْهَا أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ أُبْسِلُوا بِمَا كَسَبُوا لَهُمْ شَرَابٌ مِنْ حَمِيمٍ وَعَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْفُرُونَ
[50:45] We are fully aware of everything they utter, while you have no power over them. Therefore, remind with this Quran, those who reverence My warnings. نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِجَبَّارٍ فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْءانِ مَنْ يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ
- as preserved and confirmed to us, we do not talk or eat while contacting God throughout the entire 4 units (two sermons and two rak'ats). Eating and talking could be a source of distraction from remembering and commemorating God. The time we align ourselves in rows to finish our prayer by observing the last two units is part of the whole procedure which has a beginning and an end (62:10). It was never confirmed to us that this time is to be used for greetings, hugging, joking, or exchanging comments about the sermons we received or about our attires and new haircuts. The only intermission we have is between the first two units and this time is dedicated to repenting to God almighty.
- having a prayer leader for a group means that this leader will recite the Prayer in a moderate tone, and the rest will listen. It is very distracting to hear the whispers of all attendees trying to recite the prayer separately and at different speeds, tones, and accents.
- saying "praise be to God, and I bear witness that there is only one God " before each sermon/khutbah is a basic utterance that has been preserved and confirmed. The same applies to reciting the "athan" (call for prayer) before starting the last two rak'ats. Logically, such call gets our attention to get up and align to observe the last two units.
- be on time (4:103)
- dress nicely (7:31), and when we dress up, we must remember and include our best garment (7:26).
In conclusion, the Friday Congregational Prayer is one of the Contact Prayers decreed by God. Referred to as the Contact Prayer/ Al-Salah/ الصَّلَوةُ, it follows the same divine system of inheritance, preservation, and confirmation of all Contact Prayers. It also follows the same criteria of all other Contact Prayers, and it serves the same most important objective of contacting God, remembrance of God.. We are commanded to give it our utmost attention. When we gather to remember and commemorate God, commonsense dictates for us what would constitute a distraction. The Friday Congregational Contact Prayer is an opportunity to express our reverence to God and His rites. There are many criteria to be followed to validate our reverence. The Friday Congregation Contact Prayer is given a great importance in Quran due to the impact it could have on the health of believing communities. It is a weekly event to gather around the proven word of God and ensure the judgment of the divine truth. It is our obligation as a community of submitters to properly pass it down to our kids and fight any kind of innovations that would tamper with what we have witnessed as the purified and confirmed format of observance.
For more details about what has been witnessed to be the purified and confirmed format, please review: How to observe the Contact Prayer (Salah)
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.