The Importance of Friday Prayer according to a prominent Scholar:
The Late Ayatullah Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Najafi, a great Shia scholar of this century from the Indian sub-continent, used to lament at the laxity of some Shi`ahs in attending the Jumua’h prayers. In the 1950’s, he published supplements entitled “PAYGHAME NAJAFI” wherein on several occasions he reminded the believers of the Indian sub-continent about the significance and necessity of attending Salaatul-Jumua’h.
In a lengthy message (Paygham #94, dated 29 Jan. 1954) titled “Negligence of Friday Prayers is like being Negligent of the Qur’an and the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.),” Ayatullah Najafi begins by saying that the Holy Prophet emphasized the establishing of al-Jumuah in a way which is not found for any of the daily prayers.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hf) has said:
“Salaat of Jumuah is like performing Hajj for the poor; every Friday there is Hajj and `Umrah for you and to wait for `Asr prayers is like `Umrah; to a Mu’min who goes for Salaat-ul-Jumua’h, Allah will lighten for him the fear on the Day of Judgment, and will instruct that the Mu’min be sent to Jannat. Whosoever forsakes, without any excuse, the Friday prayers for three consecutive Fridays, Allah stamps on his heart the seal of hypocrisy.”
Imam `Ali (a.s.) has said:
“I guarantee that God will send to Jannat six kinds of people – one of them is the one who goes for the Friday prayers; when he dies, he goes to Jannat.”
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said,
“For every step taken towards the Friday prayers, God forbids the fire of Hell for him”
(Ref. Al-islam.org, Subject: [‘Aalim Network QR] Salaatul Jumuah (Friday Prayer)
In Shia-Ithna-Ashari school, in the absence of the Purified Imam of the time, Jumuah Congregational Prayer is “Wajib-e-Takhyeeri,” which means that if all the requirements are in place, one should offer Jumua’h congregational prayer, which takes the place of Zuhr prayer.
Otherwise, one should offer Zuhr prayer.
Conclusion. The blessings and rewards of congregational salaat, and especially Salaatul Jumuah, in the light of the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the sayings of Imams are such that not taking advantage of it is a great loss indeed for the believer.
Let us pray in the words taught by Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.)
“And give me the grace to be regular in my performance of the Friday prayers and to win such of Your bounties as You will award to its deserving observers on the Day of Judgment.” (Sahifa-e-Sajjadia)
Compiled by: Syed H. Akhtar