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Jumu’ah Woes

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frustrated.jpgDisclaimer: I wrote this long before the Ummah Films vid came out! So don’t accuse me of being a copycat! :P

Ah, Jumu’ah – the best day of the week, when we all dress up in our very spiffiest best, and traipse off to the Jumu’ah salaah, where we hope to benefit from the knowledge of the khateeb and leave feeling really good, not to mention having the sins between one Jumu’ah and the next wiped out, insha’Allah. Yes, Jumu’ah is without a doubt the awesomest day of the week, the day Allah blessed as our weekly ‘Eid, the day in which Allah showers us with His Mercy even more than usual, and who is more merciful than Allah, ar-Rahman, ar-Raheem?
Unfortunately, some things occur on Jumu’ah that sort of spoil the day for us, which really sucks. For example, I’m sure we’ve all experienced going to Jumu’ah, but not being able to properly listen to the Khutbah because of people talking. It could even be YOU doing the talking (oooooh, naughty, naughty!). Generally, this problem is greater amongst the women – and I’m not being sexist; it’s true. Besides, I’m a female too, so there.

Anyway, this problem is common, where people arrive in the middle of the khutbah, but instead of quietly going to one side and paying attention to the khateeb (after praying Tahiyyatul-Masjid, if you’re attending a Masjid proper rather than just a musallah), some people insist on going around and making salaam to every single person in the room. Most people respond to the salaam, but there are some who will not reply the salaam, but remain silent. In that case, the one who is initiating the salaam either thinks something is wrong with that person, and proceeds to stick their hands in that person’s face or shakes that person until they react, or gets offended and leaves in a huff.

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For those who get offended or feel insulted when someone does not respond to the salaam, please don’t be. Chances are that the other person knows that talking during the khutbah is haraam, while you may not.

You see, there are certain etiquettes of Jumu’ah, among which is not talking during the khutbah. This prohibition is absolute, and means that you can’t talk at all, not even to give or respond to the salaam, which is usually waajib and a right of one Muslim over the other. However, the obligation to respond to the salaam is temporarily suspended here, as it is during the salaah, in which it is also forbidden to speak.

It was narrated that Abu’l-Darda’ said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat on the minbar and addressed the people, and he recited a verse. Ubayy ibn Ka’b was next to me, so I said to him: “O Ubayy, when was this verse revealed?” But he refused to speak to me, so I asked him again and he refused to speak to me, until the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came down (from the minbar). Then Ubayy said to me: “You have gained nothing from your Jumu’ah except idle talk.” When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had finished (the prayer), I went to him and told him (what had happened). He said: “Ubayy was right. When you hear your imam speaking, then keep quiet and listen attentively until he has finished.” Narrated by Ahmad, 20780; Ibn Maajah, 1111; classed as saheeh by al-Busayri and al-Albaani in Tamaam al-Mannah, p. 338.
As we can see, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) here forbids talking in general. This is clearly understood. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
It is haraam to give salaams during the Friday khutbah, so it is not permissible for one who enters the mosque whilst the imam is delivering the khutbah to give salaams, and it is also haraam to return the greeting. (Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 16/100)

However, there are also some people, whom, when addressed by someone else, tell that person to be quiet and listen. This, too, is forbidden, as realized from the following Hadith:
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If you say to your companion when the imam is preaching on Friday, ‘Be quiet and listen,’ you have engaged in idle talk.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 892; Muslim, 851).

So, don’t even tell that other person to be quiet. Just put your finger to your lips, shake your head, and then ignore that person. Or, before the khutbah, take a Post-It note, write “It is haraam to talk during the khutbah” (preferably in big, bold letters so that no one can miss it), and stick it on your forehead. If anyone tries to talk to you, point to the note and then ignore them. Of course, that’s just one way to do it…I’m sure others can come up with other equally creative solutions.

We should also note that when mothers bring their children to the salaah, they should not be reprimanding their children in loud voices so that they disturb others who are trying to listen to the khutbah. If their children are running around and generally misbehaving, then they shouldn’t be bringing their children to the Jumu’ah in the first place, not until they have taught their children the adaab (manners) of the musallah; besides, it’s not obligatory for the women to come to Jumu’ah anyway. So please, sisters, take note of this: If you have a little kid who is apt to cry a lot, it’s best if you don’t come because your child may disturb the others who are trying to listen to the khutbah. It’s not an insult or anything, just some sincere Naseeha, insha’Allah.

While we’re on the topic of Jumu’ah, I would like to mention a common bid’ah, that of raising the hands when the khateeb makes du’aa at the closing of the khutbah, and also saying “Ameen” aloud. Many people do this, not knowing that it is a bid’ah, and therefore haraam.

Neither the Prophet (sallallahu aleihi wasallam) nor the Sahaabah would raise their hands during the du’aa of the second khutbah, nor did they say “Ameen” aloud.
Abu Awanah narrates that Husein bin Abdelrahman said “I have seen Bishr bin Marwan raise his hands in dua’ on Jumu’ah (Friday prayer).” Umarah bin Ruwaibah said, “May Allah curse those two hands for I have never seen the Prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam)do more than this.” (Point with his finger during the Friday khutbah.)

This is in regards to the khateeb, but, as stated in Tuhfat al-Ahwathi, “As it is not prescribed (not from the Sunnah) for the khateeb to raise his hands on mimbar, the members of the congregation are like him because they follow his lead.

Insha’Allah, the above Ahadith make clear that speaking during the khutbah and raising the hands when the khateeb makes du’aa, while common, are incorrect and that we must refrain from doing so. Also, now that we know this, we should try our utmost to inform others about this and to correct these bid’ahs, as it is our duty to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and to spread knowledge amongst each other.

There’s just one more thing that I feel compelled to draw attention to: B. O. Body odour. Don’t you just hate it when, instead of being able to sit peacefully and listen to the khateeb, someone sits next to you (or stands next to you in the salaah), and you get a whiff of them and feel like passing out? It is, quite frankly, disgusting. Repulsing. Revolting. Foul. Horrid. Gross. Nauseating. You get the point.

Anyway, there’s a cure for that. Ghusl. The complete washing of the body, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us in his Sunnah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“When any one of you goes to Jumu’ah, let him do ghusl.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Jumu’ah, 882 – this version was narrated by him; Muslim, al-Jumu’ah, 845).
And it’s not just ghusl, actually – the stench that emanates from some is also a result of their clothes smelling of perspiration and food. We should always take care that our clothes are good and clean and smelling good, especially on Jumu’ah. Good hygiene rocks – it was the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to always be clean.

For example, he would use a siwaak regularly to keep his mouth fresh and clean; his clothes would never stink; he would wear perfumes; and he would bathe regularly. Thus, we should follow his example of brushing our teeth to keep them clean and keeping breath fresh; of washing our clothes regularly and not wearing dirty clothes on Jumu’ah; of smelling good (men are allowed and even encouraged to wear perfumes, so go for it! But women, please take note that it is haraam for us to wear perfume in the presence of non-Mahrams, so just keep your deodorant and baby powder handy); and always make sure that you’re generally clean.

Good hygiene is just so important for a Muslim!!!!! The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Purity is half of faith.” (Muslim) And also: “Allah is Pure and loves cleanliness.” (Muslim, Ibn Majah)

So how can we let ourselves stink?! Being a Muslim is like being a walking, talking Da’wah machine – to other Muslims as well as non-Muslims. If you stink like who-knows-what, no one will want to go near you. One of the reasons that the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade us going to the Masjid with the scent of onions and garlic on our breath is because it’s offensive to our fellow Muslims, as well as to Allah. Also, what if a non-Muslim is interested in Islam, and wants to ask you some questions about Islam, but as soon as they catch a whiff of you, they’re repulsed? Do you want them to think that all Muslims are dirty and unclean and stink? No! As Muslims, we have a duty to always present ourselves in a pleasing manner – and that includes how we smell.

So please, while I don’t want to offend anyone, PLEASE make sure that you perform a sniff test on yourself (or get someone else to do it for you – although it’s highly unlikely that many will willingly volunteer) before heading out to Jumu’ah, because the rest of us don’t want to have to catch a whiff of that nasty B.O./food/who-knows-what-else…

Please, people: spare your fellow Muslims your nasty body odour, and don’t spoil our Jumu’ah. May Allah reward you for being considerate of others’ olfactory senses!

Note: References regarding raising of hands for du’aa after the salaah obtained from my daddy dearest; if there’s anything incorrect there, I’d appreciate if you could let me know… jazakAllahu khairan.

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Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a Canadian Muslim woman who writes on Muslim women's issues, gender related injustice in the Muslim community, and Muslim women in Islamic history. She holds a diploma in Islamic Studies from Arees University, a diploma in History of Female Scholarship from Cambridge Islamic College, and has spent the last fifteen years involved in grassroots da'wah. She was also an original founder of MuslimMatters.org.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Hamdi

    June 8, 2007 at 2:44 PM

    What about saying “Ameen” (at the end when the Khateeb supplicates) moving your tongue but not saying it loud?

  2. Medinah

    June 8, 2007 at 7:05 PM

    Assalamu alaikum,
    Subhanallah!! I see a lot of people raising their hands when the imam makes the duaa. Jazakallahu Khairan for that sis, and for all the info, mashallah!!

  3. sharq afriqi

    June 8, 2007 at 8:40 PM

    salamu aleykum

    The raising of the hands at the end of the jumaa khutbah is very common..so i looked up the trusty islam Q & A and found a question answered related to the topic.

    http://islamqa.com/index.php?ref=85171&ln=eng

    insha allah this will strengthen the brothers n sisters understanding of this act.

  4. AnonyMouse

    June 8, 2007 at 11:31 PM

    Hamdi: I asked my dad, and he said that saying Ameen by moving the tongue, but not out loud, is okay… wAllahu a’lam.

  5. Bint Amina

    June 9, 2007 at 12:55 AM

    May Allaah ta’ala make us of those who adhere to the Sunnah and restrain our tongues while in Jumu’ah.

    SubhaanAllaah, and you may see this happening around you and feel inclined to inform the sisters of the hadeeth concerning this, but of course cannot at the time. Or when a sister may say salaam to you, inshaaAllah return it with a smile and inform her of why you did not respond afterwards.

    Alhamdulillah, Jumu’ah truly is the best day of the week.

    Wa Salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu

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  7. khawla hurayrah

    June 9, 2007 at 4:22 PM

    Assalamu’alaikum
    Beautiful post sr AnonyMouse. Jazakillah

    I have tried telling the sisters about this issue of not raising hand and saying Ameen out load but they looked so puzzled, saying why are we so cought up by wasting our time focusing on little stuff rather than helping the world’s famine and hunger. There is war going on and we are busy telling each other not to raise our hand.

    Kids running riot between saff is another problem arising from mothers who’s trying to promote “kindness and compassion” saying the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to have his grandchildren climbing all over him. By the way, Jumu’ah is the day for toddlers get together.

    Now, no wonder there are so many strollers parked in the women’s prayer area. And the carpet smelling diapers or pukes when we go down for Sujud.

    These women, they are so busy with their babies, I often wondered if they get anything from the Kutbah or not?

    All I could see, we have become complacent with regards to the etiquettes of attending our masjid. Sad

    May Allah help us to change…only when we start to change ourselves.

  8. Ruth Nasrullah

    June 9, 2007 at 6:31 PM

    Asalaamu alaikum. I theorize that a big contributor to the problem with women talking and kids running wild is the partition. If women weren’t behind a wall or screen, or in a separate room altogether, the imam and the brothers would see the misbehavior and I doubt they would tolerate it.

    Do any readers attend masajid without barriers? How do the women and children behave there?

  9. abu ameerah

    June 10, 2007 at 2:37 AM

    i can’t stand it when people talk during Jummah…

    the worst is when Uncle-jee arrives to the masjid 20 minutes late, enters the Khutbah, and then finds it necessary to make Salam to all of his peeps…

  10. inexplicabletimelessness

    June 10, 2007 at 8:50 PM

    As Salaamu alaikum

    barakAllahu feeki for the great article sister Mouse.

    Talking during the Khutba is really common at our MSA probably since not many people know that it’s haram. That gives me an idea: inshaAllah I’ll try to make a poster for our MSA that we can put up on the wall during the Khutbah. I liked your idea, short and simple:

    “Talking during the Khutbah is Haram(forbidden). Thanks.” :)

    wassalam

  11. khawla hurayrah

    June 11, 2007 at 9:27 AM

    sr inexplicable: make the sign in Urdu and Arabic too!!

    sr Ruth: I was told a real story from a sister. She went to a Masjid where they had curtain, and during one Kutbah, some sisters started chatting, the Khateeb suddenly stopped his speech and waited a few good minutes. There was a complete pause of silence, and then he asked: “Would the leader of the women like to continue this Kutbah, because I sense that you are trying to compete with me?”

    And added with more ahadith about talking is Haram during Kutbah. He also told the women to shut their mouth, otherwise not come for Jumu’ah to disturb others and collect more sins, for it is better for them to pray at home.

    The same Imam would repeat this everytime when anybody is heard talking.

    From this story, I gathered that we just need constant reminders, over and over again to hold our tongue, especially women because we tend to forget easily and we talk too much.

    (p/s: forgetfulness is only useful in case not to hold grudges against people; and talking a lot is good when inviting good and forbidding evil, at the right time and place)

  12. AnonyMouse

    June 11, 2007 at 3:47 PM

    Sis Ruth & Khawla Hurayrah:
    Well, in my old city we used to rent a hall for Jumu’ah, and there was a curtained-off area for the women, so everyone could hear everyone else.
    What my dad would do is before the khutbah he’d remind everyone very quickly and briefly about the etiquettes of Jumu’ah and ask parents to keep their children by their side – and al-Hamdulillah that seemed to work for us. People behaved themselves (most of the time!).

    Sis IT, it helps if you use bright colourful markers and/or glitter glue – it catches people’s attention better! :D

  13. Molly

    June 16, 2007 at 3:17 PM

    How about a copymouse?

  14. Umm Al-Shafiqaa

    June 29, 2007 at 7:17 PM

    Jazzakallah Khayrun my sister, for writing on this issue.
    I am a revert muslima, my family are all non-Muslims and my husband travels a great deal. This leaves me with a limited circle of Muslim friends, and non-Muslims at work 40 hours a week. Consequently, the Jum’ah is so very important to me. It is a day to obtain Islamic advice and knowledge, a day to reflect on my blessings given by Allah(SWT).

    I am totally disgusted when I cannot even hear the khutbah do to : talking during the Khutbah by sisters, screaming and yelling of children, loud praying while in the salat line, and occasionally B.O. I understand inshaallah, we must be patient with our sisters but please! The idea re: posting a note on one’s person, or having one in the hand to pass are excellent. Perhaps some sisters are not aware that they should not give salaams. Was Salaamu

  15. Argo

    July 12, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Sister Ruth, your bring an important point.

    The partition seems to be causing problems for many sisters and causing the bad behavior.

    I have one question about the rights of woman coming to the masajid. Does not the Woman have the right to come to the masjid and be able to see and listen to the khateeb without any partition ? So may be it’s a 2 part question. Does not a woman have a right to come to the masjid? Does she not have the right to see and listen to the khateeb without partition?

    If the partition is not part of religion, then it’s a bidah. Why install a bidah in matters of worship ?
    Also I understand Khusooh is important. But is it fair to take away a woman’s right to worship in a bidah-free masajid?

    Can accommodating the needs of a few weak men or women with a partition be more important than allowing our sisters to exercise their right to a partition free/ bida free masajid?

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