4F – Second Pillar of Islam:
Importance of Congregational Prayer and Invention of Friday Prayer
In order to keep his hold over his followers, Muhammad initially forced them to say each and every prayer at his mosque under his own Imam-ship, but when that didn’t work as his community spread farther and farther from Medina, he invented the once-in-a-week Friday Congregational Prayer, the Jumaa, in order to keep his sway over all of his followers.
We Muslims are mesmerized to believe that Friday Prayer, the Jumaa, is very important and auspicious, and no Muslim can skip it at any cost. So, the Friday Prayer is as important to the fanatic and practicing Muslims as it is to the 90 percent, who feel proud to call themselves “moderate” in non-Muslim circles. But none of us ever bother to know about what the Jumaa Prayer is really about. Though I live in India under non-Muslim government, the tolerant infidels allow us Muslims to go to mosques on Fridays for offering the important ‘Jumaa’ prayer during office hours. This gives enough evidence about the importance of the Jumaa prayer to Muslims. We Muslims feel proud of getting this privilege from our kafer government. But if we understand the true motive behind the invention of Friday Prayer, we will feel ashamed of it, for which we are wasting at least two hours of our valuable time every week. I urge my Muslim brethren again to spend the same two hours a week to explore Islam from our original scriptures. I challenge that if you do the same, your belief in Islam will come to a dead end within a month.
IN MEDINA, ISLAM SPREAD FASTER THAN MUHAMMAD COULD HAVE EXPECTED
After 12-13 years of hard effort at Mecca to preach Islam and become the leader of Mecca and custodian of the Kabaa, which turned into complete failure, Muhammad migrated to Medina obviously in the hope of subjugating the Medinans and ruling over them. But given his failure in Mecca, Muhammad could not have realized, at the beginning, the extent to which his cult and dominion quickly spread. The fact is: his cruel doctrine was so sparkling that the domain under his tyrannical leadership spread like fire over a vast area of Arabia in the next 10 years. At the beginning, he ordered all of his followers, who lived within a short distance from his mosque, to say prayers 5 times a day in congregation only under his Imam-ship (i.e. To pray behind him in his Medina mosque). So, they followed his order.
CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS 25 OR 27 TIMES SUPERIOR
As Muhammad’s dominion started expanding with Muslims living farther and farther away from his mosque in Medina, it became increasingly difficult for them to come to his mosque five times a day. So, despite getting booty, beautiful young girls and boys as slaves and food from the toil of non-Muslims through Muhammad’s Jihad raids, his followers felt irritated of visiting his mosque 5 times a day. So, they tried to convince Muhammad that if Allah wants them to pray 5 times, let them pray at their homes. On that Muhammad invented the idea of the superiority of praying in congregation:
The Prophet Muhammad said, “The prayer in congregation is 27 times superior to the prayer offered by a person alone. (Sahih Al-Bukhari/ Vol 1:618)
The Prophet Muhammad said, “The prayer in congregation is 25 times superior to the prayer offered by a person alone. (Sahih Al-Bukhari/ Vol 1:619-620)
Muhammad always gave contradictory statements, as we see in these two hadiths. There are hundreds of such contradictory hadiths spread all over in each collection of Ahadith. Similar numerous contradictions can be seen in the Quran, which proves that author of the Quran could only be a human being, i.e. our beloved prophet, Muhammad.
BURN THOSE WHO AVOID TO PRAY IN CONGREGATION UNDER MY IMAM-SHIP
Muhammad’s opportunist followers, no less clever than him, also invented their own idea of praying in congregation in one of their houses nearer to their dwellings. On that, Muhammad became furious, and warned them of burning them along with their houses, if they won’t pray in congregation under his Imam-ship only (i.e. in his mosque).
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “No prayer is harder for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the ‘Isha’ prayers and if they knew the reward for these prayers at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves (in the mosques) even if they had to crawl.” The Prophet added, “Certainly I decided to order the Mu’adh-dhin (call-maker) to pronounce Iqama and order a man to lead the prayer and then take a fire flame to burn all those who had not left their houses so far for the prayer along with their houses.” Sahih Al-Bukhari/ Vol 1:11:626
SUPERIORITY OF PRAYING IN MUHAMMAD’S MOSQUE IN MEDINA
Muhammad had killed hundreds of Jews, Christians and Pagans. Sometimes, he killed hundreds of them in a single day, such as in the attack of Banu Quraiza (627), Banu Mustaliq (627), and Khaybar (628). He didn’t spare Muslims too, if he doubted their loyalty to him. Also, if he lusted for any married woman, he ‘made’ her a ‘widow’ by tactically eliminating her husband, so that he could now marry her. Those Muslims, whom he wanted to eliminate, were killed in a tactical manner, often by assigning them in dangerous warfronts during his aggressive raids on the infidels.
Muhammad never intended to kill his male followers unless for the above-mentioned reasons, because his success was completely dependent on them. Even he cursed those Muslims who committed suicides for failing bear the suffering from ailments. He wanted all Muslims to die for him while doing Jihad. And Jihad is nothing but raiding, looting, killing, and capturing non-Muslims via surprise-attacks on their settlements and caravans. Although he warned his followers to ‘burn’ them alive for not saying prayers in his mosque, his main purpose was to persuade them to say the prayers in his mosque under his imam-ship. So, while making those threats, he also announced extra bonuses of divine rewards for persuading them to attend his mosque for every prayer:
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “One prayer in my Mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque, excepting Al-Masjid-Al-Haram.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 2:21:282)
Even today, we Muslims, who go for Hajj, spend our time equally in Muhammad’s mosque at Medina and in the Kaba at Mecca, so as to grab the benefits of praying in the Prophet’s mosque (Medina) as stated in the above hadith. None of us ask: How the Prophet’s Medina mosque can have the greatness as that of the Kabaa. How could Muhammad compare his mosque with the house of the Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient Allah? We may accept that Kaaba is the greatest of mosque in the world, as it is supposedly the House of Allah. But, in what way Muhammad’s mosque in Medina can compare as equal to the Kabaa? The above hadith gives clear idea of the kind of tricks Muhammad played to get what he wanted.
O MUSLIMS! MY SECURITY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR LIVES
Muhammad’s followers were no less clever than him. Like Prophet like followers! They too were very materialistic. They didn’t believe in the rewards of the afterlife. It becomes clear that they were not as idiot as we are today in believing all that Muhammad said. After all, they were the direct disciples of Muhammad and understood him much better.
As Muhammad pressurized them to come to his mosque to say the prayers in congregation, they played their own game to pressurize Muhammad not to force them to come to his mosque. So, they informed Muhammad that they were shifting houses near to Muhammad’s mosque in Medina. But Muhammad didn’t accept their idea. For security reasons, Muhammad wanted to live next only to his most trusted disciples. He also wanted various levels of security circles around him at various intervals. He also wanted Muslims to spread out so that those living away from his house would face the first blow of the possible revenge-attacks of his victims, thereby providing the first line of defence. Also he was badly in need of spies surveying far-off places to gather information about the movements of his victims. So, Muhammad issued bonus rewards for those who were coming to his mosque for saying prayers from far-off places. He fabricated new fairytales that those, who are attending his mosque 5 times a day from far-off places, will get much higher rewards for each of his step towards his mosque. Muhammad gave additional share from the booty to whoever he felt more important to his security and success.
Narrated Humaid: Anas said, “The Prophet said, ‘O Bani Salima! Don’t you think that for every step of yours (that you take towards the mosque) there is a reward (while coming for prayer)?” Mujahid said: “RegardingAllah’s Statement: “We record that which they have sent before (them), and their traces” (36.12).’Their traces’ means ‘their steps.’ “And Anas said that the people of Bani Salima wanted to shift to a place near the Prophet but Allah’s Apostle disliked the idea of leaving their houses uninhabited and said, “Don’t you think that you will get the reward for your footprints.” Mujahid said, “Their footprints mean their footsteps and their going on foot.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/11/625)
Narrated Anas: (The people of) Bani Salama intended to shift near the mosque (of the Prophet) but Allah’s Apostle disliked to see Medina vacated and said, “O the people of Bani Salama! Don’t you think that you will be rewarded for your footsteps which you take towards the mosque?” So, they stayed at their old places. (Sahih Al-Bukhari 3/30/111)
COMMON MUSLIMS SPARED, THEIR GROUP LEADERS BURDENED
In due course, the extent of Muslim settlements spread rapidly over a wider area. Visiting his mosque for prayers five times a day became a real hardship for those Muslims, living far away from the Prophet’s house in Medina. It also became a laughable stuff among non-Muslims. Then Muhammad, the practical ‘divine’ prophet, gave up the idea of forcing his followers—residing very far from his mosque—to come to his mosque for saying every prayer. Yet to keep a close eye over their loyalty, lest they would break away or rebel, he ordering not all but only the leaders (Imams) of those Muslims to come to his mosque for saying their prayers under his Imam-ship. The term Imam in Islam means ‘leader’ or ‘ruler’. It has nothing to do with divinity (Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/13/18). After ‘praying’, informing and discussing the current political issues with Muhammad, those Imams went back to their people and led the prayers again for them. In this way, the Imams offered each prayer twice for the sake of Muhammad and with this Allah planned the systematic tight security system to his beloved prophet! Allah never bothered about those Imams, who travelled and suffered to offer each ‘prayer’ twice. The materialistic Imams too, might have not taken this burden for free. Allah (Muhammad) would have bribed the Imams with additional booty for their extraordinary job.
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: Mu’adh used to pray with the Prophet and then go and lead his people (tribe) in the prayer. (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/11/668-679)
INSECURITY OF HOLDING THE LEADRESHIP, CAUSED MUHAMMAD TO IMPOSE FRIDAY PRAYERS ON HIS UMMAH (HIS NATION)
If we have read all the articles in this series, it will become obvious to us that Muhammad was a tyrant and crooked politician. He was not satisfied with the above system of the regional Imams’ daily meet up with him. He never trusted others in political matters, particularly the leaders of far-off Muslim communities, who could hatch up intrigues against him. We know that as soon as Muhammad died, those communities broke away from Islam that forced Abu Bakr to wage the blood Battle of Ridda, the most critical period for Islam in Medina. So, he duly doubted the loyalty of those Imams and wanted to keep in touch with common Muslims to stabilize his position. He decided to meet his followers at least once a week in order to keep hold of his leadership over them. So, he invented the idea of congregational Friday Prayer, the Jumaa, and ordered the Muslims, residing in far-off places, to visit his mosque once in a week, i.e. on Fridays. To implement his idea of Friday Prayer, he gave the following ludicrous reason to convinced his followers. He said: “Saturday is preoccupied, Sunday is taken by Christians, and let us take Friday for us”.
SATURDAY FOR JEWS, SUNDAY FOR CHRISTIANS—LET FRIDAY BE FOR MUSLIMS
The Messenger of Allah said: For the Jews the day set aside for prayer was Saturday, and for the Christians it was Sunday. And Allah turned towards us and guided us to Friday. We were guided correctly to Friday, but Allah diverted those who were before us (Jews & Christians) from it. In this order then Jews and Christians come after us on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim 4:1862)
Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) saying, “We (Muslims) are the last (to come) but (will be) the foremost on the Day of Resurrection though the former nations were given the Holy Scriptures before us. And this was their day (Friday) the celebration of which was made compulsory for them but they differed about it. So Allah gave us the guidance for it (Friday) and all the other people are behind us in this respect: the Jews’ (holy day is) tomorrow (i.e. Saturday) and the Christians’ (is) the day after tomorrow (i.e. Sunday).” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/13/1,21)
(This is why when Muslims refer to the “Saturday people” they mean the Jews and the “Sunday people” means the Christians.)
In Arabic Saturday is called “Yom as-Sabt” and Sunday “Yom al-Ahad” (the latter means “first day”). My Muslim brethren! You may get confused about how come the actual ‘second day’ of the week (i.e. Sunday) is called ‘First day’ of the week in Arab countries? This is one of the living proofs of the extent to which Muhammad borrowed the culture, tradition, language and scriptures of the Jews. And yet he considered the Jews as the first-and-foremost enemies of Muslims. The Jews opposed Muhammad, because he had stolen many things from them, among them ablution, fasting, circumcision, prohibition of eating pork and so on, and yet he claimed Islam to be his new revelation.
For Jews, Saturday is the “day of rest”, which they call ‘Shabbat’ in Hebrew. Their working days of the week starts with Sunday and they call it “the first day” (‘Yom Reeshone’). Muhammad copied these names and also called Saturday the “day of rest” (“Yom as-Sabt”) and “Sunday” (the second day of the Muslim week) “the first day” (“Yom al-Ahad”). There are numerous such irrelevant traditions that can be seen in the Quran, Ahadith and in Arab culture.
Note that Muhammad’s idea that ‘all other people are behind us’ is absolutely wrong. Because, the first working day of the week for Arabs is Saturday, called ‘Yom As-Sabt’ in Arabic. The second working day is Sunday, which is called ‘Yom Al-Ahad’ in Arabic, which mean ‘Day one’ or ‘First day’ of the week in Arabic, thus Friday is the last day.
Thus, through the tactical invention of congregational Friday Prayer did Muhammad succeed in holding authority over all Muslims as they had to visit his mosque at least once a week, even if their residences were far away from his mosque. He also claimed that this prayer was ordained by Allah, his ‘puppet’, ever willing to speak what Muhammad desired.
In this article, we see that in order to keep his hold over his followers, Muhammad emphasized the importance of saying prayers in congregation at his mosque in Medina daily 5 times a day and when that was untenable as his community grew and spread far-off from Medina, he invented the Friday Congregational Prayer—the Jumaa—so that each of his followers would say their prayers at least once a week under Muhammad authority and Immamat. And it was also an occasion of informing his followers of his important decisions through the Friday sermons, called Khutba.