Ask A Muslim: Friday Sabbath
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Why does the Islam religion not hold on to the creator’s law of the Sabbath, but instead keep it on a Friday?
The only two days that are mentioned in the Quran are Friday and Saturday. Friday is significant in Islam for a variety of reasons. This significance is established through the Quran and the Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh). Chapter 62 of the Quran explains that Friday is a day to pray in congregation and offer gratitude to God for his blessings and leave all worldly matters. Once the obligation is made, then one can seek God’s bounty.
“Believers! When the call to the prayer is made on the day of congregation (Friday), hurry towards the reminder of God and leave off your trading. That is better for you, if only you knew. Then, when the prayer has ended, disperse in the land and seek out God’s bounty. Remember God often so that you may prosper.” (Quran, Chapter 62:9-11)
Furthermore, as per Book 4 (Kitab Al-Salat) of Sahih Muslim, Hadith Number 1862:
“It is narrated by Abu Huraira and 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.”
Another hadith of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh states that Friday was the day when Adam was created. This is the day when he entered paradise and was then expelled from it.
“Shabbat (שַׁבָּת; related to Hebrew verb “cease, rest”) is the seventh day of the Jewish week and is the day of rest and abstention from work as commanded by God,” according to the Jewish Virtual Library. “Shabbat involves two interrelated commandments: to remember (zachor) and to observe (shamor).”
Sabbath is considered a day to rest and abstain from work on the basis that God created heaven and earth and then rested on the seventh day. Islam acknowledges the six-part creation and Sabbath. However, it denies that the Creator needed rest. The story of the Sabbath breakers is mentioned in the seventh chapter of the Quran when the followers of Sabbath transgressed and greed took the place of rest.
“God: there is no god but Him, the Ever Living, the Ever Watchful. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes him. All that is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Him. Who is there that can intercede with Him except by His leave? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they do not comprehend any of His knowledge except what He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth; it does not weary Him to preserve them both. He is the Most High, The Tremendous.” (Quran, Chapter 2:255)
I have listed a few explanations of the significance of Friday in Islam, although there are more hadiths and verses that depict why it is considered blessed and holier than any other day of the week.
Disclaimer: I am not a religious scholar. I tried to answer these questions to the best of my knowledge and understanding of Islam as a Muslim.