Importance of Performing communal/Friday Prayers In Islam for Muslims
Importance of Communal Prayer
Prayer can soar high to penetrate the divine veil. It is only through prayer that the veil between man and God can be lifted. It can approach up to the Highest Mind and can converse with each other. This drawing together of the two - their inter-course and conversation is known as prayer.
Communal prayers have got a mighty force in the unification of the human race, while single prayer aims chiefly at the inner development of the self. It unites all people in one place at fixed times with a bell of equality. All the followers of a belief assemble to outpour their hearts before their Common Father.
So far as the Muslims are concerned, offering prayers five times a day is mandatory. In the mosque, all Muslims of one locality assemble at least five times a day. The circle becomes greater when the people of several localities assemble on Friday for Jumma Prayer. Greater is the unification of the Muslims in the Eid fields where all the Muslims of several villages assemble, exchange their views and embrace one another after burying their petty jealousies in oblivion and creating an atmosphere of good will and cooperation. The greatest assembly of the Muslims all over the world is held annually at Macca through the institution of Hajj. This is the highest manifestation of the common brotherhood of men and the unification of the whole human race under the common fatherhood of God. All who assemble at Arafat pray with one voice - O God, we are present to Thee, and that is with the same kind of dress and the same kind of mode of living. The whole of humanity assumes then one aspect, one attitude and one dress before one Maker, and thus grandest and the noblest sight of equality and unity is witnessed in the field of Arafat. So, communal prayer teaches unity among humanity.
In the communal prayers there is sign of complete democracy in its naked form. All differences of rank, color and creed are buried in oblivion. There is no difference of color or lineage, therein there is no boast of heraldry or pomp of power. All pray before One Maker.
Usually, common man does not know how to pray. However, under the command of a one learned person, who knows all the ethics of offering prayers there are more chances that the said prayers may get approval of the God.
When all followers of God raise hands before Him and pray for forgiveness, there remains no reason why the prayers of all present in a communal prayer may not be accepted by the Merciful and Beneficent God. Communal payers increase the chances that prayers of sinners may also be accepted along with the prayers of the pious people because the Almighty is always merciful to his whole creature.
Performing communal prayers is the tradition of the prophets. It is learnt that the Prophet Moses once gathered all his men for communal prayer as there was famine in the country. So all gathered and prayed for rain. But their prayers were not accepted by Almighty. On this occasion the prophet Moses announced that among us there was a man who was a great sinner and due to him the payers of all were rejected. On hearing this, the said man repented to God by heart and God accepted his prayer. In the meanwhile, the clouds gathered and there was rain everywhere. In this way, the Almighty also concealed the identity of the said sinner.
This short story tells us the value and power of communal prayer. Besides, communal prayers teach that poor and the rich, the touchable and the untouchables, the highborn and the low-born - all have equal rights to pray to God and invoke mercy and forgiveness from Him. God has no discrimination. All depends on deeds. All other aspects like, wealth, race, creed, color etc. got nothing to do in the sight of Almighty. There is no favor to anybody except for piety.