Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Sunan for Friday

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah


Just a sharing about my personal practices during Friday in conjunction to Friday. My understanding about sunan or the sunna, it actually refers to our traditions which are inherited from prophets and the messengers of the God the Highest. Besides the sunan, there are also adabs or manners in practicing the sunan as per the positive ones since the sunan could also refer to the negative ones. I don't know what my ex-roommates during my undergraduate time think about me when I practiced those things. Maybe in terms of angle of views, they seem different from the majority Muslim Malay practices. I am glad Habib Muhammad al-Sagof is helping me to explain the things as he is also one of our people, haha...

Practices during Thursday

Usually the evening before the proper Friday, which is on Thursday, I would begin to clean up the room and lit up fragrances such as sandalwood and frankincense. Then we have recitation of Quran after the Maghrib prayer service as the beginning of the new day is counted at the evening of the previous day or at 'Asr time.

Usually people in my country would recite the surat Yaasin and most who recite the Yaasin in group are the Muslim Malays who follows the Shafi'ie school. I still remember that I also used to do the same where I recited the Yaasin at home with my mother and sisters before 2000 as I began to have problems which made me deciding not to practice any Islamic practices but just performing "philosophical" meditation to clear myself from any influences. That was before I begin to learn Hanbali school when I went for pilgrimage in the Holy Mecca. The practice of hadith recitation was originated from the hadith which means: "Whoever recites the Yaasin on the eve of Friday, he will be forgiven by the morning". The status of the hadith according Ibn Jawzi is fabricated as the source chain of the hadith known as Muhammad bin Zakariya was notorious as a hadith fabricator.

By the way, Ibn Jawzi is a Hanbali scholar just to let brothers and sisters know. So, there shouldn't be any accusation or assumption being related to radical movements. I am not saying reciting Yaasin or any other surat from the glorious Quran as innovation. It is a good habit to recite Quran but there is no clear chain for the hadiths on the "benefits" of reciting surat Yaasin at "certain" time. Sometimes I would also join the group recitation at the mosque in my country to respect others and in my view, it is a good practice. I don't like to be tied to any movement or particular cult just to look different or superior than others. Besides, I hate over-reaction and I love being moderate and modest. It is enough to be a Muslim and the follower of Muhammad s.a.w while for the suggestions of sunna angle in worship, I would be referring to a particular school of jurisprudence. It does not make me eligible to harshly criticize other people practices especially when they are good ones or showing off as if my school of jurisprudence or the scholars of the school I am referring are superior above all other salaf and tabi'in scholars.       

Regarding the fragrant smokes, I tell brothers and sisters that if you live in Arabian Peninsula or in Gulf states, those people are also doing the same for certain event, majlis or festival. I am using the sandalwood in the form of sticks because it is difficult to find the pieces of sandalwood chunks here. It is very expensive and could only be founded in Arab fragrant stores. Maybe people think that I am a Muslim Indian or a Barelwi movement follower or even a Shi'a. I am not an Indian, not a second rated Indian, not a Shi'a Muslim not a Muslim Malay nor a particular sufi views adherent. I am an Arab Diaspora by descent, I love all of bani Hashim members of clan and fiercely an Orthodox Muslim. Day by day, I am trying to return to our heritage in order to protect our identity because we are largely "damaged" by the environment.

Practices during Friday          

1. Before Friday Prayer

Common practices during Friday morning before the prayer service, clipping the nails. Then, anointing myself and head with the olive oil or any oil that could be applied at the skin. Sometimes I would do it before the ghusl or sometimes after the ghusl. After the ghusl, I would apply the perfume all over my body. It is the symbolic that I am going to see the God the Highest and leaving behind the worldly affairs. If brothers and sisters see a Muslim corpse being embalmed, the practice is more or less the same.

Before I walk out, I would also lit up sandalwood or frankincense. However, myrrh and frankincense would be dangerous especially no one was checking on it at the room. Usually I do not like to walk in the crowd to the mosque. I prefer to walk rather than driving or using any vehicle. Especially when going to worship event at the mosque, it is favorable for me to walk and get prepared as early as I can in order to arrive at the mosque before the time. I practiced these as our customs since I was a young child but during the period of 1998-2004 I began to have some confusions regarding myself and some problems with life that made me starting to leave behind the salat services and all of these traditions.

2. At the Mosque     

At the mosque, I would stand at the front line if I am early to perform the two units prayer service to respect the Lord of the mosque before sitting down. Then maybe I would recite the Quran while waiting for the Friday sermon to begin. I don't like to chat nor listening to people talking about worldly affairs in the prayer hall as it is not favorable according to the manner. We can talk about worldly affairs or politics for us to survive, but outside of the prayer hall... Get the hell out of the prayer hall and talk or argue. We do not perform the optional prayer service before the first sermon. We usually would perform it at home, but that is in the case where our houses are closer to the mosque. 

When the sermon begins, we would sit still and try to attentively listen to sermon. We should try to avoid from sleeping or losing focus. Even if the sermon is so boring, try to keep some beneficial points in our mind. Last time, I used to keep the words from the sermon in my notebook once I arrived at my room just to practice whatever is beneficial for me and around. I have a special notebook specifically for Quran, Sunna and Arabic. Anything that I heard, I would keep the words in the form of writings including the source and the preachers' detail if available. Usually I can't wait to return home after the prayer service finish because I wanted to keep the words from the sermon in my notebooks, hehe...

When the imam recites the supplications between two sermons, I usually would just zip my mouth and mentally say my supplications. Sometimes by holding my hands like others, sometimes without holding hands. It is also good to recite an abundant of salawat upon noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w, his family members and righteous companions. Or maybe just reciting the salawat Ibrahimi which also includes prophet Ibrahim a.s and his family members together with prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

3. After Friday Service

Just after the Friday prayer service, it would be followed with two units of optional prayer. Sometimes it would be up to 10 units just like the Hanafi school followers. In the evening, just after the 'Asr prayer service I would recite supplications and there are many kinds of supplications ones could recite. Sometimes I would recite supplications before the Maghrib prayer service and followed by the litanies and other supplications after the service which would take me around 10 minutes up to 15 minutes. The day is now, Saturday... Then after Isha' service, if there was roommate in my room which would make me feel uncomfortable to do some night activities or which I think would disturb him.... I would just stay night at the musalla or any mosque that I could reach just after I had my dinner or supper. I would also bring my kitabs and memorize stuffs that I had already learned and understood. They are just simple and compact stuffs as I tried to make everything easy to be practiced. Not only to be memorized or to preach around like an ustad. I would also recite the Quran or memorize the parts of the Quran.


These are basic matters that I practiced during Friday or when celebrating Friday as a holy day. There are also personal supplications but I am not mentioning everything in detail together with the hadiths or stuffs as I am trying not to be too technical just to boast around.

Regarding the sunans, there are also adabs or manners when we talk about them to people. We don't simply jump into crowd and acting furious because it would make people upset. They also possess feelings and human-being just like us. Before we jump down to them, perhaps they are with faith. But after we jump in and harshly condemning them simply because we know more about hadith studies than them or because we want to show that scholars of our school had conducted researches, they begin to stay away from Allah 'Azza wa Jalla. So, what is the point? 

There is a thin line between innovations and improvisations. Improvisation means that we improvise with whatever "we already have" to suit the situation or condition. While innovation means we "introduce something new" in an established form of structure or organization where they were not taught before by early figures. Everything that we said to others would then goes back to the "intention" and our "heart". What is the condition of our heart at that time?

Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad wa 'alaa aali Muhammad... May Allah Ta'ala change evil feelings within our soul into the good ones. May Allah Ta'ala makes us humble and lowly in our own eyes but in His sight, we are His beloved servants. May Allah Ta'ala gives us consistency in worshiping Him and grants us the sakina (tranquility) so we may always be on His path...  

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!  

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