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According to the creation story in the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, God created Adam on the sixth day (Friday) as the culmination of His creation project. He rested on the seventh day from all His work, as it is stated: "And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it He rested."

Thus the Jews have, for millennia, celebrated Saturday as a holy day dedicated to worship alone sans any distractions from mundane activities. Early Christians, being a community of practicing Jews in Palestine, also followed suit. Later, probably due to the dominance of Romans within Christianity, the day of rest and worship was switched to Sunday, the first day of the week. This was the day Jesus Christ was believed to have risen from the dead after he was crucified and buried. Many of the Romance languages have this day called the "day of the Lord."

Islam, the most recent in the Judeo-Christo-Muslim tradition of religions, however, celebrates the sixth day, Friday, as the day of the week for a special afternoon worship service. It celebrates the creation of Adam as the unifier who, as the perfect creation in the image of God, understands and names the rest of creation and puts them in a cosmic balance. Adam thus inherits and husbands paradise. The Holy Qur'an states about this paradise: "It is provided for thee that thou wilt not hunger therein, nor wilt thou be naked. And that thou wilt not thirst therein, nor wilt thou be exposed to the sun." [Holy Qur'an: Ch. 20, V. 119-20] Adam, in Islam, is the caretaker and shepherd rather than the absolute owner of the God-given provisions of the world. He is answerable to God in this regard, and humans have a God-given right to food, water, clothing and shelter.

The word Adam represents both, the first prophet and representative of God Almighty as well as humanity at its best. The absolute unity of God presented by Islam predicates unity of the mission of God at the outset when Adam, the first prophet, unified humanity. And at the end of a long tradition of prophets across the globe, at End Times when humans across the globe are joined together into one global village, a universal prophet appears to unify them all in a single community. Humans, because of their God-given capacity to understand the elements, will have in this age the capacity to fulfill all human needs and to create a peaceful world.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad claimed to have brought that everlasting teaching in the form of the Holy Qur'an that would bring about true universal peace -- Al-Islam. At the occasion of Hajj, when the Holy Prophet was surrounded by over 100,000 of his followers on Mount Arafat, on a Friday, God Almighty revealed this verse to him: "This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion." [Holy Qur'an, Ch. 5, V. 4]

Thus Friday is the day when the citadel of religion that was started by Adam about 6,000 years ago was at last completed at the hands of the Holy Prophet about 1,400 years ago on a Friday. This surely calls for celebrating this day for the glorification of God and His worship.

Hameed Naseem is the president of the Tulsa chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Contact him at hanaseem@gmail.com.

NAN Religion on 06/22/2019

Print Headline: Friday was chosen as day to pray

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