Zainab found her dad reciting the Quran out loud, while ironing his clothes for the day. It was Friday. Papa always seemed to be in a good mood on Fridays.
‘Salam alaikum Papa!’, greeted Zainab as she ran to him.
‘Wa alaikum salam Zamzam! How was your play date with Manal? Did you guys do anything fun?’, asked her dad.
‘Oh yeah! Manal showed me how her flowers are growing, and then we made some origami animals from her new book. It was so fun. And afterwards, we helped her mom make lunch and some super tasty popcorn! I had the best time!’, replied Zainab happily.
It was spring break, and the kids had one week off from school. Zainab loved visiting her friends and hanging out with them.
‘Papa, what are you getting all dressed up for? I thought you work from home on Fridays.’, inquired Zainab.
‘I’m going to the masjid for jum’aah prayer, hon. It’s Friday remember. Wanna come with me?’, asked her father.
‘Okay!’, she replied happily.
Her dad left to shower and get ready. Zainab washed up as well, and they left for the masjid. Mama had to stay back home because it was baby Zahra’s nap time.
At the masjid, Zainab sat with her dad and listened to the sermon. Afterwards, everyone got up to pray. Soon it was time to go home. As they were leaving, her dad stopped to shake hands and talk with people. It took a while before he was finished. Zainab wondered why he wasn’t rushing to get back home.
‘Papa, how come you’re so happy today? I mean, you mostly are. But today, you seem extra happy. You took time getting dressed*, you didn’t rush out of the house saying we’re getting late, and you kept talking and smiling at everyone after the prayer. Today’s not some special day or something, is it??’, wondered Zainab.
Her dad laughed. ‘You’re right, Zamzam. I’m surprised and glad you noticed. I did put an extra effort in doing everything today. And it is a special day – it’s Friday remember? The Prophet (SA) has told us that the best day on which the sun rises is Friday**. So I like to be my best possible self every Friday.’, explained her father.
‘Ooohh! I get it. It’s kind of like how we have to behave on Eid, then?’, said Zainab understanding.
‘Exactly right, hon! Except we get to celebrate this every week.’, replied her dad smiling.
They both drove back home happily, each lost in their own thoughts. Once they got there, Zainab ran to tell her mother all about what she had learned about today being a special day.
‘Mama guess what?? Papa says you need to be your very best on Fridays. So I’ve decided to do my best to help you out today!’, said Zainab excitedly.
Her mother was working on the computer, and got up to greet them. ‘Salam alaikum! That’s great, Zainab! I want to hear all about what you learned. And remember to tell me what the khutbah was about too!’, said her mother leading Zainab towards the family room.
Papa smiled and said a little prayer for his family.
*The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “This is a day of ‘Eid that Allah has ordained for the Muslims, so whoever comes to Jumu‘ah, let him do ghusl, and if he has any perfume let him put some on, and you should use the miswaak.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1098
**The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best day on which the sun rises is Friday. On it Adam was created, on it he was admitted to Paradise and on it he was expelled therefrom.” Narrated by Muslim, 1410.
Photo credit : Ammar Feroz