Friday (Cuma) Prayer

Friday (Cuma) Prayer
 In this ayat, “Ya eyyuhellezina amenu iza nudiyelissalati min yevmil cum’ati fes’av ila zikrillahi vezerul bey’a” (Cuma 62/9) it means that “O ye who believe when the call is proclaimed to prayer on Cuma (Friday, the day of assembly) hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave all business.”  (from the translation of Holy Koran  by Mohammed Asad)
 This ayat stands for the proposition that when the time comes to pray on Friday, one must stop all mundane business affairs that result in material gain because this time should be devoted specifically for the business of Unity.   “Cum” in Cuma (Friday) means “community.”  In other words, in the spiritual context, Cuma also means the prayer of those who have reached a level whereby they have become part of their community. During the first rakat, one prays for the self, and in the second, one reaches ultimate Oneness.
 The pre-requisites of the Cuma Prayer are as follows:
 

  • To be a man (this prayer is obligatory for men and optional for women).
  • To be free (liberated from selfishness).
  • To be a Mukim (a person willing to stay on the journey to Hakk).
  • To be healthy (to rid oneself of egoism or one’s nefs).
  • To be willing to walk on this journey.

  Generally, the Friday Prayer is obligatory for every Muslim, and in detail, it contains extra secret meanings.
  The Holiday Prayer  There are two holiday prayers performed yearly by Muslims, and these prayers are performed by Muslims as part of a community with great enthusiasm. The difference between this salat and the others is that in this salat three more tekbirs (Allahu Akbar) are repeated during each rakat; thus, there are a total of nine tekbirs in one rakat and eighteen in all.
 As was mentioned earlier, the number 18 represents the 18,000 universes.
 During the first rakat when one raises his hands three times to begin the salat, one understands his or her existence within Ilmel Yakiyn, Aynel Yakiyn, and Hakkal Yakiyn. During the second rakat, the first tekbir is the mertebe of “ef’al” (Seriat), the second tekbir is the mertebe of “esma,” and the third rakat is the mertebe of “Zat.”
 After exerting an immense amount of effort on this journey, when one is on the mertebe of “Zat,” one also understands the Azameti ilahiye (?) and prostrates to show gratefulness.  Those who reach these levels celebrate the holidays more profoundly while the rest of the world celebrates the holidays proportionately to the level they are in. 
     The Funeral Prayer  This prayer is also quite different from the others in that there are no movements such as ruku and prostration or the Fatiha and Tahiyyat Prayer.
 It is said that this is not an actual salat, since it consist only of prayer and apologies.
 The most significant part of this Salat is that the sura Fatiha is not recited aloud, since it is expressed through the state of remembrance of those of those who join in the funeral prayer. Whether or not the deceased is our relative, the sight before us in a funeral is the most remarkable sight in this world. The deceased, who lies in the coffin, entered this world through one door and exited through another. From now on, it is over for that person. Whatever he tried to do and accomplish, be it good deeds or bad deeds, is now over. The deceased lies in the coffin by himself.
 The present state of the deceased is the most effective insinuation one can witness.
 At this moment, those who perform the Funeral Salat may realize how fortunate they are for being alive and being able to breathe. They note they are experiencing from the state of the Sura Fatiha:
  “Elhamdulillahi Rabbil Alemin,”  which means: “Praise be to God  the Cherisher  and Sustainer of the worlds.”  It is at this point that we see thoroughly in the state of “Errahmanirrahim” “Allah c.c. is Rahman and Rahim.”  The Most Merciful and Most Compassionate.   
 “Maliki yevmiddin” also means the owner of the last day or Judgment Day.  We are able to experience this by understanding that the person lying in the coffin experienced his last day. From this we should learn and begin to worry about what we need to do before our death approaches.
 “Iyyakenabudu ve iyyakenestain” means “We only implore your help so that we do not lose our way.  We do not worship and pray to delusions, we pray only to You
 We soon need to understand that before this happens to us we need to take action; thus our state becomes the Sura Fatiha although we do not necessarily repeat the words and ayats of the sura itself.     
 During the Funeral Prayer, we remain in the standing position and repeat four tekbirs; the four tekbirs are Seriat, Tarikat, Hakikat, and Marifat.  This salat has many warnings for even the wisest people.
 
 The Teheccud  Salat
 This is an optional salat that is performed in the middle of the night but before dawn.   The ayat, “Ve minelleyli fetehecced bihi nafileten lek asa en yeb’aseke rabbuke mekamen mahmuda” (Isra 17/79) means “Dear Muhammad, pray during the night, as well; Teheccud is an additional nonobligatory prayer and by completing it, Rabb may exalt you to an honorable station”.
 This ayat was analyzed above when “hamd” (praise) was discussed. Whoever performs the daily prayers and the Teheccud Prayer in the middle of the night is entitled to enter the level of Muhammedi (Makami Mahumd), depending on his development of his journey toward Hakk.   Whoever performs this special salat continuously (4, 8, or even 12 rakats) in the middle of the night also begins to achieve closeness to Hakk; thus, eventually increasing his or her value in the dergah of Allah c.c. 
 When we start performing this salat, we experience complacence and peace and upon achieving closeness to Hakk, we begin enjoying life.
 
 The Miraj Salat
 There are many characteristics in this salat called Miraj, and this is not common knowledge.
 Dear Hz. Muhammad (sav) said:  “Salat is the Miraj of humanity.”  He also mentioned that a properly performed Salat can lead us to Hakk.
 If we have performed salat all of our lives, but have not felt anything on a spiritual level, we should look back and reflect as to whether we missed something or have not performed it appropriately.
 It may be that we are not paying attention to what we are doing during salat. 
 We must be critical of ourselves so that we can place ourselves on the right track; this criticism will only help us learn something of significance for the hereafter.
 Salat is the foundation of Deen.
 Salat is the Mirac of humanity.
 Salat is more important than sleep.
 We must realize that by concentrating on properly completing salats, we begin accumulating spiritual capital for the hereafter.  Hence, by fully understanding that salat is far from being a form of physical exercise, our intention is to reach the levels or mertebes that we are supposed to be in since life is inexorably passing us by day-by-day. Each and every person who performs salats willingly and with a pure and content mind and heart has the ability to remove the veil that covers the eyes so that life’s beauty is revealed.  This Salat is totally optional such that it is not an obligation of humanity.
 The ayat “Fesalli li Rabbike” in the sura the Kawthar/Kevser (108/2) means “Pray to your Rabb and sacrifice for Him.”
 We have to reflect on this and be critical as to whether we are sincere.  Are we really performing salats for Allah c.c. or are we expecting something in return?
 Hz. Muhammad (sav), in trying to emphasize the importance of salat, said that any two rakat salat is more beneficial for humanity than anything else in the world.
 Hz. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi explained this hadith extensively in the book Fihi ma Fihi.
 In Risale-i Gavsiye it is stated as follows:
 “I asked, ‘Dear Rabb, which salat is closest to you?’  Hak teala answered, ‘The salat in which there is only Me; there is no one else, including yourself, but Allah c.c.’”
 Now, I would like to share one of my memoirs.
 In 1984, I traveled to Konya to visit Hz. Mevlana Celaleddini Rumi, but prior to that visit, I went to visit Hz. Shams (Hz. Mevlana Celaleddini Rumi’s spiritual teacher).  After performing some salats, Allah c.c. granted me the opportunity to encounter Hz. Shams’ soul, and during this encounter, I asked Hz. Shams some questions.
 Q:        How does the opening of exploration come about?
 A:        There cannot be an opening if there was no closed state. As long as you exist, you are closed.  It is only when you cease  to exist that you are able to attain.
 
 
 Q:        What is salat?
 A:        Salat is the present moment.  It is the moment where there is neither a future nor a past.  It only belongs to Oneness that appears as multiplicity throughout the universe.
 (Be free, be with those who are free, live free, one of the words from ila ahir…)
 When Rasullullah (sav) departed on the Miraj journey, all curtains were drawn back for him, except one.  When he wished that the last one be opened, he was stopped and told as follows:  “Stop, your Rabb is performing a salat.” Hz. Muhammad (sav) personally told his companions this.  This is a big secret that can only be understood through one’s own experience and practice.  Unfortunately, this is not the time to explain this secret.
 We beg Cenabi Allah c.c. that Allah c.c. save all of us from delusions and grant us all acceptance as human beings in Allah c.c.’s place  and in the eyes of Hz. Rasullullah (sav). 
 We are now concluding this part.  We will be pleased if we were able to ignite will and enthusiasm in you.  InshaAllah, may Cenabi Hak grant us all the strength to hold onto our goal of being able to understand and assimilate.
 We can only intent to do good deeds, success in completing a good deed, however is something we have no control over, it is only granted by HAKK.
   
    Milli Egitim Bakanligi, Turkish Department of Education, Turkish version, page 31 (1985).  Anyone interested in learning more about this hadith can refer to Fihi ma Fihi.