Friday Muslim Prayers

Apr 16th, 2007, in IM Posts, by

The men of Aceh are not fulfilling their Friday prayer obligations.

As the imposition of sharia law in Aceh goes on not all are happy with the performance of the Sharia Office and the religious police, Wilayatul Hisbah (WH), the bodies entrusted with seeing that the Acehnese perform their religious obligations.

Somebody called Lia, a resident of Banda Aceh, complains that sharia enforcement agencies are not taking action against the large number of men in the province who fail to do their Friday prayers in the mosque, or Jumatan. Lia says that the Dinas Syariat Islam and the WH are overly concerned with the behaviour of women, whether the matter of their having boyfriends, or their wearing clothes which are too figure hugging, while lazy, irreligious men get away with not carrying out their prayers.

Lia says everybody knows that under Islamic law men are required to perform prayers in the mosque every Friday, yet the religious authorities are more concerned with sinful activities such as "khalwat" (immoral proximity to a person of the opposite sex) and drinking.

I hope that the Dinas Syariat Islam and WH will pay more attention to this [Friday prayers].

In response Wirzaini Usman of the Sharia Office threw up his hands and said it wasn't just the religious authorities' responsibility to enforce such matters, families and individuals should make sure that people were doing the right thing. Sharia had to be enforced by all people in society, not just the upholders of the law.

Acehnese women more dutiful than their menfolk
Acehnese women more dutiful than their menfolk.

He went on to say that Friday prayers observance was not as important as sexual immorality crimes such as the wearing of tight clothes or behaviour which tended towards unlawful sex or adultery. Those who didn't shalat, or do their prayers, did not have a harmful effect on others, but if women wore tight fitting clothes then the men around them could be aroused into committing adultery or rape.

Until now his office had run routine patrols on Fridays urging men to do their duty and go to the mosque, but the matter had not been a great focus of attention. Patrols would be stepped up in the near future, he said, using female officers from the sharia office and ordinary policewomen. Those who were proven to have not performed their prayers for three Fridays running could be sentenced to six strokes of the cane or imprisoned for up to six months. [1]


39 Comments on “Friday Muslim Prayers”

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  1. avatar Bas says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 1:37 am

    Those who didn’t shalat, or do their prayers, did not have a harmful effect on others, but if women wore tight fitting clothes then the men around them could be aroused into committing adultery or rape.

    That’s not true. If feel very sexually excited when I see men not going to Mesjid on friday mornings and I must refrain from raping those cute Acehnese guys.

  2. avatar Odinius says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 3:01 am

    To me this is an argument between stupid and stupid. What ever happened to “there is no compulsion in religion?”

    People need to stop being so concerned with others’ religious beliefs and practices and be more concerned with their own.

  3. avatar Teng says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 4:34 am

    A special police checking if women wear decent clothes, people go to Mosque…

    Hello Aceh, welcome to the 7th century, nice to see you have your own Taliban. Enjoy!

  4. avatar Dimp says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 6:00 am

    If the sharia police are capturing the people who are not doing their Friday prayer, does that mean that the sharia police are not doing their Friday prayer themselves? So they should be punished as well then.

  5. avatar guebukanmonyet says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 7:52 am

    Interesting. Well, I can understand why the girls in Aceh feel to be treated unfair. While they have to dress in Islamic way at the same time the men who don’t do jumatan are not punished. It makes me wonder how far sharia can be implemented. Does Aceh have enough officers to “force” people to pray and everything else?

  6. avatar Andrew says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 9:10 am

    I wonder which is better: (1) skipping the Friday prayer, or (2) going to the Friday prayer just because you’re afraid of punishment.

    What’s the point of going to the mosque if your heart and mind are elsewhere?

    Very interesting indeed.

  7. avatar Arema says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 10:28 am

    Andrew: I had the same opinion. Things start to get awfully awkward when you had the so-called “police” monitoring all these. The practises should come from one’s own initiative and not enforcement. It’s useless when one’s heart and mind are somewhere else.

  8. avatar Naga says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Good to see Aceh is moving forward, not.

  9. avatar Yunir says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Odinius, you said,

    What ever happened to “there is no compulsion in religion?”

    The verse you quoted is from Chpater 2 verse 256 of the Qur’an.

    My following statements is on the explanation of this verse. It is not about my argument for/against the Aceh govt system.

    Ok, moving on,
    the verse was meant to reiterate the freedom of choice for non-Muslims – whether they want to be Muslims or not.

    Once you are a Muslim however, you are bound to follow the laws of Islam. Authorities have the right to punish/consult you for not performing obligations.
    By authorities, I’m referring to states that enforce shari’a law. This is not applicable in secular country.

    An analogy:
    You are free to join the army. Once you in the army, you have to act like an army personnel. You are obliged to take up arms in times of war. Running away is a crime. Citizens on the other hand, have no obligation to take up arms and can hide until war is over.

    Again, the above is not to state my support or opposition of what Aceh officials are doing.

    In any case, I think Guebukanmonyet has raised an interesting set of questions:

    While they have to dress in Islamic way at the same time the men who don’t do jumatan are not punished. It makes me wonder how far sharia can be implemented. Does Aceh have enough officers to “force” people to pray and everything else?

  10. avatar Robert says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    He went on to say that Friday prayers observance was not as important as sexual immorality crimes such as the wearing of tight clothes or behaviour which tended towards unlawful sex or adultery.Those who didn’t shalat, or do their prayers, did not have a harmful effect on others, but if women wore tight fitting clothes then the men around them could be aroused into committing adultery or rape.

    According to Wirzaini Usman men may skip their religious duties as long as it doesn’t harm other people. I was under the impression that a Muslim always is not allowed to skip his/her religious duties, irrespective of the fact that it isn’t harmful.

    Now the Sharia is there the truth comes out. It is clear how the introduction of Sharia works out: oppression of women. Acehnese women should dress according Islamic rules because Aceh men can not get their minds out of the gutter. These men get so easily aroused that they commit rape or adultery. F***ing degenerates.

    Maybe the men who don’t visit the Mosque can visit psychiatrists instead, and undergo therapy which teaches them that women deserve respect and are more than lust-objects.

    Aceh is a good test case for Indonesia. And women can already prepare themselves for the moment that Sharia is introduced on a national level.

  11. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Robert, that reminds me of an earlier discussion I had with Hassan about Allah’s reward of heavenly virgins and pearly boys (let’s skip the pearly boys, I feel sick) for good moslems. According to Wirzaini Usman, women wore tight fitting clothes could aroused moslem men into committing adultery or rape. On the other hand, our learned friend, Hassan believes these scores of wide eyed, beautiful hoolies with appetising vaginas are well behaved. Can’t Allah make them a little bit naughty, Hassan?

  12. avatar Sputjam says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Aceh isn’t the only territory that wants to impose syariah law. other areas that I can recall with similar ambitions are southern thailand, state of kelantan in malaysia, parts of pakistan etc.

    Syariah law was invented by men.

    There was no such thing as friday prayers in the koran, nor any mention of any worship rituals.

    The analogy that if you embrace islam is like joining an army is wicked, especially after the writer acknowledged the freedom of faith verse in the koran. This is evidence that islamic religionist have indeed abandon God’s words and created their own fancy laws and rituals.

    God has already given a warning concerning imams/preachers/religious scholars. As Muslims, we were ordered to read the koran and follow the guidelines/commanments in it. Nothing more, nothing less.

  13. avatar Yunir says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Sputjam, you said,

    aceh isn’t the only territory that wants to impose syariah law. other areas that i can recall with similar ambitions are southern thailand, state of kelantan in malaysia,parts of pakistan etc.

    yes, tell us something new…..

    you then said,

    There was no such thing as friday prayers in the koran, nor any mention of any worship rituals.

    The Qur’an about prayers:
    1. “And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation!”" – Chapter 40 verse 60

    2. “Surely I am Allah, there is no god but I, therefore serve Me and keep up prayer for My remembrance” – Chapter 20 verse 14

    The Qur’an about ablution:
    “O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles.” – Chapter 5 verse 6

    The Qur’an about friday prayers..
    The whole of Chapter 62 is Surah al-Jumaah. The whole chapter talks about Friday prayers!

    Sputjam, you also said,

    The analogy that if you embrace islam is like joining an army is wicked, especially after the writer acknowledged the freedom of faith verse in the koran.

    and I quote myself:

    the verse was meant to reiterate the freedom of choice for non-Muslims – whether they want to be Muslims or not. Once you are a Muslim however, you are bound to follow the laws of Islam.

    you then said,

    This is evidence that islamic religionist have indeed abandon God’s words and created their own fancy laws and rituals.

    What exactly is islamic religionist? And what evidence are you talking about? Please don’t mumble.

    you finally said,

    As Muslims, we were ordered to read the koran and follow the guidelines/commanments in it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The Qur’an says: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” – Chapter 4 verse 59

  14. avatar Panta says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    Syariah law is good, but some misuse and incorrect implementation. Look! There are many counties use their own version of syariah law based on whose knowledge and whose authority? So. Is the syariah law being used in the correct manner and in the way Muhamad SAW intended?

    Indonesians are extremely faithful to their belief and the word God. Aceh seems to be heading backwards in it’s thinking and needs to move with the times, there is also a need for Islam to be seen in it’s true light to the world so that we can continue to teach the world about God and what he requires from us as humans. Surely such strict punishment of women has no place in our society!

    A man should have self control over their own behavior regardless of what clothing women are wearing and why should a man be instantly thinking about rape and becoming aroused? Is this the only thought going through a man’s head and should a women be held responsible for a man’s thought’s too?

    Nobody should be punished for not going to prayers as this punishment should be left to God himself. What is the point of forcing someone to pray if they do not have the inclination from their own heart.

  15. avatar Yunir says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 12:52 am

    Hi Panta, you said,

    Nobody should be punished for not going to prayers as this punishment should be left to God himself.

    I agree with this, and going back to what Robert said,

    According to Wirzaini Usman men may skip their religious duties as long as it doesn’t harm other people. I was under the impression that a Muslim always is not allowed to skip his/her religious duties, irrespective of the fact that it isn’t harmful.

    We can perhpas categorize two types of crimes.

    One is the crime against community’s rights and the other is crime against Allah’s s.w.t. rights. The former is punishable by Shariah, the later is not. For example. everyone has the right to private property. Stealing is a violation of this right to private property and is therefore, punishable. But prayers on the other hand, is a right that belong to Allah s.w.t only. Therefore, only He has the right to punish.

    This however, does not mean that Muslims are free to choose whther they want to pray or not. Because praying is a pillar of Islam. And one can then be denied Muslim rights by authorities.

  16. avatar Janma says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Maybe the men should have more pressure on them to go to friday prayers because that will help them control their base desires that cause no end of inconvenience to Muslim women who have to live their lives covered up like ghosts to prevent being raped by them. So they are harming society by raping and goggling women, it’s not the women harming anyone!
    Personally I see the most immoral and sexually deviant behaviour in repressive societies. They become obsessed with sex and the form of women simply because it is denied them and covered up. In progressive societies the onus is on the men to control themselves, not the women.
    I’m kind of sick of the whole thing hey, I mean it’s just getting old, when will it balance out a bit? But on the other hand if people don’t say something is wrong then nothing changes, so maybe it’s our civic duty to complain?

  17. avatar Yunir says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Why do we keep on saying that the women covering up are measures to prevent sexual assaults?

    I don’t think this is explicitly mentioned in either the Qur’an or the Sunnah. Do correct me if I’m wrong.

    It is perhpas more than anything else, a measure to uplift the status of women. So women are not merely ‘sexual objects’ judged solely on their bodies. They are not ‘cheap’ and not without dignity.

    They are not like the modern women who think they can earn dignity and self-respect through their body.

    Yes, wearing the veil do prevent things like 90,000 rape cases a year (typical rape case in US). But more importantly, it also gives self-respect to women. But because people have focused more on the former than the latter, women are also made to stay at home and denied financial rights (like what Taliban probably did).

    This goes back to what Panta said,

    Syariah law is good, but some misuse and incorrect implementation.

    In which case, the wearing of veil has little to do with men going for prayers or not.

  18. avatar Janma says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    i am a modern woman and I don’t think I can earn dignity and self respect through my body! Enak aja omong! Blanket statements are full of pitfalls don’t you think? Take Care! there is plenty of rape in other countries besides developed western countries, it’s just not reported. Don’t kid yourself.

  19. avatar Cukurungan says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    Janma Said :

    Personally I see the most immoral and sexually deviant behaviour in repressive societies. They become obsessed with sex and the form of women simply because it is denied them and covered up. In progressive societies the onus is on the men to control themselves, not the women.

    Cukurungan Say:

    However, NationMaster statistics shown otherwise. Rape, teenage pregnancy and abortion per capita in progressive societies were much higher than in the repressive societies . Of course, you can reject that the statistics are biased.

  20. avatar Sputjam says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Here we go again on this islamic prayer thing. There is no such prayer as God was not specific on how it should be done.

    I refer to arguments based on verse 40-60 in koran :-

    the verse could be translated in the manner below :-

    40:60 And your Lord said: “Call on Me and I will respond to you.” Surely, those who are too arrogant to serve Me, they will enter Hell, forcibly.

    20:14 “I am God, there is no god but Me, so serve Me and uphold your commitments for My remembrance.”

    and verse 5-6 as follows -

    surah 5 should be read from verse 1-7. verse 6 is about being hygienic. verse 1-5 was about food. No ritual ablution. in extreme cases, sand can be used to cleansed oneself.

    Friday prayers cannot be part of God’s ritual as God has warned us concerning Imams/priest/rabbis/religious scholars in this verse -

    9:34 O you who believe, many of the Priests and Monks consume people’s money in falsehood, and they turn away from the path of God. And those who hoard gold and silver, and do not spend it in the cause of God, give them news of a painful retribution.
    surah 62 cannot be verse commanding friday paryers when no specific day is mentioned. (Don’t guess and follow your community’s religon blindly).

    as for this :-

    The Qur’an says: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” – Chapter 4 verse 59

    those charged with authority are the judges, the President and those you elect amongst your community.

    People of islamic religion do rituals which are not required in the messages in the koran. Even worse, islamic religionist have commited idol worship in mecca, which is clearly against God’s commandments.

    They have rejected messages in the koran, as they have made up mischivious stories concerning embracing the islamic religion is like joining armies when clearly the Koran have specifically briefed on freedom of faith.

    Islam is not a religion.

    Islam is a deen – a way/system/order.

    You do not need a religion to believe in God.Keep to your commitments by doing good deeds and be righteous. It is so simple but very difficult for people of islamic religionist to understand.

  21. avatar Yunir says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Janma,
    then why is it that women are gloryfying themselves through half-naked clothings? and that being fat is taboo. Many are resorting to becoming anorexics and bulimic?
    And I do not deny that rape cases do exist almost everywhere. The issue is how bad is it?

    You can shut your eyes off and pretend that women are not being pressured to look good. But that does not mean it’s not happening.

    Sputjam,
    1. No one ever said you need to have religion to believe in God. In other words, yeh, we do know that there are things such as agnostics.

    2. your arguments for chapter 5 on the ablution is ridiculous.
    Look it up and you’ll find “solat” explicitly mentioned.
    (i.e prayer)

    “O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer,….”

    And how is solat to be performed?
    The answer lies in the Hadiths.

    3. Chapter 62 verse 9:
    “O ye who believe! When the call is heard for the prayer of the day of congregation, haste unto remembrance of Allah and leave your trading. That is better for you if ye did but know.”

    So what day was this reffered to? You still deny there is no such thing as congregational prayers? And yet you believe in the Qur’an?

    4. You are free to be a basketball player if you want. No one force you to join. It’s your own decision. But once you decide to become one, then you follow the rules of the game. Simple as that.

    5. You don’t need the Qur’an or the Sunnah to believe in God. No one said otherwise. But if you don’t believe in the Sunnah, or the teachings of ulema then you have no reason to believe in the Qur’an.

    Save yourself from shame Sputjam. You are only fooling yourself.

  22. avatar Sputjam says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    2. your arguments for chapter 5 on the ablution is ridiculous.
    Look it up and you’ll find “solat” explicitly mentioned.
    (i.e prayer)

    “O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer,”¦.”

    In some translations of the koran, solat (S-L) is translated as prayers (traditional). In others it is commitment. there is even the word connection for solat. You decide which word fit into the verse.For the best translation are the easiest to understand.

    But if you decide to refer to the hadith for prayers, then surely, you are amongst the misguided, unless you can show proof that the hadith are messages from God.

    The quran specifically warned you against listening to ulamas. What does it take to make you understand?

    The koran is my guide. You can take ulamas and the sunnah as your guide.

    2:2 This is the Scripture in which there is no doubt, a guide for the righteous

    2:6 As for those who reject, whether you warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe.

    You see what I am saying? koran did not specify solat prayers and you pray!
    koran warned against listening to ulamas, and you reject korans messages.
    koran stated freedom of faith, and you kill apostates.
    Guys like you are misguided.
    I am merely conveying the messages so that some may understand such as the ones below -

    In the name of God, the Almighty, the Merciful.
    96:1 Read in the name of your Lord who has created.
    96:2 He created man from an embryo.
    96:3 Read, and your Lord is the Generous One.
    96:4 The One who taught by the pen.
    96:5 He taught man what he did not know.

    With the internet, the shackles of the Arab hold on the translation of the koran has eroded. remember, prophet muhamad’s enemies were pagan Arabs who were idol worshipping in mecca. Now observe the haj, the biggest pagan ritual in the world in mecca.
    Moses messages were corrupted into the Jewish religion.
    Jesus messages were corrupted into Christianity
    And Mohamed’s messages, you make the conclusion. If you feel astounded walking around the kaabah, throwing stones at stones etc then you can go ahead. Some even kiss the black stone. what significance does that stone hold? If you cannot see this as a pagan ritual, then indeed what God said is true as follows :-

    2:7 God has sealed upon their hearts and upon their ears, and over their eyes are covers. They will incur a great retribution.

    Wake up from your slumber, my man!

  23. avatar Yunir says:
    April 17th, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I would refute your whole argument simply by your delusive claim of:

    For the best translation are the easiest to understand.

    The best is to read it up in Arabic itself and apply the correct semantics of the verses.

    Because you refuse to do this and instead prefer to read the Qur’an in simplistic translations, all your arguments are based on those simplistic translations, not the direct Qur’an verses itself.

    I have refuted your claims one by one and yet, you keep on saying that we should not follow Imams and Ulemas.
    I repeat myself,

    Save yourself from shame Sputjam. You are only fooling yourself.

  24. avatar Janma says:
    April 18th, 2007 at 7:40 am

    Yunir,

    You said, quote;

    “They are not like the modern women who think they can earn dignity and self-respect through their body.”

    I didn’t say that it doesn’t happen, I just said not all modern women think this way. I for one do not (and might I say, I am gorgeous, but I rely more on my intelligence and sparkling personality to impress!) ; }

    And what’s more, it isn’t the explicit problem of “modern” women. Jilbab girls walk around with their jilbab on and tight clothes etc too, why?
    Women are under pressure everywhere, to be sexy, to not be sexy, to be virgins, saints, matryrs and the rest of it, all to do with the expectations of men.

    So I say, let the buggers go and pray, might keep em out of our hair for awhile, and if you just look on Indonesia Matters home page, what are the most viewed pages? All to do with sex as a rule, so there is some fascination going on.

  25. avatar Yunir says:
    April 18th, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Janma, you siad,

    I didn’t say that it doesn’t happen, I just said not all modern women think this way. I for one do not (and might I say, I am gorgeous, but I rely more on my intelligence and sparkling personality to impress!)

    alright, I then admit to having generalized all women as such.
    But I have to say that such women are the exception rather than the norm.

    you also said,

    And what’s more, it isn’t the explicit problem of “modern” women. Jilbab girls walk around with their jilbab on and tight clothes etc too,

    Now if Muslim men and women were to really adhere to the baisc principle of wearing clothes that ‘break the shape of their body’, (i.e a Muslim ‘uniform’) I would think this could reduce the anxiety of competing for attention by means of physical attraction.

    In any case, I think what we would probably agree on is that dress codes are just secondary issues. And according to you, primary issues would be things like going to prayers that can help increase Taqwa. Taqwa in turns, help reduce the problem of sexual assaults. Am I right that you are implying this?

    If so, then I agree with you.
    But this is not to say that secondary issues are insignificant and can be ignored.

  26. avatar Janma says:
    April 18th, 2007 at 10:20 am

    You are right, I mean that more focus should be on the men controlling themselves and practicing the tenets of their religion. but instead the focus is always on the women who are blamed for inciting these base desires in males. so many times I hear Muslim women say that men can’t be blamed because “udah dari sana nya” pointing in a vague heavenly direction, like God made them like that, now we have to compensate!

    Women don’t usually go around raping people, men are the main offenders there. Restricting the exposure of women to these men, just makes it more mysterious and more exciting to them. So I think it makes it worse. God (for those of you who believe He created everything with a purpose in mind) created women like they are, sexy beautiful, graceful and alluring. What was the purpose for that? Why shouldn’t women be proud of their bodies and their beauty? Why should men use it as an excuse to rape and plunder? Where is the respect?

  27. avatar Oigal says:
    April 18th, 2007 at 10:49 am

    “Of course, you can reject that the statistics are biased.”

    Which of course any reasonable thinking person would, in any repressive society stats and the media are used to represent the official version only.

  28. avatar Oigal says:
    April 18th, 2007 at 10:56 am

    mmmm reminds me of an old song from the War Of the Worlds Album

    “Listen, do you hear them drawing near in their search for the
    sinners?
    Feeding on the power of our fear and the evil within us
    Incarnation of Satan’s creation of all that we dread
    When the demons arrive those alive would be better off dead!

    Of course, in the Ablum version the microbes finish off those self righteous, sanctimonous, SOB’s.

  29. avatar Janma says:
    April 18th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Also, and I quote Yunir,

    Now if Muslim men and women were to really adhere to the basic principle of wearing clothes that ‘break the shape of their body’, (i.e a Muslim ‘uniform’) I would think this could reduce the anxiety of competing for attention by means of physical attraction.

    Do you think that will stop them from competing for attention? It only closes one of the doors to the ways people try to get attention. the one using physical attraction. so now they will use something else to get attention, like religiosity or chasteness or submissiveness, something that has the “good and halal” label. but it’s still competing for attention. it certainly doesn’t come naturally.

    The paris hiltons of the world compete for attention on the media, the media exposes this because that’s what sells, because that’s what men want. This media coverage of certain women certainly doesn’t give us a true impression of what most “modern women’ are about. that’s the media, those girls are gonna end up there all flashy and skinny and cute and look like they represent ‘modern womanhood’. I know so many modern women, they care how they look, but they certainly aren’t going crazy baring all just to get a mans attention! That’s just insulting!

  30. avatar Yunir says:
    April 18th, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Agreed Janma.

    But at least that’s one significant aspect closed down rather than leaving it open.
    And that’s why we embrace Islam as a whole. Not just take bits and pieces of it.

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