“O you who believe, when the call is sounded for prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off traffic. That is better for you, if you know. But when the prayer is ended, disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah’s grace, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.” –Holy Qur’an 62:9, 10

CHICAGO (FinalCall.com) – The Friday congregational prayer service called Jumu’ah is a special day for Muslims.

The congregational prayer is specially ordained and obligatory, according to many Islamic scholars. When the call for Jumu’ah prayer is made, Muslims no matter where they are and no matter what they are doing are to cease any physical or material activities and make their way to the nearest mosque to participate in the activity of spiritual renewal through prayer with the rest of the Muslim community.


On July 1, the Friday congregational prayer service was made even more special by the presence of prominent Egyptian Sheikh Omar El-Bastawisy, who delivered the khutbah for those gathered in the masalah at the international headquarters of the Nation of Islam, Mosque Maryam.

“The Holy Qur’an makes it very clear that science, education and knowledge are very important to all of us,” said Sheikh El-Bastawisy during the khutbah. “We should seek knowledge everywhere. This is why the Holy Qur’an says pray to Allah to increase your knowledge,” he added.

Sheikh El-Bastawisy, has worked as a deputy Imam on behalf of the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, was in the United States as a guest of Samina and Noman Malik, the directors of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam (Ahmadiyya Association for the Propagation of Islam) book distributors. They are responsible for the worldwide distribution of all the written works on Islam by Maulana Muhammad Ali. Mr. Malik is the grandson of Maulana Muhammad Ali and many, if not all of Maulana Muhammad Ali’s books, are available through The Final Call Inc.

Delivering his message in Arabic relayed to the Muslims via translator, Sheikh El-Bastawisy said Prophet Muhammad encouraged Muslims to listen to their Islamic educators and to make every effort to offer their prayers.

“Making prayer will make your heart clean, your mind wise, and your spirit purified,” said the Sheikh.

Prior to the Jumu’ah prayer service, Minister Farrakhan’s Assistant, Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, led Sheikh Bastawisy and his delegation on a tour of the Muhammad University of Islam. Sheikh El-Bastawisy met with Dr. Larry Muhammad, Student National Director of the Muhammad University of Islam, and others, including Abdullah Yasin Muhammad, a son of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Sultan Rahman Muhammad, a grandson of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad who teaches Arabic to the Nation of Islam’s members.

Sheikh Bastawisy visited several classes, the computer lab, the course room and the gymnasium. The energetic and intelligent MUI students of all ages as well as the MUI staff members with whom he came into contact enthusiastically greeted the Sheikh and the delegations.

Immediately after that, the delegation toured the majestic interior and sanctuary of Mosque Maryam. All throughout the tour, the delegation commented on the polished marble floors, cleanliness, quiet dignity and elegance of the Nation of Islam’s headquarters, and those who maintain it.

Dr. Malik, commented on the warm spirit and hospitality of the members of the Nation of Islam, and in parting words, delivered words of encouragement calling on the believers to remain steadfast.

“My grandfather Maulana Maulana Ali, his flesh and blood is in the ground, he is gone, he is dust, but in the spiritual (sense) his grandsons are like you all, anybody who takes forward the message of Islam, he is the true grandson of people like Maulana Muhammad Ali,” said Dr. Malik. “We pray to Allah that He gives us all the courage and the strength to deliver this message to all of our brothers and sisters, especially here in America so that we may all become one united family under Allah and His Messenger,” he added.

(Look for a full interview with Sheikh Omar El-Bastawisy of Al-Azhar in a future edition of The Final Call.)