Christian Churches of God

No. 285z



The Juma’ah: Preparing for the Sabbath

(Edition 1.0 19991208-19991208)

The sixth day of the week now termed Juma’ah in Islam has become a holy day in its own right to the neglect of the Sabbath. The Preparation for the Sabbath and the Sabbath Day are enshrined in biblical law and the Koran.

Christian Churches of God



(Copyright ã 1999 Wade Cox with input from the Kansas City Congregation)

(Summary by Dana Hilburn, Ed. Wade Cox)

This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher’s name and address and the copyright notice must be included. No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.

This paper is available from the World Wide Web page: and



The Juma’ah: Preparing for the Sabbath

The preparation day of the Sabbath (Friday) is the period known as yaum (Yom) al Juma’ah in Islam. In Indonesia and Malaysia it is Hari Juma’at. It is a very important part of and preparation for, the Sabbath and it has been neglected in Judaism and Christianity and misunderstood in Islam.

The Juma’ah is a major aspect of the Sabbath system. It looks forward to the coming of the Messiah.

Exodus 20:8-11 (RSV), specifically Exodus 20:9-10, forbids work on the Sabbath. The priests and ministers perform their duties in accordance with the sub-ordinances that are concerned with the fourth commandment.

Sabbath keeping is a sign of the covenant and the laws of God working within His people (Ex. 31:12-18 RSV). It also includes assembling ourselves together, as taught by Paul, the Apostle (Heb. 10:23-25 RSV, see also Lev. 23:1-3 (RSV).

To help His people keep the Sabbath holy, God commanded the sixth day, Juma’ah or Preparation Day (see Ex. 16:1-30 RSV).

General food preparation such as baking and seething or boiling for the Sabbath, is to be done on the sixth day of preparation. This is evident from the texts (see also Ex. 16:5, 22-23).

The baking and boiling of the double portion should be done on the sixth day (Ex. 22:23). The Pharisees equated Christ’s eating of grain directly from the stalk, to the gathering of food (Mat. 12:1-8). The law provides for a person to gather food with his hands, in a field when necessary, for his or her own use. Christ did that on the Sabbath and was sinless.

The day Christ was sacrificed was the most important of the preparation days of the year. This was the fourteenth day of the First Month. It was the day preceding the Passover, the first high Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. Christ was the Passover prepared on that day of Preparation (Jn. 6:45-51 RSV).

See the following texts: Matthew 27:62-64 (RSV); Mark 15:42-43 (RSV); Luke 23:54; John 19:14; 19:31 and John 19:42 (RSV).

Exodus 35:3 has caused a deal of confusion and resulted in people not lighting fires for heating or cooking on the Sabbath. The term for fires in this case (SHD 784) is generic and is the same used for fires generally.

However, the law demands that fires are lit on the Sabbath in the temple and demands that the Passover lamb is cooked and eaten in all dwellings throughout Israel, on the evening of the First Holy Day of Unleavened Bread (Ex.12:1-9 esp. vv. 6-9 KJV). This is to be roasted with fire.

The text in Deuteronomy 16:5-7 shows that the Passover ordinance was reversed after the first Passover. It was inside the homes in Egypt, and outside the homes when we were placed in our inheritance (Deut. 16:5-7 KJV).

The fires for the Sabbaths, New Moons and Holy Days were done by order (Ezek. 45:16-25). The offerings were consumed in Israel (Ezek. 45:16-17). There is no contradiction in the Laws of God. The answer lies in Exodus 35:4 ff.

No construction or working artifice, or construction or moulding by fire, may take place on the Sabbath Day. There is no law against lighting fires for heating. The punishment for gathering on the Sabbath is death. Hence any work of this nature on the Sabbath is a breach of the Law and places one in the second resurrection and subject to the second death (Num. 15:32-36).

This view of the provision and preparation for the Sabbath system extends over the entire jubilee period. It takes up even to treble harvests in the year before the Seventh Sabbath of the Jubilee. In that year God provides for the following two Holy Years (Lev. 25:18-22 RSV). This process occurs every seven-year cycle on the sixth year.

The Preparation Day looks forward to the coming of the Messiah. The Bible tells us that the millennial system of the reign of Christ and the Saints is to be for a thousand years. This period was to come at the end of the six thousand year period of the rule of the god of this world (cf. 2Cor. 4:4, see also Rev. 20:1-6).

Prophetically this period of a thousand years is equated with the day of rest in Jesus Christ and enshrined in the week as the Sabbath. Peter tells us that a day is but a thousand years unto the Lord (2Pet. 3:8).

The period in the afternoon on the preparation day is actually the final period in the six thousand years for the preparation for and the advent of the Messiah. In this period of prophecy we see the subjugation of the planet to Messiah, prior to the actual commencement of the Millennium as the Sabbath rest of God in Christ.

Islam has lost sight of the preparation day in relation to the Sabbath and its place in prophecy. They have separated it from, and elevated it above the Sabbath, contrary to the law of God. The practice of holding a special service on the Sixth Day of the Week allegedly dates from the time Muhammed was at Medina, but it really was from much later times.

When Islam is summoned to Juma’ah prayers, they are to hasten to the remembrance of Allah and to cease trading (Surah 62). The statement is that on the afternoon of Friday all trading ceased and people prepared for the Sabbath. Later Islam directed this to the afternoon of the Sixth Day alone and abandoned the Sabbath. Christianity replaced the Sabbath with the first day of the week known as Sunday, as their Sabbath.

Muhammed clearly warned at Surah 62:5 that those to whom the burden of the Torah was committed yet refused to bear it are like a donkey laden with books. Instead of heeding the prophet, they ignored him and kept trading, on the sixth day and also on the Sabbath. He makes this point at Surah 62:11. That text is in fact a restatement of the words of the prophet Amos in Amos 8:5 (read Amos 8:4-6).

Muhammed did not establish Friday afternoon to replace the Sabbath. The preparation period for the Sabbath now known as the Juma’ah is enshrined in the Torah. Friday afternoon assembly was used long before Muhammed and the name of the day was reportedly given it by one of Muhammed’s ancestors. It derives from the term of the Talmud.

All Islam is duty bound to provide a work free period for its entire people for the Sabbath rest. Failure to do so results in penalty in the resurrection as they are in breach of the Torah and the Qur’an.

When our Father gave His Preparation day and Sabbath commands, He was clearing the way for us to follow Him. If we obey His words and keep the Sabbath holy, we can come to know the only true God and His Christ, which is eternal life. (Jn. 17:3).

The preparation day helps us look forward to the Sabbath as a time to spend with God away from the world. If we prepare properly we are more likely to put aside our own concerns when Sabbath arrives. We can then grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit.