In the first place, we would like to stress that Friday is the best day of the week. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), said: “The best day on which the sun rises is Friday. [On Friday] Adam was created and on that day he entered paradise and on that day he was expelled from it. And the Hour will come to pass on Friday.” (Reported by Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i, and At-Tirmidhi, who classed it sahih)
With Friday being the best day of the week, it is the duty of the Muslim to go to the mosque on that day early and to wear the best garment so as to gain Allah’s reward on that blessed day.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following: “According to an authentic report, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, ‘When one of you goes to Jumu`ah let him take a bath.’ (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). It is definitely a strong recommendation from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and not an absolute fard (obligation), as most of the scholars have reasoned.
Jumu`ah being a social gathering where we mix with others, a Muslim should do his best to appear in a clean, neat, and tidy manner.”
Clarifying the sunnah acts that a Muslim should stick to on Friday, the late Al-Azhar scholar Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq (may Allah bless his soul) stated the following in his well-known book Fiqh-us-Sunnah:
“It is preferred for anyone—man or woman, an elderly or young person, a traveler or a resident—who desires to attend the Jumu`ah Prayer or any gathering of the people, to cleanse and to wear best attire. One should perform ghusl, put on one’s finest clothing, apply perfume [except for women], and brush one’s teeth.
The following hadith are recorded on this matter:
Abu Sa`id reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Every Muslim should have a ghusl on Friday and wear his best clothing, and if he has perfume, he should use it.” (This is reported by Ahmad, Al-Bukhari, and Muslim)
Salman Al-Farsi reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “A man who performs ghusl on Friday, purifies [himself] what he can and uses dye [for his hair] or perfumes himself in his house, goes to the mosque, and does not cause separation between two people [who are already seated], prays what Allah has prescribed for him, and then listens quietly while the imam speaks, all his sins between that Friday and the next Friday will be forgiven.”
Moreover, the person intending to perform Jumu`ah Prayer is highly encouraged to have ghusl. The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that the ghusl for Jumu`ah Prayer is a recommended sunnah but not obligatory.
The ghusl is performed starting from the time of Fajr Prayer. Also, if a person performs ghusl and then later invalidates his ablution, he needs not to repeat the ghusl. Making ablution suffices. Furthermore, one ghusl may be used for removing sexual defilement and for Jumu`ah Prayer.