Generally speaking, for some divine wisdom Allah has favored some days over the others, some months over the others and some places over the others. For every nation Allah set ritual observances to be followed, practiced and maintained.
Friday, in particular, has many distinguishing features and virtues that Allah has bestowed upon this day to the exclusion of others.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah and Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah led those who came before us away from Friday. The Jews had Saturday, and the Christians had Sunday. Then Allah brought us and guided us to Friday. Thus, there are Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and, therefore, they will follow us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last [nation] in this world, but we will be the first on the Day of Resurrection. We will be dealt with before all others.” [Narrated by Muslim].
No surprise that Friday was specifically enjoined upon them and they went against that, for they are the ones who said “We hear and we disobey” [al-Baqarah 2:93].
The following hadiths shed more light on the virtues of Friday and its high status in relation to the other days and on the reasons why Friday is regarded as a special day.
It was narrated from Aws ibn Aws that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of your days is Friday. On that day Adam (peace be upon him) was created; on that day he died; on that day the Trumpet will be blown and on that day all of creation will swoon. So send a great deal of blessings upon me, for your blessings will be shown to me.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, how will our blessings upon you be shown to you when you have turned to dust?” He said, “Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets, peace be upon them.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood, classed as sahih by Ibn al-Qayyim].
It was also narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best day on which the sun rises is Friday. On it Adam was created, on it he was admitted to Paradise and on it he was expelled therefrom.” (Muslim.)
Scholars pointed out that these hadiths are meant to explain what momentous events took place and will take place on this day, so that people will make the most of this day to do righteous deeds, so as to attain the mercy of Allah and ward off His punishment.
Furthermore, it was narrated that Abu Lubabah ibn ‘Abd al-Mundhir said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Friday is the master of days, and the greatest of them before Allah. It is greater before Allah than the day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr. It has five characteristics: on this day Allah created Adam, on it He sent Adam down to the earth, on it Allah caused Adam to die, on it there is an hour when no one will ask Allah for anything but He gives it to him, so long as he does not ask for anything haram, and on it the Hour [of doom] will begin. There is no angel who is close to Allah, no heaven, no earth, no wind, no mountain and no sea that does not fear Friday.” [Ibn Maajah, 1084). This hadith is classed as hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’] Commenting on the last phrase al-Sanadi said: “They fear Friday” means they fear the onset of the Hour. This indicates that all created beings are aware of the days and they know that the Day of Resurrection will come on a Friday.
One of the virtues of this say is Salat al-Jumu’ah (Friday Prayer), which is the best of prayers. Allah says “O you who believe! When the Salah (Prayer) is called for on Friday (Jumu‘ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business transactions. That is better for you if you actually know!” [al-Jumu’ah 62:9]
Muslim (233) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The five daily Prayers and from one Jumu’ah to the next are an expiation for whatever sins come in between them, so long as one has avoided major sins.” (Muslim)
It was also narrated from Aws ibn Aws al-Thaqafi that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does ghusl on Friday and causes (his wife) to do ghusl, and sets out early, and comes close to the imam and listens and keeps quiet, for every step he takes he will have the reward of fasting and praying qiyaam for one year.” [al-Tirmidhi, and classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Tirmidhi]