Friday Prayer

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
All praise be to Allah with full gratitude for all His bounties. … All praise be to Allah: the master of the sovereignty, Who allows arks to flow [on seas], Who controls the winds, Who causes the day to break, Who administers the authority, and Who is the Lord of the worlds. All praise be to Allah for His forbearance despite His full knowledge. All praise be to Allah for His amnesty despite His full power. All praise be to Allah for the length of His respite during His wrath, while He is able to do whatever He wills.
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون
We bear witness that there is no god but Allah. He is one and has no partners. We bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, whom He sent with guidance and the religion of truth that He may make it prevail over all religions, though the polytheists should be averse.
اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
I enjoin you, servants of Allah and myself, to have fear of God and comply with His commands and forbiddances, and warn you against His retribution.

Characterization of the Disciples in the New Testament
According to the New Testament, Jesus Christ personally selected each of his disciples and companions, who then joined him one by one:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20)
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matthew 4:21-22)
Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. (Mark 2:13-14)
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. (Matthew 9:9)
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (John 1:43-45)
According to the four Gospels, Jesus had twelve disciples or apostles: Simon (whom Jesus gave the title Peter), Andrew (Peter’s brother), James and John (sons of Zebedee whom Jesus gave the title “sons of thunder”), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the famous tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the Zealot), and Judas Iscariot, who ultimately betrayed Jesus (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19).
Disciples in the Quranb
The noble Quran recounts two stories about Jesus Christ’s disciples, praising them in both:
1. When the noble Quran recounts the story of the disciples coming to believe in Jesus, it says:
فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَى مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنْصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنْصَارُ اللَّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ
When Jesus sensed their faithlessness, he said, ‘Who will be my helpers [on the path] toward Allah?’ The Disciples said, ‘We will be helpers of Allah. We have faith in Allah, and you be witness that we have submitted [to Him]. (Al ʿImran, 52)
The disciples’ response carries a stronger monotheistic tone. Instead of simply stating “we will be your helpers” in response to the query “who will be my helpers?”, they underscore their devotion to God by describing themselves as helpers of God. They declare that their purpose in joining Jesus is to assist God.
For this reason, God was pleased with this response, inviting others to take on their model. This may be one of the few cases on the noble Quran where it invites people to take the model of individuals other than prophets:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا أَنْصَارَ اللَّهِ، كَمَا قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ لِلْحَوَارِيِّينَ: مَنْ أَنْصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ؟ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ: نَحْنُ أَنْصَارُ اللَّهِ! فَآمَنَتْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَكَفَرَتْ طَائِفَةٌ، فَأَيَّدْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَى عَدُوِّهِمْ فَأَصْبَحُوا ظَاهِرِينَ
O you who have faith! Be Allah’s helpers, just as Jesus son of Mary said to his disciples, ‘Who will be my helpers for Allah’s sake?’ The Disciples said, ‘We will be Allah’s helpers!’ So a group of the Children of Israel believed, and a group disbelieved. Then We strengthened the faithful against their enemies, and they came to prevail [over them]. (Al-Saff, 14)
2. The noble Quran recounts that the disciples made a request for a miracle from Jesus Christ. They asked him to beseech God to send down a meal directly from heaven.
إِذْ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ هَلْ يَسْتَطِيعُ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا مَائِدَةً مِنَ السَّمَاءِ؟
When the Disciples said, ‘O Jesus son of Mary! Can your Lord send down to us a table from the sky?’ (Al-Maʾida, 112)
Jesus was first offended by this request, admonishing the disciples:
قَالَ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
Said he, ‘Be wary of Allah, should you be faithful.’ (Al-Maʾida, 112)
With their response, the disciples express their intention to seek a miracle from God, aiming to deepen their sincere faith in the path they have chosen to follow:
قَالُوا:نُرِيدُ أَنْ نَأْكُلَ مِنْهَا وَتَطْمَئِنَّ قُلُوبُنَا وَنَعْلَمَ أَنْ قَدْ صَدَقْتَنَا وَنَكُونَ عَلَيْهَا مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
They said, ‘We desire to eat from it, and our hearts will be at rest: we shall know that you have told us the truth, and we shall be among the witnesses to it.’ (Al-Maʾida, 113)
God responded to their request following a prayer by Jesus Christ, but on the condition that they maintain unwavering faith and abstain from doubts and polytheism in their hearts after witnessing the divine miracle:
قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ: اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا أَنْزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَائِدَةً مِنَ السَّمَاءِ تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيدًا لِأَوَّلِنَا وَآخِرِنَا وَآيَةً مِنْكَ وَارْزُقْنَا وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ؛ قَالَ اللَّهُ: إِنِّي مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بَعْدُ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنِّي أُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَابًا لَا أُعَذِّبُهُ أَحَدًا مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ
Said Jesus son of Mary, ‘O Allah! Our Lord! Send down to us a table from the sky, to be a festival for us, for the first ones and the last ones among us and as a sign from You, and provide for us; for You are the best of providers.’ (114) Allah said, ‘I will indeed send it down to you. But should any of you disbelieve after this, I will indeed punish him with a punishment such as I do not punish anyone in all creation.’ (Al-Maʾida, 114-115)

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