Disclosure statement

Chad Haines receives resources from the American institute of Pakistan Studies, the U.S. Room of State, and also the Fulbright Foundation.

You are watching: What religion does not work on saturdays

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families spending time with each other over the weekend. Stnorbert/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

In the 1920s and 1930s, labor unions representing industrial workers agitated for more reducing the occupational week come 40 hours, at some point gaining win in 1940 through the i of amendments to the 1938 Fair criter Labor Act. The two-day weekend is result of that effort.

After human being War II the worldwide economy shifted away from production to placing greater emphasis on consumption and also leisure. Automobiles, household vacations, department stores and also movie theaters emerged as important vehicle drivers of financial growth.

In this context, the idea the the weekend became much more significant, not just as a remainder from work, but as a time come consume more.

Religious beliefs

With the production of the two-day weekend in 1940 top top Saturday and Sunday, both Christian and Jewish work of praise were acknowledged.

The Jewish Shabbat, or Sabbath, because that example, commences ~ above Friday evening and also goes v Saturday evening. As well as worship, ~ above this day, part Jews watch a strict day of nonwork including not cooking or turning on any power switches. Similarly, Christians mark Sunday together a work of worship and also rest.


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Jewish mother lighting candles on Sabbath eve. Rafael Ben-Ari/Photodisc archive via Getty images Images

I am a scholar who studies the results of modernity on day-to-day Muslim lives. In Islam, together I know, no work of rest is acknowledged; the idea came through modernity. The 12th-century Islamic scholar and also jurist al-Ghazali issued spiritual ruling that Jewish workers and subjects had the ideal to monitor the Shabbat and also be released from work. Yet never to be it intended that Muslims also take a distinct day of rest.

In the Quran, the Christian and also Judaic idea that Allah “created the heavens and the earth and all in between them in 6 days” is affirmed. But it walk on to assert that “nor did any type of sense that weariness touch us.”

An Islamic weekend

The idea the the weekend together a period of remainder from work-related was introduced throughout the Muslim civilization mostly through European colonial rule in the second half of the 20th century. The joined Nations’ international Labor Organization likewise played a key role in getting nations to expropriate this change.

However, in Islamic practice, Friday is a special day that worship, no Saturday or Sunday. On this day, Muslims are referred to as to pray in a congregation during the midday prayer.

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So, in lot of the Muslim world, the contemporary weekend is adapted to allow Friday together a day off from work to accommodate the congregational prayer.

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Rather than simply a distinct midday prayer, for many of the Muslim world the whole Friday bring away on new significance, do it much more akin to the Christian and also Jewish principles of a work of rest and also a complete day of spiritual celebration.

In Cairo, because that example, the Friday sermon, “khutba,” along with recitations from the Quran space blared from digital speakers throughout the soundscape that the city beginning in midmorning. Many stores and also bazaars room closed throughout the day, opening only in the evening, much like in Jewish and also Christian communities and also countries.

For plenty of Muslims approximately the world, Friday is the beginning of a weekend, where they integrate piety, a rest from work and also family time, in addition to leisure.