Jum’ah is a common word of Arabic origin. Amazingly, some people have ascribed it to their own tribe as if they own it. In fact, some have their own version of its pronunciations. Yoruba would say Jimoh, Hausa Jimaa, some others Jummaa while some say other things. The spellings we read here and there are probably because of ascent, or the transliteration method adopted. As a matter of fact, I’ve once read ‘Gemma’. Let’s go back to Arabic itself and let Jum’ah tell us about itself.
Iresspctive of the transliteration method we are adopting, Jum’ah can be pronounced in three correct ways. We call it Muthallathatul mim. Meaning that the ‘mim‘ can be pronounced in three ways because it can take three vowels. It could take Sukun, Fatha and Dhamma. So you can pronounce it as Jum’ah, Juma’ah or Jumu’ah respectively. Note please, I am putting ‘h’ at the end of the word as it should be pronounced. Pronounce it so, only where used otherwise throughout the article. Also note the hiphen after the m, it stands for letter ain (ع).
Many times, we fight on the issues of Fiqh needlessly in the name of difference of opinion. The difference in the Fiqh of Arabic language is enormous in comparison. Don’t be surprise if you find a lady bearing Juma’ah. The question is, what is the gender class of the noun Jum’ah. Is it masculine or feminine?
It is not news to a student of Arabic that not all words ending in “taaun marbutatun ة” are classified as feminine. For example, Aishatu, Khadijatu, Basiratu and so on, ending in “tu”. They are all feminine.
You could have words like Hamzatu, Talhatu, Usamatu, Rabiatu and so on. They are all masculine, even though they end in the ‘ta’ we are talking about. Jum’atu belongs to this class. It is a common masculine noun.
Before I go further, let me say, one of the problems of this age is that we bear names and give our children names we don’t even know their meanings and we don’t try finding out. What is the meaning of Jum’ah? Literally, it means coming together. That’s because Arabs always come together on that day even before the birth of prophet Muhammad (SAW). The Quraish used to meet on that day too in the house of Qussa and give different sermons even about the coming of the Prophet. And, they used to give the mim vowel fatha. Let’s pause on history for now.
Jum’ah is a known day and it is a common practice amongst the Arabs to name their children by times, days and happenings. So, the word Jum’ah is well known and is a sacred day in Islam because it is like a festival day for us.
The problem with the noun is, if I change it entirely not to mean the Juma’ah we’ve translated and intend it to be a name of a day in the week, then the meaning changes to Friday, (a name of a day). By ruling, if we are going by the name of a day and not as a common noun, then its gender changes to feminine because it is having taaun marbutatun at the end. Jum’atun or Al Jum’atu. Even though Jum’atun (as in Friday) is common too, it is now a name other than what it used to be.
As an analogy, someone might decide to be called as Dhahaba. Dhahaba is a verb meaning he went. But the moment you intend calling someone by it, it becomes a noun and you can also feminize it as Dhahabatu, if the person so wants to be called so. That’s funny right? That’s how flexible the language is. You can refer to Sharh Ibn Aqil on this.
Now that we’ve seen how the word can act as a scientific matter, transforming from one state to the other. We’ve seen the Fiqh behind it. Misunderstanding could occur though, from the person who wants to analyze a sentence probably by not making his or her intended usage of the word known.
Juma’ah can be a common name which is masculine and can be feminine if we intend a name of a day by it. The only time Juma’ah (if Friday) can have masculine adjective after it is if it preceeded by the word “Yawm” (meaning day). As in, Yawmul Juma’ah (Day of the Juma’ah). If you like, make the Yawm show and if you like don’t. Your intent matters.
Let’s wrap it up by learning simple Arabic. A masculine noun takes a masculine adjective and a feminine noun take a feminine adjective. So let’s do a simple analysis. If I say:
Talibun Tawilun – A tall student. Both are masculine.
Talibatun Tawilatun – A tall student. Both are feminine.
Let’s check the problem of Juma’ah now.
The difference is clear in the taun marbutatun at the end of the feminine sentence.
Juma’atun Mubarakatun – A blessed Friday. Both in feminine because I meant the name of the day.
Jum’atun Mubarakun – A blessed day of Jum’ah.
Here, both are masculine. The speaker doesn’t want to use the word Yawm again because Jum’ah is a common masculine noun.
I’m sorry to have taken a bit of your time. The purpose of this is for you not to be ashamed to select one of the two and not be intimidated when someone says you are wrong. Refer him to this article and live together in peace. And because today is the D-Day. I wish you all….
Jum’atun Mubarak and Juma’atun Mubarakatun.
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