Typically, Friday prayers begin at dhuhr – between noon and 12.30pm – depending on the season, but the timing was changed recently.
The change was introduced to give government workers time to attend Friday prayers at a mosque.
The dhuhr prayer time has been moved by about an hour, with the sermon beginning at 1.15pm. Friday prayers are led with the sermon in the mosque, followed by jumaa prayers.
Saturday and Sunday is the new weekend in the country and Friday is a half day for public sector employees, with work beginning at 7.30am and ending at midday.
But Friday prayers at mosques in Sharjah were held at 12.30pm – the prayer timings before the new weekend changes came into force.
Government employees in Sharjah have a three-day weekend – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Prayer is the second of the five pillars of Islam and its timings were determined by the Prophet Mohammed according to the solar cycle. Five prayers are performed during the day: fajr (dawn), dhuhr (midday), asr (afternoon), maghrib (sunset) and isha (evening).
Each must be prayed once the adhan – or call to prayer – is heard. Muslims are encouraged to pray immediately but have a window of a few hours before the next prayer is called.
Friday prayers are considered the most important of the week, and Muslims are encouraged to pray at a mosque in a group.