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Friday-Prayer
 
In the first three verses of the Surah of Jum`ah, Muslims are commanded to set aside their trading activities and rush to hold the Friday-prayer. The Friday prayer comprises two rak`ahs and is performed in the noon prayer’s stead. It should be performed in the period between the shar`i noontime and when the shadow of an object reaches twice its length as compared with the beginning of the period. The imam must deliver two sermons (sing. khutbah) prior to the performance of the prayer. The Friday prayer is obligatory in Sunnism, but in Shi`ism it is conditional upon the presence of the infallible imam or his deputy. In the era of Occultation (qaybah) it is voluntary, given that other conditions are met.
From a social standpoint, the coming together in one place of a vast number of Muslims provides them with the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of each other and to come up with solutions for their problems and shortcomings. It also lays the ground for the emergence of social intelligence for people whose circumstances have deprived them of such opportunity
 
* source: Gorji , Abolghasem "Islam Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.8 ,pp.409
 
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