Prayer amid protest in Egypt
February 4th, 2011
12:40 PM ET

Friday brings prayers amid protests in Egypt

Friday's huge "Day of Departure" protests in Cairo, Egypt coincided with Friday afternoon prayers, the most important of the week for Muslims.

It was the second Friday in a row that Egyptian protest organizers used Friday prayers as launch events for huge demonstrations.

Daily prayer is one of the five pillars of Islam and Friday's afternoon prayer, or Juma’ah Salat, has special significance because it is the week's lone communal prayer.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Africa

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Iqbal Khan


    February 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Al-Alaq sura 96:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Read: In the name of thy Lord Who createth, (1) Createth man from a clot. (2) Read: And thy Lord is the Most Bounteous, (3) Who teacheth by the pen, (4) Teacheth man that which he knew not. (5) Nay, but verily man is rebellious (6) That he thinketh himself independent! (7) Lo! unto thy Lord is the return. (8) Hast thou seen him who dissuadeth (9) A slave when he prayeth? (10) Hast thou seen if he relieth on the guidance (of Allah) (11) Or enjoineth piety? (12) Hast thou seen if he denieth (Allah's guidance) and is froward? (13) Is he then unaware that Allah seeth? (14) Nay, but if he cease not We will seize him by the forelock – (15) The lying, sinful forelock – (16) Then let him call upon his henchmen! (17) We will call the guards of hell. (18) Nay, Obey not thou him. But prostrate thyself, and draw near (unto Allah). (19).

    February 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Lovely sight and makes me proud to see our Egyptian brothers and sisters (Muslims and Christians) as one brotherly force standing up in the libration square in Cairo against the tyrant and unjust ruling party, which was not only a set back for Egypt but for the whole Arabic nations...

    February 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  4. Muneef

    Injustice And The Unjust by Shaykh Muhammad Mitwalli Al Sharawi 
    ‘The great calamity of this world is that we seek the help of wrongdoers and help them in spite of their injustice. Someone who seeks the help of wrongdoers fails to turn to Allah Almighty, who is able to sweep away any unjust ruler along with all the tyranny, force and power that he wields’.

    February 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Reality

      And the koranic-based drivel goes on and on and on and on and on !!!!

      February 5, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  5. Muneef

    Injustice And The Unjust by Shaykh Muhammad Mitwalli Al Sharawi 
    ‘The great calamity of this world is that we seek the help of wrongdoers and help them in spite of their injustice. Someone who seeks the help of wrongdoers fails to turn to Allah Almighty, who is able to sweep away any unjust ruler along with all the tyranny, force and power that he wields’. 

    February 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  6. Reality

    Mom Nature granted the gifts of Free Will and Future to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, she/god is not able to alter life and requests/prayers will not be answered. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variabiliy/randomness of Nature.-–

    So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows and bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the modernized commandments of your religion or any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

    February 5, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  7. Awesome

    Thank You CNN! For once not making this about religion as it isn't really! This is a revolution started by Facebook generation who want the rights and freedom we enjoy here in America

    February 5, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  8. fifi

    Religion has killed more people than any war in human history. Desist from it

    February 5, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • Reality


      Something to peruse:

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries Religions/Groups involved*

      1 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")
      2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)
      40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)
      4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)
      5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)
      6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)
      20 million Joseph Stalin 20C
      8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)
      9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C
      10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)
      11 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)
      15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians)
      13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C
      14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C
      10 million Xin Dynasty 1C
      16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)
      17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans)
      8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)
      19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)
      7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."


      February 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Sherif

      Accidents had killed more !!!!

      February 6, 2011 at 6:43 am |
  9. Khaled Anntar

    A Muslim who prays is a peaceful person who will never cause harm to society or to other persons in a different society in the West or elsewhere. Thank you for CNN for showing peaceful demonstrators praying; they carry noweapons; they commit no violence. When they shouted, they shouted for democracy, freedom and dignity; they did not call for violence; they did not call for attacking Israel; they did not call for severing relations with the US and the West. Muslim and Arab countries are full of corruption, lack of equal opportunities and dictators hijacking the riches of the lands. Mubarek and his supporting military have long been raised and nourshied by the US Government. When the peaceful demonstrations started, US Secretary Hillary Clinton was praising the stability of the Government of Egypt and its ability to keep things in order. This has given the green light to the dictator and his gang to commit crimes against the peaceful demonstrators with live ammunition crashing into their innocent bodies with police vans and trucks.

    If I have the power to do I what I want to do right now, I will hang Mubarek, his security and secret police and army of thugs and everyone who has helped him become a dictator. If I have the power , I will set Mubarek on fire and watch him taste and feel the pain he has given to the innocent and to the millions of Egyptians.

    US Government has played a very tremendous role in making Mubarek a monster. Mubarek is a gang master who will someday face the ultimate end!!

    Allah is Greater than Mubarek, his thugs and those who helped make him a dictator!!!

    Mubarek, I hope and pray that Hell will be waiting for you. I hope and pray that you are now thinking of the hell you are going to see as soon as your breath and heart stop, hopefully soon.

    February 5, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Reality

      In the meantime Khaled, here is something you and Mubarak and all Muslims can peruse:

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      February 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  10. Starr

    There's a mistake, CNN, on one of your photos. It's not called Jumaa Salat, but Salat al-Jumaa. In Arabic, the noun comes before the verb. Salat means prayer.

    February 5, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  11. Curious

    “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

    February 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Reality

      John 16: 33 is a single attestation found no where else in the NT making it historically unreliable. Most contemporary NT scholars have concluded that it was not uttered by Jesus. e.g.

      Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years: p. 551, "The historical yield is nil."

      February 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  12. paul

    Check out the top about Hollywood's stars with the biggest income in 2010 on www[.]moviesfan[.]eu

    February 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  13. Alan

    The vast majority of protestors in Egypt want a free and democratic secular state.

    The CNN focus on Friday prayers misrepresents what is happening on the ground. Why are the US government and the mainstream media, including CNN, not calling for open and free democratic elections.

    February 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      Because it might be interpreted as an endorsement of Islamic theocracy in the middle of a power vacuum. It would certainly be considered a violation of Israeli trust, if not the trust of other ME nations currently favorable to the U.S.

      How much do you want to pay for gas next month?

      February 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Dan613

      I don't see CNN "focusing" on Friday prayers. I haven't found much about that actually on CNN. But many did pray,and many believe. Many might want a secular country, but it does not necessarily mean they don't place religion on an important place.

      February 4, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  14. H A KHIM

    You have not explained the mystery of life and death. Do you not see life and death every day...new babies born and death when the earthly life ends? Who regulates this? Whether you are a Muslim, a Christian or a Jew, an atheist or whoever...you can not escape this reality; and therefore there has to be Msker wh has designed all this. Otherwise all what you have said is ntohng but figments of your imagination and is not very convincing.

    i will convert to your thinking if you can stop me or aby one from getting old.

    Hopefully, I have made you think and you have no answer to give.

    February 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Explain why there has to be a maker.. this is an assumption and not fact

      February 5, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Nonimus

      Likewise, convince me by having your God prevent someone from becoming old.

      February 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.