Salam,

In Judaism, God is understood to be the absolute one, indivisible, and incomparable being who is the ultimate cause of all existence. Judaism holds that YHWH, the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the national god of the Israelites, delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and gave them the Law of Moses at biblical Mount Sinai as described in the Torah. In appreciation of this freedom from slavery the Jews fabricated a day to be a “holy” day in which they can dedicate it solely to God. They coined the day as the “Sabbath Day” in which the word “Sabbath” is related to a Hebrew root that means “cease” or “stop.” They claimed that God commanded His people to cease from their labor, so they could rest, refresh, and refuel. He had set His people free from slavery in Egypt. As children of God, they were no longer bound to work non-stop like slaves. God gave them the gift of rest, a day to cease from working and to honor Him. In the Old Testament, Jews followed the pattern of setting apart the seventh day to keep it holy as God rested and so they were to rest and to give this day solely for God.

Sabbath is first mentioned in the Genesis creation narrative, where the seventh day is set aside as a day of rest and made holy by God as stated in Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. The day was an observation and remembrance of Sabbath and is treated as one of the Ten Commandments. Most people who observe the Sabbath regard it as having been instituted as a perpetual covenant for the Israelites and in Exodus 31:13-17 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

In addition it is stated in Exodus 35:1-3 And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, these are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day. Further in Leviticus 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. And in Deuteronomy 5:14 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. Even fishing and commerce in fish were prohibited as stated in Nehemiah 13:16-18 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, what evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath day? Did not your father thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

However in the Bible Jesus have a different view and take different actions during the Sabbath day as stated in Matthew 12:1-2 At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day. And in Mark 2:27-28 And he said unto them, the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath. And further in Mark 3:2-4 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life or to kill? But they held their peace. It can be deduced that even Jesus according to the Bible had reservation on the stringent laws of the Jewish Sabbath that he violated some of its ruling.

Nevertheless the Sabbath remain intact as there was no record that Jesus or anyone ever changed the day of Sabbath for those who follow him but it is stated that there was no change made from the Sabbath to Sunday in the time of the apostles. However, after the death of the apostles, Sunday was substituted for the Sabbath day through the commandment of men, but not by any commandment of God. It is possible that the transfer may have taken place gradually after the death of the apostles, but concerning secular or church legislation history records the following: “Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the sabbatical observance of Sunday is known to have been ordained is the sabbatical edict of Constantine, A.D. 32I “Chambers’ Encyclopaedia, Article “Sunday.” Here is the first Sunday Law in history, a legal enactment by Constantine 1 (reigned 306-331): “On the Venerable Day of the Sun [“venerabili die Solis”–the sacred day of the Sun] let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost–Given the 7th day of March, [A.D. 321], Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time.” The First Sunday Law of Constantine 1, in “Codex Justinianus,” lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Phillip Schaff “History of the Christian Church,” Vol. 3, p. 380. What did Constantine’s law require? “Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades rest on the venerable day of the sun; but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty attend to the business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by Heaven.” Translated from the original edict in Latin, now in Harvard College U.S.A. Constantine’s empire was predominantly for Sun worship, so this was not a law to favor Christianity, but rather the “venerable day of the sun”, which was the day of the dominating sun worship religion of that time he synagogues every sabbath day.

Church Legislation for changing the Sabbath to Sunday

The Church of that day, then followed suit, and legislated on Sunday worship at the Council of Laodicea. “The Council of Laodicea … forbids Christians from judaizing and resting on the Sabbath day, preferring the Lord’s day, and so far as possible resting as Christians.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1899 Edition, Vol. XXIII, page 654. Here is the first Sunday Law decree of a Christian council. It was given about 16 years after Constantine’s first Sunday Law of A.D. 321: “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday [in the original: “sabbato” shall not be idle on the Sabbath], but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honor, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out [“anathema,”–excommunicated] from Christ.” Council of Laodicea, c. A.D. 337, Canon 29, quoted in C.J. Hefele, “A History of the Councils of the Church,” Vol. 2, p. 316. By the term “Judaize” they mean keeping the Sabbath day. By the term “the Lord’s day” they mean Sunday, which seems to have become a term for that day, although there is no scriptural basis for calling it so.

On the contrary when Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) came and brought in the message of the Quran there is no concept or belief of Allah ever rest. Resting is a false notion of God as the attribute of God is He never tire, or weary, or fatigue, or exhaust as stated in Surah 50:38 We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days, nor did any sense of weariness touch Us. And in Surah 46:33 See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and never wearied with their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yea, verily He has power over all things. As such in the Quran there is no command to make a day in a week special or “holy” and to attribute it solely for the worship or for the remembrance of Allah and making it a crime for those who do other work or business activities other than this just because the former people believed that God rested on the seventh day. The Quran teaches that Allah does not sleep or take a nap and therefore there is no necessity to cease work on that particular day and dedicate it to do duty only to God. This is His description as stated in Surah 2:255 Allah! There is no god but He the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him or sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permit? He know what (appear to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He will. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).

To show the Jews that their fabrication of making the Sabbath day into a “Holy Day” just for the dedication to God, Allah tested them as stated in Surah 7:163 Ask them concerning the town standing close by the sea. Behold! They transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. For on the day of their Sabbath their fish did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no Sabbath, they came not: thus did We make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression. For the violation and transgression of the Sabbath by the Jews Allah showed in the Quran what a reality “Sabbath” should be, that men on that particular day should not neglect God but at the same time should not also neglect his responsibility to earn a living as stated in Surah 62: 9-10 O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew! And when the Prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of Allah and celebrate the Praises of Allah often (and without stint): that ye may prosper. Thus this is the description of the “Real Sabbath” that Allah does not need a complete day to be “Holy” solely for His dedication and that man should not “rest” and do away with any of his daily business just to fulfill that dedication to God just because God rested on the seventh day. A “resting day” for man should be dedicated to himself and his family and the society should enjoyed the peace atmosphere and there should be no restriction to whatsoever he pleases to enjoy the day with his family and friends. A day of congregation in the Quran at Surah 62:9 therefore should not be fulfilled on a holiday when man rested but should be on a day when they are doing their daily work and their business and just a moment of his time is needed to allocate to do the prayer of remembrance of Allah as He had commanded. It is preposterous to think of a God who treats those who did not respect his “Holyday” or rest day by doing some simple activities, as criminals and deserved the death penalty! This is to show that it is a falsehood to have a “Holy Day” for God as He does not need a rest day but man does need a “holiday” a rest day for himself.

Surah 22:78 And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give the alms and hold fast to Allah. He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper.

Surah 4:47 O ye People of the Book! Believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) with you, before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hind wards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers, for the decision of Allah must be carried out.

 

Asar