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Saturday is the first working day in the Hijri calendar. In the Islamic culture, it counts as the first working day. The Quran mentions Saturday in the story of the People of the Sabbath.

The Word

In Arabic, Saturday is called "Sabt" and In Persian, it is called "Shanba," "Shanbad," and "Shanbadh." [1]In ancient Persian, it is called "Shampat" and "Shanpat." In Hebrew, it is called "Shabbat."[2]

In the Islamic culture, Saturday is the first day of the week. It is the seventh day of the Jewish week.

Saturday in the Quran

In the Quran, the term “sabt” is used in Quran 25:47 and Quran 78:9. Moreover, other Quranic verses refer to the story of the People of Sabbath: Quran 2:65; Quran 4:47 and 154, Quran 7:163, Quran 16:124).[3]

In his interpretation of the word "al-sabt" in verse 47 of Quran 25, Nasir Makarim Shirazi explains that "sabat" is derived from the word "sabt," which means to sever or cut off. It was later used to denote the cessation of work for the purpose of rest. In the Arabic language, Saturday is referred to as "al-Sabt," a term borrowed from Hebrew, as it was the Jewish holiday or weekend.[4]

According to 'Allama Tabataba'i's interpretation of the term "sabat" in verse 9 of Quran 78, the term carries the literal meaning of comfort and rest. Sleeping provides comfort and revitalizes physical energy, relieving fatigue accumulated during waking hours and the soul's activities within the body. Some individuals have suggested that "sabat" refers to severing or cutting off, which can be associated with sleep or rest due to the cessation of the soul's activities within the body during sleep. Another viewpoint proposes that "sabat" signifies death.[5] Quranic lexicologist Hasan Mustafawi explains that "sabt" denotes taking rest after work, which can be applied to death as it represents a period of rest after an extended period of labor.[6]

Saturday in Other Religions and Cultures

In the Old Testament, the Sabbath is depicted as a sacred day that originated during the early stages of creation.[7] It is described that after the creation of the heavens, the earth, and everything in between, God ceased His work and entered into a state of rest.[8] As a result, Saturday became dedicated to the worship of the Lord and the cessation of all labors.[9] The Jewish people have faithfully upheld this ancient tradition throughout history, following the teachings passed down from Moses (a).[10] However, there have been instances where individuals violated this divine covenant by engaging in work and pursuing material wealth on the Sabbath, which resulted in their death as punished, as per the Old Testament.[11]

There were instances when certain individuals among the Children of Israel chose to disregard the divine commandment. They ventured out to gather food on the seventh day, but to their dismay, they found nothing. God conveyed to Moses (a) their persistent defiance and questioned how long they intended to continue disobeying His commands, while He would provide them with sustenance for two days, thereby establishing Saturday, the seventh day, as a designated time for rest and worship.[12]

The fourth out of the ten commandments of God to Moses (a) concerns the day of Sabbath: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals.”[13]

In the Old Testament, Saturday or Sabbath is deemed a dedicated day for worshiping the Lord.[14] In addition to its special sacrifices, it is a day of congregational communal services and worship. God calls everyone to gather in His house for worship and form a holy gathering.[15] As for the defiance of the Israelites, He says: “Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people.”[16]

In the Christian tradition, inspired by the teachings of Moses (a) and the earlier prophets, Sabbath is honored as a sacred day of rest and refraining from work. The New Testament accounts reveal that Jesus (a) the Christ and early Christians participated in Jewish synagogues on Saturdays, dedicating this day to worshiping the Lord.[17] Jesus the Christ himself actively engaged in attending Jewish synagogues on Saturdays and delivering his teachings.[18]

Based on biblical accounts of Jesus's healings, it can be inferred that instances of healing occurred on Saturdays, which suggests that such acts were not in conflict with the principle of resting and refraining from labor on that day.[19]

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus asserts his role as the master and authority over the Sabbath, proclaiming, "So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."[20]


  • The special supplication of Saturdays:[21] “In the name of Allah, the word of those who make recourse, and the utterance of those who abstain. I seek refuge in Allah the Exalted from the injustice of the unjust, the stratagems of the envious, and the oppression of the wrongdoers. I praise Him beyond the praise of those who praise. O Allah! You are the One without partner and the sovereign without any relinquishment of Your dominion. There is no contradiction in Your sovereignty and no dispute in Your dominion. I beseech You to send greetings to Muhammad, Your servant and apostle, and grant me the opportunity to express gratitude for Your blessings to the fullest extent of Your satisfaction. Assist me in obeying You, persisting in Your worship, and deserving Your rewards through Your grace. Have mercy upon me by averting me from sins as long as You keep me alive, granting me opportunities as long as You let me survive. Open my heart through Your Book and alleviate my burdens as I recite it. Grant me integrity in my religion and my soul, and ensure that my companions are not horrified of me. Fulfill Your kindness towards me, as You have been kind to me in the past, O the Most Merciful of the merciful.”[22]
  • Recitation of the supplications of the eve of Friday on Saturday night, based on a hadith.[25]
  • Isti'adha (seeking refuge to God) on Saturday[28]
  • Istikhara (seeking counsel from God): In his book Taqwim al-muhsinin, Mulla Muhsin Fayd Kashani mentions specific hours during the week for seeking guidance through istikhara using the Quran. He states that these reports are widely known among the believers, even though no hadith has been found to authenticate them. Accordingly, it is recommended to perform istikhara on Saturday.[29]
  • Visiting the graves of believers: This practice has been emphasized in numerous hadiths, encouraging believers to visit and supplicate for them. Imam 'Ali (a) has advised visiting the deceased as they find joy in such visits. Additionally, he suggested making personal requests to God while at the graves of one's parents.[30] The most preferable times for visiting graves are "between the two rises" (bayn al-tulu'ayn) on Saturday and Monday, as well as the evening of Thursday.[31]
  • Traveling: According to a hadith, it is recommended to observe fasting on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It is also advised to plan travels on Saturday, Tuesday, or Thursday, while avoiding journeys on Monday, Wednesday, or before noon on Fridays.[32]


  1. Dihkhudā, Lughatnāma, under the word "Shanba".
  2. Yunusī, "Falsafa-yi taqsīm wa nāmgudhārī-yi rūz-hāyi hafta".
  3. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 6, p. 420.
  4. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 15, p. 114.
  5. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 20, p. 262.
  6. Muṣṭafawī, al-Tahqīq, vol. 5, p. 17.
  7. Genesis 4-1:2.
  8. Genesis 4-1:2.
  9. Leviticus 3:23.
  10. Exodus 11-8:20.
  11. Exodus 14:31.
  12. Exodus 29:16.
  13. Exodus 11-8:20.
  14. Leviticus 3:23.
  15. Leviticus 3:23.
  16. Exodus 14:31.
  17. Acts of the Apostles, 17-18.
  18. Luke, 16:4.
  19. Mark, 3.
  20. Mark, 28:2.
  21. ʿAbdullāhī, Mafātīḥ al-Najāḥ, vol. 2, p. 64; بِسْمِ اللهِ كَلِمَةِ (كَلِمَةُ)الْمُعْتَصِمِينَ وَ مَقَالَةِ(مَقَالَةُ) الْمُتَحَرِّزِينَ‏ وَ أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ تَعَالَى مِنْ جَوْرِ الْجَائِرِينَ وَ كَيْدِ الْحَاسِدِينَ وَ بَغْيِ الظَّالِمِينَ وَ أَحْمَدُهُ فَوْقَ حَمْدِ الْحَامِدِينَ‏ اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الْوَاحِدُ بِلاَ شَرِيكٍ وَ الْمَلِكُ بِلاَ تَمْلِيكٍ‏ لاَ تُضَادُّ فِي حُكْمِكَ وَ لاَ تُنَازَعُ فِي مُلْكِكَ‏ أَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ عَبْدِكَ وَ رَسُولِكَ‏ وَ أَنْ تُوزِعَنِي مِنْ شُكْرِ نُعْمَاكَ مَا تَبْلُغُ بِي غَايَةَ رِضَاكَ‏ وَ أَنْ تُعِينَنِي عَلَى طَاعَتِكَ وَ لُزُومِ عِبَادَتِكَ وَ اسْتِحْقَاقِ مَثُوبَتِكَ بِلُطْفِ عِنَايَتِكَ‏ وَ تَرْحَمَنِي بِصَدِّي (وَ صُدَّنِي) عَنْ مَعَاصِيكَ مَا أَحْيَيْتَنِي وَ تُوَفِّقَنِي لِمَا يَنْفَعُنِي مَا أَبْقَيْتَنِي‏ وَ أَنْ تَشْرَحَ بِكِتَابِكَ صَدْرِي وَ تَحُطَّ بِتِلاَوَتِهِ وِزْرِي‏ وَ تَمْنَحَنِي السَّلاَمَةَ فِي دِينِي وَ نَفْسِي وَ لاَ تُوحِشَ بِي أَهْلَ أُنْسِي‏ وَ تُتِمَّ إِحْسَانَكَ فِيمَا بَقِيَ مِنْ عُمْرِي كَمَا أَحْسَنْتَ فِيمَا مَضَى مِنْهُ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ
  22. The special supplication of Saturdays. (Persian)
  23. Qummī, Kulliyāt-i Mafātīḥ al-jinān; أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلَهَ إِلا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ رَسُولُهُ وَ أَنَّكَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ قَدْ بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالاتِ رَبِّكَ وَ نَصَحْتَ لِأُمَّتِكَ وَ جَاهَدْتَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَ الْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَ أَدَّيْتَ الَّذِي عَلَيْكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَ أَنَّكَ قَدْ رَؤُفْتَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ غَلُظْتَ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ وَ عَبَدْتَ اللَهَ مُخْلِصا حَتَّى أَتَاكَ الْيَقِينُ فَبَلَغَ اللهُ بِكَ أَشْرَفَ مَحَلِّ الْمُكَرَّمِينَ الْحَمْدُ لِلهِ الَّذِي اسْتَنْقَذَنَا بِكَ مِنَ الشِّرْكِ وَ الضَّلالِ اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ وَ اجْعَلْ صَلَوَاتِكَ وَ صَلَوَاتِ مَلائِكَتِكَ وَ أَنْبِيَائِكَ وَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ وَ عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ وَ أَهْلِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَ الْأَرَضِينَ وَ مَنْ سَبَّحَ لَكَ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ مِنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَ الْآخِرِينَ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ عَبْدِكَ وَ رَسُولِكَ وَ نَبِيِّكَ وَ أَمِينِكَ وَ نَجِيبِكَ وَ حَبِيبِكَ وَ صَفِيِّكَ وَ صِفْوَتِكَ وَ خَاصَّتِكَ وَ خَالِصَتِكَ وَ خِيَرَتِكَ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ وَ أَعْطِهِ الْفَضْلَ وَ الْفَضِيلَةَ وَ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَ الدَّرَجَةَ الرَّفِيعَةَ وَ ابْعَثْهُ مَقَاماً مَحْمُوداً يَغْبِطُهُ بِهِ الْأَوَّلُونَ وَ الْآخِرُونَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ قُلْتَ وَ لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللهَ وَ اسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللهَ تَوَّاباً رَحِيماً إِلَهِي فَقَدْ أَتَيْتُ نَبِيَّكَ مُسْتَغْفِراً تَائِباً مِنْ ذُنُوبِي، فَصَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ وَ اغْفِرْهَا لِي يَا سَيِّدَنَا أَتَوَجَّهُ بِكَ وَ بِأَهْلِ بَيْتِكَ إِلَى اللهِ تَعَالَى رَبِّكَ وَ رَبِّي لِيَغْفِرَ لِي، آنگاه سه بار بگو: إِنَّا لِلهِ وَ إِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ سپس بگو: أُصِبْنَا بِكَ يَا حَبِيبَ قُلُوبِنَا فَمَا أَعْظَمَ الْمُصِيبَةَ بِكَ حَيْثُ انْقَطَعَ عَنَّا الْوَحْيُ وَ حَيْثُ فَقَدْنَاكَ فَإِنَّا لِلهِ وَ إِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ يَا سَيِّدَنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَهِ صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْكَ وَ عَلَى آلِ بَيْتِكَ [الطَّيِّبِينَ ] الطَّاهِرِينَ هَذَا يَوْمُ السَّبْتِ وَ هُوَ يَوْمُكَ وَ أَنَا فِيهِ ضَيْفُكَ وَ جَارُكَ فَأَضِفْنِي وَ أَجِرْنِي فَإِنَّكَ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الضِّيَافَةَ وَ مَأْمُورٌ بِالْإِجَارَةِ فَأَضِفْنِي وَ أَحْسِنْ ضِيَافَتِي وَ أَجِرْنَا وَ أَحْسِنْ إِجَارَتَنَا بِمَنْزِلَةِ اللَهِ عِنْدَكَ وَ عِنْدَ آلِ بَيْتِكَ وَ بِمَنْزِلَتِهِمْ عِنْدَهُ وَ بِمَا اسْتَوْدَعَكُمْ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ فَإِنَّهُ أَكْرَمُ الْأَكْرَمِينَ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ وَ رَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَ بَرَكَاتُهُ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا مُحَمَّدَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا خِيَرَةَ اللهِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا حَبِيبَ اللهِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا صِفْوَةَ اللهِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَمِينَ اللهِ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ رَسُولُ اللهِ وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ قَدْ نَصَحْتَ لِأُمَّتِكَ وَ جَاهَدْتَ فِي سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ وَ عَبَدْتَهُ حَتَّى أَتَاكَ الْيَقِينُ فَجَزَاكَ اللهُ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ أَفْضَلَ مَا جَزَى نَبِيّا عَنْ أُمَّتِهِ اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ أَفْضَلَ مَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَ آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ.
  24. Qummī, Kulliyāt-i Mafātīḥ al-jinān, Practices of the month of Rajab.
  25. Qummī, Kulliyāt-i Mafātīḥ al-jinān, Ṣalawat of Abu l-Ḥasan Ḍarrāb Iṣfahānī.
  26. Qummī, Kulliyāt-i Mafātīḥ al-jinān, Prayers for the days of the week.
  27. Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, supplications of the week; Tasbīḥ. (Praise) on Saturday; بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ‏ سُبْحَانَ الْإِلَهِ الْحَقِّ سُبْحَانَ الْقَابِضِ الْبَاسِطِ سُبْحَانَ الضَّارِّ النَّافِعِ سُبْحَانَ الْقَاضِي بِالْحَقِّ سُبْحَانَهُ وَ بِحَمْدِهِ سُبْحَانَ الْعَلِيِّ الْأَعْلَى سُبْحَانَ مَنْ عَلَا فِي الْهَوَاءِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى سُبْحَانَ الْحَسَنِ الْجَمِيلِ سُبْحَانَ الرَّءُوفِ الرَّحِيمِ سُبْحَانَ الْغَنِيِّ الْحَمِيدِ سُبْحَانَ الْخَالِقِ الْبَارِئِ سُبْحَانَ الرَّفِيعِ الْأَعْلَى سُبْحَانَ الْعَظِيمِ الْأَعْظَمِ سُبْحَانَ مَنْ هُوَ هَكَذَا وَ لَا هَكَذَا يَكُونُ غَيْرُهُ سُبُّوحٌ قُدُّوسٌ لِرَبِّي الْحَيِّ الْحَلِيمِ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْعَظِيمِ وَ بِحَمْدِهِ سُبْحَانَ مَنْ هُوَ دَائِمٌ لَا يَسْهُو سُبْحَانَ مَنْ هُوَ قَائِمٌ لَا يَلْهُو سُبْحَانَ مَنْ هُوَ غَنِيٌّ لَا يَفْتَقِرُ سُبْحَانَ مَنْ تَوَاضَعَ كُلُّ شَيْ‏ءٍ لِعَظَمَتِهِ سُبْحَانَ مَنْ ذَلَ‏ كُلُّ شَيْ‏ءٍ لِعِزَّتِهِ‏ سُبْحَانَ مَنِ اسْتَسْلَمَ كُلُّ شَيْ‏ءٍ لِقُدْرَتِهِ سُبْحَانَ مَنْ خَضَعَ كُلُّ شَيْ‏ءٍ لِمُلْكِهِ سُبْحَانَ مَنِ انْقَادَتْ لَهُ الْأُمُورُ بِأَزِمَّتِهَا
  28. Saturday etiquettes and practices (Persian)
  29. Qummī, Kulliyāt-i Mafātīḥ al-jinān, Istikhara hours.
  30. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, chapter. 57, h. 5.
  31. Baḥrānī, al-Ḥadāʾiq al-nāḍira, vol. 4, p. 169-170.
  32. Qummī, Kulliyāt-i Mafātīḥ al-jinān, Travel etiquettes.


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  • Mudarris Tabrīzī, Muḥammad ʿAlī. Rayḥānat al-adab. Tehran: Khayyām, 1369 Sh.
  • Muṣṭafawī, Ḥasan. Al-Tahqīq fī kalimāt al-Qur'ān al-karīm. Tehran: Wizārat-i Irshād-i Islāmī, 1386 Sh.
  • Pīrī Sabziwārī, Ḥusayn. "Āyatullāh al-ʿuẓmā Sayyid Abū l-Qāsim Khoeī; Qurʾān shinās-i buzurg-i mu'āṣir". Gulistān-i Qurʾān 126. (1381 Sh)
  • Qummī, Abbās. Kulliyāt-i Mafātīḥ al-jinān. Edited by Ḥusayn Ustādwalī. Translated by Mūsawī Dāmghānī. Qom: nashr-i Ṣiddīqa, 1376 Sh.
  • Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Mūhammad Ḥusayn. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Translated to Farsi by Mūsawī Hamidānī. Fifth edition. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1374 Sh.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan. Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī, 1418 AH.
  • نام روزهای هفته در ایران باستان (The names of the days of the week in ancient Iran. (Persian)). Accessed: 2023/08/26.
  • حکمت نامگذاری روزهای هفته به زبان انگلیسی (The reason for naming the days of the week in English. (Persian)). Accessed: 2023/08/26.
  • دعای روز شنبه (The special supplication of Saturdays. (Persian)). Accessed: 2023/08/26.
  • آداب و اعمال روز شنبه (Saturday customs and practices. (Persian)). Accessed: 2023/08/26.