The 4th commandment is written in Exodus chapter 20 verses 8 to 11 and says:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
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, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
This commandment is really quite simple. It says to rest on the 7th day of the week which is Saturday. The word sabbath simply means “day of rest”. There is no need to make this commandment more complex than it is. The day of rest was created by God when he created the world, and has nothing to do with the people of Israel and was not done away with by Jesus Christ. This day of rest was created for humanity and is our battery charger for the week.
Did Muhammad Remember the Sabbath Day?
In the Quran Al-Baqara verse 65 it says:
And certainly you have known those among you who exceeded the limits of the Sabbath, so We said to them: Be (as) apes, despised and hated.
There is another whole story behind this verse, but it is plain to see that the Sabbath was important to Muhammad. Especially since Allah made those who broke it into apes according to this verse.
Also in the Quran, An-Nisa verse 154:
And We lifted the mountain (Sainai) over them at (the li taking of the covenant) and We said to them: Enter the door making obeisance; and We said to them: Do not exceed the limits of the Sabbath, and We made with them a firm covenant.
Again you can see that Muhammad recognized the sabbath day. But did he keep it?
It’s interesting to see that later on in the Quran, Muhammad changes his mind about the Sabbath, and falsely claims that it was only ordained for those who differed about it. Most likely this was caused by him wanting to separate himself from the Jewish people. In An-Nahl verse 124 he wrote:
The Sabbath was ordained only for those who differed about it, and most surely your Lord will judge between them on the resurrection day concerning that about which they differed.
And Muhammad made Friday the sabbath for Muslims.
So Muhammad broke the 4th commandment in the following 2 ways:
- He disregarded it by saying it’s only ordained for those who differ.
- He deliberately broke it by changing it to Friday. And said every nation has their own day of rest. Muslims have Friday, Jews have Saturday, and Christians have Sunday. When in fact he changed it to Friday to build a separation from the Jews, just like Christians did in the day of Constantine when they moved to Sunday.
Many people think of this as a minor, maybe non-relevant commandment, and it’s really easy to think that way. Nothing bad happens to us if we do not keep this commandment, at least that we are able to see.
But I’m sure YHWH created the 7th day with a purpose, and even if we don’t see why we should remember it, I’m sure there are blessings for those who do.