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Brief Rulings for the Friday Khutbah

Courtesy of helen_romberg

By Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ al-‘Uthmani

[The following article offers the rulings for the jumu’ah khutbah according to the rulings of a great Hanafi jurist. Being a brief piece, it does not tackle the detailed analysis of evidences nor numerous possible scenarios that can occur during a Friday sermon. It is a translation of an article written in 1350H by Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Shafi’, Allah have mercy on him. It appeared in his Khutabat al-Ahkam li Jumu’at al-‘Am by Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali al-Thanwi, Allah have mercy on him. Madinah Publishing Co., Karachi 1382H.]

The jumu’ah khutbah is a condition (shart) for the prayer. The jumu’ah prayer is therefore not complete without the khutbah. Further, the condition can only be fulfilled by the performance of dhikr Allah (the remembrance of Allah).

It is therefore sunnah for the khutbah of jumu’ah and the two ‘ids (the two ‘eids) to be delivered in Arabic. Conversely, to perform the khutbah in another language is considered an innovation. (Sharh Muwatta of Shah Wali Allah, Kitab al-Adhkar of Nawawi, Durr al-Mukhtar, Shurut al-Salat, Sharh al-Ihya’)

Similarly, performing the khutbah in Arabic and then giving its translation in another language before the prayer is also considered an innovation and should be avoided. Of course, there is no harm in providing the translation after the prayer. Rather, this method is preferable. There is also no harm if the translation is given after the khutbahs of the two ‘ids, and it is even better to step away from the minbar and provide the translation in order that a clear distinction be made. (See Taqrid al-Risalah based on the hadith of Sahih Muslim)

It is sunnah to remain in a state of wudu‘ while delivering the khutbah. Not having wudu’ while delivering the khutbah is disliked (makruh). It is also sunnah to stand up while giving the khutbah and therefore to sit while delivering it is makruh. (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, Bahr al-Ra’iq)

It is sunnah to face the people while delivering the khutbah. Facing the qiblah or any other direction while delivering it is makruh. (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, Bahr al-Ra’iq) It is also a sunnah to recite “a’udhu billahi min al-shaytan al-rajim” softly before starting the khutbah . (As stated by Imam Abu Yusuf. See Bahr al-Ra’iq) Delivering the khutbah in a loud voice so that the people can hear it is sunnah. Delivering it softly (so that not all can hear) is makruh. (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah )

It is sunnah to give a moderately short khutbah and not overly extend it. The limit that it should be kept to is the same time as it would take to read one of the tiwal mufassal surahs (any surah between al-Hujurat and al-Buruj). Extending it any longer is makruh. (Radd al-Muhtar, al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, Bahr al-Ra’iq)

It is additionally sunnah that ten things be observed during the khutbah:

1. To start with hamd (praise of Allah)

2. To glorify Allah (thana’)

3. To recite the shahadatayn

4. To send blessings and salutations (salat wa salam) on the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace)

5. To give some words of guidance and advice;

6. To read some verse of the Quran

7. To sit for a little while in between the two khutbahs

8. To offer du’a (supplication) for all Muslims, men and women

9. To say “al-hamd li Allah” during the second khutbah as well as thana’ and salat wa salam

10. To make both khutbahs no longer than the time it takes to read a surah of the tiwal mufassal. (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, Bahr al-Ra’iq)