Ruling concerning khutbah:
The majority of the people of knowledge are of the opinion that khutbahtul Jumu'ah is obligatory and they support this by the confirmed hadith which state that the Prophet always made the khutbah with the Jumu'ah. In their support they also quote the saying of the Prophet: "Pray as you see me pray," and the Qur'anic verse: "O you who believe, when the call is proclaimed for salatul jumu'ah, hasten unto the remembrance of Allah." This verse contains an order to hasten unto the remembrance, which implies it is obligatory, and (the scholars) interpret the remembrance of Allah to include the khutbatul Jumu'ah. AshShaukani refutes the first argument by saying that hadith simply states the action of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam and does not necessarily prove that such an action is obligatory. As to the verse, he regards it as simply a command to be present at the salah which is obligatory and excludes khutbah... Regarding their argument relating to the commandment to "hasten unto the rememberance of Allah," he says it refers to salah only, which is the real cause for making haste. There is, however, an agreement that the Friday salah is obligatory while there is a dispute over whether or not the khutbah is obligatory. Ash-Shaukani concludes by saying that apparently the correct view is the one held by al-Hassan al-Basri, Dawud az-Zahiri and al-Juwaini, that the khutbah is only a highly recommended act.
The greeting of the imam:
The imam should greet the people when he comes upon the pulpit, followed by the adhan which is to be made when he sits. The imam should face the people during the adhan.
Jabir reports that when the Prophet mounted the pulpit, he would greet the people. This is related by Ibn Majah and in its chain is Ibn Lahiya, and al-Athram has recorded it in his Sunnan from ash-Sha'biy, on the authority of the Prophtet, in mursal form. Ata' and others also reported in mursal form that when the Prophet walked to the top of the pulpit, he would turn to the people and say: "Peace be upon you." According to ashSha'biy: "Abu Bakr and 'Umar used to do that [also]."
As-Sa'ib ibn Yazid informs: "The first adhan to salah made on the day of Jumu'ah was made when the imam sat upon the pulpit during the time of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, and 'Umar. Then, during the time of 'Uthman, since there were many people, he instituted a third adhan outside the mosque. The Prophet only had one mu'adhdhin." This is related by alBukhari, an-Nasa'i, and Abu Dawud. In another narration, it is stated: "During the time of 'Uthman, there were many people, so 'Uthman ordered the people to make a third call to salah on the day of Jumu'ah, outside of the mosque, and that practice has continued."
Ahmad and an-Nasa'i record: "Bilal would make the adhan to salah when the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam sat upon the pulpit, and he would make the iqamah when the Prophet came down from the pulpit."
'Adi ibn-Thabit relates from his father on the authority of his grandfather who said: "When the Prophet ascended the pulpit, he would face his companions." This is related by Ibn Majah. Concerning this latter hadilh, although there is some doubt about it, at-Tirmidhi says: "The people of knowledge from among the companions and others follow that and they prefer that the imam face the people when delivering the khutbah. "
Contents of the khutbah:
It is preferred that the Friday khutbah include praises of Allah, the Exalted, prayers upon the Prophet, admonitions, and Qur'anic recitations.
Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wassallam said: "Every speech that does not begin with the praises of Allah is defective." This is related by Abu Dawud. Ahmad has something similar to it. In another version, it is stated: "The Friday khutbah that does not contain the testimony ["There is no God except Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger] is like the defective hand." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmidhi.
Ibn Mas'ud reports that the Prophet would say in his opening testimony: "All praise be to Allah, we seek His aid and we seek His forgiveness and we seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our souls. Whomever Allah guides, no one will be able to mislead him. Whoever He leaves astray will have no guidance for him. And I testify that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger whom He sent with the truth and as a warner before the Hour. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be guided aright, and whoever disobeys them will only harm his own self and he will not harm Allah, the Exalted, at all."
Ibn Shihab was asked about the Prophet's opening testimony during his khutbah on the day of Jumu'ah, and he said something similar to that except that he stated: "Whoever disobeys them has gone astray." Abu Dawud related both of these reports.
Jabir ibn Samurah says: "The Messenger of Allah would deliver his khutbah standing, would sit in between the two khutbahs, would recite some verses, and would remind the people [about Allah]." This is related by the group, save al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi.
Jabir also related that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam would not make his admonitions on Friday too long, but give a very short khutbah. This is related by Abu Dawud.
Umm Hisham bint Harithah ibn an-Nu'man says: "I learnt [Surah] Qaf of the Glorious Qur'an from the Prophet for he recited it upon the pulpit every Friday when he addressed the people." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, an-Nasa' i, and Abu Dawud .
Ya'la ibn Umayyah reports that he heard the Prophet recite, while on the pulpit: "And they cry: O Malik!..." (az-Zukhruf 77). This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Ibn Majah records from Ubayy that the Messenger of Allah recited: "Blessed is He..." [Surah al-Mulk] on Friday while he was standing. In ar-Raudah an-Nadiyah, it is stated: "Thus the required khutbah, in terms of Islamic law, should be modeled after the Prophet's khutbah exhorting people to do good and warning them against dire consequences of the evil. This is the spirit of the address which the Islamic law has instituted. As to the other contents of the khutbah, like praising Allah, saying prayers upon His Messengers or reciting a portion of the Qur'an, none of these is its main purpose, which is to admonish people... It has been customary among the Muslims [in the light of the sunnah] that if one wanted to make some sort of proclamation, he would begin with praises of Allah and prayers upon His Prophet, or something of that nature. Still, that is not the purpose of the khutbah; indeed, the purpose is that which is said after praises of Allah and prayers for the prophet. If a person delivers a khutbah and confines it to only praising Allah and saying prayers upon the Prophet, his khutbah would hardly be acceptable. Any person with common sense could understand that.
It is the admonitary aspect of the Friday khutbah which the hadith emphasise, and if a khatib makes an admonition, he fulfills the purpose of shari'ah; if he precedes his khutbah with praises of Allah and prayers upon the Prophet and during his admonitions he uses Qur'anic verses, then he does it in a complete and satisfactory manner."
Posture during and between the khutbahs:
It is proper for the imam to stand for the two khutbas and to sit for a short while in between them. Ibn 'Umar said: "When the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam would deliver the Khutbatul Jumu'ah, he did so standing, and then he would sit, and then he would stand [again, for the second khutbah] as the people do today." This is related by the group.
Jabir ibn-Samura said: "The Prophet would deliver the khutbah while standing, and then he would sit, and then he would stand and speak again. Whoever says that he gave the khutbah while sitting has lied. Verily, I prayed with him more than two thousand prayers [including the five daily prayers]." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud.
Ibn abi-Shaibah records that Tawus said: "The Prophet gave the khutbah while standing and so did Abu Bakr, 'Umar, and 'Uthman. The first one to give khutbah while sitting upon the pulpit was Mu'awiyyah," Ibn abiShaibah also records from ash-Sha'biy that Mu'awiyyah used to deliver the khutbah while sitting, when he became overweight. Some of the scholars say that it is obligatory to deliver the khutbah while standing and it is also obligatory to sit in between the two khutbahs. They cite the example of the Prophet and his companions who always did so; however, the fact that they consistently performed an act is not sufficient to prove that it is fard (obligatory) .
It is preferred to raise one's voice, to keep the khutbah short, and to the point:
Ammar ibn Yasir reports that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: "Prolonging salah and shortening one's khutbah is a sign of one's understanding of the religion. So, prolong the prayer and shorten the khutbah." This is related by Ahmad and Muslim. Shortening the khutbah and prolonging one's salah shows one's understanding of religion, for such a person is able to comprehend and express much in a few words.
Jabir ibn Samurah says: "The Prophet's salah was of a moderate length and so was his khutbah." This is related by the group, save al-Bukhari and Abu Dawud.
'Abdullah ibn abi Aufa reports: "The salah of the Messenger of Allah was long and his khutba.i was short." This is related by an-Nasa'i with a sahih chain.
Jabir informs: "When the Prophet delivered the khutbah, his eyes became red, his voice rose, and his anger increased as if giving a warning to the enemy." This is related by Muslim and Ibn Majah. An-Nawawi says: "It is preferred for the khutbah to be in an eloquent and proper Arabic, and it should be an organized speech that the people can understand. It should not be a speech, which is over the heads of the people, nor should it be shallow or contain foul language as that would defeat its purpose. Its words should be chosen carefully to make them attractive and meaningful."
Giving his views on the subject, Ibn al-Qayyim says: "The khutbah of the Prophet reinforced the fundamental articles of faith, like belief in Allah, the Exalted, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the meeting with Him. He would mention the paradise and the hellfire and what Allah, the Exalted, has promised to His devoted servants and the people who obey Him and what Allah has promised to His enemies and the miscreant. While listening to his khutbah, the hearts would be filled with belief in Allah, His oneness, and His majesty. His khutbahs were not like speeches of those who speak only of matters of concern of common folk, lamenting earthly life and frightening people of the approaching death. Such speeches cannot inspire faith in Allah or strengthen belief in His oneness or move people by allusion to His mighty works in history, nor can they kindle in hearts intense love for Allah, making the listeners look forward eagerly to the time they will meet Him! The people who hear such speeches gain no benefit at all, except that they will die and that their wealth will be distributed and their bodies will be turned to dust. Woe to such poets, what sort of faith is fostered by such sermons, and what sort of tawhid do they teach or knowledge disseminate? If we study the khutbahs of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam and his companions, we find them embued with perspicuous guidance, tawhid, attributes of Allah, explaining the basic articles of the faith, inviting people to Allah, and drawing their attention to His providential care that makes Him so beloved to His slaves. His khutbahs referred to Allah's dealings with others in the past so as to wam his listeners against His wrath and exhort them to remember Him, thank Him and win His pleasure and love. Those who heard these khutbahs were inspired with the love of Allah and they looked forward eagerly to meeting their Lord. As time went by, the example of the Prophet was forgotten and other things prevailed. The main purpose of the khutbah was forgotten. The eloquent and nice words that moved the hearts became rare in speeches. The main thrust of the khutbah was neglected. The hearts were no longer touched and the basic purpose of the khutbah was lost."
The imam interrupting his khutbah for some reason:
Abu Hurairah reports: "The Prophet was delivering a khutbah and al-Hassan and al-Hussain [his grandsons] came and they were wearing two red shirts and they were tripping while walking. The Prophet came down from the pulpit and picked them up and placed them in front of himself, and then he said: 'Allah and His Messenger have told the truth. Verily, your wealth and children are a trial. I looked to these two children walking and tripping, and I could not be patient, so I cut off my khutbah and went to pick them up."' This is related by the five.
Abu Rifah al-'Adwi says: "I went to the Prophet while he was delivering a khutbah, and I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, this strange man has come to ask about his religion as he does not know what his religion is.' The Prophet turned to me and left his speech, he came to me and he was given a wooden chair with four iron legs, and he started to teach me what Allah had taught him and then he went back to complete his khutbah." This is related by Muslim and an-Nasa'i.
Ibn al-Qayyim writes: "The Prophet would interrupt his khutbah due to some reason, or to respond to a question from some of his companions.
Sometimes he would descend from the pulpit due to some need and then return and complete his khutbah, as he did when he picked up al-Hassan and al-Hussain. He took them and then returned with them to the pulpit. Sometimes he would interrupt his khutbah to say things to certain people, [e.g.,] 'Sit, so and so,' 'Pray, so and so.' [Sometimes] he ordered them to take care of certain things during his khutbah."
It is forbidden to speak during the khutbah:
The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that it is obligatory to be silent during the khutbah, and one is not to indulge in conversation during the khutbah, not even if it is to order one to do some good or to stop some evil, and this rule applies whether or not the person sitting in the mosque can actually hear the khutbah.
Ibn 'Abbas reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Whoever speaks in Jumu'ah while the imam is delivering the khutbah is like a donkey who is carrying books, and for those who tell him to be quiet, there is no [reward] for the Jumu'ah." This is related by Ahmad, ibn abi-Shaibah, al-Bazzar, and at-Tabarani. Ibn Hajar said in Bulugh alMaram: "There is no fault in its chain."
'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "There are three types of people who attend the Jumu'ah: one, a man who is present but speaks [during the speech], and that is his portion of the prayer; two, a man who is present and makes supplications - in his case, Allah may give him what he asks, if He wishes, or He may not give him what he asks, three, a person who is present and observes silence and does not step over the necks of the Muslims nor harm anyone - for him, there is expiation from that Jumu'ah until the next Jumu'ah plus an additional three days as Allah has said: 'He that does good shall have ten times as much to his credit.'" This is related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud with a good chain.
Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet said: "If, during the Jumu'ah while the imam is delivering khutbah, you tell your companion to be quiet, then you have spoken needlessly." This is related by the group, save Ibn Majah.
Abu ad-Darda' says: "The Prophet was upon the pulpit and was addressing the people and he recited a verse, and next to me was Ubayy ibn-Ka'b and I asked him: When was that verse revealed?' He refused to talk to me until the Messenger of Allah came down from the pulpit and then he said to me: 'You have nothing from your Jumu'ah, except your useless talk.' When the Prophet had finished, I went to him and informed him of what had happened, and he said: 'Ubayy has told the truth. If you hear your imam speaking, be quiet until he is finished.''' This is related by Ahmad and at-Tabarani.
Ahmad and ash-Shaf'i are reported to have made a distinction, concerning this ruling, between one who can hear the speech and the one who cannot hear the speech, saying that speaking is forbidden for the former and not for the latter, although it is preferred for the latter also to be silent.
At-Tirmidhi records that Ahmad and Ishaq made an exception for replying to a salutation and responding to a sneeze while the imam is delivering the Friday khutbah. According to ash-Shaf'i: "If a person sneezes [during the khutbah] and someone says: 'May Allah bless you,' I wish I could have accomadated it since such a reply is a sunnah. In my view it is makruh that a person should greet someone with salam [while they are listening to the khutbah]. [What makes it worse is] that his salam is not returned, even though saying salam is a sunnah while responding to it is a fard.
Indulging in conversation when the khutbah is not being delivered, is permissible:
Tha'labah ibn abi-Malik says: "We would be talking on Jumu'ah while 'Umar was sitting on the pulpit and when the call to salah was finished 'Umar would stand and no one would utter a word until he had completely finished both of his khutbahs. When the iqamah was made and 'Umar came down from the pulpit, the people would then speak." This is related by ash-Shaf'i in his Musnad. Ahmad records, with a sahih chain, that while the adhan was being made, 'Uthman ibn-'Affan would be sitting on the pulpit, apprising the people of their situation and the prices of some commodities.
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