Brevity in Preaching

Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 91
Brevity in Preaching

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)) to the way of your Rubb (i.e., Islam) with wisdom (i.e., with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’an) and fair preaching.” (16:125)

699. Shaqiq bin Salamah reported: Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) used to preach to us once every Thursday. A man said to him: “O Abu `Abdur-Rahman, we love your talk and we wish that you preach us every day.” He said: “There is nothing to prevent me from doing so, but I don’t lest I bore you. I follow the same method in preaching to you that Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) adopted in preaching to us for fear of boredom.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

700. `Ammar bin Yasir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “Prolonging Salat (prayer) and shortening the Khutbah (religious talk) indicate the religious knowledge of the person. Make your Salat long and your sermon short.”

701. Mu`awiyah bin Al-Hakam As-Sulami (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: While I was in Salat with Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), a man in the congregation sneezed and I responded with: `Yarhamuk-Allah (Allah have mercy on you).’ The people stared at me with disapproving looks. So I said: “May my mother lose me. Why are you staring at me?” Thereupon, they began to strike their thighs with their hands. When I saw them urging to me to remain silent, I became angry but restrained myself. When Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) concluded his Salat. I have never before seen an instructor who gave better instruction than he, may my father and mother be sacrificed for him. He neither remonstrated me, nor beat me, nor abused me. He simply said,“It is not permissible to talk during Salat because it consists of glorifying Allah, declaring His Greatness as well as recitation of the Qur’an,” or he said words to that effect.” I said: “O Allah’s Messenger, I have but recently accepted Islam,  and Allah has favoured us with Islam. There are still some people among us who go to consult soothsayers.” He said, “Do not consult them.” Then I said: “There are some of us who are guided by omens.” He said, “These things which come to their minds. They should not be influenced by them.”

702. `Irbad bin Sariyah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: One day, Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) delivered a very effective speech, as a result, eyes shed tears and hearts became softened. A man said: “O Prophet of Allah! It sounds as if this is a farewell speech, so advise us.” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “I admonish you to fear Allah, and to listen and obey even if a black slave has been appointed as your leader. For whoever among you lives after me will see much discord. So hold fast to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who will come after me. Adhere to them and hold fast to them. Beware of Bid`ah (in religion) because every Bid`ah is a misguidance.”
[Abu Da wud and At-Tirmidhi].