The Jumu’ah Khutbah and Current Affairs – Sa’ood Ibn Malooh Al-‘Anzee

AUTHOR: Sa’ood Ibn Malooh Al-‘Anzee
SOURCE: Al-Asaalah Magazine (Issue 20, pg. 73-78)

Many speakers introduce into the subject of the Jumu’ah khutbah that which is not part of it. And they divert it away from the purpose for which it was prescribed. So they have created a new methodology for the manner of conducting it, contrary to the way the khutbah of Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was done, and likewise that of the righteous Khaleefahs and Imaams.

This methodology was innovated by speakers whose souls burn with politics, so they changed the sermon (khutbah) of Jumu’ah into a lecture for political analysis, taking the material for their lectures from newspapers, magazines and radio broadcasts!! This is such that you cannot even hear one ayah or one hadeeth in their khutbahs, disregarding the fact that the Salaf condemned the khutbah in which there was no mention of ayaat from the Book of Allaah or ahaadeeth from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah.

And during the course of this gross political analysis – which is dispersed during the Jumu’ah khutbah – the Muslims who attend the Jumu’ah Prayer miss the chance to gain understanding of the affairs of their Religion. And they fail to find someone who can soften their hearts, which have been preoccupied with their daily affairs for the past seven days. So perhaps the Muslim comes with the hope of hearing an ayah that will lift his soul or a hadeeth that will, by just hearing it, soften his heart. But instead he doesn’t find anything except a repetition of what he hears in the news broadcasts!!

These speakers forget – or they neglect – the fact that a majority of the people who come to listen to them do not perform their worship properly, which they are obligated to do repeatedly throughout the day and night in the correct manner. In fact, there can even be found amongst the audience, those who commit acts of Shirk (polytheism) that negate Tawheed, which they mix into their worship thinking that they are doing something good. So there is no doubt that these people and their likes have an extreme need for being rescued from these acts of Shirk and for being corrected in their worship.

But unfortunately, we find a big negligence and reluctance on the part of these political speakers and callers to “current affairs” to fulfill this great duty, for which purpose the prophets and messengers were sent.

In fact these politically based khutbahs are the cause for the occurrences of many outbreaks of fitnah. So instead of their mimbars serving as torches that light the way of guidance, they serve as matches that kindle the fire of fitnah, of which many innocent souls have fallen victim to, and which our ummah is still being burned by. And the situation the Muslims are in today bears witness to the truth of this.

And because these speakers have a right upon us that we must advise them, then indeed I call them to fear Allaah concerning the ummah of Muhammad and that they leave off this innovated methodology, which they seek to introduce. And I call them to adhere to the guidance of Allaah’s Messenger, and his Khaleefahs after him, for their khutbahs.

Al-‘Izz Ibn ‘Abd-is-Salaam (rahimahullaah) said: [1]
“The speaker should not mention in his khutbah anything except that which conforms with its objectives – (which are) such as praising (of Allaah), supplication, targheeb and tarheeb (encouraging Muslims to do good and warning them from evil), mentioning the promises and the threats (of Allaah), as well as everything that incites one to obedience and restricts one from disobedience. And likewise there must be the recitation of the Qur’aan.

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would give khutbah on Surah Qaaf (50) many times[2] because it contained in it the mentioning of Allaah, the praise for Him, His knowledge of what the soul whispers to itself and what the angels record from the human being of good or bad deeds. Then it mentions death and its pains. Then it mentions the Day of Judgement and its horrors and the testimony against the created beings of their actions. Then it mentions Paradise and the Hellfire and then it mentions when the people will come out of the graves to be judged. Then there is the counsel and the prescription of establishing the prayers.

So whoever goes out of the realm of these objectives, then he is an innovator. And it is not proper in it to mention the Khaleefahs, or the kings or the leaders[3] because this is a place specifically reserved for Allaah and His Messenger, in which one must incite the people to obey Him (Allaah) and restrict them from disobeying Him. [Allaah says]: ‘And the masaajid belong to Allaah, so do not call unto anyone along with Allaah.’ [Surah Al-Jinn: 18] But if some incident has occurred with the Muslims, then there is nothing wrong with talking about what relates to this incident, so long as the Religion encourages and mandates it. This is such as when an enemy has come and the speaker incites the people to make Jihaad against him or to prepare to fight them. And also when there is a drought, the likes of which the Isitisqaa (asking Allaah to send rain) must be made for. So the speaker (khateeb) can supplicate for it to be uplifted.”

Ibn Al-‘Attaar (rahimahullaah) said: [4]
“The sermon – in every time and place – must be done in accordance to what the people are in need of from those things they lack knowledge of, such as religious rulings, as well as that which leads one towards obeying Allaah and His Messenger. And there must be brief talking about the worldly affairs apart from the affairs of the Hereafter. And there must be in it that which directs towards belief in the resurrection and the distribution (of people’s records of deeds), and Paradise and Hellfire. And there should be that which directs to doing good deeds and being sincere in that, as well as what leads to being righteous with one another, keeping contact with one another and being merciful towards one another. And also there should be that which directs towards the abandonment of breaking ties with one another, opposing one another and oppressing one another. And in it should be that which directs to mutual cooperation with one another on goodness and fearing of Allaah and helping the oppressed one as well as the oppressor, by refraining him from oppressing.

And he should encourage [5] the leaders to be just and fair and righteous and to abandon oppression, sin and transgression. And he should encourage the people to take on the task of commanding good and forbidding evil, which is a cause for which trials are removed and victory is gained over the enemies. And for which reason the Lord of all lords answers the supplication and the blessings are sent down and the sins are forgiven.

And he could mention the virtuous times and months and years [6] and encourage people to pray and fast and make Hajj and to abide by all the precepts of the Religion. This was the way of the Messenger of Allaah, the rightly guided Khaleefahs, and the Imaams and Scholars with regard to their khutbahs, admonitions and reminders. And their objective and aim was to give warning and to give good tidings. So this is the Sunnah, and what is outside of this then it is an innovation.”

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah) said:
“The scope of the Prophet’s khutbah would be centered on: Praising Allaah, thanking Him for His blessings, describing His perfection and praiseworthy Attributes, teaching the principles of Islaam, mentioning Paradise, the Hellfire and the final Day of Return, commanding the people to be dutiful to Allaah, and explaining what causes Allaah’s Anger and what brings about His Contentment. This is what the khutbahs of Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would be centered around.” [7]

He also said: “In his khutbah, he would teach his Companions the foundations and legislations of the Religion. And he would command and forbid them in his khutbah if a command or a prohibition was presented to him.” [8]

Imaam Al-Bayhaqee (rahimahullaah) said: [9]
“I love that the Imaam limit his khutbah to the praising of Allaah, sending Salaat on Allaah’s Messenger, admonishing the people and reciting the Qur’aan – and that he not go beyond this.” [10]

He also said: [11] “’Abdul-Majeed reported to us from Ibn Juraij that he said: ‘What the people call to nowadays in the khutbah, has it been conveyed to you from the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or from someone after the Prophet?’ So he responded: ‘No, rather it was innovated. The khutbah used to just be a reminder.’” [12]

Shaikh Sideeq Hasan Khaan (rahimahullaah) said:
“Furthermore, you must know that the legislated khutbah is that which the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would constantly do, from inciting the people towards good while forbidding them from evil (i.e. targheeb wa tarheeb). In fact, this is the main essence of the khutbah for which reason it was legislated.” [13]

In his book As-Sunan wal-Mubtad’iaat (pg. 90), Ash-Shuqairee (rahimahullaah) lists as one of the innovations of the Jumu’ah khutbah: “That one make his khutbah void of any admonishing, instructing and reminding, inciting and warning (targheeb wa tarheeb), and commanding good and forbidding evil.”

Ibn Qudaamah (rahimahullaah) said, while listing the obligations of the Khutbah:
Third: The Admonition – This is because the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to admonish the people. And this is the whole point behind the khutbah, so it is not permissible to make one’s khutbah void of admonition.” [14]

In Summary: [15] The essence of the khutbah is that it be a fair admonition derived from the Qur’aan or other sources, as has been stated previously in the words of some scholars.

Considering the way the Prophet preserved his khutbah to consist of (mainly) the command to fear and be dutiful to Allaah, warning against His anger and inciting towards what brings about His contentment and recitation of the Qur’aan, it becomes clear that having these things in the khutbah is an obligation. This is because the Prophet’s action is an explanation of what is stated generally in the verse concerning Jumu’ah. And also, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Pray as you have seen me praying.” [16]

Other scholars stated that the Prophet’s constant persistence upon a matter indicates an obligation. It is stated in Al-Badr at-Tamaam: “This is the most dominant opinion and Allaah knows best.”

Jaabir Ibn Samurah described the Prophet’s khutbah and what it contained and was about – in brief – saying: “The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would give two khutbahs and sit once between them. And he would recite the Qur’aan and remind the people.” [17]

I will now summarize some things a speaker must abide by during his khutbah. So I say: Upon him are the following matters: [18]

1. He must instruct the common folk towards having knowledge of Allaah, and what is obligatory to affirm for Him from His perfect Attributes, what is permissible and impermissible with respect to Allaah and what the rights of Allaah’s prophets and messengers are.

2. He must educate them about the pillars of the Religion, such as the prayer, fasting, Hajj and Zakaat, and he must explain to them the wisdom of performing these pillars and the many benefits that they will profit from in this world and the Hereafter as a result of that.

3. He must call them to good and call them away from evil. And he must command them to do good and forbid them from evil, and incite them to hold onto the Religion, by way of it’s manners and virtues, and what Allaah and His Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) have commanded.

4. He must incite them to act and strive for the above, and He must tell them that each soul will be rewarded for what good it earns and punished for what evil it earns. Allaah says: “So whoever does an atom’s weight of good, he will see it. And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil, he will se it.” [Surah Az-Zalzalah: 7-8]

5. He must incite them to assist one another in performing the obligations and educating and upbringing the children, and he must encourage them to enter into every matter from its proper perspective and to guard their trusts and actualize the brotherhood, which is the source for the livelihood of all nations, and the cause for their prosperity in this world before the Hereafter. Allaah says: “And whoever seeks the reward of this worldly life, We will give him that (only).”[Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 145]

6. He must cleanse their hearts from the false conceptions, before they grow to become corrupt beliefs. And how many they are in these days, which have spread amongst the Muslims. This is such that the people can submit themselves to the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, and the Compeller of all mankind. And this is such that they will say what Ibraaheem said: “Verily, I have turned my face towards Him who has created the Heavens and the Earth, sincerely for Him alone. And I am not from the polytheists.” [Surah Al-Ana’aam: 79] Similarly, Allaah Messenger commanded us to say: “Say: ‘Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, Lord of the Worlds.’” [Surah Al-Ana’aam: 162]

So O you political speakers! What situation is it that calls you to tread such a methodology? We have stated here the way of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his righteous Khaleefahs in this regard, and it contains nothing of what you have brought forth in your politically based khutbahs! And here are the books of the Sunnah and History before you, which dictate the methodology of our Salaf (Predecessors). So anything that was newly introduced in opposition to what they were upon – in the least way of describing it – it is an innovation, and every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

So come with us and let us all act on the way Allaah has instituted for us in His saying: “Let there come out from you a group of people calling to that which is good, commanding the good and forbidding the evil. These are the successful ones. And be not like those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proof had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment. On the Day when some faces will become white and some faces will become black. As for those whose faces will become black, (it will be said to them): ‘Did you reject Faith after accepting it? Then taste the torment (in Hell) for rejecting Faith.’ And as for those whose faces will become white, they will be in Allaah’s Mercy (in Paradise), dwelling therein forever.” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 104-107]


[1] Fataawaa Al-‘Izz Ibn ‘Abdis-Salaam (pg. 77-78)

[2] It is reported in Saheeh Muslim (pg. 873) that Umm Hishaam Bint Haarithah said: “I did not memorize (surah) ‘Qaaf. By the Glorious Qur’aan’ [Surah 50] except from the tongue of Allaah’s Messenger, which he would recite every Friday while on the mimbar (pulpit) while he was giving the sermon to the people.”

[3] In his Tafseer (18/107), Al-Qurtubee quoted Az-Zamakh-sharee as saying: ‘If it is said to you: How can the Remembrance of Allaah (mentioned in Surah Al-Jumu’ah) here refer to the khutbah, when it contains other than it in it. I say: What is found in the mention of Allaah’s Messenger, praise for him, his righteous Khaleefahs and the pious believers, admonishing and reminding – all of this – is from theRemembrance of Allaah. As for what is beyond that from mentioning the tyrannical leaders and their titles, praising them and making du’aa for them, even though the are more deserving pf the opposite of that – then that is from the Remembrance of the Devil.’” I say: The correct opinion, is that there is nothing wrong with supplicating for the oppressive leaders – that Allaah guide them – and so on. This is on the condition that it is not taken as a sunnah (constant habit), such that it would be considered as being part of the Jumu’ah khutbah. The previous words of Az-Zamakh-sharee come as a result of his Mu’atazilah Creed and their beliefs with regard to the Leaders.

[4] Adab-ul-Khateeb (pg. 125-126)

[5] According to the manners dictated in the Religious texts!

[6] Those times of which their virtues have been established in the Qur’aan and Sunnah!

[7] Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/188)

[8] Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/427)

[9] Ma’arifat as-Sunan wal-Athaar (4/373)

[10] See Al-Umm (1/202-203)

[11] Ma’arifat as-Sunan wal-Athaar (4/373)

[12] See Al-Umm (1/203; “Chapter: What type of speech is disliked in the Khutbah”)

[13] Ar-Rawdat-un-Nadiyyah (1/345)

[14] Al-Kaafee (1/328)

[15] See the book Al-Qawl-ul-Mubeen fee Akhtaa al-Musalleen (pg. 387)

[16] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree

[17] Reported by Muslim in his Saheeh (no. 862)

[18] See Tuhfat-ul-Waa’idh fee Al-Khutab wal-Mawaa’idh of Ahmad Fareed (pg. 11-12)

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