By Mufti Muhammad Shafi (RA)
The Jumu’ah Khutbah is a shart (condition) of the prayer. The Jumu’ah prayer is not complete without the khutbah. Furthermore, this condition can only be fulfilled by the performance of dhikrullaah (remembrance of Allah).
It is sunnah for the khutbah of the Jumu’ah and ‘Eidain to be in Arabic, and in opposition to this, to perform the khutbah in another language is a bid’at (innovation). [Sharh Muwatta by Shah Waliullah, Kitaab-ul-Adhkaar of an-Nawawi and Durr-e-Mukhtaar, Shuroot-as-Salaah, Sharh-ul-Ihyaa] Similarly, performing the khutbah in Arabic and then giving its translation in another language before the prayer is also bid’at and must be avoided. Of course, there is no harm in giving the translation after the prayer- rather this is a better way. There is also no harm if the translation is given after the khutbahs for ‘Eidain and it is even better to step away from the mimbar and give the translation, in order that a distinction is made. [As in Taqreedh-ar-Risaalah based on the hadith of Muslim]
It is sunnah to have wuduu’ while giving the khutbah. Not having wuduu’ while giving it is makruh. It is also sunnah to stand up while giving the khutbah- to sit down is makruh. [‘Alamgiri and al-Bahr] It is sunnah to face the people while giving the khutbah. Facing the Qiblah or any other direction while giving it is makruh. [‘Alamgiri and Bahr-ur-Raa`iq]
To say “A’oodhu billahi min ash-shaytaanir-rajeem” softly before starting the khutbah is sunnah. [On the saying of Abu Yusuf, likewise in al-Bahr]
Saying the khutbah in a loud voice so that the people can hear it is sunnah. Saying it softly is also makruh. [‘Alamgiri]
It is sunnah to give a moderately short khutbah and not make it too long. The limit that it should be kept to is the same time as it would take to read one of the Tiwaal-e-Mufassal surahs (any surah between al-Hujuraat and al-Burooj). Making it any longer is makruh. [Shami, ‘Alamgiri, Bahr]
It is sunnah that ten things be observed in the khutbah:
[This is a translation of an article written in 1350H by Moulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ of Darul-Iftaa, Darul-‘Uloom Deoband, Allah have mercy on him. It appears in Khutbaat-ul-Ahkaam li Jumu’aatil-‘Aam by Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him), Madinah Publishing Co., Karachi 1382H.]
فعن عمار بن ياسر - رضي الله عنه - قال:سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول "إن طول صلاة الرجل وقصر خطبته مئنة من فقه. فأطيلوا الصلاة،وأقصروا الخطبة
رواه أحمد، ومسلم.
Ammar ibn Yasir (RA) reports that he heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said: "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." [Ahmed, Muslim]
وعن جابر بن سمرة - رضى الله عنه - قال: كانت صلاة رسول اللّه صلى الله عليه وسلم قصداً، وخطبته قصداً
رواه الجماعة، إلا البخاري
Jabir ibn Samurah (RA) says: "The Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam)’s salah was of a moderate length and so was his khutbah." [Related by the group except Bukhari]
وعن عبد الله بن أبى أوفى - رضي اللّه عنه - قال: كـان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يطيل الصلاة، ويقصر الخطبة.
رواه النسائي، بإسناد صحيح.
'Abdullah ibn abi Aufa (RA) reports: "The salah of the Messenger of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) was long and his khutbah was short." [Nasai with an Authentic chain]
قال النووي: يستحب كون الخطبة فصيحة، بليغة، مرتبة، مبينة، من غير تمطيط، ولا تقعير، ولا تكون ألفاظاً مبتذلة، ملفقة؛ فإنها لا تقع في النفوس موقعاً كاملا، ولا تكون وحشية، لأنه لا يحصل مقصودها، بل يختار ألفاظاً جزلة مفهمة.
Imam Nawawi (RA) 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."