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Keeping Silence During the Friday Sermon

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: How do you tell someone to be quiet while the Friday sermon is being given?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner, thank you for your question. May Allah increase you in light, knowledge, and practice.

Just tap him on the back, or gesture to him to be silent without talking. This should work, inshaAllah.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Whoever tells his friend to be quiet while the imam is giving the Friday sermon, has himself said something wrong.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

In the al-Shafi’i school speaking while sitting down listening to the Friday sermon is offensive, and not haram. (al-Manhaj al-Qawim, Ibn Hajar) As such, telling someone to be quiet would not be forbidden, but it would still be offensive.

The proper thing to do is to just gesture to the person to stop talking. If this doesn’t work, one could utter actual words to make them stop talking. This would not be offensive:

‘All one can do if you wish to stop someone else speaking is to gesture in a manner that lets him know that he should be silent; if it is not understood, he should say as few words as possible to get the point across.’ (Hashiyat al-Tirmisi)

In fact, it could even be obligatory to tell the person to stop talking if it is the only way it could be achieved and if his talking prevents the minimum amount of people needed for a valid Friday prayer (40 people) from hearing the Friday prayer. (Bushra al Karim, Ba Ishin)

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

The Language of the Friday Sermon (Khutba) in the Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: As salamu ‘alaykum. It is valid in the Maliki school for the person giving the Friday khutba to translate passages from the Arabic khutba in the local language for the assembly, or is it forbidden to have any word in other language than Arabic in the khutba?

Answer:

Arabic in the Khutba

According to the Maliki school, the Khutba must be in Arabic for it to be valid. If one were to speak English for a short portion of the Khutba, it would not invalidate the Khutba. This is with the condition that the speech in a non-Arabic language was not very long.

When one speaks a non-Arabic language in the prayer, it is as if they are silent. This is based on the principle of “that which is not recognized by the Shariah is treated as if it does not exist” (al ma’dumu shar’an kal ma’dumi hissan) A pause in the Khutba is permissible if it is not long. So when someone speaks a non-Arabic language, it does not count and therefore is given the ruling of silence. This same rule applies to the Khutba of Eid.

Alternatives

If a person is in a non-Arabic speaking country, they can have a short lesson in language other than Arabic and then give an all-Arabic Khutba. The scholars mention that even if a people do not understand Arabic, the Khutba portion should still be in Arabic. They say that there is a secret in that Arabic language in that it can reach the hearts of those who cannot understand it.

The Wisdom of Arabic

Shaykh Muhammad Illish, in his footnotes on the marginal notes of Dusuqi on the Sharh al Kabir on Khalil mentions this. He says about the Khutba being in Arabic, “Even if the congregation are non-Arabic speakers, because the words of truth will reach and affect the heart, even if their meaning is not understood. This is the same as the recitation of the Quran.”

He then goes on to say, “The person giving the Khutba must understand the words, and so it is not sufficient for a non-Arabic speaker to merely say the words if he does not understand them.”

Advice

The platform of the Friday prayer is a crucial part of maintaining Islam among the community members. For a those living in a non-Arabic speaking land, all care should be taken in not cancelling or avoiding the Friday prayer. If the Maliki ruling cannot be maintained following the above guidelines (including having Arabic and interspersed English) then a community should seriously consider following the valid opinion of another school that allows a non-Arabic khutba. I have discussed a similar situation in the following answer:

Is Friday Prayer Valid in a Rented Space in the Maliki School?

And Allah knows best.

Is it Permitted to Send Blessings on the Prophet & Say Amin During the Friday Sermon?

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question:  Is it permitted to say Amin when the one giving the Friday sermon makes supplications? Is it also permitted to send blessings upon the Blessed Prophet when his name is mentioned in the sermon?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

It would be permitted to do so in one’s heart, but not vocally.

Ibn `Abidin states, “Baqqali said in his Mukhtasar, ‘When he [s: the Imam] begins invocations, lifting the hands [in supplication] is not permitted for the people and nor is saying Amin vocally with the tongue. If they do this, they will be sinful. It was said that they would be blameworthy and there would be no sin upon them. The correct position is the first and fatwa is given upon it. Likewise, if the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him) is mentioned, it is not permitted to send blessings on him vocally outloud but rather one does so in one’s heart…'” [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

The reason for this is the general command of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) such as, “If you say to the person next to you, ‘Be quiet’ on Friday during the sermon then you have committed a blameworthy and idle act.” [Muslim] He (Allah bless him and grant him peace) also taught people to “listen attentively” and “remain silent” during the Friday sermon. [Ibid] This position was also held by many of the Companions such as `Ali, ibn `Umar, and ibn `Abbas. [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf]

Wasalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani