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Which Direction Should I Face During the Sermon of the Friday Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Which direction should the congregant face during the sermon of the Friday Prayer?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Ideally, the congregants should face the imam during the sermon (khutba). This is minimally fulfilled by facing him whilst remaining in the direction of the qibla. However, you can move to face him too, if need be, as long as it won’t cause any difficulty in getting back into the official rows for the prayer.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya]

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Four Obstacles to Obedience to Allah

We’ve all been through the moment where we’re ready to make change and get right with God, but when we try, we just can’t seem to follow through. Either our plans aren’t sustainable, or our old ways are just too tempting. In this series of lectures, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, chaplain at the University of Toronto, tells us about the four obstacles to obedience:

Ignorance, Weakness of Faith, Long Hopes and Illicit Food

Take Ustadh Amjad’s free SeekersHub course: The Prophetic Call: Imam Haddad’s Counsel on Calling to Allah Explained.

Resources for Seekers

We are grateful to the Muslim Chaplaincy at UofT for these recordings. Cover photo by Darwin Bell.

A Practical Guide to Giving Friday Sermons, By Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

A collective obligation for the Muslim community is establishing the Friday Prayer (Ṣalāt Al-Jumuʿah). Because of its great importance in the religion, we should take particular care in properly establishing it. God the Exalted says in the Qurʾān,

“Believers! When the call to prayer is made on the Day of Congregation (Jumuʿah), hurry towards the remembrance of God and leave off your trading—that is better for you, if you only knew—then when the prayer has ended, disperse in the land and seek out God’s bounty. Remember God often so that you may prosper.” (62:9-11).

The Friday Prayer (Ṣalāt Al-Jumuʿah) centers on the sermon (khuṭbah). This sermon is so essential to the prayer service that even merely speaking during it invalidates one’s reward for that Jumuʿah. The Messenger of God s said, “Whosoever speaks on the Day of Congregation (Jumuʿah) while the imām is giving the sermon, then that person is like a donkey carrying books. And the one who says to that person, ‘Listen!’ has no (reward for) Jumuʿah.

This brief guide and template seeks to clarify some of the requirements of a Friday Sermon (khuṭbah) in order to have a sound and valid Friday Prayer (Ṣalāt Al-Jumuʿah). This guide is not meant to be comprehensive or scholarly, but it is meant to be a practical guideline that can easily be followed and established in mosques, community centers, universities, and schools.

In addition to clearly defining the essential integrals (arkān) of the Friday Sermon, this guide provides advice on delivering effective sermons that will beneficial for the audience, insha Allah.

Also included (in the full PDF format) are two appendices:

  1. Appendix A: A template for a Sermon that only contains the bare minimum in order for it to be legally valid. This template is meant for beginners.
  2. Appendix B: A template for a Sermon that contains many of the recommended sayings and verses that the Prophet s said in his Friday Sermons; this is meant for those who want something more robust than the bare minimum and are more comfortable with the Arabic language.

Success is from God the Exalted, and His assistance and support is sought.

 

Fiqh of the Sermon & Varied Opinions

The legal (fiqh) aspects of the Friday Sermon (khuṭbah) vary with respect to the aspects scholars categorize as essential (farḍ) or recommended (mustaḥab). This guide presents the basic obligations and recommended aspects of the Sermon according to the Shāfiʿī School of Law because it generally fulfills the requirements of the other Schools of Law.

 

Integrals (Arkān) of the Sermon

The Friday khuṭbah consists of two Sermons that are divided by a brief period of the imām sitting. Below are the necessary integrals that must be present in the Friday Sermon in order for it to be considered valid:

  • Standing: To be in a standing position while delivering both khuṭbahs.
  • Praise: To begin both khuṭbahs by saying, “Al-ḥamdu lillāh” (“Praise be to God”), or a variation of that. For example, “Inna al-ḥamda lillāh” (“Praise is for God”) or “Al-ḥamdu lillāhi rab al-ʿālamīn” (“Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds”).
  • Salutations: To invoke God’s peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muḥammad s in both khuṭbahs. This can be fulfilled by merely saying, “Allāhumma ṣalli ʿala Muḥammad,” (“O God, send your blessings upon Muḥammad”) although it is better to include the Prophet’s family and companions in the invocation. For example, “Allāhumma ṣalli ʿala Sayyidinā Muḥammad wa ʿala ālihi wa ṣaḥbihi wa sallim” (“O God send your peace and blessings upon our master Muḥammad, and upon his family and companions”).
  • Call to Taqwā: To urge the attendees to have taqwā (fear and consciousness of God) in both khuṭbahs. This can be fulfilled several ways, for instance, by reciting verses of the Qurʾān that call to taqwā, or by simply saying, “Ūṣīkum bi taqwā Allāh” (“I counsel you to be mindful of God”).
  • Sitting: To sit briefly between the 1st and 2nd khuṭbah for no longer than the time it takes to pray 2 brief rakʿahs.
  • Verse of Qurʾān: To recite one verse of the Qurʾān in either of the two khuṭbahs. One verse, or an understood portion of a verse, fulfills this requirement.
  • Prayer for Believers: To supplicate (duʿāʾ) for the believing men and women in the 2nd khuṭbah for something which benefits them in the hereafter. This is fulfilled by saying, “Allāhumma ighfir lil-Muʾminīn wa al-Muʾmināt” (“O God, forgive the believing men and women”).

Prophetic Practices (Sunnahs) of Friday

It is especially important upon the one giving the Friday Sermon (khaṭīb) to perform the Sunnahs of Friday. The following are a few of the recommended acts for Friday.

  1. Ghusl: Performing the ritual bath (ghusl) before the Friday Prayer.
  2. Wearing White: The Prophet s used to love white clothing, and he encouraged wearing white clothing to Ṣalāt al-Jumuʿah.
  3. Reciting Surat al-Kahf: It is highly encouraged to read the 18th Surah from the Qurʾān on Friday.
  4. Good Scent: It is also a Sunnah to adorn oneself with a nice scent.

 

Practical Advice on Public Speaking

For many people, the Friday Prayer is their primary method of revitalizing spiritually for the entire week. For this reason, it is important to both prepare a good sermon and convey it well. A poorly delivered khuṭbah can have adverse effects on the community and should be avoided.

These are some basic guidelines that apply to public speaking in general and should be used when giving the Friday Sermon:

  • Speak in an audible voice, making it easy for those listening to hear and understand.
  • Speak clearly and do not be monotonous!
  • Use certain gestures and hand movements to clarify and highlight important points, but do not be excessive in using them.
  • It is important to be even more formal during the Friday Sermon for Ṣalāt Al-Jumuʿah than one would normally be while teaching a lesson or presenting a lecture. Jokes and other types of informal speech should be avoided.  
  • Make appropriate eye contact to make sure that attendees are focused and listening.
  • Do not read verbatim from a printout!
  • Repeat the most important points of the lesson and give a summary of what was just mentioned.
  • Tell stories to gain the attention and concentration of those who are attending—preferably stories about the Prophet Muḥammad s, other prophets and messengers, and righteous people.
  • Be appropriate in length—give the topic its due right, but do not wear out the attendees. A 20-25 minute time limit is ideal for the khuṭbah. Depending on the group one might need to make the Ṣalāt al-Jumuʿah short—e.g. People taking a lunch break from work to attend the Friday Prayer.
  • In the case of the short winter days, be cognizant of the short time window of Ẓuhr; therefore make sure to complete both the khuṭbah and Prayer before the time of ʿAṣr.
  • Select an appropriate topic that is both relevant as a khuṭbah and relevant to the realities of life of those who are hearing it.
  • Speeches that can be divisive or controversial should be avoided. Do not mention sectarian terms such as “Salafī,” “Ṣufī,” or “liberal Muslims,” because the Friday Sermon is meant to gather all Muslims and unite their hearts in mutual love and piety. Khuṭbahs should be spiritually uplifting and inspiring, giving people the drive to make it through the next week.
  • Khuṭbahs are primarily spiritual reminders, but can also be a platform for mentioning current events. In this case, find a religious topic that relates to the current event and tie the two together—be sure not to lose the spirituality of the khuṭbah, but also do not forget to address the current affairs that are pertinent to the congregation.
  • It is also of the utmost importance that one’s ideas are organized during the Friday Sermon to provide a clear message to attendees. One should be sure to clearly introduce the topic, and then support the topic by presenting relevant verses, ḥadīths, and stories. In addition, the khaṭīb should highlight the lessons and wisdoms to be taken from the verses and ḥadīths.
  • Make sure to translate any important Qurʾānic verses, ḥadīths, and duʿāʾ—especially since the majority of people attending the Friday Prayer will most likely not understand Arabic.
  • Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, one should conclude by connecting the passages quoted to a practical way of implementation for the attendees, so that the khuṭbah does not remain abstract and theoretical; rather, worshippers can realize the lessons mentioned are relevant to their lives.

 

Khuṭbah Topic Suggestions

Here are some suggested topics that, in shāʾ Allāh, may be of benefit. These suggestions are not exhaustive, and one should be conscious of choosing the most appropriate topic for the congregation.

  • Social Responsibilities
    • Community Service
    • Respect Towards Parents
    • Rights and Responsibilities of Brotherhood/Sisterhood
  • Love of God and His Messenger
    • Reflecting on the Names and Attributes of God
    • Thankfulness to God the Exalted
    • Lessons from the Life of the Messenger of God
  • Turning Towards God
    • Repentance, Fear & Hope
    • Benefits and Worship in Ramaḍān, Dhul Ḥijjah, etc.
  • Good Character & Prophetic Virtues
    • Patience
    • Forbearance
    • Generosity
    • Mercy
  • Basic Explanation of a Short Chapter of the Qurʾān and/or Ḥadīth
  • Importance of Prayer (ṣalāt) and Supplication (duʿāʾ)

 

Our heartfelt thanks to Ustadh Amjad M. Tarsin, SeekersHub teacher and Executive Director of the Muslim Chaplaincy of the University of Toronto. To download a beautiful formatted copy of the above guidelines, plus the appendices, click here.

Do You Think The Killer in Chattanooga Represents Any Of Us? – A Powerful Khutbah by Imam Khalid Latif

Imam Khalid LatifImam Khalid Latif delivered a powerful khutbah on Eid Al-Fitr, shortly after the shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee in which five people were killed. He calls on Muslims to be the change we want to see in the world. What is it that we want to carry forward? We mustn’t live our lives in reaction to the worst ideas people have of us, he says.

Imam Khalid is a University Chaplain for New York University, Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, and a Chaplain for the NYPD. He is also the co-founder of Honest Chops, the first-ever all-natural/organic halal butcher in NYC, the Muslim Wedding Service, an agency specializing in providing charismatic and inspirational marriage officiants for wedding ceremonies.

 

Resources for Seekers:

ISIS, Sex Slaves and Islam – reflections from Imam Zaid Shakir
The threat to religious guidance

“Peace is always in the middle, never at the extremes”
Fatwa Against Terrorism and the Targeting Of Civilians
On War & Beheading: How ISIS Manipulates Hadiths
On the mass murder of Coptic Christians by ISIS
Islam vs. ISIS: A Letter to Baghdadi from Leading Scholars
Clarity in Crisis: How Believers Look at Trials and How they Respond, Guided by Prophetic Light

Khutbah: Companions around the Prophet (pbuh)

420184_10151534009771051_2125070716_nThe companions (may Allah be well pleased with them) had the honour of being in the presence of the Prophet (pbuh), of seeing and hearing from him directly, but the tremendous gift from Allah to this ummah is that the guidance of the Prophet (saw) is fully preserved for us. We know every detail about the person (pbuh) – more details than we know of famous people who live in the public eye in our own time. What is interesting though, is that people who lived in the same household as him (pbuh) would go to his companions to learn more about him (pbuh).

What is Required for a Valid Friday Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As-salamu alaykum

I have a question about organizing Jumu’ah prayers in the Hanafi school at a location such as a school hall.

At my school, students are unable to leave Friday to go to the Mosque, so for the last 2-3 years I have organized prayers in a school classroom with around 20 students joining. Because the school is closed off to the general public, is it still permissible to perform Jumu’ah in this way?

In addition to that, please can you give me the details of what makes a valid Jumu’ah, and any resources I could use for the Arabic Khutbah.

Jazak Allah Khayr.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

[1] Yes, it would be permitted to pray the Friday Prayer in a school, as described, considering that it is permitted to pray it in multiple locations.

[2] The only integral of the Friday sermon is remembrance of Allah. Please also see: Merely Reciting al-Fatiha in the Friday Sermon (Khutba)

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

What is the Straight Path of Islam? “Guide us to the Straight Path” Explained – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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What is the Straight Path we ask for in Surat al-Fatiha when we say: “Guide us to the Straight Path.” [Qur’an, 1.6] Why do believers–people of guidance–ask Allah for guidance?

In this insightful khutba, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains what guidance is; that the straight path is the direct way to the desired goal; what the believer seeks in life–Allah’s closeness and pleasure, and eternal success; the relationship between the straight path and the good of this life and the next… and more.

Shaykh Faraz emphasizes that this seeking of the straight path relates to seeking Allah–and making the right choice–in every life circumstance.

This Friday sermon was delivered at the Brampton Islamic Centre.

SeekersHub Toronto (http://www.seekershub.org/) offers free, open, engaging classes, courses, and seminars on Islam with qualified scholars. See: SeekersHub Programs: http://www.seekershub.org/programs

Knowledge Without Barriers: All Seekers courses and services are free. Support open access to Islamic knowledge: become a monthly donor: http://seekers.nationbuilder.com/ — every contribution counts, even if small.

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Shaykh Babikir: Eid Address – Eid al-Adha 1432 – Video

Shaykh Babikir: Eid Address – Eid al-Adha 1432 / 6.11.2011 [Part 1] – YouTube

 

Eid is a day on which the perfection of humanity is celebrated, and the unity of man is displayed. It is the day we stand together, greet one another and share from the same plate, whether we are black or white, rich or poor.

Part I:

 

Part II:

 

VISIT http://BABIKIR.com FOR PODCASTS

Excerpted from Shaykh Babikir’s Eid Address at London Central Mosque on 6.11.2011

Full podcast available now on ‘Seminars with a Spiritual Master’ as audio or video.

 

Shaykh Babikir

cambridge khutbas etc.: Can You Help This Site Dedicated to the Sermons and Talks of Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

cambridge khutbas etc.: Can You Help This Site?

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Faraz Rabbani notes: Many of us have benefited from the cambridge khutbas etc. site, which features the sermons and talks of our dear Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad. They have made the following appeal for volunteers and help. Do respond! (Habib Ali al-Jifry describes Shaykh Abdal Hakim as the leading Western Muslim.)

From the cambridge khutbas etc. team:

We are looking for volunteers to help us develop the resources at cambridge khutbas etc. by transcribing one or more sermons or talks. 
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If you have benefited from the resources on this site, why not help others do the same?

InshaAllah
we will then use these firstly to provide transcriptions of the talks here for the benefit of the deaf and hard of hearing and anyone else who would like to read instead of listen.

Secondly, we intend to translate as many of the talks as possible to give speakers of other languages access to good free resources about Islam. We will focus on European languages, as Muslims living outside traditionally Muslim countries generally have less extensive resources.

As you can imagine, transcribing and translating more than 100 talks on this site will be very time-consuming, so we need your help!

Imagine the reward you could receive inshaAllah if you transcribed a talk and it helped someone increase in their belief? Or if someone listened to that talk and then donated to the Cambridge New Mosque Project?

So if you have an hour or a few hours to spare in the coming weeks, please do a wonderful deed by transcribing a talk or sermon of your choice and emailing it to us at the address here. If you do not feel confident transcribing any parts in Arabic, don’t worry – just send us the talk without those and we can add them in.

If you start a transcription for a particular talk, let us know and we will add a note to that entry so no one starts a transcription someone else is already doing. Once the transcription has been sent in, we will update the entry again and add a downloadable file.

If you think you could help with translation, please get in touch as well. We are focusing initially on French and Spanish, but other European languages are welcome – as long as you are fluent enough to give accurate and idiomatic translations. We already have one highly qualified translator working on this project alhamdulilah.

So what are you waiting for? We’re waiting for your transcriptions!

 cambridge khutbas etc.: Can You Help This Site?