By Darul Uloom Trinidad & Tobago
The practice of giving a short talk or lecture before the official Khutbah on the Day of Jumu’ah is permissible and allowed since it is not considered to be a Khutbah nor is it part of a Khutbah. Although this may look like an additional sermon to some, in reality it is not part of the Friday Khutbah which has been established as two Khutbahs.
Some people are under the impression that the word Khutbah means ‘a sermon’ and as such, this lecture or talk is just another sermon which makes it three sermons on the Jumu’ah day. Although this understanding may seem to be acceptable, it is totally wrong. One must understand that there is a difference between the literal meaning of the word Khutbah and its technical implication. The word ‘Khutbah’ comes from the Arabic word ‘Khataba’ which literally means ‘to deliver an address’.
As such, taking this literal meaning into consideration, whenever the word khutbah is used, it can refer to an address or a sermon. With this meaning, if an Imam delivers a lecture everyday of the week it is literally correct to say that he had delivered a Khutbah everyday of the week. However, this would be an improper use of the word ‘Khutbah’ since its technical implication refers to that which is given specifically on the Day of Jumu’ah (after the Adhan is given while the Imam is on the mimbar) and also that which is given on the days of Eid (without Adhan).
It is therefore understood that although such lectures and talks can be deemed as ‘sermons’ or ‘addresses’, the word ‘Khutbah’ is not used for such. Instead other Arabic words and names have been used to describe these lectures and talks. For example, ‘Wa’az’, Nasihah, Bayan, Tazkeer, Zikr etc. are words that are used to refer to such addresses. As far as the usage of the word ‘khutbah’ on the day of Jumu’ah is concerned, it is an established fact and understanding among all scholars and Muslims in general, that it refers specifically to that special address which is connected to the establishment of Jumu’ah Salaah as an act of Ibadah. As such, one would find that there are certain important requirements which are to be present in the Jumu’ah Khutbah.
Among these, it is established from the sunnah that on the day of Jumu’ah, the Khutbah is given after the second Adhan, while the Khateeb/Imam is sitting on the mimbar. Immediately after this Adhan, the Khateeb/Imam stands on the mimbar and delivers the first Khutbah. After this, he sits for a short while and then stands again to deliver his second Khutbah. Immediately after the second Khutbah, the Imam/Khateeb begins the Fardh salaah of Jumu’ah, which consists of two rakaats. These are established practices that are evident from the Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and have been recorded by all scholars of Hadith and Fiqh in their respective books.
In this regard Imam Bukhari (Rahmatullah Alayh) has recorded several chapters regarding the Khutbah on the Day of Jumu’ah and has explained the factors that make it different from other speeches. In his Book (Saheeh Al Bukhari) under the ‘Book of Jumu’ah’ he mentions the following chapters: –
1) ‘The Chapter of giving the Adhan at the time of Khutbah on the Day of Jumu’ah’.
In this chapter Imam Bukhari establishes the sunnah that when the Khateeb/Imam is about to deliver the Khutbah from the mimbar, the Adhan must be given.
2) ‘The chapter of sitting on the mimbar at the time when the Adhan is being given for the Khutbah’.
In this chapter Imam Bukhari establishes the practice that at the time of the Adhan (for the Khutbah) the Khateeb /Imam must sit on the mimbar.
3) ‘The chapter of delivering the Khutbah upon the mimbar’.
In this chapter, Imam Bukhari establishes the practice of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) that on the Day of Jumu’ah, the Imaam/Khateeb must deliver his Khutbah while standing on the mimbar.
4) ‘The chapter of sitting between the two Khutbahs on the day of Jumu’ah’.
Here Imam Bukhari establishes that the sunnah for the khateeb is that he sits for a short while between his two Khutbahs when he is on the mimbar. All the above teachings are evident from sound and authentic traditions and have become the established practices on the day of Jumu’ah as far as delivering the Khutbah is concerned.
From these teachings, it is very clear that none of the above is to be found in the lecture, talk or speech which is given before the Jumu’ah Khutbah. As such, it will be totally wrong for one to assume that preaching before the Khutbah is another Khutbah and amounts to three Khutbahs on the Day of Jumu’ah.
This speech is a simple advice and exhortation to the believers and must be treated as a mere Nasihah (advice) and Wa’az (good counsel) which is given on the Day of Jumu’ah. In this regard, the Shariah has not fixed any specific time, day or date for giving such advice. Instead, it has left it open to the discretion of those who are in authority. It is for this reason, many Scholars/Khateebs/Imams from among the Sahabas, Tabieen and the pious predecessors choose different times and days to address their congregation.
In fact, it has been recorded in many books that this act of preaching before the Jumu’ah Khutbah used to be done by some Sahabas and Tabieen before the Juma Khutbah.
In the renowned and authentic book of Ahadith, Al Mustadrak, Hakim has narrated that Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) would stand beside the mimbar and recite Ahadith, and the Khalifa, Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) would then deliver the Khutbah. In the same book it is also narrated that on Fridays, Abdullah bin Basr used to preach first and closed his preaching when the Khateeb came for the Khutbah.
This practice has also been narrated in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and in Al-Isabah Fi Tazkirah As Sahabah, that Tameem Daari (Radhiyallahu Anhu) used to preach prior to the Khutbah on Fridays during the Khalifat (rule) of both Umar and Uthman (Radhiyallahu Anhum). These references further assert to the allowance of preaching before the Khutbah on the day of Jumu’ah.
As mentioned before, the act of preaching and giving advice, are all considered to be a form of reminding Muslims of their religion and religious duties and would fall under the general allowance of ‘And remind! For certainly reminder is beneficial to the believers’ [Al Qur’an]. Since it is a simple reminder to Muslims, the Shariah has not confined it to any specific time but has left it open.
It is for this reason we see that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to go to the women and remind them of their religious duties after he delivered the Khutbahs on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr. This tradition has been recorded by Imam Muslim from the riwayat of Jaabir (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and also by Imam Bukhari from the tradition of Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallahu Anhu). Many other compilers of Ahadith have also recorded it.
One should know that the above preaching to the women (by the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was done besides the two Khutbahs of Eid – ul – Fitr, as it is recorded in the Hadith, “When he completed from the Khutbahs, he descended from the mimbar and came to the women and preached to them’.
Although this preaching was separated from the two Khutbahs, no one considered it to be a third Khutbah on the day of Eid. This is why Imam Bukhari placed this tradition under the chapter, ‘The chapter of the Imam exhorting women on the day of Eid’.
In addition to what we have said, we produce the following fatawa that has been given by the ‘Permanent Committee for Religious Research and legal rulings’ of Saudi Arabia. When asked about religious instructions held following the Friday prayer, the Permanent Committee responded by saying that there is no sin in it since there is no prohibition for it in the Sunnah.
It can therefore be seen from this discussion that as far as delivering a talk, lecture or speech before the actual Khutbah on the day of Jumu’ah (which is given after the Adhan when the Imam is on the mimbar) there is no prohibition for this in the Shariah and it cannot be considered a Bida’h. In fact, the Fuqaha (Jurists) of Islam have given the allowance for it (because it is not a third Khutbah).
And Allah knows best.