Khutbah (sermon)

Prayer and Tawaf of Muslims Around AlKaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Aerial Top View.

Khutbahs (sermons) are an important and beneficial part of Islam. We read in a hadith that the prayer should be lengthened and the Khutbah should be shortened. ‘Ammar reported:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Verily, the length of a man’s prayer and the brevity of his sermon is a sign of his understanding. Lengthen the prayer and shorten the sermon. Verily, some eloquence is charming.’” (Sahih Muslim)

In another hadith we learn about the importance of Khutbahs not being delivered in a way which will drive people away from Islam. We learn that when trying to advise or teach, it should not be in a manner that interrupts people while they are already in another conversation. We read:

‘Ikramah reported: Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Preach to people once a week every Friday. If you refuse, then two times. If you desire more, then three times. Do not make people averse to this Quran. Do not come to people while they are talking and begin to lecture them, cutting into their conversation and upsetting them. Rather, keep quiet and if they request it, speak to them when they are eager to hear it. Avoid using rhyming prose in supplication, for I lived in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and his companions; they would only avoid doing so.” (Sahih Bukhari)

This reminds us that it is vital to be considerate when advising or teaching others, as indeed we do not want to make anyone become distant from the Deen.

The Prophet (SAW) said that going to the mosque early on a Friday and listening to the Khutbah carefully are part of the deeds that will help a person to attain a great reward. We read:

Aws ibn Aws reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever performs a thorough ritual bath on Friday, proceeds at the earliest to the mosque, sits below the Imam and listens carefully without talking, he will have a reward for each step he took a year’s worth of fasting and praying.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

We read in a hadith that on Eid, the prayer would be performed first and the Khutbah would follow. Ibn Abbas reported:

“I witnessed the prayer on the day of Eid al-Fitr with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman, may Allah be pleased with them. They performed the prayer before the sermon, then would deliver the sermon.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

We also learn that on the day that Makkah was liberated, the Prophet (SAW) delivered a Khutbah to the people. He mentioned that we were all created by Allah from the same substance and that the only difference between people is their belief in and worship of Allah. This reminds us that indeed our self-worth is defined by our connection to Allah and our efforts to develop our Imaan. We read:

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, delivered a sermon to the people on the day Mecca was liberated. The Prophet said, “O people, Allah has removed the slogans of ignorance from you and the exaltation of its forefathers. The people are only two kinds: either a righteous, Godfearing believer dignified to Allah, or a wicked, miserable sinner insignificant to Allah. The people are all the children of Adam and Adam was created from dust. Allah said: O people, We have created you male and female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most noble to Allah is the most righteous of you.” [49:13] (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)