The majority of the people of knowledge are of the opinion that khutbahtul Jumu’ah is obligatory and they support this by the confirmed hadith which state that the Prophet always made the khutbah with the Jumu’ah. In their support they also quote the saying of the Prophet: “Pray as you see me pray,” and the Qur’anic verse: “O you who believe, when the call is proclaimed for Salatul Jumu’ah, hasten unto the remembrance of Allah.” This verse contains an order to hasten unto the remembrance, which implies it is obligatory, and (the scholars) interpret the remembrance of Allah to include the khutbatul Jumu’ah. AshShaukani refutes the first argument by saying that hadith simply states the action of the Prophet Sallallahu Alehi Wasallam and does not necessarily prove that such an action is obligatory. As to the verse, he regards it as simply a command to be present at the salah which is obligatory and excludes khutbah... Regarding their argument relating to the commandment to “hasten unto the remembrance of Allah,” he says it refers to salah only, which is the real cause for making haste. There is, however, an agreement that the Friday salah is obligatory while there is a dispute over whether or not the khutbah is obligatory. Ash-Shaukani concludes by saying that apparently the correct view is the one held by al-Hassan al-Basri, Dawud az-Zahiri and al-Juwaini, that the khutbah is only a highly recommended act.
The greeting of the Imam
The imam should greet the people when he comes upon the pulpit, followed by the azhan which is to be made when he sits. The imam should face the people during the azhan.
Jabir reports that when the Prophet mounted the pulpit, he would greet the people. This is related by Ibn Majah and in its chain is Ibn Lahiya, and al-Athram has recorded it in his Sunnan from ash-Sha’biy, on the authority of the Prophtet, in Mursal form. Ata’ and others also reported in Mursal form that when the Prophet walked to the top of the pulpit, he would turn to the people and say: “Peace be upon you.” According to ashSha’biy: “Abu Bakr and ‘Umar used to do that [also].”
As-Sa’ib ibn Yazid informs: “The first azhan to salah made on the day of Jumu’ah was made when the imam sat upon the pulpit during the time of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar. Then, during the time of ‘Uthman, since there were many people, he instituted a third azhan outside the mosque. The Prophet only had one mu’azhzhin.” This is related by al-Bukhari, an-Nasa’i, and Abu Dawud. In another narration, it is stated: “During the time of ‘Uthman, there were many people, so ‘Uthman ordered the people to make a third call to salah on the day of Jumu’ah, outside of the mosque, and that practice has continued.”
Ahmad and an-Nasa’i record: “Bilal would make the Azhan to Salah when the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam sat upon the pulpit, and he would make the iqamah when the Prophet came down from the pulpit.”
‘Adi ibn-Thabit relates from his father on the authority of his grandfather who said: “When the Prophet ascended the pulpit, he would face his companions.” This is related by Ibn Majah. Concerning this latter hadilh, although there is some doubt about it, at-Tirmizhi says: “The people of knowledge from among the companions and others follow that and they prefer that the imam face the people when delivering the khutbah. “
Contents of the Khutbah
It is preferred that the Friday khutbah include praises of Allah, the Exalted, prayers upon the Prophet, admonitions, and Qur’anic recitations.
Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet Sallallahu Alehi Wassallam said: “Every speech that does not begin with the praises of Allah is defective.” This is related by Abu Dawud. Ahmad has something similar to it.
In another version, it is stated: “The Friday khutbah that does not contain the testimony [“There is no God except Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger] is like the defective hand.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmizhi.
Ibn Mas’ud reports that the Prophet would say in his opening testimony: “All praise be to Allah, we seek His aid and we seek His forgiveness and we seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our souls. Whomever Allah guides, no one will be able to mislead him. Whoever He leaves astray will have no guidance for him. And I testify that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger whom He sent with the truth and as a warner before the Hour. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be guided aright, and whoever disobeys them will only harm his own self and he will not harm Allah, the Exalted, at all.”
Ibn Shihab was asked about the Prophet’s opening testimony during his khutbah on the day of Jumu’ah, and he said something similar to that except that he stated: “Whoever disobeys them has gone astray.” Abu Dawud related both of these reports.
Jabir ibn Samurah says: “The Messenger of Allah would deliver his khutbah standing, would sit in between the two khutbahs, would recite some verses, and would remind the people [about Allah].” This is related by the group, save al-Bukhari and at-Tirmizhi.
The obligatory nature of salatul Jumu’ah is also obvious from the hadith recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: “We are the last [of the people to come] but the first on the day of resurrection. They received their books before us and we got ours after them. This day was obligatory upon them, but they differed concerning it, and Allah guided us. The people, therefore, follow us: the Jews tomorrow and the Christians the day after tomorrow.”
Jabir also related that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam would not make his admonitions on Friday too long, but give a very short khutbah. This is related by Abu Dawud.
Umm Hisham bint Harithah ibn an-Nu’man says: “I learnt [Surah] Qaf of the Glorious Qur’an from the Prophet for he recited it upon the pulpit every Friday when he addressed the people.” This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, an-Nasa’ i, and Abu Dawud.
Ya’la ibn Umayyah reports that he heard the Prophet recite, while on the pulpit: “And they cry: O Malik!...” (az-Zukhruf 77). This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Ibn Majah records from Ubayy that the Messenger of Allah recited: “Blessed is He...” [Surah al-Mulk] on Friday while he was standing. In ar-Raudah an-Nadiyah, it is stated: “Thus the required khutbah, in terms of Islamic law, should be modeled after the Prophet’s khutbah exhorting people to do good and warning them against dire consequences of the evil. This is the spirit of the address which the Islamic law has instituted. As to the other contents of the khutbah, like praising Allah, saying prayers upon His Messengers or reciting a portion of the Qur’an, none of these is its main purpose, which is to admonish people... It has been customary among the Muslims [in the light of the Sunnah] that if one wanted to make some sort of proclamation; he would begin with praises of Allah and prayers upon His Prophet, or something of that nature. Still, that is not the purpose of the khutbah; indeed, the purpose is that which is said after praises of Allah and prayers for the prophet. If a person delivers a khutbah and confines it to only praising Allah and saying prayers upon the Prophet, his khutbah would hardly be acceptable. Any person with common sense could understand that.
It is the admonitory aspect of the Friday khutbah which the hadith emphasize, and if a khatib makes an admonition, he fulfills the purpose of shari’ah; if he precedes his khutbah with praises of Allah and prayers upon the Prophet and during his admonitions he uses Qur’anic verses, then he does it in a complete and satisfactory manner.”
To be continued