Monday, May 22, 2006

Delivering the Friday Sermon Whilst Standing

Finally, SubhanAllah I move on to Lesson 114, which is again commentary of hadeeth from the Book of Jumuah. Below are notes for the first hadeeth that was covered in this lesson.



باب: الخُطْبَةُ قَائِما

Chapter of delivering the sermon whilst standing

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: كانَ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَخْطُبُ قائِمًا, ثُمّ يَقْعُدُ, ثُمّ يَقُومُ, كما تَفْعَلُونَ الاَنَ. رواه البخاري

Narrated Ibn 'Umar رضى الله عنهما : The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to deliver the Khutba (religious talk) while standing and then he would sit, then stand again as you do nowadays. [Hadeeth 514, al Tajrid al Sarih]

This hadeeth is very simple – Abdullah ibn Umar (رحمة الله عليه) reports that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would deliver the Friday khutbah whilst standing, he would then sit, and then stand again for the second khutbah. This was the practice during the times of Abu Bakr (رحمة الله عليه) and Uthman (رحمة الله عليه) i.e. to deliver the Friday khutbah standing.

Uthman (رحمة الله عليه) would often feel fatigued and tired and what he would do would be to begin the Friday sermon whilst standing. If he felt tired he would sit down and pause i.e. he would stop talking. Once recuperated, he would stand and continue talking. Hence, his sitting was only of rest. Ali (رحمة الله عليه) would stand for the sermons as did the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

When Muawiyah (رحمة الله عليه) was the Khalifah, he would sit out of necessity whilst delivering the Friday sermon. It is clearly mentioned in narrations that his reason for sitting was out of necessity. When his son Yazid became the Khalifah, and monarchy replaced the Khilafah, the Ummayid princes began delivering the Friday Khutbah whilst seated as a matter of principle rather than out of necessity. This was not the case with all of them but some of them.

This practice was condemned by the sahabah as it contradicted the sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The fact that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when deliver the Friday khutbah whilst standing is also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an towards the end of Surah Jumuah:

وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا قُلْ مَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِي

And when they beheld merchandise or sport, they flocked thereto, and left thee standing. Say thou: that which is with Allah is better than sport and better than merchandise; and Allah is the Best of providers. [62:11]

This verse is related to an incident that occurred when there was a famine. News reached people of provisions arriving and many people left during the khutbah (being delivered by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to receive these provisions. The words of Allah are that they left the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) standing. Hence, the sahabah disapproved of sitting when delivering the khutbah without their being to do so.

This is related to the Friday khutbah only and not for other speeches, khutbahs etc where it is permissible to sit whilst delivering the speech.

The laws derived according to all four schools of fiqh are as follows:

- Imam Abu Hanifah (رحمة الله عليه) states that giving the khutbah whilst standing is a sunnah but salah is still valid if the Imam sits down. It is however undesirable to do so.
- Imam Malik (رحمة الله عليه) says that it is wajib to deliver the Friday khutbah standing up. If someone sits down without necessity, he has done an undesirable and bad thing but the khutbah is still valid.
- Imam Shafi (رحمة الله عليه) and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (رحمة الله عليه) state that it is a prerequisite of Jumu’ah salah to deliver the khutbah whilst standing. Hence, salah is not valid if the person sits down without necessity.

According to all four schools of fiqh, it is entirely permissible to sit down and deliver the Friday khutbah out of necessity.

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