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A Few Reminders for the Khateeb so we may
More attention needs to be paid to the subject of the
khutba and it should be discussed more because of its importance:
(1) It is ordered in the Qur'an
(2) Besides the people, the angels are listening, and more
importantly Allah is listening. Care must be taken to avoid saying
anything which is not pleasing to Allah.
people listen to it than any other medium of Islamic education. They are
obligated to be silent too. In contrast, other means, such as the
audio cassettes, which are listened to by a group of people, who fit into some
category. For most people, the khutba is the only source of Islamic
CONTENTS OF KHUTBA
- In order to deliver an effective khutba, it is
recommended to pick the topic early on. Sometimes it is difficult to
come up with a topic, perhaps you can sit down and make a list of topics
and refer to it when you need one.
- Your goal should not be to say what the people want to
hear, but your duty is to say what they need to hear.
- There needs to be a variation in subject
matter. For example, talk about the Akhira on some khutba, Raqaaiq
(softeners of the heart, i.e. mercy of Allah, reward awaiting, etc.) on
others, then there is shirk (polytheism), judging by other than what
Allah revealed, social problems (marriage, divorce...), pertinent events
(e.g.. Bosnia, Iraq), historic events with a moral to them, issues
relating to the commonly found problems of saint worship, usury etc.
- The khutba needs good preparation. If it is a
half hour khutba you're giving, that time is not for you. It is a trust
for the listeners, and you need to respect them. Sometimes the khateebs
prepare the topic an hour before the khutba, this should not be. It
needs to have beneficial knowledge and that requires some research (e.g..
checking hadith authenticity, medical facts, statistics, etc. if
possible). You don't want to say something about medicine that some of
your audience knows is wrong because that takes away from your overall
- Pick an appropriate topic with regard to your audience,
taking into considerations the time, place, and the background of the
audience. You definitely wouldn't want to be teaching a bunch of
illiterate farmers about the follies of Darwinism.
- You don't need to talk about everything at once.
You can address one or a few topics at a time. Being too general
assumes the audience has some background knowledge which they may not.
- Respect your audience, there maybe more knowledgeable
people than you in the audience, so don't command saying "do this, don't
do that." Give the reason why something should or should not be
done as well.
- People are in need of the cure more than the blame, so
instead of saying "You folks don't care about sins, you look at women as if
Allah does not see you, you stare at this part of the body and that part
of the body...", it is wiser to address the issue by talking about it from a
positive angle, such as "Today, I'll talk about the merits of lowering the
gaze." People will understand what you're intending and the same
point will be made without hurting their feelings.
- Give issues their proper place. Don't over generalize,
and be careful not to get carried away. For example, one of the people
wanted to encourage people to repent so he said, "Allah did not create us to
be perfect. He did not say don't sin, but he said when you sin seek
forgiveness." Clearly his intent was good, but he used a wrong line of
reasoning and was too lenient on sinning. [Sometimes you find people
such as Farakhan, who think that selling alcohol is worse than the polytheism
they commit. They say what means, "Before you foreign Muslims come to us
to teach us, take care of your own who are selling all these bad things
to the black neighborhoods. Then there are those who come to people who
have not prayed for 5 or 10 years and the first thing they talk to them about
is the beard. As if that is going to be the determining factor between
paradise and hell. Fidel Castro has a beard to his chest and it will not
help him if he dies a kafir].
- Some khateebs always talk about mistakes. Change
the approach and don't be like a fly, which comes around a person wearing the
best clothing and if there be on it one speck of dirt, it focuses in on that
- Read some books on public speaking.
- Set goals for the khutba. What is the main
message of this khutba?
Jazakumullahu khair, wassalamu alaikum