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Inside the Mind of a First Time ‘Eid Khateeb


eidprayer.jpgSomehow, this year I found myself in the position of leading Eid prayer for the first time in my life. Actually, ‘somehow’ is a vague description. A more accurate description would be,

Due to the inability of even having city-wide unity on Eid, and losing our backup Imam to the ‘other day’ with the ‘other half’ of the city, I was forced at the last minute to prepare myself to lead one of the Eid prayers in our masjid.

The good news is, since our masjid was doing it on Wednesday, I at least had the 30th of Ramadan to prepare. Also, alhamdulillah, since we do not follow calculations, I had taken 2 days off work, so that also worked to my advantage (and some people call that a hardship?).

Imagine, preparing yourself for a nice Eid with the family. Relaxing on the last couple of nights, catching up on random things at the end of Ramadan. Then imagine, being told you have to not only attend Eid prayer at a different time you had made plans for, but that you had to now lead it.  It is unbelievable how many questions and concerns started swirling in my head at that moment.

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Me?? Seriously? Can’t we find someone else to do it?

How do you even pray Salatul-Eid again?? How many takbeers? How do you keep count?

What should the khutbah be on?

Will this create fitnah in the community, especially for our desi uncles who don’t like to see “kids” involved in regular affairs, much less leading Eid prayer of all prayers?

I even remembered a story of one shaykh (I think I heard it at Texas Dawah) telling us the story of how the first time he gave khutbah, he lost his wudu. For anyone that didn’t understand that, think of a common involuntary bodily reaction that occurs when someone suddenly gets super-nervous. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about already, this story all of a sudden comes to me?

Once I settled down though, I reassessed the situation. I took quick stock of my friends and realized outside of “imam” types, I don’t know anyone who has ever led Eid prayer. I realized that Allah (swt) has presented me with this opportunity for some specific reason.  Even though it was a smaller salah, at a local masjid, it was still a significant opportunity, and an important experience that could insha’Allah really help me in my Islamic development. What follows below is some of the thought process that went into the preparation, and how it turned out.

The Fiqh of Eid

This subject wasn’t completely new to me. I have read small booklets here and there on the Fiqh of Eid and Muslim holidays. But the one who reads for information is not like the one who reads to immediately implement. How many people know details of the fiqh of Hajj until they’re actually about to go on Hajj? Exactly.

I did what any enterprising student of knowledge would do in my situation. I googled it. I’m not gonna lie and say I embarked on some kind of academic research of the issue, or that I even went to my bookshelf to revisit those books I read many years ago. I simply Googled it and checked I should add a note here, that I did not do this to actually teach myself how to do the salah, but rather to familiarize myself with the common issues that arise in relation to the Fiqh of Eid Salah, and perhaps find what (if any) ‘controversial’ points there are. I found a few, but I realized they were ‘controversial’ only because the sources I studied from some years ago actually represented only a small minority view on some issues, although they painted as if that was the only opinion and everyone else was wrong (but that’s a different story).

I sat down with our Imam and brought up the issues I had questions on – for example how many takbeerat to say in each rak’ah. Timing did not dictate any allowance for academic research on the issue, or even more than a cursory glance. I personally felt from my minimal (Islam-QA) research that  the stronger opinion was 7 takbeers in the first, and 5 in the second. The community I am in though, has a long-standing precedent of praying Eid according to the Hanafi style (3 takbeers in each rak’ah). Taking into account the history and orientation of our community, in addition to keeping the entire event as “drama-free” as possible [it is EID after all!], I also recalled an advice of Shaykh Salah al-Sawi (and he’s not the first to say it obviously): The madhab of the layman is the madhab of his Imam. So in this particular situation, I found myself to very much be a layman in all senses of the word regarding Salatul-‘Eid. 3 takbeers it is, though I don’t think I ever imagined myself making absoloute taqleed of the Hanafi madhab :)

Settling that stuff was the easy part. The hard part was actually sitting down with the Imam and going through the procedure, and learning how to explain it to the people.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that at Eid time, you’re not dealing with a regular crowd, or even a once a week crowd like at Jumu’ah – you are dealing with a lot of the once a year crowd. That changes everything.

I had to remember to tell people that there is no adhan and iqamah. Explain the takbeers. That there is in fact a khutbah, where I will be speaking, following the salah. That they are to be quiet during the khutbah. That there are 2 khutbahs, so don’t start hugging everyone as soon as I sit down. My notes for this were actually longer than the notes I made for my actual khutbah (says something about our condition as an ummah). You can’t take anything for granted at this point, every minute instruction must be laid out.

The Khutbah

What to talk about? I received many suggestions on what to talk about. I tried to find Eid khutbahs given by others (such as Shaykh Google) for inspiration. I received suggestions to talk about almost everything. Some brothers gave me suggestions that even for a Jumu’ah khutbah would require at least 1-2 weeks worth of research and preparation to do properly. I even found a couple of fire and brimstone type Eid khutbahs. Ok well, thats an exaggeration, but they weren’t exactly the “positive” and “uplifting” type of khutbahs you would expect for such an occasion. One brother even told me that one time Siraj Wahaj spoke about the sad state of our ummah that we pray Eid and miss fajr, and that he said if you didn’t pray fajr that he was going to turn around and to make your qadha! I couldn’t stop laughing at that one. I’m not sure that I know anyone who can pull that off other than him though.

Alhamdulillah though, my wife gave me the topic idea I ended up using (hey, we do listen..somtimes): How to make this the best Eid for your children. This made the khutbah easy, especially since I have given a more formal khutbah on youth a couple of times before.  The keys with the khutbah were for it to be positive, and more importantly, short.

This process though, did make me realize why “imams talk so much” at this time. It is the only opportunity to address a crowd of this magnitude, and a crowd that you would otherwise never reach. A jum’uah crowd is fairly static, but the Eid crowd – you feel not only the desire to inspire and motivate them, but you feel a responsibility to make up for a whole year’s worth of dawah in one speech. I think that’s why we find so many Eid khutbahs that are trying to make us better Muslims, end hunger, create world peace, abolish Israel, and save the whales all in 30 minutes.

What to Wear?

This is not something I took lightly, and not just because of my unhealthy interest in Men’s fashion. Sh. Yaser Birjas dedicated a part of his Ilm Summit session on Jumu’ah to this issue, and even the Imam asked me about it as we were finalizing plans for me to lead. Should I cement my status as the community weirdo and wear a suit? Maybe next time, not at my first salah though. Should I wear a shalwar kamees/kurta like my mom prefers, and alienate the Arab crowd? Should I wear a thobe and just go traditional? If I wear a thobe, should I wear jeans under it (my personal preference), or pants, or the actual white thobe pants which are useless since they have no pockets? Also what color thobe? If I’m the imam, I can’t just walk in with a plain old thobe can I?  Do I wear a kufi so that people don’t write me off as some kind of openly ‘disobedient’ imam, even though I can’t find a kufi that looks normal on my big head and I never wear one anyways? Should I wear a sportcoat or blazer over my thobe (my wife vetoed that one before I even finished suggesting it)?

I finally decided to wear the plain white thobe, with the white thobe pants, and a black/white ghutrah (shimagh) on my shoulders. I should add though, that even socks came into play, and I had to make sure not to wear anything that had too much color or ‘untraditional’ lest I give someone the ‘wrong’ impression.

Eid Day

My family was more concerned about me waking up on time then they were about me leading the prayers since I have a reputation for, well, never waking up on time for pretty much anything. True to form, I woke up with barely enough time to pray fajr and then start getting ready, beginning the day in rush mode.  I had no appetite whatsoever, partially due to being used to fasting, and partially due to stress. I had a sip of water for no other reason then the fact that it was sunnah to have something before salah to show you aren’t fasting. After salah though, I made up for it with almost a half-dozen Krispy Kreme dounts.

As salah time approached (and I started on the dot on the announced time alhamdulillah, no delays), I emerged from my hiding spot (aka mingling near the shoe-rack and entrance) and went to the front, taking on inquisitive and surprised stares as I grabbed the microphone. Many people had this complete look of devastation on their faces, since the expected Imam was not there, and now some guy who definitely shouldn’t be at the microphone at this moment in time is about to take the mic. I’d like to say I took the mic and then confidently lead salah, and we all lived happily ever after. The reality is, the second I took the microphone I started stumbling over my words trying to explain the procedure of Eid salah. I ignored my notes and tried to do it from memory until I got stuck, had to look at my paper to find where I was and continue. Finally, I got everyone lined up, and turned around to start salah when I realized I forgot to turn on my recorder (I record every khutbah or anything I do). I’m used to doing that for Jumu’ah while I’m sitting on the minbar and adhan is being called, but I completely forgot to plan for this small tactical detail. I’m not sure what came over me, but I suddenly said into the mic, “I will wait an extra minute for the women to line up” and quickly turned on my recorder and put it next to me.

With that out of the way, I realized I now had to lead salah. All I could think about was the extra takbeers. Don’t forget to do them. No matter what, don’t lose count (alhamdulillah for the Hanafi way, I think I would have seriously ‘lost my wudu’ trying to count 7 and 5). I did the extra takbeers, and started reciting. Normally, you focus on what you’re reading and not messing up. Not this time. My recitation was flowing straight out of subconscious memory – kind of like how you drive home without thinking about where you’re actually going or paying attention to where to turn.  The only thing on my mind? Praying like it’s my last, reflecting on the meanings of what I’m reciting, imagining the akhirah? I wish. All I could think about was “don’t forget the extra takbeers in the second rakah” over and over and over again in my head.

I made tasleem, and I realized I was now at a point where I didn’t know what to do. Am I supposed to pause for a moment? Do I make adkhaar like after salah? Do I just immediately get up and start the khutbah? It was a minor detail we forgot to cover while preparing.  I just got up and climbed the minbar and started talking. It must be the shortest khutbah I ever gave in my life. I am not even sure if it hit a full 15 minutes total, much closer to 10.

Once I finished the khutbah, I got down, thinking I was prepared for the hugathon. I had even been warned that I would face an onslaught.  I figured though, that I would be immune to it. No one is used to seeing me give the Eid khutbah. I’m not even the one who led taraweeh. What ensued though totally took me off guard. Old men, young guys, and even little kids led by their parents had all formed roughly 3 lines around me in all directions, cornering me at the minbar. I was not moving until I hugged at least a couple of hundred people, and not only that, but when you factor in the triple hugging for each person, you are really stuck. Now normally at ‘Eid, you are hugging people you already know, or are familiar with. You do hug a few strangers, sure, but not like this. You can usually figure out some kind of hugging protocol, but not only was I hugging a majority of total strangers, they all had different protocols. Sometimes I was going to shake a hand only to be grabbed and my hand ends up in someone’s stomach (but alhamdulillah, with the kind of iftars we eat, the blow was cushioned signifcantly). I’d start looking to one person, only to be grabbed by another. I got so numb to it after a few minutes that I did not even realize when my own dad was hugging me until I was in phase 2 of the triple hug!

All in all, it ended well alhamdulillah. There were no complaints, the khutbah was well received. I wasn’t sure what to expect afterwards. Alhamdulillah though, it ended normally. Once it was done, I just relaxed knowing it was done, and I slept a little better that night knowing that I could, in fact, properly count to 3 in pressure situations.

*Photo Credit: Jashim Salam

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Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at



  1. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 7, 2008 at 12:17 AM

    mashaAllah :) so, when are you posting the recording? :)

  2. ibnabeeomar

    October 7, 2008 at 12:31 AM

    sorry no recording getting posted for this one :)

  3. ilmsummitee

    October 7, 2008 at 12:52 AM

    yea, I was looking forward to the recording as well……..with all that hype and drama, SubhanAllah how can you leave us hanging?

  4. zfnd

    October 7, 2008 at 12:52 AM

    “Many people had this complete look of devastation on their faces, since the expected Imam was not there, and now some guy who definitely shouldn’t be at the microphone at this moment in time is about to take the mic.”

    That line made me laugh out loud! Anyone whose faced that situation can truly sympathize! Nice ‘behind the minbar backstage pass,’ well captured.

  5. Osman

    October 7, 2008 at 1:53 AM

    great story! btw i was just wondering how old you were?

  6. Yaser Birjas

    October 7, 2008 at 2:27 AM

    Don’t worry Ibnabeeomar, even great mashayekh can forget the takbir. I remember praying Eid prayer behind a notable shaykh long time ago, where at least 10 thousand people were present in the Musalla and the shaykh forgot completelyabout the takbir in the second raka’h. So, under the described circumstances…you did a great job.

    Btw, if you think this was hard, wait until you lead khusoof or kussof salat. (lunar or solar eclipse) :)

  7. AbdulNasir Jangda

    October 7, 2008 at 2:51 AM

    MashaAllah, ibnabeeomar did a great job. He was prepared, appropriately dressed, punctual, relevant, and brief. In fact I had an uncle blow a gasket because I decided to give a few extra minutes for families coming in. There were a lot of interesting things that I noticed about this situation.

    First, we did have a good laugh about the procedural notes being longer than the Khutbah notes.

    Second, (on this point I can empathize with the brother) unfortunately many times the older members of a community do not respond very well to a younger persons talents and abilities, especially in the area of religion. I have seen this numerous times, and so I make a concentrated effort to involve young, up and coming members of the community and give them an opportunity whenever possible. Having said that, it can be quite unpleasant for the person involved because there’s usually some negativity expressed by someone, just ask ibnabeeomar about his last Jumuah khutbah ;)

    Third, going up there and grabbing the microphone with everyone looking at you funny can be awkward, which is why I try to be there and set up the mic for the brothers, it eases the “devastation” of the audience, as the brother put it. However, I got caught in traffic and was late. I got a phone call from the brother and when I told him I won’t be there for the start, his response was, “Ahh man!!!”

    Fourth, the brother displayed great understanding, maturity, and wisdom in complying with the standard practice at the Masjid. I would have been fine with the Salaat being performed in a different method, but the brother showed respect by asking me how he should perform the Takbeerat and when I told him that either way is fine with me, he made a good decision or at least one that was “drama free”.

    Fifth, after the Khutbah every time I saw the brother he had a donut in his hand. Cops and Imams, that’s all I’ll say :)

    Alhamdulillah, everything went well. In fact, I think the brother got a little too confident, because he told me afterwards that my Khutbah was too long. ;)

  8. Yasir Qadhi

    October 7, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    Ma sha Allah, way to go ibnabeeomar!! You brought out the human side of giving a khutbah; and it is a side that will always be there but you need to strive to overcome some of its weaknesses throughout your life!

    My most embarrassing moment while giving a khutbah (alhamdulillah I never broke my wudhu…yet!) : right during an ’emotional’ segment of my khutbah, with my arms flailing around and the entire masjid listening captivated, a loud cellphone starts ringing, and as it get louder and louder, I suddenly realize its MY cellphone. Oh man… how embarrassing … I had to fumble to shut it off and pretend as if nothing happened. :D

    After the salat was over, I had to check who would be calling on a Friday afternoon during khutbah time… it was my wife who wanted to remind me to pick up some groceries on the way back. :)

  9. Hassan

    October 7, 2008 at 8:24 AM

    Salaam. nice job. I do not remember if it was Sheikh Waleed first khutbah of eid or not, but this is what happened to him when he was young student. He had to go to some remote open area to lead prayers, slightly far from the city. He left the city before fajar to be there on time, and decided to pray fajar on his way. After he stopped for fajar, his tire got punctured, and behold there was no spare tire. Then he waited for hitchhiking. After a long time, he found someone. The guy had very old obnoxious bad looking car. And sheikh told him where to take him. So he took him there. There would be princes and elite there as well, so when they saw someone coming in such car, and dusty clothes, and then trying to go towards leading the prayer, he was stopped. But he convinced them he is the imam.

    Unfortunately, after the prayer finished, he started climbing the minbar, and on his second or third step the minbar broke as well.

  10. Siraaj

    October 7, 2008 at 8:41 AM

    After the salat was over, I had to check who would be calling on a Friday afternoon during khutbah time… it was my wife who wanted to remind me to pick up some groceries on the way back.

    This reminds me of a funny cell phone incident that occurred at History of the Khulafaa a few years ago in Chicago – just as Shaykh Muhammad was saying (can’t recall how we got here), “Your wife knows you inside and out, she knows all your weaknesses, and she can exploit them and beat you with them easily,” my cell phone starts ringing, and I’m in the front row of class (I had forgot to shut off my cell). And then I turned down the volume, but the phone had a bug in it, and she called again, and it blasted again. I tried to turn it down again, and it wouldn’t go down, and she called a third time, and now it was getting really uncomfortable because it was getting loud, and I was a big stickler on the cell phone rule.

    Eventually, I had to take the battery out of the phone, it was that bad.


  11. ibnabeeomar

    October 7, 2008 at 8:52 AM

    the phone accidentally going off is one thing, but what about people who are on their blackberries or txt messaging voluntarily during khutbahs? :)

  12. Mezba

    October 7, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    Nice. First time I read about what a khateeb must go through. Good read, and sA you had a good Eid.

  13. MR

    October 7, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Jamaica Muslim Center in NY has a cell phone signal blocking machine. They turn it on during the fardh and khutbah salat. That way even if it is on, they won’t get any signal.

  14. Hidaya

    October 7, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    We want to listen to ten minutes Khutbah…maybe I can make a copy and gift it to our local imam, who kept going on and on for 45 minutes in Urdu, talking about practically everything…He almost put me to sleep!

    I had to go to that Masjid, since all the Arabs in my community celebrated Eid on Tuesday but almost all the Desis did it on Wednesday and this was the only Desi Masjid who had room 4 women…How Sad =(

  15. Abu Zayd

    October 7, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Akhi, may Allah reward you and make your subsequent khtubahs easier (trust me, they do get easier, though a little bit of nervousness always remains and is healthy). Your post brings back many fond memories.

    In my first Jumuah khutbah, I remember speaking so low, despite having a microphone, that a poor guy in the first row kept politely gesturing for me to raise my voice. Whenever I would see him, I would raise my voice, and then it would fall back to its subdued nervous state. His face and hand movements still haunt me to this day. :)

    In my first Eid khutbah and prayers, I led with the 7 and 5 takbeers, and had no awareness of the Hanafi prayer method, which I had unfortunately never experienced. After the khutbah, an angry uncle approached me and told me quite emphatically that I ruined everyone’s prayer, caused massive confusion and prayed in a manner that was apart from the mainstream. I tried telling him, in vain, that this was how they prayed in Makkah and Madinah. His comments still visit me periodically, as fresh as that ominous day.

    In my Jumah khutbah at Masjid Taqwa in Brooklyn, I messed up the recitation of Surah al-A’la (can you believe that?).

    I can go on and on, but the point is. . . It gets easier, and the memories become fonder as time passes.

  16. Amad

    October 7, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    I am sorry, MR, but I hate those cell-phone signal blockers. Our masjid’s innovative admin have installed something like that… the problem is that there could be an emergency call, or for doctors, they may need to be accessible at all times. Furthermore, sometimes I like to go study in the masjid, and like to keep up with my emails/phone calls during that time (in ‘off-prayer hours”). I think we need to continue to educate and remind folks about turning their cell-phones off. Just like the Imams remind people, as per sunnah, to straighten the lines, maybe in today’s age, they should remind people to straighten their cell-phones (i.e. shut/vibrate-mode).

    Interestingly, those furthest ahead in creating new restrictions for cell phones in the masjid are the ones you least see in the masjid… but that’s another topic for another time :)

  17. Abu Ninja

    October 7, 2008 at 11:11 AM


    Abu Ammars cellphone going off during the jummah khutbah incident had me laughing out loud but when I read Shaikh Waleeds story, I was in stitches! lol

    I remember my first khutbah, I sweated so much (luckily I had a whole bottle of ittar on), that after the jummah prayers I felt like collapsing, I was that physically drained!

    Allhamdulillah it does got easier, im actually preparing a khutbah to give this Friday! lol. Personally I find preparing for a 30 mins khutbah much harder than preparing for say an hour circle.

  18. Shirtman

    October 7, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Great story man Masha’Allah

  19. SaqibSaab

    October 7, 2008 at 2:02 PM

    Solid story, done in classic blogging style. I can only imagine the difference between the Jumu’ah khutbah and the Eid khutbah. This line really got to me:

    This process though, did make me realize why “imams talk so much” at this time. It is the only opportunity to address a crowd of this magnitude, and a crowd that you would otherwise never reach. A jum’uah crowd is fairly static, but the Eid crowd – you feel not only the desire to inspire and motivate them, but you feel a responsibility to make up for a whole year’s worth of dawah in one speech.

    Does this mean you’re going to be assigned as that “7:30am” slot for every Eid in your community now? :)

    I think that’s why we find so many Eid khutbahs that are trying to make us better Muslims, end hunger, create world peace, abolish Israel, and save the whales all in 30 minutes.


  20. ibnabeeomar

    October 7, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    saqib- i hope not. eid is definitely one event where id much rather prefer to be lost in the crowd as a bystander/attendee (ref: imam nasir’s comment about the irate uncle :) )

    cell phone blockers: i dont like them. ppl being on call etc is very true, and not just for doctors – they’re not the only ones who work in the healthcare industry dontcha know? (sorry palin-speak is getting to me)

    also after reading the comments here, i remembered the first time i gave juma khutbah (i feel old, it must have been like at least 6 years ago) and the person sitting closest to the minbar said he thought i was shaking so much that i was going to fall down on top of him during the khutbah :P

  21. MR

    October 7, 2008 at 4:11 PM

    @Amad and @Omar – They turn it on for the fardh salah and turn it off right after. Even if they are on call, they can’t answer it during the fardh salah.

  22. ibnabeeomar

    October 7, 2008 at 5:32 PM

    yeah i figured that but its still annoying. case in point – i work in healthcare, and i’m often on call. i have my phone set up to vibrate if i get paged. now, if i’m in salah, and it vibrates once, i know i need to check my phone after salah is over. its kind of like, when you’re praying, if your mom starts yelling your name, you finish your salah and run quickly over there to see what she needs. but if they jam it, you have to compulsively check after they turn it off to make sure you didnt miss any pages or anything. this is an issue that will require education. what happens during taraweeh then? or during other programs at the masjid, etc?

  23. Abu Abdurrahman

    October 7, 2008 at 6:16 PM


    Great post Mashallah!

    I had the exact same experience as you Omar!..Well almost, in that doing the Jummah khutbahs had been a regular thing for some time and I’m serving as a part time imam – so it wasn’t a completely unknown face for the folks!

    But I thought Shaykh Yasir’s experience almost repeated history on me when I heard one of the phones in the audience going off and just remembered that I’d completely forgotten to switch mine on silent – whihc was an absolute first for me (You have no idea how I was saying “al hamdulilah” when I saw it was another brother’s and not mine!

    Oh and I almost made a mistake in my second rakah takbeers!! How embarrassing!

    Choosing an appropriate topic – or topics, should I say – was interesting. Can totally relate to the feeling you mentioned of wanting to say almost ‘everything’ to an audience many of whom you know you may not see till next time that year.. I did try and see what some of our major mashaaikh mention during their Khutbahs , but did feel that over here with all the attacks on the Deen, there was a need to considerably alter a lot of the material…it eneded up quite similar in content to Sh. Waleed’s one posted earlier – but instead of the hurricane concentrated (which we didn’t have over here in London alhamdulilah) concentrated on how the future is really for Islam, it’s only a matter of how we want to be in that future..whether we want to be part of it..what type of role we can play in families, communities, society enlarge, etc. .

    Also I forgot that this Masid woudn’t have a stand to rest any notes on, so I decided that it would be better to free style it rather than stand there carrying ..

  24. Ibrahim

    October 7, 2008 at 7:06 PM

    I’ve had opportunity to give Jumm’ah khutbah a few times as well since there is no imam in our community. One of problems is dry mouth, very dry mouth. So much so that I declined to give the khutbah more than once during this Ramadan because I’m in immediate need of water. The other problem is that I was born and raised in Pakistan and so I’ve an accent and sometimes I get this wahm that nobody is understanding a single word I’m saying. And, I react by changing my tone (for no good reason).

    Incidently, our masjid is mixed with Arabs and Desis and I’m usually in shalwar/qamees and I never had a problem where people other than Desis would somehow be turned off from what I wear. At least nobody has said anything to me. Did you run into a problem that you feared alieniation or is it predominantly Arab (in which case you might stand out)?

  25. ibnabeeomar

    October 7, 2008 at 10:55 PM

    in general i havent noticed any issues (esp juma), but like i said, eid is the “once a year crowd” so all bets are off. i prefer to look as “nondemoninational” as possible ;)

  26. FearAllah

    October 7, 2008 at 10:57 PM

    Jazakallahu khayrun for the honest account. It really shows how much we still have to learn subhanAllah…. and how we all have our faults and our trepidations but we have the doors of forgiveness and reform open for us always…

  27. Nirgaz

    October 7, 2008 at 11:52 PM

    At least Nashville wasn’t the only one split on the Eid…half our community did Eid on Tuesday and half did it on Wednesday…

  28. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 8, 2008 at 1:19 AM

    bismillah. i am all in favor of the cell phone blockers. MR’s masjid policy is more than sensible.

    and when if ever has anyone ever seen one of these so-called “urgent-call”-recipients step out of the line immediately to respond to the call? i have NEVER seen it. not once. no (kallaa), they weigh their “urgent need” only against the khushoo of the whole jamat. by their actions they show that none of those calls are so urgent that they actually give up their own salat. so by inference, all of them could have waited to learn of the call, too.

    once, i have seen a doctor i know look at his pager, get up, and leave the musallah during a khutbah — and i think wearing pagers is a good thing for those people, even if only on friday afternoons. that doctor’s pager was on VIBRATE and it did not disturb anyone. most of us would never have known anything had happened if he had not stood up and left.

    don’t want to carry a pager to the khutbah? awww, what, is it too heavy? or maybe you have so many other gadgets that you lack the outlet space for the charger for the pager? awww. what to do? you are SO important/busy that you have to have your phone and NOT BE TROUBLED to put THE PHONE on vibrate yourself? and how could ANYONE expect you to check your phone after the salat for missed calls (if it was on SILENT (dare i suggest that!!!))?

    perhaps Allah will give you servants to massage your furrowed brows. to soothe you and make your way easy for you with strewn rose petals and a hint of your favorite uud or other fragrance. no music, at least no musical instruments. maybe a peeled grape or waiting pomegranate seed? just be sure, Nawab sahib/prince-of-the-realm/gift-to-all-humanity, when it crosses your so-full plate, also to have the servant put your phone on vibrate for you.

    subhanAllah, how much ajr these “important” people throw away — if the only thing they have to do to safeguard the jamat’s khushoo (at least from their own phone) is to check their phone after the khutbah or after the fard.

    and if the blocking machines are barred or sabatoged, i am in favor at least of $100 (or heftier) fines per annoying call during salat. because many people refuse to even fumble with their phones when they go off! Shaykh Waleed commented on this during the last ten nights when there had been a string of the same phone going off during taraweeh. He said that he understood that everyone makes a mistake sometimes and leaves their phones on — he was being generous. but what he could not understand were the people whose phone went off once, and they did not then make sure the phone was off.

    sure, some people may try to raise thereby some funds for the masjids — call a doctor or two, give him/her the ajr of paying a fine. :) but for the most part, calls that come during salat in the masjid are completely non-urgent calls, and the fines would make people reform their cell phone carelessness.

    sorry for the rant. i know it was a rant. and it felt good, subhanAllah. be thankful i did not text it to your phones, over and over again, subhanAllah.

    hey, here’s a post-rant thought: the masajid could spend some of the windfall money from the fines on gifts for the new khateebs, or mithai/shawarma for the whole crowd, too. :) that way we might at least smile at the brother’s fine-money we’re eating.

  29. ayesha

    October 8, 2008 at 6:22 AM

    @shk ibnabeeomar : may i know why did you follow the hanafi style of doing 3 takbeers in each rakaa as doing 7 takbeers in the first rakaah and 5 takbeers in the second is from the sunnah of the prophet (saw)??

  30. Hassan

    October 8, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    In Houston, many did eid on Tuesday based on moon sighting in Arkansas, and later found out it was also sighted in California. All ISGH (Islamic society of greater houston0 shyookh did not fast Tuesday, knowing its eid, and performed salaat on Wednesday.

    There were some who did fast on Tuesday, and did eid Wednesday suggesting that moon sighting was impossible scientifically…

  31. ibnabeeomar

    October 8, 2008 at 8:46 AM

    ayesha – the point here was that due to the last minute nature of the situation there wasn’t enough time to investigate the evidences for each method of prayer, so i followed the procedure of our masjid and imam. also, as a side note, i think its important to realize even though we may feel strongly that one method is “the sunnah” it doesn’t discount the other ways, and it doesn’t mean they don’t have evidences. case in point: just now while writing this post, in less than 3 minutes – i googled evidences for the hanafi method of praying eid, and found a reference to a hadith in abu dawud saying that eid prayer had 3 extra takbeers (4 total) just like salatul janaza, and then i looked up this hadith in my copy of abu dawud (which has sh. al-albani’s gradings) its marked as hasan saheeh (ie authentic).

    oftentimes we might be accustomed to one opinion, and it may have very strong evidences, but it doesn’t mean the other opinion is completely bereft of basis in the sunnah. that’s why i tried to emphasize my status as a layman on this issue, studying the evidences in detail, their authenticity, applying the usool if evidences contradict, etc, is all an in-depth study. that’s why i really believe the advice of sh. salah al-sawi is most pertinent, if you are a layman follow your imam :)

    also one interesting ‘tangent’ in the almaghrib purification act class, sh. abdulbary was discussing some of the differences in praying salah (e.g. reciting basmala out loud, or making one tasleem instead of 2) and he said that since the opinions had some basis in the sunnah, the real way to implement the sunnah was to sometimes pray, for example, with reciting basmala out loud, and sometimes not.

  32. Amad

    October 8, 2008 at 9:11 AM

    “shk” ibnabeeomar… thats what happens when you give an eid khutbah.. we’ll have to move u to the MM shayookh list now :)

  33. Ar-Raheeq

    October 8, 2008 at 9:39 AM

    “Many people had this complete look of devastation on their faces, since the expected Imam was not there, and now some guy who definitely shouldn’t be at the microphone at this moment in time is about to take the mic. ”

    MashAllah ibnabeeomar! May Allah accept this deed of yours!!

    This example you have brought is similar to the example when Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) was ordered to lead the 5 daily salaah, during our beloved Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) final illness! Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) was so worried that the people would be dissapointed with seeing her father as the imam in the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) place that she pleaded with the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) to change his mind (i.e. to appoint someone else). How wonderful is that??? :)

    Hopefully Allah will make you in the company of the Siddiqun in the hereafter as well!!! :)

  34. usman

    October 8, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Salaam, that was so well written mashallah…i have given a few jumah khutbahs…and i was nervous only in the begining. but wen u start getting into the material it gets easier

  35. Asim

    October 8, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Asalaamu Alaykum,

    Someone get me a link or info on this cell phone blocking machine…I really want it for our masjid :)

  36. Zaynab

    October 8, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    I think that’s why we find so many Eid khutbahs that are trying to make us better Muslims, end hunger, create world peace, abolish Israel, and save the whales all in 30 minutes.

    In that order LOL!

    May Allah reward you br.Omar, thanks for the backstage pass. Your posts are always really enjoyable to read.

  37. Brent

    October 8, 2008 at 11:33 PM

    Jazaakumullaahu khayran to all thosed involved.
    The one thing I love about this site and the people commenting is that they bring a lot of the elements that are on the minds of Muslims, specifically in the West together in a very easy to comprehend manner. I love the way brothers (and the sisters of course) have made topics I would usually stay clear of easy to read and think about.

    Provoking thought, I cannot thank you guys enough for.

    Concerning embarrassing ‘Khutbah Stories’ inspired by what Sh. Yasir said, I was once giving a Khutbah in a Melbourne University and at the end of the Khutbah I saw two puddles of water on outside of feet.
    I was thinking that during the emotion and the fire of the topic, did I have an accident. I started to panic until I looked at the paper I using to read from, all the ink was smudge away like it had been in the rain and cuffs of my thawb were drenched.

    It was a hot day but I also learnt from that day, when I get nervous, I sweat from the palms.

  38. Amad

    October 9, 2008 at 8:35 AM

    wasalam & Welcome Brent to MM… I guess we need to keep a rag under your feet anytime you speak :) I hope you had a water bottle close by for hydration!

    jazakAllah khair for your compliments. We look forward to learning more from you and perhaps seeing some articles from you too inshallah

  39. Alima

    October 9, 2008 at 9:48 AM


    This is really cool to read, the nerves…. Scary… Something I do not want to think about!

    Jazak Allahu khayrun for the insight, I think it will come in handy.

    The topic was good too!

  40. Your brother

    December 11, 2008 at 2:01 AM

    Assalam alaykum,

    Im not sure how it is for the Hanafi fiqh, but for the other madhabs, standing on the minbar is not done during the Eid khutbah. Is it something that is done for the Eid Khutbah in the hanafi fiqh?

  41. Iman

    December 11, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    How was your second time giving khutba for Eid?

  42. ibnabeeomar

    December 11, 2008 at 6:38 PM

    i made sure to get out of it well in advance so i didnt have to do it a second time :)

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