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Aqeedah and Fiqh

Friday Khutbah in Arabic: To be or not to be?


Recently, I was approached by a “Alim” who attended a Friday Khutbah I delivered.  He wanted five minutes of my time to discuss my speech.  He started talking about the importance of having the Khutbah in Arabic.  Now, I knew where this was going.  See, this is not the first time I have been approached by someone who wanted to convince me that the Khutbah is meant to be in Arabic.  Usually, I thank the brother for the advice and I don’t enter into what I think is a vain argument.  However, this time seemed to be different.  The man was very humble in his approach and flexible in his argument.  What you’re about to see is somewhat of a reenactment of our conversation, though not verbatim.  Some of us may have seen some scholarly debates over certain Fiqhi issues.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the arguments and counter-arguments when they are narrated by a third person.  So I thought I’d use an innovative approach of presenting this argument in a conversation style.  In order to make it less personal however, I’m representing both sides of the conversations as Opinion1 (representing him) and Opinion2 (representing me).  Here we go:

Opinion1: What do you think about having the Khutbah in Arabic?

Opinion2: I don’t think it’s feasible in the conditions we’re in.

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Opinion1: But there is an agreement among schools that it should be in Arabic.

Opinion2: I’m not aware of that.  What I have seen in this country is that some followers of the Hanafi School apply this ruling.

Opinion1: In fact, the Hanafis are the most lenient when it comes to this issue.  The Malikis are the most strict.  That is, if you can’t find someone to do the Khutbah in Arabic, then the Friday prayer is not even obligatory!

Opinion2: I’ll check on that.  But what I know is that there is a difference of opinion on this matter.  The reason for the difference is due to how the Khutbah is viewed.  Is it viewed as analogous to prayer or is it viewed as an admonition?

Opinion1: I think it’s more like a prayer.  This is because of a statement by Omar ibn al-Khattab, which explains that the other two rakah of Dhuhr were replaced by the Khutbah. [Later I checked this Athar by Omar and discovered that Sheikh M. N. D. al-Albani had weakened this Athar.  See al-Irwaa, hadith #605].

Opinon2: Agreed but we can’t consider the Khutbah to be exactly like prayer.  Scholars mention that the Imam can drink water during Khutbah, can give Khutbah without Wudu, can speak of unrelated subjects during the Khutbah, at least briefly; all of which is not allowed during prayer.

Opinion1: Can you please look into this matter and see what the Imams have said about this issue?

Opinion2: Of course I will.  But let us also keep in mind the purpose of the Khutbah.  The goal of the Khutbah is to remind and educate the people.  We also have to understand the context of the statements by the Imams or their schools.  They lived at a time where Arabic was the language of the day (just like English is today), where Islam was the superpower.  This is totally different from today where even Arabic speaking Muslims cannot guarantee that their children will speak Arabic, and where learning the language is not readily accessible to many.

Later, I looked at the opinions of the four schools and here is what I found (courtesy of al-Fiqh alaa al-Madhaahib al-Arba’ah by al-Jazeeree):


It’s permissible for the Khutbah to not be in Arabic, even if the Khateeb is capable of speaking Arabic, and whether the audience speaks Arabic or not.


It’s a condition for the Khutbah to be in Arabic, even if the audience does not understand Arabic.  If they don’t have a Khateeb that is good in Arabic, then Friday prayer is not obligatory on them!!!


The pillars of the Khutbah (e.g. recitation of an Ayah or a Hadith) has to be in Arabic.  Non-Arabic is not sufficient if the Imam is able to learn Arabic.  If not, then he can use a different language.  That is if the audience is Arabic-speaking.  If not, then even the pillars of Khutbah don’t have to be in Arabic.  Anything other than the pillars of the Khutbah can be delivered in any language but Arabic is recommended.


The Khutbah is not acceptable in a language other than Arabic, if the Imam is able to speak it.  If not, then he can use any language he masters.  This is whether the audience is Arabic-speaking or not.  However, the [recitation of an] Ayah that is a pillar of the Khutbah must be uttered in Arabic.  If he cannot, then he utters any dhikr in Arabic.  If he’s not able to even do that, then he stays silent for the duration of reciting such an Ayah!!

In order to get around all this, some Masjids in the U.S. have implemented what I call a  workaround.  They added a so-called “talk” in English before the Adhan to fulfill the admonition goal of the Khutbah.  After the Adhan, they have the actual Khutbah in Arabic.  Although this seems to solve all problems mentioned above, it does introduce another set of problems.  This supposed workaround may go against a prohibition from the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) not to conduct any halaqa or lecture before the Friday Khutbah.

عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص أن النبي صلّى الله عليه وسلّم نهى عن التحلّق قبل الصلاة يوم الجمعة

صحيح أبي داود 991، صحيح الجامع 6885

From Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) forbade making circles [for knowledge or remembrance] before prayer on Friday.  (Saheeh Abu Dawud #991, Saheeh al-Jami’ #6885)

Imam ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597) briefly commented on this hadith in his celebrated work “Talbees Iblees

He [the Prophet] disliked that people gather before the Friday prayer for the purpose of seeking knowledge and studying.  Rather, he ordered us to busy ourselves with voluntary prayer and to listen to the Khutbah (The Chapter of the Play of Iblis with the People of Hadith)

In other words, the time before the Khutbah should be utilized in preparation for the Khutbah, not in something that will take the glory away from the Khutbah.  In fact, there are authentic hadith that tell us to spend this important time in voluntary prayer.  This is the one action that will make us ready to absorb the most from the Khutbah.  The proposed pre-Khutbah “talk” on the other hand will deprive the actual Khutbah from its meaning, exhaust the attention of the worshippers, and disturb the whole structure of the Friday prayer.

By the way, the “Alim” above had for me another proposal that I had not heard before.  He said, you can have the first Khutbah in Arabic and the second in English.  But, I said this still doesn’t meet the requirements of the Imams/Schools who say that both Khutbah should be in Arabic.  Moreover, what do you think will happen to the people who don’t speak Arabic who have to withstand for about 15 to 20 minutes a speech they don’t understand?  Their minds will wander and their hearts will not benefit.

Finally, I don’t claim to have the final words on this issue.  However, I don’t even see the famous followers of the schools (e.g. Hamza Yusuf, a follower of the strictist school on this subject, the Maliki School) deliver Arabic Khutbah in this country at this time.  What I do know is that this is one issue where we have to look more at the Maqasid [goals] of Shariah and less at the words of a scholar or the opinion of a school, which may have been formulated for a different time or context.  After all, this is not a case where one is violating a clear ruling of the Quran or the Sunnah!!  Allah knows best!

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Born and raised in Lebanon, Hlayhel began attending study circles at his local mosque when he was ten. He came to the United States at 17 and studied electrical engineering at the University of Houston. At its MSA, he met Sh Yasir Qadhi and worked together to raise Islamic awareness on campus. Hlayhel studied traditional sciences of Aqeedah (Islamic creed), Fiqh (Islamic law) and Nahw (Arabic grammar) under Sh Waleed Basyouni and Sh Waleed Idriss Meneese among others. After settling in Phoenix AZ, he worked tirelessly, in the capacity of a board member then a chairman, to revive the then dead AZ chapter of CAIR in order to face the growing Islamophobia in that state and to address the resulting civil right violations. Today, he's considered the second founder of a strong CAIR-AZ. In addition, Hlayhel is a part-time imam at the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley in Phoenix, husband and father of four. His current topics of interest include positive Islam, youth coaching, and countering Islamophobia.



    • M H Khan

      May 13, 2011 at 6:05 AM

      Khutbah is the Imam’s admonition and its goal is to teach people about Islam and guide them in the way of Islam. The prophet (pbuh) and the people who he admonished in khutbah were all Arabic-speaking people. But now in non-Arabic speaking world, most of the Imams and the members of audience gathered for Friday Prayer don’t speak or understand Arabic. The Imams in most cases only know reading Arabic. There are books containing printed khutbah in Arabic and the Imams, who often themselves do not understand anything of the such printed khutbah, recites it for the audience, thus frustrating the goal of the khutbah and making all exercises fruitless. So, to achieve the goal of the khutbah, as envisaged by the prophet (pbuh), it may, therefore, always be in the mother language of the majority audience.

  1. Abdullah

    April 9, 2010 at 7:11 AM


    Thanks for this, there is a response to some of the above:


    • Anas Hlayhel

      April 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM

      Salam brother Abdullah,

      I totally acknowledge my weakness in the Hanafi tradition. My aim was not to fully articulate the Hanafi position on the issue (nor any other school for that matter) but just to give a glimpse of what each school says. The just of the post you provided is that khutbah in English (or any non-Arabic language) is Mujzi’ (meets the conditions for the prayer to be accepted) yet it’s Makruh Karaaha Tahreemiyyah (very similar to saying it’s haram). In other words, it’s sinful yet valid. I know this may sound contradictory for some people but this is possible in fiqh. I just don’t agree with it.


      • Tayseer

        May 11, 2011 at 8:06 PM

        Asalam Aliekom

        I respectfully disagree with your following statement:
        “Makruh Karaaha Tahreemiyyah (very similar to saying it’s haram). In other words, it’s sinful yet valid”

        Any thing that is not Haram is not sinful. “very similar to saying it’s haram” does not mean it is sinful.
        It means that it is strongly encouraged not to do it.

        Best Regards

        Asalam Aliekom

  2. Amad

    April 9, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    In order to get around all this, some Masjids in the U.S. have implemented what I call a workaround. They added a so-called “talk” in English before the Adhan to fulfill the admonition goal of the Khutbah. After the Adhan, they have the actual Khutbah in Arabic.

    Actually this so-called workaround is modus operandi in Pakistan and many Pakistani-dominated masaijd. Basically, there is what is called in Urdu a “waaz” (a speech) that goes for 30-45 minutes before the jumuah adhan. Very few people actually attend this as it is entirely optional. Then there is an adhan. Everyone gets up, prays 4 sunnah. Then the khutbah begins in Arabic, which consists of some memorized texts, recited in a melodious tone, and duplicated every Friday (probably the same in all masajid). Everyone listens to this attentively as if praying, though most don’t understand it (Arabic language proficiency of course is limited to reading).

    In other words, the effect and purpose of the khutbah is non-existent, and most people skip the Urdu “waaz” anyway.

    • Uncle Tom

      April 9, 2010 at 5:18 PM

      the same set of people perform prayers their whole lives in a language they don’t understand. what’s your point again?

      • Abdus-Sabur

        April 10, 2010 at 1:44 PM

        I completely disagree. #1 Quran are the words of Allah. #2. Khutbah is not the words of Allah although it contains ayats and hadith of Rasulullah (SAW). Most of the talk is conversational arabic language. The 2 are not the same.

    • Abd- Allah

      April 9, 2010 at 8:17 PM

      Then there is an adhan. Everyone gets up, prays 4 sunnah. Then the khutbah begins

      Just as a side note, there is nothing in the sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him about praying any sunnah prayers between the adhan and the khutbah.

      • Talib

        April 12, 2010 at 2:27 AM

        As salam u alaiku,

        Just as a side note, the 4 rakaats are prayed after the first athan. The arabic khutba starts right after the second athan….

        • Abd- Allah

          April 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

          Just as a side note, the 4 rakaats are prayed after the first athan.

          Yes akhi, I know that is when people usually pray these 4 rakaats, but in reality there is nothing in the sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him about praying any sunnah prayers after the adhaan.

          • Zeemar

            April 13, 2010 at 9:44 AM

            Actually the sunnah is to pray whatever Allah has written for you until the Imam goes to give a speech. There is nothing that says that it must be four. One can do as many as one wishes. Shaykh Albaani use to do that due to the hadith:

            The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “Whoever takes a bath on friday, purifies himself as much as he can, then uses his (hair) oil or perfumes himself with the scent of his house, then proceeds (for the Jumua prayer) and does not separate two persons sitting together (in the mosque), then PRAYS AS MUCH AS (Allah has) WRITTEN for him and then remains silent while the Imam is delivering the Khutba, his sins in-between the present and the last friday would be forgiven.” (Bukhari: Book #13, Hadith #8)

  3. Naseebah

    April 9, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    Jazakum Allahu khairan for presenting this conversation. It is an example of healthy exchange, humility among brothers, and knowledge seeking that is the heartbeat of our communities.

    This is a new angle on this topic for me. Ironically, I’d only read/heard criticism in the US of the khutbah being in Arabic at all!

    Boiling it down, it seems agreed that the khutbah is in Arabic by default. Exceptions are made – if they are made – due to situational factors such as whether the khatib can speak Arabic and/or whether the audience understands Arabic.

    I’m a little confused – one of the referenced articles talks about the “new” conditions of being a non-Arabic speaking muslim minority in the US.

    I’d be curious to know what Chinese Muslims decided on this issue – they have been a Muslim minority for over 1,000 years and they speak a non-Arabic language. Indonesia has had Muslims for 1,000 years. Same with India (1,000 years plus a few centuries). And they speak non-Arabic languages. What did they decide?

    In any event, since the khutbah should ideally be in Arabic, it would be nice for communities to prioritze learning Arabic (for other reasons as well, i.e. understanding Qur’an, Ahadith, and major scholarly treatises) — for the lay people as well as the scholars.

    Communities could start coming up with creative ways to gradually phase folks into understanding the khutba in Arabic. The Arabic khutbas could start off really simple (and from what I understand, the ideal khutba is short and clear, not long and elaborate), with word for word translations printed out and distributed. There could even be classes at the masjid to help understand the upcoming khutbah in Arabic! (though not right before the jumuah prayer as explained in the article)

    Is this type of effort unrealistic? I hope not, at least for the majority of the community (some people may be unable to learn). We should have high ambitions in the realm of deen.

    When people immigrate, we expect them to learn English. When we immigrate to Islam, we should expect ourselves to learn at least a functional level of reading/understanding simple islamic Arabic. And I don’t mean “expect” without lots and lots of mutual support and opportunities to learn, bidhnillah ta’ala.

    • suhail

      April 9, 2010 at 9:57 AM

      Sister nobody bothers to learn Arabic. For them it is just a waste of time or they have something more important than learning the language of the Quran.

      In India they too have abandoned Arabic and now they have this lecture in Urdu than another adhan and then khutbah in arabic. I think Pakistan is the same.

      When people abandon the language of the Quran than ignorance spreads. Now a days all these countries like India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and other minority muslims outside Arab world muslims do not work on getting there children and themselves educated in Arabic. They will send them happily to a course for English language but when it comes to Arabic language nobody wants to do anything at all because it does not earn you dollars.

      • Uncle Tom

        April 9, 2010 at 5:25 PM

        How did India abandon Arabic? They never had it in their system to begin with.

        The issue is that no one is trying to learn Arabic. Arabs only know it because that’s the language they speak.

        It’s all about priorities. We can all sit here and find the reasons, but this is a problem at the individual level. You have to learn arabic and make your kids learn it and keep the cycle going.

    • Nahyan

      April 9, 2010 at 11:05 AM

      It’s interesting you note that immigrants are expected to learn English.

      Y’know in our history, there was a time when Arabic was the most prestigious and dominant language in terms of world power.
      It was during the Islamic khilafa of Al Andalus (Spain) – the Jews and Christians there learned Arabic. Students from around Europe would come to universities in Andalus to learn even secular sciences.

      …subhanAllah. Allahu mus ta’aan.

      • Naseebah

        April 9, 2010 at 3:43 PM

        And that expectation is for all immigrants, no matter where they come from, their education level, their age, etc.

        It doesn’t mean, by the way, that I agree with the English-only stance of some Americans. I think Americans should be open to master more than one language, which they do in Europe and other countires.

        In addition, I support the approach of many from South America, who proudly retain their Spanish language as an integral part of their culture. I wish as Muslims we would take this approach – be fluent in English and Arabic.

        Many US public schools are now offering Arabic, so this is ironic for those muslims who take the approach that they have to drop Arabic to be americanized.

    • Nadeer

      April 9, 2010 at 9:44 PM

      I’m an Indian muslim living in Shanghai, China . Chinese have something similar to the Paki and Indian style Amad narrated. A sermon in Chinese on the floor before the second athan . Then praying ‘sunnah’ prayer (this is not sunnah , BTW) and then athan and reading an arabic qutbah book on Minbar. Some Imams translate just the ahadith in the arabic speech to Chinese. But I think this is a recent phenomenon. Most probably in the past they just had this reading in Arabic on Minbar and no ‘floor qutbah’. This was the case in my native province,Kerala, the southern most state in India. Until last century, the Qutbah in kerala was solely in Arabic. Some Imams would prepare it on their own, while others would recite it out of a medieval Qutbah book.

      • Abd- Allah

        April 9, 2010 at 10:10 PM

        Why did you post the Hadith in English and not Arabic ?

        1) This isn’t a khutbah.

        2) To convey the hadith to everyone in a language that they can understand.

      • baheej

        March 1, 2016 at 4:29 AM

        Assalamu alaikum
        nice to know that u r a Malayali

        Khutbah is the Imam’s admonition and its
        goal is to teach people about Islam and
        guide them in the way of Islam. The
        prophet (pbuh) and the people who he
        admonished in khutbah were all Arabic-
        speaking people. But now in non-Arabic
        speaking world, most of the Imams and the
        members of audience gathered for Friday
        Prayer don’t speak or understand Arabic.
        The Imams in most cases only know
        reading Arabic. There are books containing
        printed khutbah in Arabic and the Imams,
        who often themselves do not understand
        anything of the such printed khutbah,
        recites it for the audience, thus frustrating
        the goal of the khutbah and making all
        exercises fruitless. So, to achieve the goal
        of the khutbah, as envisaged by the prophet
        (pbuh), it may, therefore, always be in the
        mother language of the majority audience.

    • HFareed

      December 10, 2016 at 11:57 PM

      If the purpose of the khutbah is to enjoin and remind Believers of their duty, why would such a lesson or talk be given to anyone in a language they do not speak or understand well. In the US, most American Muslims actually study the recitation of their prayers. Reciting Quran/Prayers and knowing and understanding Quran/Prayers is not the same as attending and understanding a short lecture (i.e. a khutbah). The idea that the khutbah “ideally” should be in Arabic and the indigenous people should be priortize or expected to learn Arabic on such a level is faulty to say the least. A bit elitist I would say. What is the point then of having the khutbah? Do we want to encourage Believers or hold some unattainable ideal for many? This is not Islam. Women have limited or no access in many masajid, although their money is always welcomed. Now Arabic is considered the only language to give a khutbah? Does the so-called leadership actually want to strengthen the Ummah or perhaps continue to fractionalize it by such ridiculous requirements that never seemed to exist 25 years ago?

      “We welcome you to attend Jumaah. But you have to understand Arabic.” That is not a welcome. That is not how so many Americans have considered Islam as a way of life for the past 50 years. Can we all enter the 21st century. At least in the Americas. Women outrank men in many masajid yet are treated like second class citizens, whereas the masjid is in some areas considered a Mens Club. After reading this, one may get the impression that non-Arabic speakers also need not apply.

  4. Hassan

    April 9, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    “Aalim”, must have done 4 years of “Aalim course”, if he had done 2 more years, he would have become “mufti”. How easy..

    • Tanveer

      April 9, 2010 at 10:48 AM

      Br. Hasan,

      Is there a problem? are you questioning the title or the effort of the person who is spending 4 or 6 years of his time? I understand your intention was not to belittle anyone, but lets appreciate the sacrifice and effort our brothers and sisters are putting to learn deen and spread inshaAllah.


      • Hassan

        April 9, 2010 at 10:58 AM

        Its deeper than what you perceive.

      • ummaasiyah

        April 9, 2010 at 11:28 AM

        I think Br.Hassan is referring to the fact that people are given titles so easily when, in reality, you can’t become a know-it-all of Islam within 6 years…meaning…it shouldn’t be so easy and titles shouldn’t be given so easily either. To truly get to a mufti/mujtahid level, it takes years and years of gaining knowledge and a lot of sacrifice.

        I think the initial comment on becoming a mufti was actually tongue-in-cheek.

        Br. Hassan, correct me if I’m wrong.

        • Hassan

          April 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM

          You are absolutely correct.

        • sms

          March 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM

          No Alim or Mufti claims to be a no it all of Islam after the time period within which they go to a proper madrasah to learn the deen as no doctor or lawyer claims to know all of medicine or law by going to their respective schools. These schools give these individuals the proper tools to understand the primary texts better than the lay person and thats why we learn from them and go to them for advice. And Alim or Mufti is a degree they get just like you got a degree from whatever school you graduated from.

          Also, please go try to complete the Alim or Mufti course before saying that these titles are being “given so easily.”

  5. Mezba

    April 9, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    To call a spade spade, the requirement that a khutbah should only be in Arabic is at best stupid, at worst elitist.

    Stupid because what is the purpose of Khutbah if it’s in a language no one understands? The imam might as well say anything.

    Elitist because it holds Arabic (and thus Arabs) as a language (and race) superior to other Muslims.

    The Prophet was Arab who wore Arab dresses and ate Arab foods and gave speeches in Arabic.

    Islam is a religion for the world.

    • Amatullah

      April 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM

      Brother, there’s more to this debate than an elitist mentality. I would kindly advise you to refrain from calling it stupid, because by saying this, you are saying the scholars who took this opinion are such – and that is not the case. You don’t have to follow their opinion, but out of respect for them and their knowledge, we should refrain from using insulting words.

      We have to understand that Arabic in the past did not have the status that it does nowadays. Arabic was a MUST for everyone to learn – for non-Arabs and Arabs. Learning Arabic was just like learning how to pray. Look at the famous scholars like Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, even someone recent like Shaykh Al-Albaani and the companions like Bilal, Salman al-Farisi and Suhaib radi Allahu anhum…none of them were Arabs, but it became their language because of Islam.

      I’m not saying anything about the khutbah being in Arabic, but we should try and look at things from outside the box when we don’t agree with it. Allah knows best.

      • Hassan

        April 9, 2010 at 11:02 AM

        Just a correction sister, Suhaib (RA) was an arab.

        • Amatullah

          April 9, 2010 at 11:15 AM

          really? The biography I read said he was born in Persia and captured by the Byzantines as a prisoner when they invaded his city.

          In any case, he wasn’t raised with the Arabic language but rather the language of the Byzantines since he was a slave. He learned (or, re-learned) it when he escaped to Makkah.

          • Hassan

            April 9, 2010 at 11:34 AM

            He was an arab living under persian umpire (Iraq), yes due to his capture of Byzantines, his arabic was heavy accented.

          • Abd- Allah

            April 9, 2010 at 9:59 PM

            Here is an interesting discussion which happened between Umar and Suhaib may Allah be pleased with them both. Sorry for those who don’t know Arabic, but I wasn’t able to find it in English. I guess this is one more reason to learn Arabic.

            قال عمر لصهيب – رضي الله عنهما – : ( أي رجل أنت لولا خصال ثلاث فيك ! قال : وما هن ØŸ قال : اكتنيت وليس لك ولد، وانتميت إلى العرب وأنت من الروم، وفيك سرف في الطعام . قال : أما قولك اكتنيت ولم يولد لك فإن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – كناني أبا يحيى . وأما قولك انتميت إلى العرب ولست منهم وأنت رجل من الروم، فإني رجل من النمر بن قاسط ØŒ فسبتني الروم من الموصل بعد إذ أنا غلام عرفت نسبي . وأما قولك فيك سرف في الطعام فإني سمعت رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – يقول : ( خياركم من أطعم الطعام ) [ صححه شيخنا الألباني رحمه الله في السلسلة الصحيحة رقم 44

    • Hassan

      April 9, 2010 at 11:00 AM

      Arabic language being language of Quran is superior, and no one is stopping anyone to learn arabic

      • Mezba

        April 9, 2010 at 12:57 PM

        This is the Elitist mentality I was referring to.

        Only Allah knows why He selected Arabic to be the language of the Quran.

        His own messenger said in the last sermon No Arab is better than a Non Arab.

        All muslims should try and understand the Quran which means they may need to study Arabic. However, the Khutbah shouldn’t be said in Arabic if it’s not the dominant language of the congregation. And Khutbah shouldn’t be said in Arabic because it’s the language of the Quran or because of some MISTAKEN IDEA that it’s some superior language.

        Because it’s not.

        • Nahyan

          April 9, 2010 at 1:33 PM

          I see what you mean.

          And the point is right, Arabic as a language has no significance in and of itself. Like modern day Arabic of _____ dialect is very different from Quranic Arabic.
          Rather the prestige it holds is due to Islam and it being the religion of Allah.

          On that note, however, it’s not proper to say so bluntly that it’s NOT a superior language. Because by association to Quran, that specific form of Arabic is superior (my thoughts, not fiqhi point). And this is only for the pure Arabic and not dialects…

          wallahu Alim.

        • Hassan

          April 9, 2010 at 3:54 PM

          I am not talking about Khutbah or Arab people, I am talking about Arabic language, and it is indeed superior because Allah has chosen it (for whatever reason). Which means that its not that arabic was superior, hence Allah choose it, instead since Allah choose it, so it has become superior.

        • siraaj

          April 9, 2010 at 4:45 PM

          What language do pray in?


          • Mezba

            April 10, 2010 at 9:37 AM

            When I say the ritual prayers – the 5 daily salat – they are in Arabic because we have been instructed to offer our salat just as the Prophet did.

            However, when I ask Allah for something – which is also praying – I ask him in my own mother tongue.

    • Abd- Allah

      April 9, 2010 at 8:55 PM

      Brother Mezba, be careful with your words because this is very dangerous. This is part of the deen of Allah, and to say that it is stupid is inappropriate. Would you apply your same arguments to prayer which all the scholars agree that it has to be in Arabic ? I am sure that you would not. Even if the people don’t understand Arabic, the prayer still has to be in Arabic, and no one would ever say that the imam should read the translation of the Quran during his prayer so that the people behind him who don’t understand Arabic can understand what he is saying, instead of reciting the Quran in Arabic. Some scholars say that the khutbah is just like the prayer, so it has to be in Arabic. So brother please watch out with your words because this is an issue in Islam and you don’t want to fall into talking about something without knowledge because it is very dangerous.

      ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both), said: “During the campaign of Tabook, a man said in a gathering, ‘We have never seen any people who love their stomachs more or tell more lies or are more cowardly in battle than these Qur’aan-readers.’ Another man who was present said, ‘You are lying, and you are a hypocrite. I will most certainly tell the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about this. He conveyed that to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and Qur’aan was revealed.’” Then ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar said: “I saw him hanging on to the saddle-bag of the camel of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), stumbling on the rocks and saying, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, we were only talking idly and joking!’ and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was reciting, ‘Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed!’”

      So we should all be careful with what we say about anything that is part of Islam. May Allah protect us all and forgive our shortcomings and mistakes.

      • Nadeer

        April 9, 2010 at 9:51 PM

        Why did you post the Hadith in English and not Arabic ?

        • Abd- Allah

          April 9, 2010 at 11:24 PM

          Don’t worry… be happy! Here it is in Arabic my dear brother Nadeer.

          قال رجل في غزوة تبوك في مجلس يوما : ما رأيت مثل قرائنا هؤلاء لا أرغب بطونا ولا أكذب ألسنة ولا أجبن عند اللقاء, فقال رجل في المجلس : كذبت ولكنك منافق لأخبرن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم فبلغ ذلك النبي صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم ونزل القرآن قال عبد الله : فأنا رأيته متعلقا بحقب ناقة رسول الله تنكبه الحجارة وهو يقول : يا رسول الله إنما كنا نخوض ونلعب, ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم يقول : { أبالله وآياته ورسوله كنتم تستهزئون

      • Amad

        April 10, 2010 at 2:23 AM

        It’s SISTER Mezba, not brother (I think :) )

        • Mezba

          April 10, 2010 at 9:42 AM

          It’s “brother”!

          While I respect some opinions – however not all the opinions of former scholars can be applied in today’s world! As example I give you slavery. Would ANY one agree that slavery, which all our former scholars justified, be brought back? NO.

          Similarly, I have not heard ANY where about Khutbah being LIKE the prayer itself. Otherwise all Muslims should just forget their mother tongue and become Arabs.

          I was in RIS and I heard Sheikh Suwaidan speak about this complex many Muslims have of elevating Arabs and Arabic to a high status – even wearing Arab clothes and eating Arabic food. The scholars of ancient Bosnia made it a point not to cover their heads, because it was an Arabic custom and not a Bosnian custom.

          • Sayf

            April 10, 2010 at 11:19 AM

            “Similarly, I have not heard ANY where about Khutbah being LIKE the prayer itself. Otherwise all Muslims should just forget their mother tongue and become Arabs.”

            The first sentence is why you should be careful with your words, because it does exist. The second sentence is called the slippery slope logical fallacy.

          • Abd- Allah

            April 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM

            Brother Mezba, have it ever occurred to you that you might be wrong and that these scholars who hold the opinion that the khutbah should be in Arabic are right, and that this is a requirement for the khutbah? To you it is an “opinion of some former scholars”, but in reality, this might be part of the deen of Allah.

            As example I give you slavery. Would ANY one agree that slavery, which all our former scholars justified, be brought back? NO.

            First of all, Islam didn’t establish slavery nor justify it. Slavery exists in the world, and Islam being a practical way of life brought solutions to it and encouraged freeing the slaves, and you see many instances where a person has to free a slave as it is legislated in the Quran or sunnah. The scholars of the past, and the scholars of today, they accept slavery as a reality which exists in the world (it existed in the past and still exists today) and so instead of ignoring it, Islam came with practical ways of dealing with it and freeing the slaves. This is part of Islam yesterday, it is part of Islam today, and it will be part of Islam tomorrow inshAllah. It is funny how you talk about bringing back slavery while it is still here and exists in the world today.

            Similarly, I have not heard ANY where about Khutbah being LIKE the prayer itself.

            Just because you haven’t heard of these opinions doesn’t mean they don’t exist. A person can’t use his lack of knowledge about something as an argument against it. If you have never heard this opinion, then you should either do some more research and learn more on this subject, or you should keep quiet.

            Otherwise all Muslims should just forget their mother tongue and become Arabs.

            Why would it mean that people should forget their own languages? Do people have a limited capacity in their brains to be able to learn one and only one language at a time? There is such a thing as bilingual, trilingual, etc. and just because a person learns a new language doesn’t mean he has to give up his old language and culture. That same argument which you are using can easily be applied to the 5 daily prayers. What would you say if some one says that the 5 daily prayers are in Arabic, therefore “all Muslims should just forget their mother tongue and become Arabs” ?

            even wearing Arab clothes and eating Arabic food.

            I think you are missing something very important which is how to differentiate between things that are cultural and between things that are part of Islam. Arabic food and clothes are cultural and not related to Islam, while the khutbah is part of Islam and has nothing to do with culture. See the difference.

            The issue here brother Mezba is not your overall opinion that the khutbah should be in a language that the people can understand, because many of us agree with you on that, but the problem is the way you are dealing with this issue and the irrational arguments which you are trying to use to prove that point.

    • Yaqeen needed

      April 10, 2010 at 10:29 PM

      Brother, learning Arabic is compulsory for every Muslim. Its not something up for debate

      I do not mean a label bearing Muslim. But a Muslim by the true meaning of the word. The Book of Guidance the Quran is revealed in Arabic and described therein as quranan arabiyan.You have to understand the book to use it as a manual and it only exists in Arabic – translations into other languages do not equate the original. A muslim who does not understand Arabic needs to ask him/herself how committed he is to Islam.

      • Hafsa Garcia

        October 7, 2016 at 11:49 AM

        That’s east for you to say but to become fluent in Arabic for a non-native speaker takes years of study, costs thousands of pounds and, ideally, requires one to live in an Arabic speaking country for a number of years. If this is compulsory in Islam than I guess Islam is only suitable for very rich and single people!

      • HFareed

        December 11, 2016 at 12:12 AM

        Learning Arabic is compulsory for every Muslim? Where is that written? Someone who writes such thing should ask himself how committed he is to understanding Islam. So, a grad student considers Islam as a way of life. Continues his or her studies, learns how to make salah properly along with the every day demands of work, school and family life. This person, or a carpenter, nurse or postal worker is not negligent if they do not pursue learning Arabic. I must share with you the example of a man from my community. His Arabic was not very good. However, he was a excellent husband and father. Every member of the community respected him. A professional businessman, he constantly donated his services to members of the community. He died at the age of 55. Although our community had less than 50 regular members, more than 400 people attended his janazah. His generosity, excellent manners and steadfastness was known by all. He exemplified what it meant to be a good Muslim.

    • baheej

      March 1, 2016 at 4:31 AM

      islam is religion of world
      not only arabs
      arabic is the recommended language
      but if people don’t understand what’s it’s use then!

      • HFareed

        December 11, 2016 at 12:13 AM

        Said so well. Alhamdolillah.

  6. Nahyan

    April 9, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Jazakallahukhair for this great summary of the 4 madhahib.

    Question: The common method in non-hanafi masajid, is this:
    — Each khutbah = Arabic + other language + arabic, sit, stand, rinse and repeat, aqeem asalaah

    Would that be the Shafi’ee opinion?


  7. Abid

    April 9, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    This issue is not a new one. When the Sahabaa and there successors went to different non-Arabic speaking regions when Islam spread, what did they practice? I remember reading that they always stuck to Arabic and this encouraged the locals to learn Arabic. When one learns Arabic Quran will be understood and mor important will move the hearts not just te brains. The translation can never capture the essence of Quran.

  8. Bin Muhsin

    April 9, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    What I’d like to remind everyone here is just how much time we sometimes spend “discussing” Islamic fiqh issues.

    I’ve noticed that there are a number of high ranking Islamic scholars (from both sides of the argument) who try steer clear of controversial fiqhi issues as much as possible. Why? Because right now there are so many other pertinent issues that the Muslim ummah is facing and that need to be addressed.

    I think it’s best to avoid them because ultimately debates rarely increase our eeman, and rather have a huge chance in decreasing our eeman. Either we will become angry, despondent and opinionated, or we will cause others to feel this way. Debates can lead us to (without even realizing) accuse, generalize and hurt other Muslim brothers with differing opinions.

    Why not instead discuss matters of ebaadah or general knowledge which everyone can benefit from?

    • suhail

      April 9, 2010 at 4:55 PM

      You are right we need to stop discussing this fiqhi issues with disputes and learn the deen more. And anyways we are not faqih so we do not know jack about this issue from the fiqhi point of view. So why waste our time discussing this when scholars are there to discuss this issue.

    • Abd- Allah

      April 10, 2010 at 11:38 AM

      These aren’t debates brother, and although these discussions can get out of hand sometimes, but sometimes they might benefit some people and help them understand the issue better since all the different opinions on the issue are being presented. We should also use them as practice to be able to differ with each other on a fiqhi issue while our hearts don’t differ and we still have love and respect for each other even if we don’t fully agree on this issue of fiqh. But I do agree that in general, we should be careful from taking these discussions too far or some one might take it personally because the opinion he holds is being criticized. JazakAllah khayr for the advice brother.

      • suhail

        April 12, 2010 at 3:06 PM

        Assalaam Alykum,

        Brother the issue is that people on this very forum call the earlier scholars stupid while they are not even the worth of dust on the shoes of those scholars.

        The earlier scholars and current day scholars have spent there life learning various madhabs and allhamdullilah are very God fearing people. Even if they are mistaken in there Ijtihad still they have devoted there lifes in the service of this deen.

        Suddenly you have some tinpot idiot coming onto the internet calling them stupid for upholding an opinion while he himself does not know jack about Islam. Forget Islam they do not even know how to read the Quran correctly.

        These people should know there worth and have some humility when addressing people who have spent there life in learning and spreading this deen.

        I mean i am really tired of DIY Muftis coming up with all the load of nonsense on issues which they have no clue about.

  9. Unelitist

    April 9, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    I agree with Mezba.
    It requires a stretch of the imagination to justify why an Imam would choose to speak to his congregation in a language they don’t understand. Seriously though, might as well read them the phone book, they won’t know the difference.

  10. Anas Hlayhel

    April 9, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Assalaam Alaikum all,

    If I may help steer the conversation back to its original intent :) The purpose was not to create an atmosphere of dispute!! Indeed, our religion has prohibited that we indulge in vain arguments and useless debates. Rather, the purpose was to shed light on this matter by providing some background and some reasoning behind those opinions. Like I mentioned in the beginning, I was approached several times after khutbas and i would always decline arguing about this topic. But this time was different since I immediately noticed that the brother was open-minded.

    The core of the debate has nothing to do with the Arabic language, whether it’s a divine language, whether it’s the language of the Muslims, etc. I myself LOVE the Arabic language and fully believe that it’s so special that Allah has chose it for His final revelation. Indeed, the Arabic language has features that no other language on earth has. I’ve also listened to Arabic khutbas all my childhood and I tell you khutbas in Arabic are such a unique experience. Yet, I also say that I have given khutbas in the U.S. for the last 15 years, and not a single time I gave a khutba in Arabic!! I always mention the Quran and Hadith in Arabic but everything else has to be in English. WHY? Because I’m totally convinced that the goal & the purpose of the Khutba is admonition, exortation, reminder (this is exactly what the great Imams say btw), and by doing it in Arabic we are defeating the very purpose of the Khutba! See many people don’t come to the Masjid except on Friday and if we forfeit this opportunity by following a rule that does not even have a clear standing in Quran/Sunnah, we are … well let me say, not so smart :)

    Again one purpose of this post is to show why there is a difference between the scholars the first place. Some scholars liken the khutba to prayer (using the argument that khutba replaces two raka of Dhuhr). This is WHY they argue that khutba has to be in Arabic, because prayer has to be in Arabic. But, the article shows that this is not a sound argument all the way. This is because even if we agree that khutba takes the place of two rak’as, there is no way we can say that khutba is EXACTLY like the prayer. I gave some examples like the fact that in khutba several things are permissible that are not permissible in prayer.

    In short, inshaa’Allah if we focus on the reasoning behind fiqhi opinions (not the scholars who say them or the school they belong to) we’ll attain a better understanding of the issues and we lessen the vain arguments in this ummah. So bringing up topics like this doesn’t add to the disputes. If approached properly, it will reduce the disputes and increase appreciation of each other’s opinion.

    May Allah bless us all with a better understanding of His deen, in matters of fiqh, spirituality, creed, etc. Indeed, all parts of the deen are important!!

    • Naseebah

      April 9, 2010 at 8:32 PM

      Very appreciated. Jazakum Allahu khairan.

      Do you think it is a permanent situation here — to always have a muslim population that cannot understand the clear exhortation, warning, reminder etc. in arabic and must have the bulk of khutba in English? Or is it more like a temporary concession? Or something else.
      hope it is ok to ask

      • Anas Hlayhel

        April 9, 2010 at 11:54 PM

        Wa iyyakum, and off course it’s ok to ask :)

        The way things are going, it looks more like a permanent or at least a long-term situation. Off course, things can change. And once they do, we should be ready to switch back to Arabic. Also, reverting back to Arabic could be done surgically (if a community learns Arabic then it can be done in their Masjid).

        But people who have directly dealt with this issue know this is NOT easy. One time I gave the Eid Khutba about the importance of Arabic (the khutba was in English off course, otherwise only few would have understood the importance of Arabic!!). Few weeks after Eid we started an Arabic class which had meager participation (though I had people come after the khutba and ask me if the Masjid had an Arabic program!!).

        So I’m all for learning Arabic … but I’m not so positive about the outcome :( In fact, I would worry now about people loosing interest in Islam, let alone Arabic. If the Arabs are not able to keep Arabic in their children, then what do we say about others? Only people with v. high motivation will try this route, but those are usually the minority!! Most people will go with the tide (yesterday it was Arabic, today it’s English). Unless there is another sweeping tide, where Arabic comes back in an overwhelming manner, I don’t see this changing!! Allah knows best

        • Naseebah

          April 10, 2010 at 7:50 AM

          Jazak Allahu khair!

          Definitely see your point, and agree that it makes sense given the circumstances.

          Still think there could be a mini Arabic lesson snuck in there :)

        • Abid

          April 11, 2010 at 3:50 PM

          Br Anas

          Did you spend time watching what the brother poster earlier. I would like to only hear a yes or no from you as you are the starter of this chain.

          Unless you spent time and watch this. It will be futile to keep blogging. People who are responsible like you when they write something should be careful. I see a lot of bashing going on and this is not healthy.

          • Anas Hlayhel

            April 11, 2010 at 5:57 PM

            Assalaam Alaikum br Abid,

            No, I didn’t watch the video. Maybe I will when I get some time, but I don’t see why you make this a requirement.

            I already said it on this blog few times and I’ll say it again. I’m a big believer in the importance of Arabic. The proof is in my actions. Al-Hamdulillah, Allah blessed me to study parts of al-Aajurroomiyyah, Mulhat al-I’raab, and al-Alafiyyah (all standard texts in Arabic grammar) with 2 different sheikhs from al-Azhar. I have taught Arabic at various Masjids to kids of various ages. In fact, one of the Masjids in Pheonix that does the bayyan invited me to teach Arabic along their Hifz program and I obliged (i later left for various reasons). I recently formulated an Arabic curriculum for one Islamic center and initiated a virtual forum to learning Arabic. Al-Bayyinah was invited at least 3 times to Phoenix in the last year and half, and i did my best to promote each one.

            I’m not saying this to brag. But I want to say that all this is one thing, and allowing Khutba in English due to the current situation is another thing. The focus of my article was the latter. I do hope that this blog was not in vain inshaa’Allah. I really hope that everyone who participated in this blog does get out there and do something practicle in their communities to promote Arabic (for those who are doing it already, may Allah give you strength). I say this esp. to the brothers and sisters who feel so passionate about Arabic. Please channel your passion in a positive way and contribute for the sake of Arabic.

            This may be my last comment on this blog. I really have to get going on other tasks. Sorry if I didn’t respond to some comments. I really hope we all learnt something here. Please forgive me if I wronged anyone of you.

            See you next blog :) May Allah bless all of you. May Allah use us in what’s good!

          • Amad

            April 11, 2010 at 11:56 PM

            I am sorry Abid, but there is no necessity on the authors to view every video and read every article recommended by a commentator.

            Br. Anas is a student of knowledge and as such is deserving of several extra ounces of our respect. I hope you will address authors respectfully in the future.

  11. Tahmid

    April 9, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    Why can’t the friday khutbah be given in arabic and then translate it into english?

    • Anas Hlayhel

      April 9, 2010 at 11:57 PM

      I’ve seen this done quite few times and it’s not effective. Either the khutba is cut short, or the translation is brief, or the khutba is interrupted and will lose it’s effect. You usually have 1/2 hour for khutba and trying to cram a translation in the middle will take away from the flow and continuity of the khutba

  12. Abd- Allah

    April 9, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    JazakAllah khayr brother Anas for bringing this up.

    I think that if the khateeb does his intro in Arabic by starting out the first khutbah with khutbat Al-Hajah which is the sunnah, and then switch to English. Then in the second khutbah he would do the same by starting out with Arabic and switching to English, so this way he gives part of the khutbah in Arabic and he also conveys the message to the people who would be able to understand him in most of the khutbah which is in English. This is what I personally do when I give the khutbah, and it seems to be the best approach, because in reality, both khutbahs would have contained verses in Arabic to make it qualify as a khutbah for those who say it is a requirement, and it is also in English so that people can understand. I also mention the verses and hadiths in Arabic and then say their translation in English, so that would qualify as using Arabic, and then people would still understand when I translate the verse or hadith, and this also might help them, with time, to learn Arabic bit by bit during the khutbahs.

    Even those who require that the khutbah be in Arabic would still say that the khutbah has met their requirements if it was in part Arabic and in part English, because it would still satisfy their condition.

    The other issue that usually comes up about the Friday khutbah is whether it is permissible to pray Jumuah before dhuhr time comes in or not, but I guess most masaajid schedule their khutbahs to be after dhuhr time has already came in so that they avoid this problem.

    • Anas Hlayhel

      April 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM

      Wa iyyakum akhi Abd-Allah,

      This is what I do too. Khutbat al-Hajah in Arabic, ayaat and ahaadith in Arabic, du’a at the end in Arabic. Everything else in English. Coming to think of it, there is quite a bit of Arabic in there ;)

  13. Siraaj

    April 9, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    interesting point that came up tangentially about the bayaan before the “official” khutbah in arabic – since it’s not the real khutbah, can women give the bayaan? After all, women are, according to most contemporary opinions, allowed to stand in front of men and deliver lectures and so on.

    Interesting problem.


    • Abd- Allah

      April 9, 2010 at 11:21 PM

      women are, according to most contemporary opinions, allowed to stand in front of men and deliver lectures and so on.

      Brother Siraaj, who (if any) from the big contemporary scholars hold this opinion?

      • Siraaj

        April 11, 2010 at 7:33 PM

        Not everyone is mature enough to handle the discussion, so if people don’t know, I’m not naming names.


  14. Omer

    April 9, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Asalamu alaikum;

    May Allah reward you for bringing up this very important issue. Growing up for the past 25 years in a very diverse community that has yet to witness regular English khutbas I can relate to this very personally. A common reply to this issue when it is brought up is the “Muslims must learn Arabic” response. This reply can be taken as both arrogant and ignorant. It is highly unrealistic to expect the common Muslim from among the masses, (to whom the khutba is directed), to learn a foreign language to the extent of fluency. The majority of Muslims in the world are illiterate anyway, and the majority do not attend the Friday prayers. So to put the stipulation on the common Muslim that he/she must learn Arabic in order to feel part of the community is detrimental to our cause. To seek knowledge is fardh upon every Muslim. For the majority who need a reconnection to the very basics of the deen it is impractical to stipulate the learning of another language. InshaAllah one day when the Muslims and their states are reformed, Arabic can be systematically reinstated as the primary language of the people of Islam. Until then lets stay realistic and hold to the Maqasid of our deen.

  15. SK

    April 9, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    If people want to give Khutbahs in a language few people can understand, then what it the purpose of the Khutbah?

    What if the messenger of Allah had the Quran revealed in Chineese and then he went to the Quraish and told them, I have a beautiful message but first you must learn Chineese. How many people would have become Muslim? Really!

    Allah revealed the Quran in the language of the people he was delivering the message to. But we expect people to first go learn a completely new language to a proficiency that would take several decades to master.

    • Sayf

      April 9, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    • Abd- Allah

      April 9, 2010 at 11:37 PM

      What if the messenger of Allah had the Quran revealed in Chineese and then he went to the Quraish and told them, I have a beautiful message but first you must learn Chineese. How many people would have become Muslim? Really!

      This argument is a weak one, because no one is asking the non-muslims to learn Arabic so we can call them to Islam, but once a person accepts Islam it is different, and learning Arabic is a tool that allows the Muslim to gain access to the Quran and hadiths and many Islamic books.

      But we expect people to first go learn a completely new language to a proficiency that would take several decades to master.

      It didn’t take the early non-arab Muslims decades to master the Arabic language. The great scholars who weren’t Arabs are a proof of this. They just were dedicated to learn the language and teach it to their kids, so that even if it was too late for a person to become proficient in the language himself, yet he made sure that his kids grew up learning Arabic and that they become proficient in it when they are still young, because it is much easier to learn in young age.

      I do agree though, that considering the circumstances in such situations where most people who are attending the khutbah don’t know Arabic, that it is better to have the khutbah in a language they understand, while having parts of it in Arabic like the intro which is khutbat Al-Hajah because it is the sunnah, and most of the khutbah would be in English so that people can understand and benefit from the khutbah. This is the most practical solution until the Muslims who live in the west (both Arabs and non-Arabs) become more dedicated at teaching their kids Arabic so that the next generation would know Arabic and is able to read the Quran and understand it and the hadiths. This issue doesn’t just face the non-arabs, because I know many brothers who are Arabs but they were born here in the US and grew up here, and many of them barely know any Arabic and aren’t proficient to the extent to be able to listen to a khutbah in Arabic and be able to understand it.

      • SK

        April 10, 2010 at 8:10 AM

        In an ideal world it would be great if people could all learn Arabic.

        However, the vast majority of Muslims barely make to Jumaa prayer.
        It is often their only connection to the religion. In addition, their are many Muslims who do not even come for Jumaa.

        There are a few individuals who are capable, able, have the time, resources and the drive to learn Arabic. But it is unlikely that a significant number of Muslims in America are going to learn the language of Arabic.

        • Abd- Allah

          April 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM

          However, the vast majority of Muslims barely make to Jumaa prayer.
          It is often their only connection to the religion. In addition, their are many Muslims who do not even come for Jumaa.

          That is true akhi, I agree, but that is a different issue that also needs to be addressed. It is not like those people who don’t come to the Friday prayer are not doing so because it is offered in Arabic and they can’t understand it, because most masaajid give their khutbahs in English. So yes a lot of Muslims don’t come, but that is a separate issue that needs to be addressed on its own.

          • SK

            April 10, 2010 at 1:03 PM

            What I was trying to say is that many Muslims don’t come for Jumaa because they do not feel it will benefit them.

            They are less likely to come if the Khutbah is in Arabic because now they can not even understand what is being said.

            We need to give people a reason to attend Jumaa. Jumaa prayer should be uplifting, a beautiful reminder of who our Lord is and a wake up call.

            How can Jumaa be a reminder if no one understands what is being said?

        • suhail

          April 12, 2010 at 3:00 PM

          Many muslims do not come to Jummah because they do not pray period. There is no excuse if the Khutbah is in arabic or hindi or english. They do not pray any prayer (maybe they will show face on Eid). Otherwise they do not pray at all. Is arabic the reason for that? No the reason for that is the lack of eman and no love of the hereafter.

          If you have a problem learning arabic than it is ur personal issue to sort out.

      • Yaqeen needed

        April 10, 2010 at 10:47 PM


        Sadly, some of our brothers here do not have the escape velocity inertia the early muslims have hence it seems all mighty difficult to sacrifice and learn Arabic. And then the sould tries to justity why Arabic cannot be learnt with all the argument skills we have acquired as modern free liberal Americans bla bla bla

        Giving the khutbain English due to the situation at hand is one thing(this is simply terrible and should not be praised or seen as something we should be comfortable about) Tthat is no way negates the fact that learning Arabic is compulsory. And we should have remorse about the deficiency of having to understand Allah’s book in an alternative mistake laden language.

        To get some drive about learning arabic try here

  16. Sayf

    April 9, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    I think this video pretty much sums up why Arabic is so crucial.

  17. m

    April 10, 2010 at 1:40 AM

    First of all, although i am of the opinion of the author, i dont think its appropriate to write an article in this antagonistic fashion. You have obviously portrayed the one who opposed you to be the wrong and evil one, and many people will also form a mental picture int heir minds about who may fit this description, further emphasizing stereotypes and spreading hate and difference amongst the Ummah. It would have been better off for you to just mention the issue and discuss it in a scholarly manner, than to try to be creative and in turn create this tension.

    “They lived at a time where Arabic was the language of the day (just like English is today), where Islam was the superpower. ”

    This is quite misleading, as there were many scholars of madh’habs who lived in places which did not speak Arabic. Those countries today which do not speak Arabic also did not do so in the past. Should we not look to their statements? Or was this not a “maslahah” in their time as it is today?

    “Finally, I don’t claim to have the final words on this issue. However, I don’t even see the famous followers of the schools (e.g. Hamza Yusuf, a follower of the strictist school on this subject, the Maliki School) deliver Arabic Khutbah in this country at this time.”

    Its strange that you would mention Hamza Yousuf. Does he “strictly follow the Maliki school” when he shaves part of his beard, says that you are allowed to live in DarulHarb, that non-Muslims can be “shaheed”, that Hoors basically is symbolism to “totally ecstasy” and are not physical? Of course you may say that some of these things are not fiqh issues, but aqeedah, so may i ask which “school” of aqeedah is he adhering to? I think its clear that after these types of statements, and many others, you cannot use him as an example for people who adhere strictly to anything.

    “What I do know is that this is one issue where we have to look more at the Maqasid [goals] of Shariah and less at the words of a scholar or the opinion of a school, which may have been formulated for a different time or context. After all, this is not a case where one is violating a clear ruling of the Quran or the Sunnah!! Allah knows best!”

    So does that mean that any matter in which there is no ijma or clear text from the Quran and Sunnah, we can throw the matter up to “the goals of the shariah?” I think this statement is misleading, as is the fact that you make it seem as if the opinions of the madhahib or scholars is independent of the Quran and Sunnah, while in fact it is based on them. Is there no concept for having a “Salaf” for any opinion we take?

    • Anas Hlayhel

      April 10, 2010 at 5:32 PM

      I’m not sure if the article was hateful, antagonistic, etc. but I apologize if it came out that way!

      If Hamza Yusuf is not Maliki enough for you, then here is a Fatwa from ibn Bayyah on this issue:

      فَضِيلةُ الشَّيخِ؛ أَنا مُورِيتانيٌّ مُقِيمٌ فِي ( أَنغُولا ) في العاصِمَةِ تَحدِيداً ولَيسَ بِها سِوى مَسجِدٍ واحِدٍ. وهَذا المَسجِدُ إمَامُهُ أَحياناً يَقرَأُ الخُطبَةَ الثّانِيةَ يُتَرجِمُ فِيها الأُولى بِلُغَةِ البَلَدِ وهيَ البُرتُغالِيةُ، فَلا يُسمَعُ فِي الخُطبَةِ الثّانِيةِ بِالعَرَبِيةِ سِوى ما فِي الأُولى مِن آياتٍ و أَحادِيثَ. السّؤالُ هُنا: هَل تُجزِئُ الجُمُعَةُ خَلفَ إمَامٍ لا يَأتي بِالخُطبَةِ الثّانِيةِ بِالعَرَبِيةِ؟.

      الأَصلُ أَن تَكونَ الخُطبَتَانِ بِاللُغَةِ العَرَبِيةِ، وهَذا مَذهَبُ جُمهُورِ العُلَماءِ. لَكِنَّ أَبا حَنِيفةَ رَحِمَهُ اللهُ تَعالى يُجِيزُ أَن تَكونَ الخُطبةُ بِاللُغةِ الأَعجَميةِ. ولِهَذا فَلا مَانِعَ مِن الصَّلاةِ مَعَ هَذا الإمامِ وبِخاصَّةٍ إذا كانَ أَهلُ البَلَدِ لا يُحسِنُونَ اللُغَةَ العَرَبِيةَ. إلا أَنَّنا نَنصَحُ الإمامَ أَن يَقرأَ كَلِماتٍ باللُغةِ العَرَبِيةِ في الخُطبَةِ الثّانِيةِ مِن مِثالِ ( اذكُرُوا اللهَ يَذكُركُم ) وَ ( استَغفِرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ إنَّهُ كانَ غَفَّاراً ) ونَحوِ ذَلِكَ. فهَذِهِ الكَلِماتُ قَد تُزِيلُ الكَرَاهَةَ أَو تُزِيلُ الخِلافَ والشُّبهَةَ التِي فِي هَذِهِ المَسأَلَةِ. ونَسألُ اللهَ لَنا ولَك التَّوفِيقَ.

      source ://

      I’ll just translate the answer:
      The rule is that both khutba should be in Arabic and this is the opinion of the majority of the scholars. However, Abu Hanifa allows that the khutba be in a non-Arabic language. This is why there is nothing to stop you from praying behind this Imam esp. if the people of that locality do not speak Arabic. However, we do advise the imam to read some words in the Arabic language such as reciting verses … These words may eliminate the karaahah (notice he doesn’t say haram but makrooh which means discouraged) and the difference in this matter.

  18. abu Rumasy-s.a.

    April 10, 2010 at 3:03 AM

    Br. Anas:

    When I was in Phoenix last summer visiting family, I was attending the Khutbahs in a Hanifi Masjid with the same “alim” mentallity… the bayyan before the “arabic” khutbah was totally full of subjective opinions, no related proofs, and to top it all off condescending western culture, the very same one they take comfort in…

    and there he was in a kurta shalwar/topi (not that i’m against it) saying we have to represent and show Islam to others…I thought to myself If I was a non-Muslim, he would be the last person on earth that I would even look at or listen to (because of his weak speech, weak/imbalanced logic, appearance)…

    I was really boiling inside and was about to get up and say something during his “bayyan”, but alhamdulilah I just made du`aa….

    May Allah reward your efforts and increase you in goodness..ameen..

    • SK

      April 10, 2010 at 7:59 AM

      I have similar feelings when I see these guys who are barely able to communicate in the English language attempting to give the Khutbah.

      Everyone can contribute to the Muslim community, but they should be given roles they are capable of.

    • Anas Hlayhel

      April 10, 2010 at 5:19 PM

      Br. Abu Rumasy,

      If you come to Phoenix again, do let me know! There is about 15 Masjids in Phoenix area, and only 2 or 3 do the bayan. You shouldn’t have to suffer through this experience again!

  19. ummousama

    April 10, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Yes, in some mosques in the UK, the first part of the khutbah is in Arabic and the second part is in English. As for people not concentrating because it is in Arabic, then what do they do in Taraweeh prayer? And what about the Arabs who do not understand English because believe, there are many. Even for Arabs who understand English, many Arabs refused to go to talks in English. Why? I think everybody who understands at least partly Arabic will know. Learning the deen in English is nothing like learning the deen in Arabic. Hearing a hadeeth in Arabic is nothing like hearing the hadeeth in English. How do I know? I embraced Islam 22 years ago. I learnt fusha Arabic alhamdulillah at home. I learnt the deen first in English (which was my second language) and now I try to learn it in Arabic.

    As for the Arab brothers and sisters who speak Arabic but whose kids do not speak it, there is only one thing I can say to you: SHAME ON YOU! And I cannot accept that. You are depriving your kids sooooooo much! Hearing an ayah in Arabic is NOTHING like hearing the tafsir of an ayah in English.

    As for all new Muslims and all those Muslims who don’t speak Arabic, I will use one term that Muhammad Alshareef uses in his money seminar: What is your Arabic “thermostat”? The day I became muslim, I said to myself: I have to learn Arabic, I have to learn the language of the Qur’an. It took me many years (I am still learning) although within 3 months I could read enough to learn the Quran by reading the Arabic script by myself.

    • SK

      April 10, 2010 at 9:29 AM

      It is great that you have had so much drive and commitment that you have learned to communicate in a new language.

      Are you going to put that barrier on others? Are you willing to take responsibility for all the people who turn away from the religion because of the onerous requirements you claim are necessary in order to truly understand the religion?

      • ummousama

        April 10, 2010 at 4:46 PM

        Assalamu alaikum,

        No, I don’t want to put barriers for others to learn. My talk wasn’t as much about the khutbah as the importance of Arabic language. People do not know how much they miss by not understanding Arabic. If it is difficult for themselves to learn the language, then at least they should push their kids to learn the language and this is why it is completely unacceptable for me when Arabs do not speak Arabic to their kids.

        I was living before in the UK and now I live in Egypt and I see how many people come here and suffer many difficulties for their kids to learn Qur’an and to learn Arabic. I see how Egyptians put their kids in “language schools” so that they can learn English and probably French or German and I wonder why can’t Islamic schools teach Arabic? I’ve always promoted while in the UK for the Islamic schools to speak to kids in Arabic only in Arabic and deen lessons. If this was done from KG upwards, then students would be bilingual. How is it possible for Arab schools to teach half of the curriculum in English and Islamic schools cannot teach Arabic to children and thus having children bilingual for the sake of dunya but not bilingual for the sake of the deen?

        The truth of the matter is that it is not a matter of importance for most people. How can you be a true seeker of knowledge without at the same time learning Arabic? Alhamdulillah now there are more and more English books which also means that Arabic WILL become the language of the elitist. How can you never be able to go back to references because, in relying on translation, you are already relying on interpretation from someone?

        Arabic is a very easy language, especially for those who have a maths background. Arabic is easy to read and once you understand a little bit in the formation of the words, then it becomes so much easier. Grammar is different but you need to speak more than anything else.

        How is it that Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Sudan all became Arabic speaking countries? They also used to speak Arabic in other places but then, with different conquests, they lost the language. If you read about the Murabitoon in the Maghreb and how, before preparing an army to go to Andalus, they learnt Arabic then learnt the deen and they did so very quickly.

        I cannot believe that nowadays with the Internet age there is no opportunity for everybody to learn Arabic. To learn Arabic, I went every week, for a year, to a halaqah with Arab sisters. At the beginning, I understood 5% of the halaqah. At the end of the year, I understood 90% of it.

        Are you willing to take responsibility for all the people who turn away from the religion because of the onerous requirements you claim are necessary in order to truly understand the religion?

        Sorry, but you won’t find a scholar who doesn’t speak Arabic. So to go further in your deen, you will need at one point or the other Arabic. You can understand the deen in any language but you don’t know what you miss until you have discovered it. And thus once you grasp a little bit of Arabic and you start to understand ayahs in Arabic, how can you be happy with English? This is for any translation by the way. When I didn’t know English, I was happy to see a translated film in French or to read the French translation of an English book. Once I understood both languages, I had to see the English film in English and the French film in French (although I don’t watch films anymore) and read the English book in English and read the French book in French. So if this is for two human languages, how do you think it will be for a divine revelation?

        So people won’t be turned away because I encourage them to understand Arabic. On the contrary, many people in real life have been inspired by my journey. And BTW, I wasn’t good at languages at school.

        My last word is: when you do something fi sabeeli Allah, Allah will make it easy on you. So purify your intention to learn Arabic and Allah will make it easy on you.

        • Yaqeen needed

          April 10, 2010 at 11:12 PM

          barakallahu fiki

          We need more of u in the ummah. A large no of muslims esp our arab brothers suffer from inferiority complex and the speaking Englishbetter mentality being something that is as ego boosting as the fuel that lifts off NASA’s shuttles. remember islam started strangely and its strangeness is being seen again. Give glad tidings to the strangers

          Know that the line of argument that the types of SK take is not new, It is meant to make you feel guilty that your path of enforcing learning the language of the manual of life may prevent others from coming to islam or understanding it. That comes from the western imprinted thought pattern that it is we that guide. it is Allah that guides we only deliver as sent. Make dua for thabaat for u are on the right path and do not be affected by such lines..

        • Naseebah

          April 11, 2010 at 7:41 AM

          “To learn Arabic, I went every week, for a year, to a halaqah with Arab sisters. At the beginning, I understood 5% of the halaqah. At the end of the year, I understood 90% of it.”

          great idea, masha’Allah

        • SK

          April 12, 2010 at 8:11 PM

          Thank you for your thoughtfull response.

          I agree with you in many ways and I did not intend to discourage anyone from learning Arabic.

          However, I recall sitting through Arabic Khutbahs in Dearborn, MI as a child and being bored out of my mind. Just waiting and hoping the Khutbah would just end.

          I contrast that to the English Khutbahs I am now able to enjoy and how much more enjoyable the religion has become.

  20. Tauqeer

    April 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Even in Pakistan, they give the ‘talk’ in Urdu and last part is in arabic, which is actual ‘khutba’. Mere reason of giving ‘Khutba’ in English shouldn’t be language barrier, what next? “Salah” itself in english?

  21. Mr. Muslim

    April 10, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    I must say it is very worrying to have people try to apply their own internal logic to rulings.

    What is worse is to have people calling positions held by one of the 4 madhahib as “stupid.”

    A few other points which people have mentioned that have raised alarm bells:

    – We need to give people a reason to come as they won’t come if they don’t understand/benefit. – It fardh to attend Jumah. That is all the people need to know. It is not fardh for them to benefit from the khutbah as far as I know.

    -Understanding Arabic is an “onerous” requirement and perhaps not an integral part of understanding the deen. Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah said that understanding the Quran and Sunnah are compulsory and that they are not understood without knowledge of Arabic, and therefore it is also compulsory.

    -Arabic is not a superior language. – Perhaps slightly more debateable but I would argue by just the fact that Allah graced the Arabic language with the Qur’an is enough to raise it above other languages. Likewise the meaning of Qur’an cannot be truly contained by any other language. I would also point out that Arabic can be superior to other languages without making Arabs superior to non Arabs. I don’t really even see how you would make that connection.

    -That, if the Khateeb should give his Khutbah in Arabic and people stop coming that is his responsibility. As I mentioned the people do not need any reason other than it is Fardh to attend and if that is not enough then it is their deficiency not that of the Khateeb. But more importantly it is not the khutbah nor khateeb which guides people but Allah who guides whom he wills.

    I do not wish to offend nor cause any great argument, but I would really like to reiterate that to call the opinions of other scholars “stupid” is unbelievably dangerous – especially as I’m sure we do not know the source they used to come to such a conclusion. The Faqi does not just make up his opinion from nowhere! But also to abuse someone who is a slave of Allah and believed they were upon the truth and only did it for the sake of Allah – well, it is obvious that there is neither any good in such behaviour nor is it in the manners of a Muslim. We should be more careful inshaAllah.

  22. jade

    April 11, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    have it in both. first in arabic then have it in the 2nd language. all muslims should make e effort to learn arabic

  23. Naseebah

    April 11, 2010 at 8:04 AM

    To give perspective, this is the decision of the AMJA (Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America):

    “The default is that the Jumu’ah sermon is to be delivered in the Arabic language. If this isn’t feasible, or the attendees don’t understand the Arabic language, then it is correct to deliver it in the language that the attendees understand – so long as the pillars of the sermon, the Qur’anic verses, and prophetic ahadeeth are in the Arabic language.”


    So this combines saying the Jumu’ah sermon should be in Arabic, while giving a concession based on certain conditions.

    While we take scholarly concessions in the spirit of leniency and moderation, it would make sense to intend to move toward the standard in a concrete manner using the best means, and not intend to rely on the concessions indefinitely.

    Implicit, a standard is the norm. Our islamic standard should be considered realistic. I don’t think we can say as Muslims that this standard is unattainable or outmoded. Our deen is for all times and places.

    If we were to have Islam in America after 1,000 years like other non-Arab civilizations – and only Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Knows the future – then one would hope a majority of our community would know islamic Arabic by then! But only if that was our firm intention backed by sincere efforts, bi’dhnillahi ta’alaa

  24. Mezba

    April 11, 2010 at 8:53 AM

    It seems a vast majority of the people here accept the superiority of the Arabic language over other languages and also the fact that our previous scholars could never be wrong.

    1. Arabic is just a language and the PROPHET OF ISLAM said no Arab is superior to a non Arab. What is the only difference between an Arab and a non Arab? The Arabic language!

    2. Those who gave us the madhabs had no problem following the other madhab when they were visiting each other’s areas as guests. Also, their madhabs were for their time, their locality. Things change.

    Most vivid example is slavery. Again, while Islam always talked about freeing slaves and the virtues of being kind to slaves, it DID NOT ABOLISH slavery. And none of the four schools of thought have any problem with slavery or taking captive girls as concubines. Will we do this today? NO. Why don’t we then follow the madhab in this aspect if we hold the madhabs to be fully correct and BEYOND CRITICISM?

    As for the khutbah, is it mentioned any where in the QURAN OR THE SUNNAH that it HAS TO BE in Arabic?

    Or is it just people’s interpretations?

    • Abd- Allah

      April 11, 2010 at 10:43 AM

      And none of the four schools of thought have any problem with slavery or taking captive girls as concubines. Will we do this today? NO.

      I’m sorry Mezba, if you have a problem with this part if Islam and you don’t want to do it then this is your problem. I personally plan on practicing Islam in its entirety as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. If this is how you approach issues in Islam, then you need to reform your understanding of things, and I would suggest you go learn directly from a scholar, he’ll help you understand Islam better. But until then, please do refrain from taking parts out of Islam just because you might not like them or feel ashamed to admit that they are part of this religion.

      • Mezba

        April 11, 2010 at 2:53 PM

        So you are saying in order to practice Islam we must bring back slavery?

    • Mr. Muslim

      April 11, 2010 at 11:41 AM

      Um, slavery is not an example which is helping you. Slavery has nothing to do with the Madhabs. Slavery is discussed in the Qur’an and while it is encouraged to free slaves it is not forbidden.

      If you have a problem with that, your problem is with the Qur’an (and thus you’re the one with the problem), not the opinion of prior scholars.

      Also Arabic is not the difference between an Arab and a non Arab. Learning Arabic does not magically make me an Arab.

      Ultimately, what I think we are trying to get through to you is that their interpretations were assuredly based in evidences. Evidences which you likely are unaware of, and thus are in no position to label the opinions of others incorrect.

      I would also add that you are using the logic that if you don’t understand the khutbah there is no point in it, when you could say the same thing for Salah or reading Qur’an in Arabic.

      And yet they are both compulsory, whether you understand them or not.

      • Mezba

        April 11, 2010 at 2:51 PM

        From the scholars of IIT (Islamic Institute of Toronto – Sheikh Kutty)

        The Language of Friday Jumu’ah sermon in a non-Arab country

        Similarly, rulings from Al Azhar has also restated the same verdict. Khutbahs should be made in the dominant language of the audience.

        Also, rather than make dramatic statements like “I follow Islam in its entirety” try to understand why I am using the slavery example.

        Most of the rulings about Khutbah being in Arabic has come from our four madhabs. These rulings are for a particular time and a particular area. During RIS in Toronto, we learned that the Caliph wanted to make the Maliki madhab the official madhab of the Islamic empire. Imam Malik refused, saying his rulings are for his area and for his time.

        And this is where slavery comes in. Slavery was acceptable in those times, and it is not acceptable now. No Muslim scholar will say slavery is permitted any more, which is directly against the four madhab rulings. Why? Because the situation and times have changed.

        Similarly, just because the four madhabs encourage the khutbah to be in Arabic does not mean it is still a valid ruling. Again, nowhere in the Quran or the Sunnah is it told that khutbah MUST be in Arabic or that Arabic is a superior language. What is preferred or liked by some scholar is different from what is mandatory in Islam.

        • Mr. Muslim

          April 11, 2010 at 3:39 PM

          This will be my last post on the matter as there is not really any benefit in this conversation.

          I am not talking about what language the Khutbah is in. I simply wanted to make you aware of one thing.

          That calling the opinions of scholars “stupid” is incorrect.

          The second thing which I now feel I have to inform you about is this “slavery” thing. It is not an issue for Madhabs because it is very clear in Qur’an. There is nothing to decide nor interpret in this matter. It is permissible, although we no longer do it and it is encouraged to free slaves.

          I doubt any scholars would advocate going out and making someone your slave, but they would not call that which your Right Hand Posseses haram.

          If (and I really do mean if) you are trying to say that times have changed and now it is haram then you are making the halal into haram. Which is kufr.

          And that’s all I have to say about that. /Forrest Gump.

    • halminmazeed

      April 13, 2010 at 1:23 PM

      ‘It is obligatory upon every muslim to learn the Arabic tongue to the utmost of his ability in order [to be able] to profess through it that – there is none worthy of worship other than Allah, and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger- and to recite in [the Arabic tongue] the Book of Allah, and to speak in mentioning what is incumbent him – the takbir [of salah] and what [other matters] are commanded, the tasbih, the tashahhud and others.’

      Imam Shafi’i [may Allah have mercy upon him] in: ‘ar-Risalah’

      Men, these scholars knew the unreplaceable importance of arabic to islam.

      • halminmazeed

        April 13, 2010 at 1:34 PM

        On the other hand, it must be understood that the underrating of arabic is also done by those some of us look up to. May be out of feeling inferior, some translate Allah to be God and things like that. What a shame.

  25. ummousama

    April 11, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    My question is: “Why shouldn’t Arabic be a superior language when the whole Qur’an was spoken by Allah?” If we look at how the Sahabah used to collect the wudhu water from Rasulullah (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam), so what about the language that Allah spoke? Arabic is a language very rich in words (more than 1,000,000), with every word having a precise meaning. Arabic is required to be learnt for every serious talib-ul-ilm. People still speak Arabic, not as pure as it was at the time of revelation, but Arabic has been preserved all these years, unlike probably most other languages, if not all other languages.

    First of all, here is an excerpt about the importance of knowledge:

    Islam calls us to seek knowledge. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim, and he explained that the superiority of the one who has knowledge over the one who merely worships is like the superiority of the moon over every other heavenly body. He said that the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets and that the Prophets did not leave behind dinars and dirhams (i.e., money), rather their inheritance was knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share. And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that seeking knowledge is a way to Paradise. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allaah will make a path to Paradise easy for him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-‘Ilm, 10)

    Secondly, another excerpt about what to study when seeking knowledge:

    On ‘Aqeedah: start with the book al-Usool al-Thalaathah [available in English as “The Three Fundamental Bases of Islamic Theology”], then Kitaab al-Tawheed [available in English as “Kitab al-Tauhid”], then Kashf al-Shubuhaat, all by Shaykh Muahmmad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab. Then read Kitaab al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah [also available in English as “Principles of Islamic Faith”] by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah.

    After studying and understanding these books, move on to Kitaab al-Ajrumiyyah, on Arabic grammar, then Kitaab al-Usool fi ‘Ilm al-Usool, on usool al-fiqh, then Kitaab Usool al-Tafseer – both by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah have mercy on him. Then study al-Arba’een al-Nawawiyyah [al-Nawawi’s 40 Hadeeth, available in English in several translations] on hadeeth, then ‘Umdat al-Ahkaam, also on hadeeth. Then start studying fiqh, and it is OK to study the fiqh texts of any of the recognized schools of thought, such as Bidaayat al-Saalikeen, ‘Umdat al-Fiqh, Matan Abi Shujaa’, and Matan Khaleel. We do not want you to be biased towards any of the madhhabs, rather your study should be organized and based on the well-established principles, so that your pursuit of knowledge will be enhanced and you will follow the evidence, not be biased towards any particular madhhab.

    So you can see that learning Arabic and Arabic grammar is of great importance for the seeker of knowledge.

    And, in the biography of Imam Ash-Shafi’ee, you can see how he went to learn Arabic from the best tribe before continuing his journey in pursuit of knowledge:

    During this early period of his quest for knowledge, Ash-Shaafi’ee intelligently realized the importance of the learning the classical Arabic language from its pure sources, in order to understand the Quran and the Sunnah, (the Prophet Muhammad’s () sayings, acts, and approvals) in the best possible way. He went to the Huthayl tribe, which was among the most eloquent Arab tribes, and stayed with them for long years in which he learned their eloquence, memorized their poems, studied from them the biographies of Arabs both pre-Islam and after Islam, and learned knighthood and archery. He eventually became a brave unrivaled knight and a skillful archer who rarely missed his target.

    This is even more important if you realise that he was born in Makkah, learnt from Makkan scholars so we can say he was familiar with Arabic.

    So, there is no question that learning Arabic is of utmost importance. Yes, it is very important to make dawah in English but, unfortunately, one of the drawbacks is that people don’t feel the urge to learn Arabic. I hope, insha Allah, that one day, you will understand me as I know that, after speaking to other sisters, I am not the only one who, at one point in their path to seek knowledge, felt that the lack of understanding Arabic was what prevented them from continuing in their pursuit of knowledge. I hope that you reach that point.

    • Machher

      April 12, 2010 at 9:36 AM

      I agree that Arabic is the best of languages.

      1. Indo-Pak Hanafi have stuck to doing the khutba in Arabic, and arguably this community has the least knowledge of Arabic as a whole. Therefore it seems as if there is no relationship between how many times they hear the Arabic language (be it in salah or jumuah) and their eagerness to learn it or their knowledge of the language.

      2. The goal for the Jumuah is not achieved through an Arabic only khutba in an english speaking community. This is important, Jumuah is to revive our imaan allow us to recharge so that we may work towards the pleasure and mercy of Allah SWT that is it helps us attain our salvation.

      So the issue here is deeper than just the language chosen, and about the propagation of Arabic.

      • Yaqeen needed

        April 12, 2010 at 9:42 PM


        Good points raised.

        However, just bc the Indo Paks have been stuck with the arabic as u said and are least versatile in the language does not point at the weakness of using Arabic for khutbah or anything else for that matter. It can be argued that this may be due to perceptions. There are Indo Paks who actually feel urdu is better than arabic and that urdu is an Islamic language. Some also feel that arabic is meant for the maulvis not for your everyday Azad and Khalilurahman.

        Also you must understand that there is probably more zeal to sacrifce for the dunya amongst these Indo Paks than for the real deal in the next life. If an Indo Pak was given a scholarship in Germany, Italy or Argentina on the condition that he had to first be versatile in communicating in the local languages, most likely he/she will jump at it and start learning with the same or even greater zeal Obama campaigned to win the white house. Our love for the dunya is not only horrendous but sometimes infectious

        If we truly and really love Allah we would sacrifice to learn the language of the Quran. Simple as that

        • F

          April 13, 2010 at 12:56 PM

          Do majority of the Indonesians or Malaysians or Chinese Muslims or Bosnian Muslims know Arabic because the khutbah is in Arabic? I am assuming no.

          So it seems it’s not just the Indo-Paks who are not learning Arabic simply because the khutbah is in Arabic. While in theory the idea is very good, in reality, it has not worked.

          • Yaqeen needed

            April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM


            You may want to ask the Egyptians if they were Arabs or Arab speaking prior to Islam. Or Imam Bukhari and many of the excellent true scholars of the past who were not Arabs but well versed in arabic before being well versed in the sciences of hadith and others. And do not let your history books miss out on the Arab speaking muslims in the bilad us sudan. The arab they spoke and wrote did not originate from their genes. And then ask, how much more practical examples you want

          • F

            April 13, 2010 at 4:00 PM

            Scholars of today still learn Arabic regardless of their background. The main question is that of the masses which for the last at least 500 years have not bothered to learn Arabic well enough to understand the khutbah.

            I don’t dispute that people should learn Arabic as much as they can and wish it was more of a priority. But I realize that simply having the khutbah in Arabic does very little in stroking the desire to learn the language. If this approach hasn’t worked in the last 500 years since the masses in non-Arab lands still don’t understand Arabic, why do we expect it to work now?

            As a side, I know that in the 60s and 70s, students in Pakistan were required to take basic Arabic grammar. But that seems to have been abolished now. Though a mass education effort like that where it is part of the cirruculum will help more in learning Arabic than anything else.

          • Yaqeen needed

            April 13, 2010 at 10:37 PM


            The khutba in Arabic was not designed to make people interested to learn Arabic. That’s probably what some one imagined up. I would be glad to see evidence that that was its purpose.

            Plus there are several other factors that have affected or discouraged learning Arabic esp in our times or the last 2 centuries. For example, when the British colonialists/imperialists invaded Muslims lands like Egypt, Bilad Sudan which stretched up to modern day Nigeria as well as the Indo Pak, they emphasized learning of English and discouraged arabic. Those who were learned in English got better jobs, societal respect, became aristocrats and controlled the society on behalf of their colonial masters. And the opposite was that for those who still clunged to learning nahwu and sarf and balaaghah. That negative stigma and seems to have been passed down.

            As a side, I know that in the 60s and 70s, students in Pakistan were required to take basic Arabic grammar. But that seems to have been abolished now. Though a mass education effort like that where it is part of the cirruculum will help more in learning Arabic than anything else

            What was abolished in Pakistan can simply be understood by the fact that most Indo Paks still suffer from the adverse poisons injected into the psyche – a clear example is Ghulam Ahmad- and the British aristocratic part of them is sort of expressed when they take up posts where they , from the inside, do the bidding of their masters. One of it will be to remove Arabic from the learning of the Muslims. For when are Arabic enabled and infused with iman and the fear of Allah azza wa jal , they know they would have failed in corrupting the muslims

            BTW, we only know of the past scholars’s Arabic because they are none. The Arabic of the masses remain unknown generally, well, because they are masses. Now it is known that the masses in some of the lands mentioned above were Arabic literate- Egypt as an example.

          • F

            April 14, 2010 at 9:25 AM

            I completely agree that the primary purpose of the khutbah is not to teach people Arabic. And that’s why many scholars support having it in the language of the people so the primary purpose can be served.

            I also agree with you that the British/French did a good job of discouraging the Arabic language and the effect of that can still be seen even in Arab countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, Morrocco, etc. Makes me wonder if in the upcoming decades, Muslim countries/companies became dominant, would people rush to learn Arabic because they perceive it to provide better opportunities? Likely.

      • Yaqeen needed

        April 15, 2010 at 10:19 AM

        In surah tawbah , Allah jalla shanu describes the superiority of different acts of worship

        أَجَعَلْتُمْ سِقَايَةَ الْحَاجِّ وَعِمَارَةَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ كَمَنْ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَجَاهَدَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ لاَ يَسْتَوُونَ عِندَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَهَاجَرُواْ وَجَاهَدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً عِندَ اللّهِ وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ
        يُبَشِّرُهُمْ رَبُّهُم بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنْهُ وَرِضْوَانٍ وَجَنَّاتٍ لَّهُمْ فِيهَا نَعِيمٌ مُّقِيمٌ
        خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا إِنَّ اللّهَ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

        As seen above, Allah has given superiority (adhamu darajatan) to making hijra and doing jihad in His way

        In the following surah 58 Mujadala, the preferential categorisation is not as direct
        أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوْا قَوْمًا غَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مَّا هُم مِّنكُمْ وَلَا مِنْهُمْ وَيَحْلِفُونَ عَلَى الْكَذِبِ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا إِنَّهُمْ سَاء مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ اتَّخَذُوا أَيْمَانَهُمْ جُنَّةً فَصَدُّوا عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ لَن تُغْنِيَ عَنْهُمْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُهُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا أُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُهُمُ اللَّهُ جَمِيعًا فَيَحْلِفُونَ لَهُ كَمَا يَحْلِفُونَ لَكُمْ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْكَاذِبُونَ اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَأَنسَاهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَانِ أﻻَ إِنَّ حِزْبَ الشَّيْطَانِ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحَادُّونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُوْلَئِكَ فِي الأَذَلِّينَ كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَأَغْلِبَنَّ أَنَا وَرُسُلِي إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ ﻻَ تَجِدُ قَوْمًا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ يُوَادُّونَ مَنْ حَادَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُوا آبَاءهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَاءهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَانَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِيرَتَهُمْ أُوْلَئِكَ كَتَبَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَأَيَّدَهُم بِرُوحٍ مِّنْهُ وَيُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ أُوْلَئِكَ حِزْبُ اللَّهِ أﻻَ إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

        However, Allah jalla shanu describes the believers with certain qualities as being of His Party. This is itself a preference determined and preferred by Allah. Being Muslims, it is for us to aim and work towards fulfilling the requirements of being truly successful.

        A commonly used preferential line we may not take note of can be found in surah Fatiha we all read several times a day. Checking out Nouman Khan’s talk on Fatiha posted on this site should be useful

        Or sheikh Zaraboro’s talk on Fatiha

        We repeatedly ask Allah to make us be of those whom He preferred – the prophets, etc and not those He is angry with or have gone astray

        All these examples directly from the Book of Allah have been given so as to make it clear insha Allah. More importantly it can help

        Why go this far. Because this matter of not giving the Arabic language its due status goes deep and potentially and adversely affects our aqidah.

        Another way it is seen in the replacement of Arabic words of great importance with so called English alternatives. There are Muslims today who often replace Allah with God. As have been mentioned, some do this out of feeling inferior or wanting to please the created. But guess what, Tiger woods called a God (yes G capital). Check out this website

        If you go the archives you can see how he was being God-ified before it was known he was pulling his pants down inappropriately. If no one knew, he would still have been God!!!

        It beats me why a sane Muslim will use such a word with a heavy baggage of connotations that are anti aqidah when ‘Allah’ is clearly a word unique to Allah alone and not used by any one

        Another sad example is form those Muslims who now make salah using the English translation of the Arabic words esp Fatiha. What is interesting – may be not to the avid salafis- is that even the Sufis do not change Allah to God in their halqahs and what have you. Not that I agree with them. At least not that I know of

        Finally while accepting some of these realities may have to do with matters of the heart like egos, listening to talks like Nouman Khan’s lecture on egos may come in handy

        You CANNOT be guilty of being passionate about what Allah liked or preferred

        We need to constantly pray not to be misguided after having been guided to Islam. And seek His forgiveness for our errors

    • Yaqeen needed

      April 15, 2010 at 6:24 PM

      [This first half of my last post somehow did not get posted. Its being reposted]

      While much has been done to answer some of Mezda’s positions, I think it is good to sincerely re-evaluate at what might have informed or generated such positions.

      It is true that there are some Arabs who, being Arabs, feel they are superior and better in Islamic knowledge because of being just that as well as speaking Arabic. This attitude may also be shared by some that are non Arabic but speak it or having lived in some Arab land for some years. We all know that shaitan had knowledge but pride was his doing, made him a kaafir. Also Abu jahl and the munafiqeen in Madina were Arabs and spoke Arabic.

      Then are also those who make it seem that wearing Arab dress and the like is more superior. I am in no way supporting tight pants worn by some brothers that may not fulfil the requirements of male hijab and may even sexually disturbing when observed by sisters. No. But making one who does not wear Arab dress inferior or feeling it is better to wear a shemagh in down town can create feelings in the likes of Mezda that this Arab thing has gone a little too far. This also plays out in some of the Indo Pak communities though the typical Pakistani male dress is more practical than the thobe.

      However, these issues, as incorrect as they may be, cannot in anyway be used to justify arguments that Arabic is not superior. If that is done, we will only be allowing shaitan to use them to play on our intelligence and derail us.

      As has been mentioned by others, by just being selected to be the language of the only book of Allah to mankind that remains preserved 100% is enough evidence of its superiority. And this we can understand better from the viewpoint of tawhid. From tawhid asmaa wa sifaat, we know that we cannot compare our knowledge to that the All knowing ALLAAH. He knows what is good for us, what is better for us and what is best for us. To question His knowledge affects the belief in this aspect of tawhid. And we cannot question Him. Nouman Khan warns of the evil of such questioning in his talk on questioning the Messenger

      It is advisable it is better to read the Quran itself to see the examples Allah gives of things or issues being the best or better. This will then insha Allah help to reaffirm your faith as to why Allah’s

      In surah 16 nahl
      وَاللّهُ فَضَّلَ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِي الْرِّزْقِ فَمَا الَّذِينَ فُضِّلُواْ بِرَآدِّي رِزْقِهِمْ عَلَى مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَهُمْ فِيهِ سَوَاء أَفَبِنِعْمَةِ اللّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ
      Here, Allah jalla shanu, makes some of us to be better than others, material wise, as a trial. This is from His wisdom which we cannot question.

      In surah 4 nisaa, Allah jalla sha’nu says:

      لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً وَكُلاًّ وَعَدَ اللّهُ الْحُسْنَى وَفَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا دَرَجَاتٍ مِّنْهُ وَمَغْفِرَةً وَرَحْمَةً وَكَانَ اللّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

      Being the All knowing, He has given superiority to the mujahideen in the part of He has also clearly stated that these 2 groups cannot be equal. And he repeats this superiority twice

      Now imagine the Quran being described several times as being Arabic and we having to read and repeat it in the Arabic original several times a day (times the millions of Muslims that do so) the superiority and the whole hearted submission to the choice of Allah for giving the Arabic language such superiority

  26. Naseebah

    April 12, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    When we say something is the best, it does not necessarily insult or render everything else useless.

    For example, the best day of the week is Friday. We know this from a hadith related by Bukhari and Muslim. Yet, saying this does not trash the other days of the week. Other days are enobled by other virtues, for example the Prophet (pbuh) was born on a Monday.

    The greatest ayah in the Qur’an is ayat ul kursi, but this does not mean anything bad about all the other ayaat in the Qur’an.

    The best of creation is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), but this is in no way intended to insult the other prophets or righteous people or the angels.

    And so on.

    “and the best speech is the Speech of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), and the worst of all affairs are the newly invented matters (in the religion)”
    [Saheeh Muslim]

    The Speech of Allah that we have is the Qur’an, and it is in Arabic. And the guidance we have is the guidance of Muhammad (pbuh), also in Arabic. This is the Arabic that is superior.

    Saying this does not mean saying English has no value. English has value.

    Point 2:

    If we endorse the notion that only a small percentage of world Muslims should learn Arabic and be able to have basic understanding of the original sources (Qur’an and Hadith) in their original language — that is elitist.

    If we endorse the notion that the vast majority of people are incapable of learning in their lifetimes at least enough Arabic to understand the basics of their religion – what they are saying in their salaah, the meaning of du’as they make, the frequently repeated ayaat from Qur’an and enough to at least recognize key themes when Qur’an is being recited in taraweh, some key ahadith, the Arabic portions of the khutbah — that is elitist.

    However, if we endorse the notion that most Muslims in the world are indeed capable of basic proficiency in Arabic and we strive to make that basic proficiency common amongst us all — that is actually anti-elitist.

  27. Mashallah

    June 21, 2010 at 7:01 AM

    Alhamdulilah ala kuli hal,that in itself to have this debate is a blessing from Allah.All this has opened up many thoughts in my mind.
    Least should I say the feeling of brotherhood among the different opinions displayed. If Iam not mistaken The prophet had stated in the meaning of the Hadith
    The deeper your understanding to arabic the closer you are to Iman.Actualy like the Quraan arabic is our Uniting factor.Imagine if it was allowed to pray or call the adhan in different languages then maybe we can picture the great importance Arabic plays in Islam.
    If it was the case people would not be responding to an adhan in a language they dont understand or even pray behind an imam that is reciting or praying in un familiar language.
    No doubt Arabic is the Link and rope that ties us together think about it………………….
    Jazakum Allah Kuli Kher

  28. Abu

    November 4, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Assalaam Alaikum

    One of the conditions of the khutbah is that it should be shorter than the salah. Rasool Allah Sal Allahu Alaihi Wassalaam said “…prolonging salah and shortening one’s khutbah is a sign of one’s understanding of the religion.”

    Ulema’s in previous centuries used to ask their teachers that will it ever be possible for a person to give a Khutbah that is longer than the salah because he will be proving that he is stupid and does not understand the Deen. Their teachers used to say in later times this will happen.

    Now almost all the masajid where Khutbah’s are in English you see this happening. The Khutbah is long and salah is short.

    When people use their intellect to change the religion there is somewhere where their theory clashes with the Sunnah.

    The Sahabah Radhi Allah Anhum came as far east as Afghanistan. The language of the people was not Arabic but they never had the Khutbah given in any language but Arabic. The Taba Tabieen came as far east as Malaysia but they never had the Khutbah in any language but Arabic.

    Now since the 70’s we came to UK and America and since we understand the Deen better then all those before us we must give the Khutbah in English.

  29. Hashim

    November 4, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Assalamualaukum w w brothers and sisters,

    The four classical Imaams (in my opinion) are people that we cannot compare people from these recent eras to. They were 101% dedicated to Islaam to such an accent that Imaam Abu Hanifah prayed Fajr salaah with the same wudhu of Isha. He didn’t sleep at all- this is the immense passion these Imaams had for Islam. It is also reported that Imaam Abu Hanifah refrained to do Wudhu in the Masjid because Allah had blessed him with a miracle. He was able to see the sins coming off a person doing wudhu- so to prevent him having bad thoughts of people- he always did wudhu elsewhere.

    Now, if ALL four great respected Imaams are unanimous in saying Arabic is the preferred language or in some cases the only language the khutbah can be given in- should that not ring bells. Do you not think they were aware of the argument of people not understanding and the various other points- of course they were. But the expert knowledge of Islaam led to the opinions they have.

    Prophet Muhammed sallahu-alayhi-wasallah is our guide, role-model and practical example. I personally would find it sooo distressing and frightening to differ from the way of this amazing man. The proofs of history is just not debatable. Take the example of Hadrat Salmaan al Farsi- a persian, Hadhrat Zaid bin Thaabit- knew multiple languages and Hadhrat Bilaal- African (may Allah be pleased with them all)– they all recited in Arabic. We cannot compare ourselves to the lights of such people- the level of the Imaan in these individuals is another level.

    Overall dear sisters and brothers, ALL 4 great Imaam are unanimous, the Sahaabah and Nabi sallahu-alayhi wasallam did so- so is this not suficcient? On the day of qiyaamah- I can’t imagine answering why I rejected ANY tradition of the greatest man on Earth. How can we reject these Imaam’s (ra)- they spent all thier life for us. May Allah forgive me for any inconsistencies and mistakes, grant us all the understanding, forgive us all for our sins, grant us entry into Jannah without reckoning- AMEEN.


    Hafiz Hashim

  30. Hashim

    November 6, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Assalamualykum w w brother,

    Yes, indeed the hadith proves the point that the Prophet (sallahu-alayhi-wasallam) did discourage going to extreme lengths in ibaadah.

    However, when I say he kept wudhu etc..- it refers to the the zeal and thirst of knowledge the respected Imaam had for KNOWLEDGE (not for Ibaadah). It suggests the dedication, commitment and utter interest Imaam Abu Haneefah had for studying Qur’aan and Sunnah. The point I am trying to get across is that the respected Imaam use to stay up to study and learn about Islaam. So, yes when it comes to Ibaadah, one should not go to extreme lengths as the hadith rightly points out- but one must keep in mind the hadeeth does not touch on the aspect of knowledge and aquiring it.

    Secondly, coming onto the point about the miracle of being able to see other people’s sins. The link does not give any justification to why it may be fabricated. Rather, this point is in classical authentic books of history whereby the chances of fabrication is extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, I shall double check with my local Ulamaa insha’allah.

    Jazakallah for your concerns- I hope I have clarified them insha’allah.

    Was-salamualaykum w w,

    Hafiz Hashim

  31. Abdullah

    April 23, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    With regards to those who say the four rak’ah of salah before the khutbah of jumuah is not sunnah here is the proof that the ahnaaf use:

    In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

    The issue of four rakaats salaah before the jummah salaat is well substantiated and proven from the books of Hadith. Many Muhaditheen such as Ibn Abi Shayba, Abdur Razzaaq (rahimahumaallah) etc have set aside chapters in their Hadith books to discuss this issue.

    It is sunnat to perform four rakaats of salaah before the jummah salaat. Consider the following Ahadith:

    1.كان يصلي قبل الجمعة أربعا وبعدها أربعا

    “Ali (radiyallaahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to perform four rakaats salaah before the jummah salaah and after the jummah salaah” (I’laaus Al-Sunan, vol 7, pg 13, Idaratul Al-Quran)

    The chain of narrators in the above narration is good. (Tarhut Al-Tathreeb, vol 3, pg 36, Ilmiyya)

    2.كان رسول الله يركع قبل الجمعة أربعا وبعدها أربعا

    “Ibn Abbas (radiyallaahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to perform four rakaats of salaah before and after the jummah salaah” (I’laaus Al-Sunan, vol 7, pg 13, Idaratul Al-Quran)

    The above hadith with the chain of narrators that appear in Tabrani is good. (I’laaus Al-Sunan, vol 7, pg 13, Idaratul Al-Quran)

    3.عن أبي عبد الرحمن السلمي قال : كان عبد الله يأمرنا أن نصلي قبل الجمعة أربعا ، وبعدها أربعا

    Abu Abdir Rahman Al-Sulami reports: “Abdullah (bin Mas’ood) used to command us to perform four rakaats salaah before jummah and after the jummah salaah” (Musannaf Abdir Al-Razaaq, vol 3, pg 247, Idaratul Quran)

    The chain of narrators in the above Hadith is authentic. (Athaar Al-Sunan, pg 303, Imdaadiyya)

    4.عن عبد الله قال كان يصلي قبل الجمعة أربعا

    “Abdullah (bin Mas’ood) reports that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to perform four rakaats before the jummah salaah” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, vol 4, pg 114, Al-Majlis al-Ilmi)

    5.عن صافية ، قالت : رأيت صفية بنت حيي رضي الله عنها ، صلت أربع ركعات قبل خروج الإمام للجمعة ، ثم صلت الجمعة مع الإمام ركعتين .

    Saafiyah (radiyallaahu anha) reports: “I saw Safiyyah Binti Huyay (radiyallaahu anha) performing four rakaats of salaah before the Imaam came out for jummah, then she performed two rakaats of jummah salaat with the Imaam” (Nasbur Al-Raayah, vol 2, pg 207, Makkiyya)

    6.عن إبراهيم قال كانوا يصلون قبلها أربعا.

    “Ibrahim (Al-Nakh’ee) reports that the Sahaba used to perform four rakaats of salaah before the jummah salaah” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol 4, pg 114, Al-Majlis al-Ilmi)

    7. Abdullah Bin Mas’ood used to command the people to perform four rakaats of salaah before the jummah salaah as understood from the above Ahadith. This is an indication that Abdullah Bin Mas’ood used to consider these four rakaats as Sunnat Muakkadah. In fact the Muhaditheen classify the Athar of Ibn Mas’ood as “Marfoo’ Hukman”. (I’laaus Al-Sunan, vol 7, pg 12, Idaratul Quran)

    And Allah knows best


    February 19, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    al d muslim want 2 learn arabic compulssoryyy bacause,,,,,,,d language of muslimzz wzz arabic nlyyy,,,,,,,,,nt malylm,hindi tmil etc……………,,,,,,,,wt m tllng s,,,,,,if we dont knoww arabic,,,,,or u hv a prblm dt,,,,,,ur nt uderstng arabic quthubaaasss,,,,,,wt u wnt to do s ,,,,,,,u wnt learn arabic thoroowwly firstt………….nd most f d peaoplesss lik mujaahid,jamaa-ath etc were nt willing 2 learn arabic nd they r changing d language f qutuba n thier wish…………………dey r doing veryy baad nd stupid thng…………………qutuba wz nt a simple thng dt we cn change n our wish because t wz n arabicc…………….most f d people r nt knowing the meanings f soorath,fathiha etc which are dere n prayer timeee…………….bt y dese peoplee nt changing dt thgs n deir language???????nd when i tl dese u wl sayyy dt,,,,,,,when d imam wz lkng face 2 face 2 d people,,,,,,we wnt use our lanaguage onlyyyyy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,t wzzz again wrooongggg,,,,,,,…..bczzz n mahshara alaah wi tl face 2 face 2 d peaplke n arabic nlyy……………….he wl nt sepearate d people who r n dfrnt lnguage…………… we must learn arabic……………………..only 1 thingggg u wnt 2 understoood dt,,,,,d meaning f qutuba wz ibadath nlyyyy nt adviceeeeeeee…………………!!!!!

  33. talas

    February 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Giving a talk before the khutba is not prohibited:

    I don’t understand why giving a talk in the local language followed by a short Arabic khutba seems to be a problem. It fulfills the desire to instruct as well as the requirement of Arabic both, but those who insist on only non-Arabic have showed their true colors and opposition to Islam and its Arab prophet!

  34. Feroz Khan

    February 17, 2014 at 4:08 AM

    I have an issue in this regard, the country I’m from is Bangladesh, where most of the people grew up reading the Quran in Arabic with understand most of it. And as for myself I don’t know Arabic so, when I took up Quran my view was to understand the Scripture therefore I started reading in English. Now my point is during the Khutba if you don’t understand most of it as it is said in Arabic then what point of having khutba in Arabic is. Religion is all about practice and if one doesn’t understand what it is all about what he or she will practice or preach.

  35. Abdallah

    June 23, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    An even more detailed discussion regarding the permissibility of giving a talk before khutba in the local language and then giving the khutba in Arabic is here:

    The original article is shoddily researched at best. He quotes from a comparitive fiqh work, and misrepresents the Hanafi opinion. Even despite that, he cannot hide the fact that the other three maddhabs despite the Hanafis are rigid in their opposition to a non-Arabic khutba.

    As Mufti Taqi Usmani states, the best practice is to give a talk in the local language for the purpose of instruction, then give the adhan and the khutba in Arabic. In this manner, both the desire for education and the requirement of an Arabic khutba will be fulfilled. Why is there so much hemming and hawing despite such a reasonable proposal that should satisfy both sides?

    • Abdul Aziz

      October 11, 2015 at 8:56 PM

      This what Mufti Taqi Usmani Saab said
      anafi School

      The Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence also agrees with the former three schools in the principle that the Friday Khutbah should be delivered in Arabic and it is not permissible to deliver it in any other language. However, there is a slight difference of opinion about some details of this principle. Imarn Abu Yousuf and Imarn Muhammad, the two pupils of Imam Abu Hanifah are of the view that a non-Arabic Khutbah is not acceptable in the sense that it cannot fulfill the requirement of Jumuah prayer, therefore, no Jumuah prayer can be offered after it. Rather, the Khutbah must be delivered again in Arabic without which the following Jumu’ah prayer will not be valid. However, if no one from the community is able to deliver an Arabic Khutbah , then only in that case a non-Arabic Khutbah may fulfill the requirement based on the doctrine of necessity. The view of Imam Abu Yousuf and Imam Muhammad, in this respect, is close to the views of Imam Shafli and imam Ahmad bin Hambal.

      Imam Abu Hanifah, on the other hand, says that although it is Makrooh (impermissible) to deliver Khutbah in a non-Arab language yet if someone violates this principle and delivers it in any other language, then the requirement of Khutbah will be held as fulfilled and the Jumuah prayer offered after it will be valid.

      Some people misunderstood the position of Imam Abu Hanifah in this matter from two different angels: Firstly, some writers claim that this view represents the earlier position of Imam Abu Hanifah and he had, later on, withdrawn from it and had concurred to the view of his two pupils.

      This statement is not correct. In fact, there are two separate issues which should not be confused. One issue is whether or not the recitation of the Holy Qur’aan in a non-Arabic language is acceptable. It is with regard to this issue that Imam Abu Hanifah had an earlier view which accepted the recitation even in a non-Arab language, but later on, he recalled this view and concurred with the view of his two pupils and all other jurists who do not hold any recitation of Qur’aan during Salah as valid unless it is in the original Arabic language. It is now settled with consensus and Imarn Abu Hanifah does no longer differ from this unanimous position of the Muslim jurists.

      The second issue relates to the Khutbah of Friday and to some other Adhkar of Salah like Allahhu Akbar etc. This issue is still a matter of difference between Imam Abu Hanifah and other jurists including Imam. Abu Yousuf and Imam Muhammad who are of the view that the Khutbah in a non-Arabic language is not at all acceptable, and no Jumu’ah prayer is valid after such a Khutbah, while Imam Abu Hanifah says that, despite being Makrooh, a non-Arabic Khutbah is recognized to the extent that it validates the Jumuah prayer performed after it. This view of Imam Abu Hanifah still holds good and he did never recede from it.

      The second misconception with regard to the position of Imam Abu Hanifah in the issue of Khutbah is that some people have misinterpreted his view to say that a non-Arabic Khutbah is quite permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifah.

      This is again a wrong statement. Imam. Abu Hanifah does not hold it quite permissible to deliver Khutbah in a non-Arabic language. He holds it “Makrooh Tahreeman”, a term almost analogous to ‘impermissible’, which means that it is not allowed to deliver Khutbah in a language other than Arabic. However, if somebody commits this Makrooh (impermissible) act, his Khutbah will not be deemed as void, and the Jumuah prayer performed after it will be valid.

      To properly understand his position, one must recall that the Khutbah is a condition precedent to the validity of Jumuah prayer. Without Khutbah , Jumuah prayer is void. Now most of the jurists, including Imam Abu Yousuf and Imam Muhammad are of the opinion that a non-Arabic Khutbah is not acceptable at all. If somebody delivers it non-Arabic language it can never be held as a Khutbah of Friday, therefore, it will not fulfill the condition of Jumuah prayer and no Jumuah prayer can be performed after it unless an Arabic Khutbah is delivered again.

      Imam Abu Hanifah differs from them in this aspect only. He says that admittedly, a non-Arabic Khutbah is Makrooh or impermissible, yet the non-Arabic language does not render it as void. Therefore, it can be used for fulfilling the condition of the Jumuah prayer. Therefore, the people who attend such a Khutbah can participate in the Jumuah prayer and the obligation of Jumuah will be held as discharged.

      It is thus evident that all the four recognized schools of Islamic Fiqh are unanimous on the point that the Khutbah must be delivered in Arabic. The Maliki jurists have gone to the extent that if no Arabic-knowing person is available for delivering Khutbah , the Jumuah is converted into Zuhr prayer. The Shafli jurists say that in this case the Muslims are under an obligation to appoint someone to learn as much Arabic words as may be sufficient to articulate a shortest possible Khutbah . However, if the time is too short to learn, then the Khutbah may be delivered in any other possible language. Similar is the view of the Hanbali jurists who insist that in this case the Imam may confine himself to the short words of Dhikr like Alhamdulliah or Subhanallah. This being allowed, he does not resort to delivering Khutbah in any other language.

  36. Abdul Aziz

    October 11, 2015 at 8:49 PM

    The established position of the Mazhab of Imam Abu Hanifa as stated by the reliable and great Fuqaha (of the Mazhab) is that the khutbahs of Jumuah Salaah should be given in the Arabic language. (Al Hidaya; Shami).

    Imam Malik has also stated that the both khutbahs for Jumuah should be in the Arabic language. In this regard, it is mentioned in Al Fiqhul Islami wa Adilatihi, ‘And the Malikis have mentioned nine conditions for the both khutbahs of Juma. From among these is that the both khutbahs should be in the Arabic language even though it is for the non-Arabs’. (Al Fiqhul Islami wa Adilatihi vol.2 pg. 1305,1306 from Ash Sharhus Sagheer and Ash Sharhul Kabeer).

    Imam Shafi (AR) has also stated that ‘from the conditions of the khutbahs for Jumuah is that both must be in the Arabic language’. (Al Fiqhul Islami wa Adilatihi vol. 2 pg 1307 from Mughni Al Muhtaj).

    The established position of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambal is also that the khutbahs of Jumuah must be done in the Arabic language. In this regard, it is mentioned, ‘And there are twelve conditions regarding the khutba for Jumuah. (From among these) is that it should be in the Arabic language. Hence, the khutba will not be valid if it is done in a non-Arabic language by one who has the ability to read Arabic’. (Al Fiqhul Islami wa Adilatihi vol.2 pg. 1310 from Al Mughni).

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