Jumu’ah prayer is not only obligatory on every adult Muslim, but also very much significant in Islam from various social perspectives. The Qur’an contains a surah entitled “Surah al-Jumu’ah”, (62nd number) that can prove its importance. Salat has secured the second position of five Islamic pillars, while Jumu’ah prayer has greater status in the life of Muslims too. This Friday-based salat has some extra-ordinary requirements and features than any other daily salat we say in our everyday life. The Qur’an states, “O you, who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah, then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave the trade. That is better for you if you only knew.” (Surah al-Jumu’ah, 62: 9) Moreover, this jumu’ah salat has been reduced to two raka’ah instead of four raka’ah fard salat during zuhur time. Do we think about it, why? Obviously, there is a wisdom behind it. But how many of us are aware of it? Additionally, a special lecture has been added to this salat as a mandatory part of which is known as khutbah.
Khutbah of Jumu’ah prayer is well-known as Friday Sermon among the western society. However, this meaning does not able to depict the wisdom behind this shari’ah term; jumu’ah khutbah. Therefore, it is better to use the term as it is. In addition to this, it is noteworthy to state that delivering this speech is not merely like any other Islamic general speeches (waz). This khutbah is mandatory (fard) as part of the prayer. Therefore, all the people who attend the Jumu’ah prayer are required (wajib) to listen to this speech very carefully along with some Islamic etiquettes (adab). However, it is really disheartening to observe that many of us go to the mosque in late and attend the two raka’ah Jumu’ah prayer only without listening to kutbah which is also mandatory for this prayer.
As this khutbah has some very special features in Islam and for Muslim from various perspectives, the khatib (Imam of Jumu’ah prayer) should discuss the contemporary issues to make the people aware of it. Imam should raise such issues related to the practical life rather than pre-historic stories. Crisis in the society could be addressed in the khutbah or a consultation could be made during this towards overcoming any challenge we face in our personal, family, social, national and international life. However, it makes many of us disheartening to observe that most of the khatib in rural areas uses a fixed book of khutbah for their lifetime. Likewise, most of them deliver a Bengali lecture first then read an Arabic khutbah from that specific book written by someone else. Sometimes we do not find any relevance between these two different lectures in two different languages. Therefore, this kind of khutbah does not carry any value to the people.
To overcome the situation, we can do many things. Among them, (i) we can appoint a khatib (Imam) who has good knowledge about Islamic and contemporary issues to convey the Islamic teachings among the people, (ii) the authority can arrange training program for all the Imams to train them as they would be able to convey the true Islamic teachings among the mass people. (iii) In any local, national or international crisis, the expert authority should convey their opinions and provide the guidelines to all the Imams and khatib to enable them guiding the people towards overcoming the unwanted situation.
We should keep in our mind that, according to the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh, there are about 25,00,500 mosques in present Bangladesh. If the khatib of all the mosques are qualified to convey the true messages of Islam to the people, they would certainly be the asset of Islam. They can really play a good role to spread Islam and promote an amicable peaceful coexistence in the society. Any crisis could be overcome through their positive role. Therefore, the authorities concerned must be careful about this significant khutbah.
The writer is a researcher on Islamic views on