Does Friday Khutbah Have to be in Arabic Only?
By Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
The essential features of Friday Khutbah are the following according to the Sunnah of the Prophet -peace be upon him.
There is no need to have one talk in the local language before the Adhan and then Khutbah after the Adhan in Arabic. This is an innovation (bid'ah) and it should not be done. The Khutbah is the main talk and speech of Friday and its importance should not be minimized. The Khutbah should be given only after the Adhan and it can be given in the local languages as we mentioned before. It is not required to deliver the whole Khutbah in Arabic if one is speaking to a non-Arabic speaking audience. Many 'Ulama' in Pakistan, India and many other non-Arabic speaking countries have allowed Khutbah in local languages. In 1975 in the World Conference of Masajid held in Makkah, several hundreds Imams and Ulama' from all over the world unanimously accepted that the Friday and Id Khutbahs can be given in local languages. The purpose of Khutbah is to remind the people about their religion. If a person does not understand Arabic, how can he/she be reminded by it?
Those who insist that the Khutbah should be only in Arabic say that the Khutbah is part of Salat and in Salat we follow the Sunnah of the Prophet -peace be upon him. He used to deliver Khutbah in Arabic and we should also do the same. It is correct that Khutbah is part of the Salat, but it is not Salat. In Salat we do not talk to people, in Khutbah we talk to them. In Salat we cannot add anything from our own. We have to recite verses from the Qur'an and use only those prayers that are taught by the Prophet -peace be upon him. In Khutbah, the Imam prepares his own message. Why should the Arabic language be used when the majority of the Muslims in a location do not understand it. Those who insist on Arabic in Khutbah for non Arabs too are not properly benefiting from the Friday gatherings. They are depriving the believers from a great opportunity to learn and be educated about their religion.