Jumuah Khutbah given in a language other than Arabic

  • Author: Fatwa no. 81486
  • Publish date:07/04/2010
  • Sections:FATWA FOR ALL
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Question:

I would like to know if the Jumuah Khutbah can be given in any language other than Arabic. I have heard that none of the Sahabah gave Jumuah Khutbah in the local languages where they went. If this is the case, why do people give the Khutbah in the local languages (English, etc)? In our city some Imams give a talk in English followed by two Khutbahs in Arabic. Then there are some Imams that give a short khutbah in Arabic, then speak for ten to fifteen minutes in English. Then they sit down again and give small khutbah in Arabic. Then they speak for another 10-15 minutes in English. They then make Dua and then start Salat. Please, let me know what is the best and correct way? I would also like to know the daleel for Khutbah to be given in English or any other local language.

Fatwa:

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger

The Muslim jurists  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them differed on the issue of translating the Jumuah Khutbah (public sermon of Friday) to other than Arabic language. Both parties have their evidence. Shaykh Abdul Azeez Ibn Baaz, may Allah have mercy on him, collected both opinions and their pieces of evidence, and revised them.

The summary is as follows: “Scholars differed in translating Khutbah (public sermon) on Friday and two Eeds (Festivals). A group of scholars prohibited it. They wanted to preserve the Arabic language, to protect it, to follow the way of Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and his companions, because they delivered the sermon in Arabic language in the non-Arabic countries to encourage the people to learn the Arabic language.

On the other hand, other scholars permitted the translation considering the purpose of Khutbah. If the audience or most of them do not know the Arabic language, the goal would not be achieved if the Khutbah was delivered in Arabic, because the Khutbah was legislated for teaching people their religious matters, to guide them towards the right path, to warn them from badness etc. There is no doubt, that respecting the meaning and achieving the objectives are more important than maintaining the words and customs, especially when the audience is not interested in learning Arabic language, and there is no hope that addressing them in Arabic will make them rush to learn Arabic language. In such circumstances Khutbah in Arabic would not be fruitful and its purpose would not be gained. On this basis, the opinion of the scholars who permitted the translation is very strong and closer to Sunnah.

If good number of the audience know the Arabic language, then it is preferable to deliver the Khutbah in Arabic language. Afterwards it should be translated. Therefore, one may achieve both benefits and the conflict will be avoided.

Evidences proving the permissibility of delivering the Khutbah in languages other than Arabic:

A: Allah says (what means): "We did not send any Messenger but in the language of his nation to explain to them". [Quran 14:4]

B: The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) ordered Zayd Ibn Thaabit, may Allah be pleased with him, to learn the language of the Jews to correspond with them, and to convey them Islam.

C: The Prophet’s companions, may Allah be pleased with them, did not fight the Persian and the Romans until they preached them Islam through the interpreters."

The council of grand scholars in K.S.A released a Fatwa which reads:

There is no Hadeeth indicating that Khutbah should be given in the Arabic language. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) delivered his speeches in Arabic, because this was his and his nation’s language. He addressed them, and taught them in their language. At the same time he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention )  wrote letters to non-Arab kings and leaders in the Arabic language because he was certain that they will understand them through the interpreters.

On this basis it is lawful for an orator to address people in the Arabic language and translate their sermons into the people’s language, so that the latter grasp what he has taught them. However, it is permitted for the orator to deliver the Khutbah in the language of his country, even it is not Arabic. Thereby they will get the benefits of Khutbah.

However, the best thing is to deliver the Khutbah in Arabic language and then to translate it into another language. By this way one may combine between following the Sunnah and achieving the purpose of Khutbah. He will then keep away from all conflicts."

Allah knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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