Using visual aids in Friday sermon
Fatwa No: 315508

  • Fatwa Date:22-2-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 14, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. My question is the following: Can I use pictures/images or any visual aids about my topic to show to the attendees while I am delivering the Friday sermon? Kindly answer my question according to the Islamic point of view. Thank you, and may Allaah reward you.

Answer

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

We believe that the preponderant view in this regard is that it is not prescribed for the khateeb (preacher delivering the Friday sermon) to use pictures, images, or visual aids during the Friday sermon for the purpose of edifying the attendees on the topic of the sermon since the purpose of the Friday sermon can be realized without it and there is no necessity for that. The due reverence and preservation of the mosques entails banning whatever constitutes likening them to cinemas, especially the use of pictures of animate beings (humans or animals). It has been established in the Sunnah that it is prohibited to keep pictures of animate beings, and the need to deface them was emphasized. Moreover, the worshipers may be distracted with these pictures and images instead of paying their undivided attention to the sermon and its topic, and thus this would be considered the same as regarding the one playing with pebbles or engaging in an idle action during the Friday sermon, which is prohibited, as stated in the hadeeth.

Allaah, The Exalted, underlined the befitting activities to be carried out in the mosques. He says (what means): {In mosques which Allaah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings are men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allaah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will (fearfully) turn about.} [Quran 24:36-37]

If mosques are deemed exalted above the permissible trade activities despite their lawful benefits, then the mosques should be deemed exalted above any other activity of lesser benefits for a greater reason. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) prohibited buying and selling, making announcement about something lost, and reciting poetry in it. [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi, An-Nasaa'i, and Ibn Maaja - Al-Albaani graded it hasan (good)]

The Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said, "Whoever hears a man making an announcement for a lost item in the mosque, let him say, 'May Allaah not return it to you; for the mosques were not built for that.'" [Muslim]

We say the same regarding showing videos in the mosque, even for educational purposes in the Friday sermon or at any other time because mosques were not built for that. The ban in this regard is rather emphasized pertaining to the matters about which the scholars held different views, such as images and drawings (of animate beings). There is no doubt that mosques should be preserved from such activities since they constitute violation of the sanctity of the mosque.

The Islamqa website published a fatwa by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Munajjid, Fatwa No. 124861, about the prohibition of using a projector during the Friday sermon.

We copy it here in full due to its importance:

Fatwa No. 124861; the question reads, "Is it permissible for the Khateeb to use a projector during the Jumuʻah Khutbah [Friday sermon]?"

The answer reads:

"Praise be to Allaah. The one who thinks that Islam does not approve of technical development and modern inventions is mistaken. Using the Internet, satellite channels, and modern means of communication provide evidence for what we stated above. However, this is conditional on it being in accordance with Sharee'ah and not involving anything prohibited that leads to negative consequences. What we think is that using a projector in the Jumuʻah Khutbah is not in accordance with Sharee'ah, for a number of reasons:

1. The Jumuʻah Khutbah has a certain status and importance, as Allaah called it in His Book "remembrance of Allaah," as He says in the verse that reads (what means): {O you who have believed, when (the azan) is called for the prayer on the day of Jumuʻah (Friday), then proceed to the remembrance of Allaah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.} [Quran 62:9] Using the projector as mentioned would detract from its status or take it away altogether, and is not suitable because the Khutbah is remembrance of Allaah, The Exalted.

2. The Sunnah in the Jumuʻah Khutbah is to keep it short, but using a projector and so on would make it long, which is contrary to the Prophet's guidance. Abu Waa’il  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "ʻAmmaar (ibn Yaasir) gave a (Friday) Khutbah and he spoke briefly but eloquently. When he came down from the pulpit, we said: 'O Abu Al-Yaqthaan, you spoke eloquently but briefly, would that you had made it longer.' He said: 'I heard the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saying: "A man’s lengthening his prayer and shortening his Khutbah is a sign of his understanding (of religion), so make your prayers lengthy and your Khutbahs brief, for there is charm in eloquent speech.'" [Muslim No. 869]

3. The projector may be visible to some people and not others, and some of the worshipers may be unable to see it, such as women and those who are sitting in a place where they cannot see the projector which, in this case, will be part of the Khutbah and complementary to the words of the Khateeb.

4. In order to use this equipment, the lights have to be turned off and the lights of the projector have to be turned on. This will require some of the worshipers present to move, either to turn the lights off or turn the projector on, and they will be distracted by the operation of the projector or sounds coming from the machine, which is contrary to the relevant rulings on the Jumuʻah prayer. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) forbade touching the pebbles during the Khutbah and ruled that the one who does that deliberately will be deprived of the reward for Jumuʻah. In fact he forbade playing with the pebbles which were usually on the ground in the mosque: "Whoever touches the pebbles has engaged in an idle action." [Muslim (No. 857) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him] What we think is that it is not permissible to use a projector during the Jumuʻah Khutbah. However, in religious lessons and lectures, the matter is broad in scope and there is nothing wrong with using projectors in those cases. And Allaah Knows best." [End of quote] 

Allaah knows best.

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