Saturday, 9 October 2010

Please Fear Allah in the Friday Khutbah

How many times have you woken up on a Friday morning, taken a shower, dressed in your best clothing, went to work, read surat al Kahf, headed to the masjid, waited for the khateeb (the speaker) but as he starts his khutbah, only to feel disappointed? And as he is delivering his speech you start to look at your watch making dua that the khutbah ends? Or maybe you picked up your cell phone and sent a text to some of your friends saying how horrible the khutbah is? Well, you are not alone.

Our respected elders are the ones who have carried on their shoulders the responsibility of setting the foundations of our communities, but I think it is time for them to pass on the torch to the next Muslim generation. This issue is bigger than just a khutbah that is hard to understand or a khutbah you cannot relate to, rather its an issue of disconnection from the community.

Not too long ago, a brother gave a khutbah about the Muslim youth in our community and shed some light on how we should deal with the youth, how we can understand them and cater to their needs. Although the topic is perfect and super beneficial, the way it was delivered would have made you wish you overslept and never showed up for Jummah. The presentation wasn’t prepared properly, the information wasn’t correct, the examples given in the khutbah weren’t any where close to the reality in our high schools and colleges, and above all, the English was not clear or understandable.
Don’t get me wrong, I too have an accent and make a lot of sentence structure and grammar mistakes, so by no means am I making fun of those who have accents, rather I would like to discuss the need to change the “usual Jummah syndrome” that most people suffer from in our communities.

I have always wondered why Allah mandated the Muslims to sit down and listen without any sort of a distraction to the khutbah every week. Is it for us to be educated about our deen? Is it for us to be inspired and motivated? Is it for us to be spiritually reconnected with Allah. Perhaps it is for us Muslims of the same community to gather and interact socially. However, I feel that none of these wisdoms are displayed when I show up for the khutbah only to find out that those who are delivering it are some of the worst public speakers ever. My focus is shifted on how awful the khutbah is rather than focusing on the actual information being delivered.

Many communities suffer from this and so it becomes the duty of the next generation to take the lead. You must take action and be an element of change within your community. There are only a few Yasir Qadhis and Hamza Yusufs around us. They cannot give the khutbahs, lectures, and halaqat all over the Western hemisphere at the same time. Therefore I believe it is time for you and I, the average Abduallahs and average Aishas, to voice our opinions and respectfully disagree with those who appoint khateebs who aren’t very good at giving the khutbahs.

It is time for you and I to cause the change that needs to take place in order for our community to move forward. We, the second generation Muslims, should respectfully be able to have a dialogue with our elders and convince them that it’s time for them to pass the torch… and the khutbah rotation should be the first on our list.

So here are 10 things you can do to start this chain reaction of change inshaAllah:
** One very important note that you must keep in mind is that if you think that this attempt of change will cause a bigger and more severe fitna within your community, then don’t start it.

1.Make dua and make sure that your intention of causing this change is for the sake of Allah and not for a personal gain. Also remember that if you are not involved in your community, your opinion may not weigh heavily so if you want to make a change in your community, then get involved now. Be an active member of the masjid and try to be on board with the committee that is in charge of the khutbahs.

2.Remember that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, ‘He is not of us, he who does not honor our elders.” (Tirmidhi).

3.While observing the proper manners of giving a naseehah, address this issue with the brothers who are in charge of the khutbah rotation and voice your opinion respectfully and suggest a few names whom you think should give the khutbahs and state your reasons why.

4.If all else fails then start a petition that is not online since most of our elders aren’t computer friendly and have it signed by as many people as possible then present it.

5.Print a 5-questions survey and stand outside the masjid’s door and ask people to fill the surveys. In those surveys ask simple and broad question such as, on a scale of 1 to 5 answer the following questions:
How did you like khutbah today?
Were you able to understand the Khateeb?
Was the topic relevant?
Would you recommend this khateeb to give another khutbah?

6.Use this survey to prove to whoever is in charge of the Khutbah rotation that their selection of such and such person is not the right decision.

7.Utilize those students who give Khutbahs at the universities and develop them in order for them to be able to give Khutbahs at the main masajids in the near future. In fact, talk to the Imams at the masajid and have them train such youngsters.

8.Come together with a few brothers and sisters to host a speaker who can teach a weekend course on how to prepare and give a khutbah. Then select 5 or 6 brothers whom you and your congregation think are suitable to give the khutbah to learn such information. If you cannot do this, then search online for organizations who have such services and work with others to sponsor those brothers to take this course.

9.Ask your congregation in the masjid to suggest few topics that they want to be educated about or topics that they find spiritually fit for a khutbah and collect them and pass them to the khateebs in place and ask them to address them.

10.Encourage, support, and invest in the high school students in your community to host a khutbah at their highschool. This will serve as a good training for an upcoming Khateeb inshaAllah.

If you have any more ideas, please post it in the comment section.
I hope this will be the spark of change that takes over our masajid for there are plenty of things that must change and I hope Allah gives me the tawfeeq to address them as we go.