From the Signs of the Last Day: Long Friday Khutbahs (Sermons) with Short Prayers

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

Shaykh Hammood ibn ‘Abdillaah at-Tuwayjiree (d.1413) – may Allaah have Mercy on him – said:

Long Khutbahs (Sermons) with Short Prayers: On this topic, there is the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood – may Allaah be pleased with him – who said:

You people are living in a time wherein prayers are made long, khutbahs (sermons) are short, there are many scholars, but few orators. A time will come upon the people when the prayer will be short, the khutbah will be long, a time of many orators but few scholars…

It was collected by at-Tabaraanee, and al-Haythamee said: Its narrators are those of the Saheeh (hadeeth collections of al-Bukhaaree and/or Muslim).

It was also collected by Imaam Maalik in his Muwatta’, with a similar wording:

…And the people shall encounter a time when the scholars of fiqh are few, but the reciters are many, the letters of the Qur’aan will be memorized, but the rulings will be lost, many shall be asked questions (about Islaam), few will be able to benefit anyone, they shall prolong khutbahs (sermons), and shorten the prayers. Their whims will become evident even before their actions.

…He (Ibn Mas’ood) – may Allaah be pleased with him – also narrated from the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) that he said:

إن قصر الخطبة وطول الصلاة مئنة من فقه الرجل، فأطيلوا الصلاة، واقصروا الخطبة، فإن من البيان سحرًا، وإنه سيأتي بعدكم قوم يطيلون الخطب ويقصرون الصلاة

“Verily, a short khutbah and a long prayer is a sign of a man’s fiqh (religious understanding), so lengthen the prayer and shorten the khutbah, as surely some types of speech are magical. People will come after you who prolong the khutbahs and shorten the prayers.”

It was collected by al-Bazzaar, and part of it was also collected by at-Tabaraanee as words of Ibn Mas’ood (not a hadeeth). Al-Haythamee said, “The version from the words of Ibn Mas’ood comes by way of trustworthy narrators, however al-Bazzaar’s chain includes Qays ibn ar-Rabee’, who was declared reliable by Shu’bah and ath-Thowree, but al-Bukhaaree considered him unreliable.”

I would add that Abul-Waleed at-Tayaalisee and ‘Affaan have also declared him reliable. Ibn ‘Adee said, “Most of his reports are good, and the correct position regarding him should be what Shu’bah said, and so he is acceptable as a narrator.”

…And things have taken place in our times that prove the accuracy of this narration, as many of the imaams prolong their sermons on Fridays and on the ‘Eeds with pointless rambling, much of it serving no benefit. Some of them go on like that for half an hour or longer, and when they go to lead the prayer, they stand for no longer than about five minutes. This is in opposition to the order of the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) to prolong the prayer and shorten the khutbah. It also contradicts his consistent practice as well.

Regarding his order to lengthen the prayer but shorten the khutbah: The hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood has already been mentioned (above).

And Imaams Ahmad, Muslim, and ad-Daarimee collected a report from ‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) saying:

إن طول صلاة الرجل وقصر خطبته مئنة من فقهه، فأطيلوا الصلاة واقصروا الخطبة، وإن من البيان لسحرًا

“Verily the long prayer of a man along with his short khutbah is a sign of his religious understanding, so prolong the prayers and shorten the khutbahs, as some kinds of speech are magical.”

Regarding his actions: An-Nasaa’ee collected a report with an authentic chain from ‘Abdullaah ibn Abee Owfaa – may Allaah be pleased with him – that the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) would prolong the prayer while shortening the khutbah.

Also, Imaams Ahmad, Muslim, ad-Daarimee, and the authors of the (four) Sunan, except for Aboo Daawood, collected a report from Jaabir ibn Samurah – may Allaah be pleased with him – that the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) was moderate, and his khutbah was moderate.

And Imaams Ahmad and Aboo Daawood collected a report from al-Hakam ibn Hazn al-Kulafee – may Allaah be pleased with him – who said:

I came to the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) in a group of seven, or nine, and we stayed with him some days, and we witnessed the Jumu’ah prayer: The Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) stood up, leaning on a bow, or a staff, and he praised Allaah and extolled Him with nice, blessed, short statements.

Once this is known, then (know that) Allaah, the Most High, has said:

لقد كان لكم في رسول الله أسوة حسنة لمن كان يرجو الله واليوم الآخر وذكر الله كثيرا

“Verily, there is a fine example to follow in the Messenger of Allaah for those who long for (the meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day and remember Allaah much.” [33:21]

And He, the Most High, has said:

فليحذر الذين يخالفون عن أمره أن تصيبهم فتنة أو يصيبهم عذاب أليهم

“Let those who contradict his order be warned of trials befalling them, or a painful punishment.” [24:63]

Source: It-haaf al-Jamaa’ah (2/169-171), slightly abridged.

Translated by: Moosaa Richardson

18 thoughts on “From the Signs of the Last Day: Long Friday Khutbahs (Sermons) with Short Prayers

  1. From the neglected Sunnahs for Jumu’ah prayer (not sermon) is the reading of (1) al-‘Alaa and (2) al-Ghaashiyah, or (1) Soorah al-Jumu’ah and (2) al-Munaafiqoon. If someone were to read these soorahs without rushing they could easily give two khutbahs within 10-15 minutes, and establish a 15-20 minute prayer as well. Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee preferred that the prayer be longer than the sermon in comparison.

  2. قال العلامة الألباني في (( الأجوبة النافعة ))

    والمراد من طول الصلاة الطول الذي لا يدخل فاعله تحت النهي وقد كان صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلي الجمعة ب “الجمعة” و”المنافقين” كما عند مسلم عن ابن عباس وعن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنه: “كان صلى الله عليه وسلم يقرأ في العيدين وفي الجمعة ب {سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الْأَعْلَى} و {هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ الْغَاشِيَةِ} ، وذلك بالنسبة إلى خطبته، وليس بالطول المنهي عنه.

    • Basically: the “prolonging” should be according to what he (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) used to recite, so the prayer is long, in comparison to the khutbah, not excessively long.

  3. Today, many people believe that the Friday khutbah should be at least 30 minutes, so instead of preparing a few simple but powerful words of sharp admonition to reach the hearts of their brothers, they “write out” a dreadfully long and boring address, and then read it directly from the paper on the minbar! People are obviously fidgeting and disturbed, some of them will have to be late getting back to work, hardly anyone is paying attention, yet the khateeb doesn’t seem to care one bit!

  4. JazakumAllaahu khayran to the administrators for another beneficial article.

    An observation and a question…
    In the west, the state of the Muslims – with regards to acquiring knowledge – is not good. Ignorance amongst the Muslims is widespread and it seems to be getting worse Allaahu musta’aan. Many people are chasing after the dunya and are busying themselves with unnecessary things and the only time they get to learn about their deen is when they attend the jum’ah khutbah.

    I clearly understand the Sunnah with regards to this issue but due to a necessity wouldn’t it be better for the khateeb to deliver his khutbah in manner resembling a lesson as opposed to an admonition?

    Again, due to a necessity, this could be done based on the condition of the people in a particular locality.

    • Abu Umar, may Allaah bless you for visiting and for your obvious concern for the Muslims’ situation in the West.

      Why not include important key points of beneficial knowledge within the admonition of the khutbah? From the good fiqh of a khateeb is that he knows what the people need to hear for their religion, so when he recognizes that they need Islaamic knowledge, he admonishes them to abandon false beliefs and stick to the correct beliefs, mentioning a few easy evidences for a few important aqeedah issues, just in the way of an admonition. He should not change the feel of the khutbah entirely to an academic lesson, rather the khutbah should remain an admonition and a warning.

      Furthermore, he can establish lessons at convenient times for the people, and use the minbar on Friday to warn the people against neglecting knowledge and to invite them to those lessons using heart-touching admonishments. This way, knowledge spreads, and the acts of worship (like the khutbah) are not changed or altered from their legislated ways, and Allaah knows best.

      Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee said: “I prefer that an imaam keeps his khutbah limited to the praise of Allaah, salaat and salaam upon the Messenger of Allaah, an admonition, and recitation (of the Quran).” (Ma’rifat as-Sunan wal-Aathaar)

      Ibn Jurayj asked ‘Ataa’, the student of Ibn ‘Abbaas, the great scholar of Makkah, about people who introduced new themes in the khutbah, and he replied: “These things have been invented, the khutbah used to be (just) a reminder (an admonition).” (Ma’rifat as-Sunan wal-Aathaar)

  5. As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh,

    Jazaak Allaahu khairan for the article. Although I’m with you and the scholars on this issue, inshaa Allaah, I do have a doubt I’d like cleared up. It may be the whispers of the Shaytaan or just plain ignorance on my part. In either case, I ask that you please help me, akhee. Ahsan Allaahu ilayk. Here’s my doubt.

    It’s known that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi was-sallam) was granted jawaami’ al-kalam or conciseness in speech. Perhaps you could confirm if he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi was-sallam) was uniquely granted this ability by Allaahu Ta’aala. Knowing this, then the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi was-sallam) delivering short khutbahs is an almost inimitable Sunnah, for nobody else on this earth has been granted jawaami’ al-kalam. It is for this reason that people deliver longer khutbahs; they’re unable to convey that which they want in the concise manner that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi was-sallam) was able to. In other words, a fifteen minute khutbah by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi was-sallam) [*] would certainly have been much more beneficial than a fifteen minute khutbah by even the most senior of today’s scholars, and surely Allaah knows best. Hence, the khateebs of today may need to stretch the lengths of their khutbahs (ever so slightly) to drive the point across for their respective congregations.

    So could you address this doubt of mine? Baarak Allaahu feek!

    [*] Passage ammended to preserve the intended meaning. (Admin)

    Your brother in Al-Islaam,

    Rofi Syedul Islam

    • wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. This is not a matter of following his example only (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace), rather this issue involves following his explicit order to shorten the khutbah. Sometimes his actions could be considered specific to him alone, however, not when he clearly orders us with the same thing. And Allaah knows best.

  6. For those who say things like, “Ibn al-Qayyim said long khutbahs are OK…” after being reminded about the command of the Messenger (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) to give short khutbahs, we need to remind ourselves of how the Companions would view such opinions. It has been reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “You people are falling into destruction! I tell you what the Prophet said (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace), and you say: ‘But Aboo Bakr and ‘Umar said’ (something else)!” Similar statements of rebuke have been reported from Ibn ‘Umar and other great Companions for these kinds of situations. Khateebs, fear Allaah, obey your Messenger (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace), and shorten your khutbahs!

    • Assalamu alaikum wr wb.
      Is it possible that Prophet pbuh says something, and Abu Baker R & Omar R says something else on this subject ? We are also told that we must behold the practice of Righteous Caliphs R. So if it is different from the acts and orders of Prophet saws. is there any harm to follow the practice of Caliphs R ? Please let us know whether their Khutbas were long or not. Jazakallah.

  7. As-Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu,

    I am hoping you may answer some questions regarding the Jumu’ah salat more generally.

    1. Is it okay to rent a facility for the purpose of khutbah and Jumu’ah salat, while the facility itself is used for dunya purposes by the kufar at all other times of the week? Does it make a difference if the community is unable to fund dedicated/permanent facilities adequate for khutbah and Jumu’ah salat?
    2. If it is okay to do what is mentioned in 1., would the two rakahs upon entering a masjid be a requirement?
    3. And what about the dhikr we make upon entering a masjid? Does that still apply?

    Your answers to these questions would be extremely helpful and beneficial insha Allah.

    May Allah reward you for the efforts you are continually making to spread authentic Islamic knowledge. Jazakallahu khayran.

  8. Salaamun ‘alaiyk wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

    Ustaadh Moosa. May Allaah preserve u upon good.

    This is an eye opener. Can u please translate this article to ‘arabiyy (along with the original texts, i.e in ‘arabiyy) so that I can share with the khateebs here in India, as they do not understand English.

    Awaiting your early response, inshaa Allaah.

    Was salaamu ‘alaiyk.
    عمر إبن رفيع الدين

  9. Ok just realised the article is actually a translation of the original. So let me rephrase – if I can get the complete text of theoriginal article please.. along with the text of the narrations u posted in footnotes

    • Also, this article is a translated excerpt from Shaykh Hamood at-Tuwayrijee’s book, “It-haaf al-Jamaa’ah” (may Allaah have Mercy on him). This book is about signs of the Last Day.

  10. AsSalaam ‘alaiykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

    Ustaadh Moosa. But, where does it say’s that long khutbahs are from the signs of the last day ?

    • Wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Jazaak Allaahu khayran for the good question. It is mentioned as a future event, not explicitly as a sign of the Last Day, however, it is paired with mention of other things that have a specific textual basis to be called a sign of the Last Day. On top of that, future events that are foretold by the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) take place between his advent and the Last Day, while his coming was one of the signs of the Last Day. He informed us that the Hour is close, so all future events he foretold stress the closeness of the Last Day in a general way, and Allaah knows best.

  11. Assalamu alaykum
    Not directly related however it is related to the Signs of the Last Day:
    What is the ruling on decorating the masjid since there is a Hadith saying that will decorate are.Masjids?

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