Fatwa: # 19080
Category: Daily
Country: Canada
Date: 10th November 2010


Does the Jumuah Khutbah have to be in Arabic?


I heard from many scholars and read in many books that the Khutbah should be in Arabic, but in my University they have Jumuah which is in english and very little is in Arabic- majority is in english. So last Jumuah I decided to go to the Musullah across the street and when I walked in I heard the khateeb making jokes, and the entire Khutbah was in english -

I knew that this wasn't proper. Myself and a few other brothers are saying that we should start a second Jumuah in the university that's going to be all arabic, I have a book that has a Khutbah (both parts) and I can just read from it directly and lead the Salah. So my questions are:

1) Do you think we should start the second Jumuah, I feel as if the other Jumuahs taking place aren't proper Islamically and it would be more convenient for some brothers who have class in the other Jumuah timing (Thus, preventing brothers from missing Jumuah);

2)  Does the Khutbah have to be in Arabic even if the people don't understand?

3) Is there any situation in which the Khutbah can completely be in English? Please clarify because this is important.


In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

1)               You should first seek to persuade the present khateeb(s) of the importance of giving the Jumuah Khutbah completely in Arabic.

The niyaah (intention) behind every action for islaah (reformation) should be to bring about an understanding of the proper way of performing any given act of worship. If that doesn't work out, one can then take recourse to other alternatives.

It would be preferable to set a time for one Jumuah prayer that is convenient for all to attend. If there is no way that one Jumuah prayer can be accomplished, then out of necessity one may resort to having to two jumuah's.1

2)               Yes, the khutbah has to be in Arabic, due to the numerous proofs available:

Looking at Islamic history we find that the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) established masaajid (mosques) in many foreign lands (the lands of the Byzantine Empire, the Persian Empire, the lands of Africa, etc.) where the newly reverted Muslims did not understand even one word of Arabic, let alone the fact that they had just accepted Islam recently.

In addition, some of the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) also spoke the local language. Yet, inspite of that, the khutbah was always in Arabic.

Who could have more fervor and more passion to educate and spread the message of Islam than the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them)?

The Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) used the local language for lectures and sermons, but never for the khutbah on Friday.2

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to recite entire Surahs of the Quran in the Jumuah Khutbah. This proves that the Jumuah Khutbah is a form of worship similar to Salah and not like any other sermon or lecture.3

The adhaan and the iqaamah are both given in Arabic, inspite of the fact that they are for the purpose of informing the people about the Salah. Although many people in non-Arabic countries do not understand the meaning of the adhaan or the iqaamah, they are still in Arabic. So why should the Jumuah Khutbah be an exception to the rule?

Finally, all the four recognized schools of Islamic Fiqh are unanimous on the point that the khutbah must be delivered in Arabic.4

3) The khutbah can only be performed in Arabic, and just as the prayer of Jumuah cannot be performed in a local language, the khutbah cannot be given in any language other than Arabic.5

However, if the khutbah was given in a language other than Arabic, it will be held to be Makruh-e-Tahrimi (close to impermissible/haram), yet the obligation of the khutbah will be discharged and the Jumuah will not have to be repeated.6

The Solution:

The best solution is to have a talk in the local language, before the actual khutbah. That way the khutbah itself can be completely in Arabic.

This has precedence among our Salaf (pious predecessors) because a regular talk can be in any language, and during the time of Umar (radiyallahu anhu), the Sahabi Tamim Ad-Daari (radiyallahu anhu) used to give a talk before the actual khutbah.

This way, the purpose of educating and informing the congregants is accomplished without changing or affecting the actual khutbah itself.

And Allāh Ta'ala Knows Best.

Ml. Sohail Bengali
Chicago, IL (USA)

Concurred by:

Muftī Abrar Mirza
Chicago, IL (USA)

Under the Supervision of Muftī Ebrahim Desai (South Africa)


1   The Essentials of Jumuah, Madania Publications, 2010, pg. 89

2   Contemporary Fataawa, Idara-e-Islamiyat, 2001 pg 31

3   The Essentials of Jumuah, Madania Publications, 2010, pg. 82

4   The Language of the Friday Khutbah, Mufti Taqi Usmani, Idaratul Ma'arif

5   Contemporary Fataawa, Idara-e-Islamiyat, 2001 pg 31

6   The Language of the Friday Khutbah, Mufti Taqi Usmani, Idaratul Ma'arif

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