The Conditions for the Validity of Friday Sermon, Its Essential and Sunnah (Shafii)

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What are the conditions for validity of friday sermon? What is essential and sunnah of friday?

The Conditions for the Validity of the Friday Sermon

The conditions for the validity of the Friday sermon are as follows:

1- To deliver the sermon within the time of the Noon prayer.

2- To deliver the sermon before performing the obligatory cycles of the Friday prayer.

3- To deliver the sermon in a standing position.

4- The preacher should be a male and eligible to be an imam.

5- To deliver the essential parts (arkan) of the sermon in Arabic.

6- To deliver all the essential parts of the sermon loud enough to be heard by forty participants of the congregation who fulfill all the conditions required for the validity of a Friday prayer

7- To divide the sermon into two parts and for the speaker to sit for a while between those two sermons. The speaker should sit between the two sermons for a duration of a time similar to standing motionless after ruku’ (i’tidal) in prayer. If the speaker cannot sit between the two sermons, he should at least remain silent for a while between the sermons.

8- To not prolong the time between the sermon and the Friday prayer. It is required to deliver the sermon by performing its essential parts one after another and then perform the Friday prayer without any break (muwalat) between them. The maximum time limit that can be given between the sermon and the Friday prayer is the same time that it would take to perform a normal two-cycle prayer. If the break is longer than this limit, it invalidates the sermon.

9- Those who hear the speaker’s voice should listen to him. It is a Sunnah for the congregation to turn towards the qiblah and the speaker. The congregation should be silent and listen to the sermon when it is delivered. The congregation should act as if they are performing the ritual prayer. It is not permissible to check their cell phones, talk to or greet their friends, etc. The congregation should sit on the ground either on their knees or cross-legged during the deliverance of the sermon. It is offensive to sit in this situation with palms down and knees drawn up, or to sit with legs outstretched. It is recommended for those who cannot hear the sermon to remember Allah and to glorify Him.

The Essential Acts of Friday Sermon

1- Saying “alhamdulillah” (praise be to Allah), in both sermons.

2- Saying the Blessings on the Prophet (pbuh) in both sermons and mention his name when saying the Blessings.

3- Enjoining taqwa (consciousness of God) in both sermons by using expressions such as, “Usikum bi taqwallah” (I enjoin you to have fear (consciousness) of God).

4- Reciting one verse of the Qur’an in at least one of the two sermons. It is more virtuous to recite it in the first sermon.

5- To supplicate for the believers in the second of the two sermons.

The Recommended Acts of Friday Sermon

1- To deliver the integral parts of the sermon in their proper order: first hamd, then salawat, and finally enjoining taqwa. Moreover, to invoke Allah in the second sermon for the righteousness and guidance of the imams and administrators of Muslims.

2- To keep the sermon in such a balanced length and eloquence that the participants can easily understand it.

3- To deliver the sermon in a high place like a pulpit.

4- It is recommended for the speaker to greet the congregation sitting close to the pulpit when going up to the pulpit and greet the entire congregation when beginning the sermon. It is fard kifa-i (communal obligation) upon the congregation to respond to the speaker’s greeting.

5- It is recommended for the speaker to sit when he reaches the pulpit and begin delivering the sermon after the inner call for the prayer ends.

6- It is recommended for the speaker to turn to the congregation while delivering the sermon, not to turn right and left, or to place his right hand on the side of the pulpit, or to lean on a sword or a staff.

Source: Fiqh1 (According To The Shafi’i School Of Islamic Law), Erkam Publications

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