The fuqaha’ of the four madhhabs are agreed that the khutbah is a condition of the Friday prayer being valid, and it is part of the remembrance of Allaah that Allaah has enjoined in His words (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salaah (prayer) on Friday (Jumu‘ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumu‘ah religious talk (Khutbah) and Salaah (prayer)] and leave off business (and every other thing)”
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) persisted in doing this; in fact it is narrated from some of the Companions that the khutbah is a replacement for two rak’ahs of Zuhr prayer. All of that indicates that the khutbah is an essential condition for the Friday prayer being valid.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
To sum up, the khutbah is a condition of Jumu’ah, and it is not valid without it, as was stated by ‘Ata’, al-Nakha’i, Qataadah, al-Thawri, al-Shaafa’i, Ishaaq, Abu Thawr and ashaab al-ra’i. And we do not know of anyone who disagreed with that except al-Hasan. End quote.
Conditions of the Friday khutbah
The fuqaha’ are also agreed on two of the conditions of the Friday khutbah:
1. That it should be done after the beginning of the time for Friday prayer.
2. That it should be done before the prayer and not after. Al-Khateeb al-Sharbeeni said: according to consensus, except for those who held odd opinions. Mughni al-Muhtaaj, 1/549. There should not be a lengthy interval between the two, rather the prayer should come immediately after the khutbah. Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is essential that the prayer come immediately after the khutbah. End quote. Al-Mughni, 2/79.
The scholars differed concerning other conditions. We will mention briefly that which we believe is most likely to be conditions after having studied the evidence of all opinions:
3. The intention (niyyah). That is because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “Actions are but by intentions.” Agreed upon. So it is stipulated that the khateeb should have the intention of presenting a khutbah that is acceptable and valid for Friday prayer. This is the view of the Hanbalis and some of the Shaafa’is.
4. It should be spoken out loud. It is not acceptable for the khateeb to give a khutbah silently, because the aims of the khutbah cannot be achieved unless it is given out loud. This is the view of the majority of scholars, apart from the Hanafis.
Some of the scholars have stipulated that a specific number of people must attend the Friday khutbah, and some of them stipulated that the khutbah should be in Arabic, but we have explained previously on our website that these two conditions are not valid. See the answer to question no. 7718 and 112041.
Essential part of the Friday khutbah
The correct scholarly view is that the only essential part of the Friday khutbah is the minimum to which the word khutbah may be applied according to custom. This is the view of Ibn Hazm. Al-Muhalla, 5/97,
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It is not sufficient in the khutbah to discourage people from being attached to worldly matters and to remind them of death, rather it is essential to give what may be called a khutbah according to custom, and that cannot be achieved by means of an abbreviated speech that fails to fulfil the purpose. End quote.
Al-Ikhtiyaaraat, p. 79
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The fuqaha’s stipulation of the four essential parts in each of the two khutbahs is subject to further discussion. If the speaker does in each of the two khutbahs that which fulfils the purpose of the khutbah, which is exhortation that moves the heart, then he has done the khutbah. But undoubtedly praise of Allaah, blessings upon the Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) and recitation of some Qur’aan are all things which complete and adorn the khutbah. End quote.
Al-Fataawa al-Sa’diyyah, p. 193
The khateeb should be pure and free of impurities both minor and major, and he should wear his best clothes, greet the people with salaam and deliver the khutbah from the minbar. He should turn to face the people and he should be sincere in exhorting and reminding the people in clear and eloquent words. He should keep the khutbah short and not make it lengthy, and he should make it into two khutbahs.
There are differences of opinion with regard to many of these minor issues, the details of which are discussed elsewhere. But here we have limited it to an overall discussion of that which all the Muslims need to know.
However we should point out here the importance of paying attention to the people's situation with regard to what the khutbah should contain. The khateeb should give them what they need and not talk to them about things that they cannot understand or that they do not need to know of religious issues.
Moreover he should not differ from what people are used to in their khutbahs of remembrance of Allaah, supplication or other things that are mustahabb in the khutbah, and for which there is no evidence that they are essential in the khutbah. It is sufficient for there to be evidence that they are mustahabb or even allowed for him to do them. And he should pay attention to the people's situation and needs.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, after discussing what the Hanbali fuqaha’ regard as essential in the Friday khutbah:
Some of the scholars said that the basic condition of the khutbah is that it should contain exhortation that softens the hearts and is beneficial to the people present, and that praising Allaah, sending blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) and reciting a verse are all part of perfecting the khutbah.
But this opinion, although it carries some weight, need not be followed if the people of this city follow the first view which the author mentioned above, because if he omits these conditions which the author has mentioned, the people will become confused and everyone will leave Jumu’ah feeling that he has not prayed Jumu’ah, but if you fulfil these conditions you will not be doing anything haraam.
Paying attention to the people with regard to any matter that is not haraam is the way of sharee’ah. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) paid attention to his Companions with regard to fasting and not fasting in Ramadan when travelling, and he paid attention to them with regard to the rebuilding of the Ka’bah, when he said to ‘Aa’ishah: “Were it not that your people are still new in Islam, I would have demolished the Ka’bah and rebuilt it on the foundations of Ibraaheem.” [Agreed upon] This principle is well known in sharee’ah.
But if you go along with them with regard to something that is haraam, this is called compromise and it is not permissible. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them, so they (too) would compromise with you” [al-Qalam 68:9].
End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/56
And Allaah knows best.