We as Friday khateebs are faced with criticism from some of our close friends and from the people at large, when we address different religious topics and other matters which deal with the situation of the ummah. One person likes this topic and another does not, and they are divided into those who agree with the khutbah and those who are opposed. How should the good khateeb be, and what are your guidelines as to the best way of making the people aware through the minbar and connecting them to their religion?
Praise be to Allaah.
The good khateeb is the one who says something from which those present can benefit, no matter what their level is, whether they are common folk or educated or well-read or youngsters or elderly. In order to achieve that, the khateeb will be faced with some difficulties in choosing the right expressions and topics to benefit everyone, but with practice and experience, he will be able to achieve that and get acceptable results.
The good khateeb is the one who is concerned with teaching the people about their religion and explaining the basic principles of sharee’ah, explaining the holistic matters and giving more details of matters of ‘aqeedah and fiqh and other issues which the people need to know.
The good khateeb is the one who makes the most of events which Allaah decrees should come to pass, so he refers to them and talks about them from an Islamic point of view, in the light of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. He uses this important means of education to teach the people, i.e., education by means of events. This is a method which we see in the verses of Soorat Aal ‘Imraan, which comment on the battle of Uhud, where Allaah mentions the great lessons to be learned from the events of that campaign.
The good khateeb is the one who combines mention of the views of the earlier and later scholars, with mention of the dangers and events faced by the Muslim ummah.
The good khateeb is one who offers variety in his khutbahs. So sometimes he speaks of matters of Tawheed, and sometimes he warns against different kinds of shirk, or he calls people to follow the Sunnah and avoid bid’ah and its dangers, or he explains some matters of fiqh which the people need to know, or he discusses the events that the ummah is facing in the light of the Qur’aan and Sunnah and the words of the scholars, and so on. At the same time, his khutbahs must also soften people’s hearts and remind them of Allaah and the Last Day, because that is one of the main aims of the khutbah. In conclusion, if the khateeb achieves a balanced and wise approach, then no one has the right to object to him. And Allaah is the Source of strength.