abu Hasan on Jumu'ah Speeches - the lightsome minbar obscured behind drapes of ignorance, rants, repetitive cliche-esque sermons and a lot of hot-air: ---- I think the friday sermon is under-utilised as a platform to teach. sure, feel free to dismiss it as bookish thinking or impractical, but here is my opinion: 1. a year has 53 fridays approximately. 2. usually 70-80% of attendees will be regulars (at least in our countries where people will be from the locality). 3. if the friday speaker uses a book like say: riyad al-salihin and takes one topic a week and reads out, translates and explains that topic by citing aayats and hadith (don't have to worry, imam nawawi raHimahullah has already done it), the friday speaker can give a unique khutbah (without sounding repetitive) for at least four years. and the 4-5 hadith that he mentions in the khutbah can be written on a whiteboard outside the masjid in summary, so people can memorise it until the next jumu'ah. the shorter hadith can be listed in arabic too for enthusiasts who do not have the means or circumstances to attend a proper madrasah, but would love to memorise sayings of our Master sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam. 4. after the fourth year, start from the first again - assuming 99.9% of them will not be like imam bukhari to memorise stuff in a single majlis, repeating now will seem fresh to all of them. 5. in 8 years, if people retain even 2% of riyad al-salihin that would mean approximately 40 hadith. if masjid goers and khutba-audience has been attending khutbas for 20 years and cannot mention 40 hadith (not in exact wording but in exact meaning) that clearly shows the failure of the khuTaba. 6. leave alone hadith, even if people memorise the captions of riyad al-salihin (i have listed it just now for illustration) and the general idea, we are bound to make huge progress as a community. besides riyad al-salihin is just one book, there are at least a dozen such compilations. one need not have a room full of books to benefit common people and teach them hadith via khutbas. Allah ta'ala knows best. ------------------------ "My criticism of speakers stems from my frustration of listening to them for years - in jumu'ah and eyd; apart from the special occasions. and as a member of the audience and public, we can only complain. there was a time when there were wa'yizin who were humble and sincere and would graciously acknowledge an error; but my experience of going up to the wa'iz and pointing out such errors has largely been futile. once a wa'iz in an eid khutbah, huge gathering said about Allah ta'ala coming into a tent on the day of judgement, and it was not a slip of the tongue - he explained it rather vividly. al-iyadhu billah. i went up to him after the namaz (which thankfully someone else led) and i told him that this is kufr, and where did he find this riwayat. he first asked me where i graduated from and who i was ba'yat from etc. and eventually mentioned something which i could easily counter, but he had to hurry as it was eid day and he had many engagements. i never saw or heard of him again. another wa'iz in a friday khutbah began making strange statements not consistent with our aqidah about prophets, and i promptly went to him after namaz (thankfully again, the namaz was led by your poor non-celebrity hafiz) and argued with him. he first tried to talk me down with naming books, and i told him that we can go through 30 or so tafsirs on my laptop to ascertain his claim. he invited me to his maktabah and we never met. another egyptian wa'iz claimed first in juma khutbah and then in eid khutbah that sadaqah fitr is wajib on everyone - including the poor. i went up to him and i said, how is it possible? he said, the poor should give it to someone poorer than him. i asked him who does the receiver give - he promptly replied poorer than him. his claim was that sadqah-fitr is an equaliser (i am NOT making this up.) and that the rich man gives sadaqah and gets sawab; so here is the chance for the poor man to give sadaqah too and be equal to the rich man. when i prodded him, he asked me: 'are you eligible for sadaqah fiTr or not?' (he thought i was worried about giving sadaqah myself). the same person in various other khutbahs lacked the adab for mentioning prophets, and it became a habit; once, he said you hanafis have this-that in a manner of making fun of our madh'hab. (even though the wa'iz is self-proclaimed sunni following maliki madh'hab; and his khutbahs during mawlid sharif corroborate his claim. but alas, wa'iz he was.) i got piqued and began countering him and questioning him where he got this information about our madh'hab; finally, he ended up with sayyid sabiq's reference. i stopped going to his masjid, even though it is closer. i can relate n number of stories and i don't attend any speeches (except juma and eydayn); even on youtube, people make silly mistakes. see, when you are on stage for the first time; or in stage-fear or inexperience or forgetfulness - mistakes are pardonable. but even those, comfortable in the spotlight and even enjoy such mass adulation, either do not use that goodwill for public benefit, or say things without proper research off-the-top of their minds; worse, peddle an agenda against ahl al-sunnah. thus, if a sunni speaker commits errors of citation or mixes up names, we can shrug it away and ignore - it is mostly a harmless error as the awam hardly cares about names and dates; but when a popular speaker attacks imam bukhari and attempts to smear him as an enemy of the ahl al-bayt, he must prove his worth and he is obviously asking for trouble. ---- coming back to shah sahib's challenge, i am not a speaker (let alone a public speaker) though, on one or two occasions, i have been forced to talk by my friends in a private gathering, who unwittingly put me in such a precarious position. but you are right. if i happen to be a speaker, i must follow this and should be rated against this proposal. i cannot guarantee (nor did i claim in the first place) good showing, but inasmuch as being graded/rated, you can use this meter and publish your results. --- back home, friday-speakers mix up facts, and other than shout, give precious little to the awam. we have a khatib in our city, who has been giving juma khutbah for about 20 years - and if he stuck to a simple principle, his audience would have a good grasp of hadith and aayat by this time. yet, the whole 45 minute khutbah (which sometimes stretches to 90 minutes with utter disregard to office-goers, workers or students who have to return to work/college) is mainly shouting and obscure references which i doubt the awam will appreciate."