Assalamualaikum ustaz, I want to ask what is the ruling of a khatib to hold a staff during the Friday sermon? The reason is in certain mosques I see the khatib holding a staff while in others the khatib didn’t. Hope for an explanation.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Khatib lexically means an individual who is speaking to a group of people. Such as an individual delivering a speech in a mosque or others. Generally, there are only five requisites for the Friday sermon as stated by al-Syafi’iyyah scholars. The following are the five requisites:
- Praise Allah SWT.
- Offer praise and salutations to the Prophet PBUH.
- Advice to have taqwa.
- Supplication for the believers in the second sermon.
- Recite one verse of the Quran.
Whereas, other than that the scholars set several other conditions in the sermon while others are sunnah. Among the sunnah matters during the sermon is to hold a staff, sword or a bow.
وَفَدْتُ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم سَابِعَ سَبْعَةٍ أَوْ تَاسِعَ تِسْعَةٍ فَدَخَلْنَا عَلَيْهِ فَقُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ زُرْنَاكَ فَادْعُ اللَّهَ لَنَا بِخَيْرٍ فَأَمَرَ بِنَا أَوْ أَمَرَ لَنَا بِشَىْءٍ مِنَ التَّمْرِ وَالشَّأْنُ إِذْ ذَاكَ دُونٌ فَأَقَمْنَا بِهَا أَيَّامًا شَهِدْنَا فِيهَا الْجُمُعَةَ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَامَ مُتَوَكِّئًا عَلَى عَصًا أَوْ قَوْسٍ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ ….
“I came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) in a delegation consisting of seven or nine persons. We entered upon him and said: Messenger of Allah, we have visited you, so pray Allah what is good for us. He ordered to give us some dates. The Muslims in those days were weak. We stayed there for several days and offered the Friday prayer along with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). He stood leaning on a staff or a bow. He praised Allah…”
Sunan Abu Duad (1096)
Syeikh Badruddin al-‘Aini in his commentary on the above hadith: the hadith is guidance explaining that leaning on a staff during the sermon is mustahab. Refer Syarah Abi Daud, Al-‘Aini (4/437).
The same is stated in a hadith narrated by Sa’d al-Qarazh where he said:
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ كَانَ إِذَا خَطَبَ فِي الْحَرْبِ خَطَبَ عَلَى قَوْسٍ وَإِذَا خَطَبَ فِي الْجُمُعَةِ خَطَبَ عَلَى عَصًا
“When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) delivered a speech on the battlefield he would do so leaning on a bow, and when he delivered a sermon on Friday, he would do so leaning on his staff.”
Sunan Ibn Majah (1107)
Thus, built from the above hadiths, Imam al-Nawawi said: It is sunnah for the khatib to lean on a bow or staff or others.
Then he cited the opinion of al-Qadhi Husain and Imam al-Baghawi who said it is sunnah for a khatib to hold it (bow, staff, sword) in his left hand. However, the majority of jurists did not state which hand should it be held (the staff or sword).
Likewise, Imam al-Nawawi shared the opinion of al-Syafi’iyyah scholars who state that if a khatib did not find any sword, staff and others, then the khatib should just relax his hands, by placing his right hand on top of his left not moving them both. This purpose is to attain khusyuk and prevent him from moving unnecessarily.
Refer Al-Majmu’ Syarah Al-Muhazzab, Al-Nawawi (4/528)
To conclude, we would like to state that it is sunnah to hold a staff while delivering a sermon. It is sunnah to hold the staff on his left hand while his right hand is placed on the mimbar (pulpit). This action’s purpose is to create calmness in the delivery of sermon to the congregation. Although, it is not an issue if the khatib delivers the sermon without holding a staff. However, he is encouraged to place his right hand on his left to form a calm body position or he could also just relax his hands at his sides.
Lastly, we pray to Allah SWT to be given the accurate understanding in practising religion. Amin.