Q. What is the reason for the Imam to hold the staff at the time of the Khutbah of Jumuah?
A. It is a preferred act (Mustahab) for the Imaam/Khateeb to hold a staff (Asaa) with his left hand whilst delivering the Khutbah of Jumuah.
The scholars of Jurisprudence (Fuqahaa) have written that if the Muslims conquer a city by the sword, the Imaam should hold a sword whilst delivering the Khutbah, signifying the authority of the Muslims.
However, if the Muslims do not conquer a city by the sword but through the efforts of propagating Islam or there is a truce/agreement in place, then the Imaam may hold a staff whilst delivering the Khutbah. (Shaami 2/163/Fatawaa Darul Uloom Zakariyya 2/706)
Note: The above will be preferred (Mustahab) provided that it is not considered obligatory, compulsory or an emphasized Sunnah act.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.