Dear Sheikh! I am a Mauritanian Muslim living in the capital of Angola where there is only one mosque. After finishing the first Khutbah of Jumu`ah Prayer, the Imam gives the second Khutbah, which is a translation of the first one in Portuguese, the country’s official language. So no Arabic word is said during the second Khutbah, except any Ayah or Hadith. My question is: Is it permissible to pray behind an Imam who does not say the second Khutbah in Arabic?
The basic ruling is that both Khutbahs should be given in Arabic and this is the opinion of the majority of scholars. On the other hand, Abu Hanifah (may Allah be merciful to him) declared it permissible to give the Khutbah in another language. Thus, there is no problem in praying behind this Imam, especially if the people do not understand Arabic well. Yet, we advise the Imam to repeat some Arabic sentences in the second Khutbah, such as “Udhkuru Allah Yadhkurkum (remember Allah and He will remember you)” and “Istaghfiru Allah Al-`Azhim Innahu kan Ghaffara (Seek forgiveness from Allah, for He is All-Forgiving)” and the like. These sentences will remove any doubt in the whole matter. We ask Allah to grant us all success!