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Is It Haram To Talk During the Jumu’ah Khutbah?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Shafiifiqh.com

Imam Abi Shuja’ Al-Isfahani in his “Matn”, also known as Taqrib or Ghayat Al-Ikhtisar, states,

“And it is recommended (mustahabb) to listen (attentively) during the course of the khutbah [of Jumu’ah].”

In the commentary of this statement, Imam Taqiy-ud-Din Al-Hisni (rahmatullah alayh) asks the question in his Kifayatul-Akhyar, “And is it forbidden to speak during the khutbah? Regarding it are two opinions [of the madh-hab].”

The following is the gloss of Imam Taqiy-ud-Din Al-Hisni upon the above words of Imam Abi Shuja’. May Allah benefit us with them!

The first opinion is that it is Haram to speak during the Khutbah, and this view has a nass in the old school (qadim) of Imam Ash-Shafi’i (rahmatullah ‘alayh), and it is the view of Abu Hanifah, Malik and Ahmad in the correct view of the two reported opinions from him. This is due to the words of Allah ta’ala,

وَإِذَا قُرِىءَ ٱلْقُرْآنُ فَٱسْتَمِعُواْ لَهُ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

“So when the Qur’an is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy.” [1. 7:204 Sahih Int. translation. ]

A large group of the Mufassirun (exegetes) stated that this was revealed regarding the khutbah [of jumu’ah]. It was named the Qur’anic Khutbah due to the recitation of the Qur’an therein.  Also due to the statement of the Prophet Muhammad (‘alayhis salam),

إذا قلت لصاحبك والإمام يخطب يوم الجمعة أنصت فقد لغوت

“If you said to your companion ‘listen’ when the Imam is delivering the sermon on the day of Jumu’ah, then you have spoken idly (laghawt)!” [2. Reported by Bukhari and Muslim 851.]

And اللغو (idle speech) is sin. Allah says in the Qur’an,

وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ ٱللَّغْوِ مُّعْرِضُونَ

“And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden).” [3. Mu’minun 23:3.]

And the jadid (The New School): is that speaking is not haram, and listening attentively is Sunnah, due to what is reported from the two Shaykhs [i.e. Bukhari and Muslim] that Umar was delivering the sermon and ‘Uthman entered. So ‘Umar said, “What will become of those persons who come after the call to prayer!?” So ‘Uthman said, “Oh Amir ul-Mu’minin (leader of the believers), I did not more than this, that when I heard the call to prayer I made wudu’ and came.” [4. Bukhari, Muslim in his chapter on Jumu’ah, Tirmidhi in his Sunan, Imam Ahmad in his Musnad.]

It is also reported that a man came into the masjid while the Prophet was delivering the sermon and the man who entered  said, “When is the hour?” So the people looked to him to be silent. So he repeated his statement, and after three times[5. some reports say two times] Rasulullah (‘alayhis salam) said to him,

ويحك ما أعددت له

“Woe to You! What have you prepared for it?”

So the man said, “The love of Allah and his Messenger!” To which the Nabi ‘alayhis salam said, “Verily a man will be with whom he loves!” [6. Reported by Imam Al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan in the Book of Jumu’ah.] Reported by Imam Al-Bayhaqi with a Sahih chain. The way of extracting the proof from this narration is that the Prophet Muhammad (‘alayhis salam) did not rebuke him for doing it, and if it were haram, he would have rebuked him.

[End quote from Kifayat-Al-Akhyar of Imam Taqi Al-Hisni pg 196 Dar Minhaj publication.]

Regarding speaking between the two khutbahs of jumu’ah Imam Taqi Al-Hisni says there is scholarly disagreement regarding its permissibility. The apparent statement of the Shaykh is that it is not Haram, and this too was stated in Al-Muhadhdhab as well as by Al-Ghazzali in Al-Wasit.

The Shaykh also mentions that if one were to see a blind man going to fall into a well, or an oppressor take the right of someone, then it is not haram to speak and warn him, without any disagreement! That is because it is commanding of the good and forbidding of the evil, and it is absolutely  not forbidden, and there is a nass for this from Imam Ash-Shafi’i, and there is agreement upon it from our companions! [pg196-197 of the Kifayat]

The commentators of Dar Minhaj’s publication state in the footnote of the above section that the Mu’tamad (relied upon opinion in the school) is the view of the new school of Imam Ash-Shafi’i, that is not haram to speak during the Jumu’ah khutbah and they referenced the Minhaj of Imam An-Nawawi page 135.

Imam An-Nawawi (rahmatullah ‘alayh) states in his Minhaj, as pointed out by the commentators,

“And in the Jadid (the new school of Imam Ash-Shafi’i) it is not forbidden upon them to speak [during the khutbah].”

And Allah is the source of strength for the believers! May He send his abundant blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad, his family, and followers Amin!

This answer was collected from Shafiifiqh.com which was a repository of Islamic answers as per the Shafi’i madhhab. The website no longer functions. At its peak, many ‘ulama were involved with the site including Shaykh Mawlana Taha Karaan, Shaykh Abdul-Fattah ibn Abdullah, and Shaykh AbdurRagman Khan.

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