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EVIL OF DISTRACTIONS DURING KHUTBAH



By

Sanusi Lafiagi

The Imāms’s khutbah yesterday (26th October, 2018) was on the etiquette of the Jumu’ah prayer, with special emphasis on the common mistakes that people commit on Fridays. While condemning the shameful act of talking during khutbah by some of the congregation, he, however, failed to draw a Qiyās between the real talking and chatting with one’s phone. This is one detestable act that some of our brothers still engage it, albeit unknowingly. In fact, the young man sitting to my right yesterday was chatting on WhatsApp throughout the period of the khutbah.

The prohibition of engaging in “Laghw” during khutbah covers all actions that distract one’s attention from the khutbah. This include surfing or chatting on social media, as well as sending and replying text messages. Worse still, some people still make and receive phone calls during khutbah. If obligatory and rewardable acts such as chanting adhkār and reading the Qur’ān are not allowed during the khutbah, how then do we expect surfing the internet to be permissible???

In fact, scholars if the Standing Committee were asked concerning returning the salām and saying “yarhamuka Allāh” to the one who sneezes, and they replied:

“It is not permissible to say yarhamuka Allāh (may Allāh have mercy on you) to one who sneezes or to return salāms whilst the Imām is delivering the khutbah, according to the correct scholarly opinion, because both of them involve speaking, which is forbidden when the Imām is delivering the khutbah, because of the general meaning of the hadīth.” (8/242)

Furthermore, the punishment for the one who engages in idle things whilst the khutbah is ongoing is that he loses the reward for Jumu’ah. It was narrated from ‘Abdullāh bn ‘Amr ibn al-Ās that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “If a person engages in idle action or steps over people’s necks, it will be Zuhr for him.” Narrated by Abū Dāwūd (347). Al-Albānī classed it as hasan in Sahīh Abī Dāwūd. 

To this end, we should endeavor to either put our electronic gadgets aside while coming to the Jumu’ah mosque or switch them off to avoid unnecessary distractions.

I’m not sure if the sisters also do the same thing, but if yes, I implore them to desist from it as well.

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