ISPU report on the Muslim Friday Khutba

Yeni Cammi or New Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding is an independent research organization focusing on U.S. domestic and international policy and it’s impact on various U.S. communities. They have a new batch of reports on their website ranging from alcohol use by Muslim college students to the AIDS epidemic in Muslim Africa. Below are details about their report on the Muslim Friday prayer sermon, or Khutba (and Khatib is the person who is giving the sermon).

From ISPU:

The Muslim Friday Khutba: Veiled and Unveiled Themes
The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) report by ISPU fellow, Dr. Mazen Hashem. (Both Sunni and Shi’a mosques were reviewed.)

The Friday noon prayer is a special Muslim congregational prayer that includes a short address called the khutba. No strict requirements or specific prayers are necessary for this address, and so its content can vary widely. For an outsider, the khutba sometimes sounds like a civic address and at other times like religious moral advice that is thin on rituals except for few religious expressions in Arabic.

This study surveyed a wide range of khutbas looking for general patterns and themes.  It seems that many khutbas lack relevance to the people’s lives and others show a lack of sophisticated knowledge. public speaking skills and limited English proficiency of some khatibs adds to the problem. Improvement in these khutbahs can be implemented through an attempt to foster sense of responsibility among khatibs and by rotating khatibs among mosques.


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