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Khutba Standards

Friday Prayers

Be spiritually uplifted

O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu'ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew. [Quran: Al-Jumuah, 9] ISGH Manages the first Friday sermons of all the Islamic Centers within the ISGH systems.

(Updated  2018)

Khutbah Content

  • The purpose of the khutbah should be to improve the congregation’s relationship to Allah and His deen.
  • The khutbah should be based on verifiable references from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
  • The khutbah must not be related to controversial topics (including one-sided fiqhi opinions). This does not preclude discussion of pertinent issues that some may consider difficult as long as the khateeb attempts to maintain a productive, even-handed approach.
  • The khateeb should not promote personal causes or any other group’s activities (unless previously approved by the ISGH Executive Body; local masjid administration approval is not sufficient).
  • The khutbah must not discuss opinions related to US government policies, local political issues or support/oppose any political candidate.
  • For international issues impacting the umma, the khateeb should not disparage foreign governments or politicians; the focus should be on humanitarian or moral concerns.
  • In case the Executive Body or Khutbah Committee create a common set of talking points to address a specific issue, the khateeb should do their utmost to incorporate these points in their khutbah.

Khutbah Format

  • The khateeb is expected to be familiar with and follow accepted norms of fiqh of the Friday khutbah.
  • The khutbah shall be delivered in English, except for the essential parts which are required to be in Arabic.
  • The duration of the khutbah should adhere to the half hour time limit; even if the khateeb starts late, he should still finish on the scheduled time. Under no circumstances should the khateeb exceed 5 minutes past the expected time.
  • The khateeb should be able to lead the community in congregational prayers; preference will be given to the khateeb - and not the local imam or other designee - to lead the prayers, unless the khateeb himself foregoes his right.
  • Khateebs should not make the weekly masjid announcements during or after the khutbah, even if requested by the local administration. 

Khutba Scheduling

  • The khutbah schedule is made by the Khutbah Committee.
  • The khutbah schedule is made for all ISGH facilities. Non-ISGH facilities can request to be part of the regular system with a formal written request to the Executive Body and the final approval of the Khutbah Committee; these organizations will be expected to abide by the ISGH Khutbah policies to remain on the schedule.
  • Zonal Directors and Associate Directors can make long-term requests for preferred and non-preferred khateebs, but final decisions reside with the Khutbah Committee Chairman.
  • Two weeks prior to publishing the monthly schedule, Zonal Directors and Associate Directors can make specific khateeb requests (from currently approved khateebs), but final scheduling decisions reside with the Khutbah Committee Chairman.
  • Requests for khateebs not on the approved list (e.g. out of town visitors) must first be submitted to the Executive Body for approval at least two weeks prior to scheduling; final scheduling decisions reside with the Khutbah Committee Chairman.
  • Representatives or affiliates of any organization designated by the U.S. Department of State as supporters of terrorism will not be allowed to deliver a khutbah. No exceptions.
  • Khateebs should proactively inform the Khutbah Committee of scheduling preferences or conflicting commitments at least two weeks prior to the start of the month to facilitate scheduling. Ideally, khateebs will commit to a regular khutbah schedule (e.g. every other Friday) to facilitate scheduling.
  • Priority for the 1st khutbah of the month will be given to the local religious teacher/Imam/Scholar for that masjid as scheduling permits.
  • In general, a khateeb will not be scheduled for more than one khutbah at the same location in the same month. All exceptions need to be referred first to the Executive Body and then ratified by the Khutbah Committee Chairman.
  • After the monthly schedule is published, any requested schedule changes to the assigned khateeb can only be made 72 hours before Friday (i.e. Tuesday afternoon). Any exceptions must be approved by the President and / or Khateeb Committee Chairman. 

Khateebs

  • Khateebs should be nominated by a known community member. The Khutbah Committee will vet prospective nominees; approved nominees will then be given a trial period of three khutbahs before they are approved on the regular khateeb roster.
  • Khateebs are expected to continually strive to improve their Islamic knowledge, speaking proficiency, and awareness of current affairs. They should be open to constructive feedback from the congregation, ISGH administration, and the Khutbah Committee.
  • Khateebs are expected to start the khutbah on time; as such they should strive to get to the masjid 10-15 ahead of time to accommodate traffic delays or parking issues. Masjid administrators are asked to give a five minute grace period for delayed khateebs after which they can assign a local, back-up khateeb.
  • All Khateebs must attend the regular Khutbah Meeting whenever scheduled. Valid reason for non-attendance must be notified to Khutbah Committee ONE week ahead of the meeting.
  • ISGH employees (Religious Teachers, Imams, Youth Coordinators, etc.) are expected to prioritize ISGH khutbah commitments over other khutbah requests. They are expected to deliver at least three khutbahs a month at an ISGH facility, unless they have pre-approval from the Executive Body.
  • Khateebs are public figures; as such they should be aware of their role in the community at all times, not just during the khutbah. Open disregard for basic Islamic norms outside of the masjid may be reason for removal of the khateeb from the approved khutbah roster.
  • Khateebs are expected to be familiar and abide by the aforementioned ISGH policies. Any violation of the above policies will result in a warning; further infractions may result in removing the khateeb from the approved roster.

Associate Directors (ADs)

  • ADs should take a proactive interest in the success of the khutbah system in their local masjid. If necessary, they should appoint a local contact for khutbah affairs who is present at the regular Friday prayers and can coordinate the resolution of any issue.
  • ADs should be aware of the effectiveness of specific khateebs for their congregation and make appropriate scheduling suggestions to the Khutbah Committee.
  • ADs should ensure that local logistic issues for Friday services (microphone, parking, etc.) are adequately planned and organized.
  • ADs should review the proposed monthly khutbah schedule for accuracy and preference and inform the ISGH Main Office in case of any discrepancy within 72 hours.
  • ADs should report back to the Khutbah Committee within 48 hours in case a scheduled khateeb does not show or does not abide by any of the aforementioned Khutbah Policies.
  • ADs should ensure a viable back-up khutbah process with pre-assigned local khateebs and pre-printed khutbahs. In case of khateeb delays greater than five minutes, the back-up system should be put in place.
  • ADs should cooperate in good faith with Khutbah Committee to resolve issues.

The Khutbah Committee

  • The Khutbah Committee reports to the President of ISGH and is led by the Khutbah Committee Chairman. They are responsible for the effective operation of the Friday khutbah system.
  • Members of the Khutbah Committee are selected by the Khutbah Chairman and approved by the EB; they assist in, but are not limited to, the following activities:
    • Khateeb identification, vetting and development
    • Khutbah scheduling
    • Khutbah and khateeb evaluation systems
    • Development of key talking points based on the liturgical calendar or current events
    • Policies and guidelines for Friday services
    • Friday service operations and processes
    • Maintaining relations with Islamic Center administrations as needed
  • Issues with the Khutbah Committee or its Chairman should be addressed to the ISGH Executive Body by emailing info@isgh.org.
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