22 نوفمبر, 2017 - 4 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

Means to Promote Friday Sermons

Means to Promote Friday Sermons

 

1) Introduction
2) Definition of the “Friday Sermon” and its importance
3) Properties of the Friday Sermon
4) Challenges faced by the Friday Sermon
5) Promoting and developing Friday Sermons


Introduction:
Rhetoric was never a novel verbal phenomenon in the world of humanity; it was and will always be a broadly effective horizon which was practiced by the messengers of Allah and His prophets in order to spread the message. It was also used by the politicians to achieve their goals and it was always the tool of the leaders and the conquerors in raising the morale of their armies before engaging in wars.

Rhetoric is “one of the tools of calling people to Allah and one of the most important educational, coaching and influential means. It also has many fruits to yield such as; resolving conflicts, ending clashes, calming angry souls, spurring the fervor of apathetic souls, restoring rights, the voice of the wronged and the tongue of guidance. Rhetoric ignites the fervor of the armies, pushes them to pursue death and empowers their moral vigor”[1].

From here emerges the importance of rhetoric within the making of all the prophets (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them all) since it helps them in calling their peoples to the Oneness of God, to obey Him and to warn them from His anger, His wrath and His painful punishment so they would abandon their misguidance and abort their doctrinal, moral and social perversion.

Rhetoric is and will always be a successful tool for the reformists, scholars, speakers and leaders in all times. A means to tease the minds, evoke trust in the souls so they are spurred to defend certain ideas, promote specific tasks and warn against specific threats. Many speeches have changed the course of peoples’ habits and visualizations. Many speeches have opened the doors of hope and repentance to the audience, many speeches have defused affliction and held steadfast the hearts of armies leading them to victory.

Still, rhetoric in its comprehensive concept is an important and influential means in the hand of the media, the educational system, missionary work, in times of war and peace, for better or for worse, for the weak or the powerful. The Friday Sermon, apart from any other sermon, is characterized by many features that give it an importance much higher above any other sermon. The Friday Sermon has a very special status being a weekly worship that unites the Muslims in the mosques where they sit, they listen and they get moved by the words. Through this sermon they get their full share of being called to goodness and warned against perversion and evil.

Friday Sermon is an Islamic ritual that plays an effective role in shaping the behavior of the people and influencing them in all the walks of life. It has a major role in serving the call to Allah who blessed the Muslims with a weekly feast every Friday and ordained the Friday Sermon and prayer as obligatory. He orders the Muslims to seek this ritual with the purpose of combining their hearts together, uniting their words, educating their ignorant, warning the unwary, guiding the lost, spurring the resolves, enlightening the people about their religion, their doctrine, the plotting of their enemies and how they can confront it, and keeping them all steadfast on revering the sanctities of Allah.

Definition of the “Friday Sermon” and its importance
Definition: Rhetoric is the art of discourse, addressing the public and influencing them. Linguistically, it is the improvised speech through which the articulate speakers talks with the masses to convince them[2]. In terminology, it is the composed speech that includes preaching and conveying a specific status[3]. It is defined by Al-Kasani as, “Generally speaking the word ‘sermon’ is a word used to define a speech that incorporates gratitude to Allah, praising Him, praying on the Prophet (SAWS), calling Allah for the Muslims, preaching and reminding.[4]” The contemporary definition is, “The delivered preach given in Arabic language before the Friday prayer, after the time of praying is established, in public and with the prescribed number required for its validity.[5]

It comes with specific terms as regards to performance, dialect, tone and movements. Jabir (RA) said, “When the Prophet (SAWS) delivered a speech his eyes would go red, his voice would become high and his anger would escalate until you would think he was motivating an army. He used to say, ‘I and the end of days came like these (and he would point with index and mid finger).’” The Friday sermon is an obligatory ritual that was imposed by revelation and from the words of this revelation we can realize the whole wisdom. Allah says, “O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Friday, then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew, and when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah, and remember Allah often that you may succeed. But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, [O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, ‘What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers.’” (TMQ, 62:9-11).

The Arabic equivalent for the word sermon is “khutba” and this word means in Arabic; an incident with utter importance. Ibnul-Qayem –may Allah have mercy of him–used to say, “The Prophet’s sermon used to establish the fundamentals of faith and discuss what Allah keeps in reserve for those who obey Him; in this life and the hereafter, and what He keeps in reserve for those who disobey and displease Him. Through his sermon he used to fill the hearts of the people with faith and he established the grounds of monotheism and knowledge about Allah and the past nations.” He also added to this, “If you contemplate the Friday sermon delivered by the Prophet (SAWS) and his companions you will find it profuse with meanings of guidance, monotheism, mentioning the attributes of Allah, mentioning the overall principles of faith, calling people to Allah, mentioning the many blessings of Allah to make people seek His satisfaction and avoid His wrath, and urging people to mention Allah and thank Him in a way that makes Him satisfied with them.”[6]

As for its importance, the Friday sermon has a considerable impact on the individual and the society at large. The words uttered by the speaker on the pulpit have great leverage and importance. A good speaker can influence the reality of people and add a lot to them. The importance of the Friday sermon and its impact can be summarized under the following points[7]:

The sermon occupies a considerable share in educating the nation, directing its revival, sustaining its moral and material entity and connecting its aspired future with its notable past.

Teasing the minds, reviving confidence in the souls so as to defend a particular idea or promote a specific task.

Fortifying faith, softening the hearts and purifying the feelings by getting the people closer to their Lord and Creator.

It changes the wrong opinions and intellectual convictions.
It opens the door of hope and repentance in the faces of the sinners and transgressors.
It plays a role in changing the bad habits and it has a positive impact on the morals of the individual and the society.

Generally speaking, rhetoric was one of the things that participated in spreading Islam between the people. Many times have the conquests of the Muslims hinged on spectacular speeches that spurred and motivated the armies by igniting their spirits toward bringing victory to the cause of Allah.

So if the Friday sermon has this significant effect, then the speaker must always revise the level of his performance in such a way that helps him promote the topic of the speech and promote his own level to help the Islamic discourse restore its significant role driven from its original source and being able to coe with the problems of the age and always flow with the spirit of vitality, giving and modernity.

Properties of the Friday Sermon:
Allah (SWT) ordained a specific day for every nation particularly for worship, for gathering and for remembering (by this gathering) Judgment Day when all the people will be brought together in the presence of the Lord of the worlds. The day most deserving of this honor was Friday and so Allah saved this particular day for this nation due to its honor and virtue. Allah ordained the gathering of the Muslims in this life on this particular day to obey Him and He ordained their gathering with the other nations on Judgment Day also in this particular day to gain its blessings. So this day is the gathering day in this life and the hereafter! Ibnul-Qayem clarified in his book “Zadul Maad” the properties of Friday and they reached thirty three properties, among them he mentioned:

Friday prayer is one of the strongest Islamic obligations because it contains the speech that is intended to praise Allah, glorify Him and bear witness to His Oneness and that Muhammad (SAWS) is His messenger.

It reminds people of the news of the past nations and warns them from Allah’s wrath and anger. On the other hand it urges them to come closer to Allah and His paradise and warns them against his anger and hellfire.

He also said that the Prophet (SAWS) used to prepare for this day by reciting the two chapters; Al-Insan and Al-Sajdah at the dawn of the day[8]. These two particular chapters of the Qur’an speak a lot about the resurrection of the people from their graves and mustering them to await their judgment before they either end in hell or heaven.

It is preferable to send lots of prayers to the Prophet (SAWS) throughout the day and night of Fridays.
In Paradise Allah will show Himself to His believers on that day; they will visit Him and the closest to Him will be the ones who were closest to the Imam on Friday prayers[9].
Among its most important properties[10]:

It takes place in a majestic and submissive atmosphere where the souls get ready to receive and listen.
It is characterized by the necessity of listening to the orator, not being distracted from him, listening to him from the pretext of being obedient to the order of Allah. The whole process makes this sermon different from any other sermon, lecture or seminar that does not fall under the same Islamic ruling.

All the Muslims gather for this particular sermon with their different levels and classes; the educated, the ignorant, the students, the learned, the old and the young. This diversity helps in lifting the obstacles that stand in the way to proper social reformation and urges every individual to carry his own share of the responsibility.

It is the worshiping, informative, educational, belief-oriented and social activity available for everyone.
Continuity and repetition on weekly basis. Every year the Muslim listens to 52 sermons and this is a whole study course if the orators prepared their sermons well and if the sermons yielded the right fruits.

Direct contact between the orator and audience. This aspect is totally missing from many other means of communication. This direct link has a significant impact on reading the human being’s emotional sentiments, it causes the preacher to react and hence it intensifies the impact of the sermon by producing various reactions like; questioning, verbal discourse and direct interaction.

Its moral value and impact! In studying the impact of Friday sermons in Egypt a research was conducted to the effect that 78% are permanently impacted by what orators say, 71% of them are permanently committed to what the orators tell them to do.

As for the characteristics of the orators and preachers, they have to be known for their honesty and sincerity. Al-Hassan Al-Basry was asked about the orators and how some of them seem to influence the audience while others don’t seem to move them, and he said, “If the words come from the heart they reach for the hearts, but if they come from the tongue they only manage to reach the ears. Amer Ibn Abdullah also said, “Words that come from the heart reach for the heart and words that come from the throat reach for the ears.[11]” The Prophet (SAWS) whenever he delivered a sermon he sounded like he was motivating an army. So the intention of the orator must be sincere for the sake of Allah and his speech must be influential, effective and accepted by the people. After that he must advice people sincerely and from the bottom of his heart.

The orator also needs to memorize a big portion of the Qur’an and Hadith because they are his most valuable commodity and asset. The orator is after all calling people to Allah and guiding them to His path, so this can never be done away from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The Prophet (SAWS) also warned against those who side away from the Qur’an and Sunnah in saying, “People who preach using other than my guidance and practice other than my tradition[12].”

The orator must also care to prepare his sermon because these days many of them seem to prepare their sermons on Friday morning or right before the prayer. These people usually have no mission or cause other than using the pulpit as a habit or to make a living. The orator must put his utter concern and attention in the Friday sermon. He must dedicate a lot of time to prepare it properly. He is actually like a fighter going into the battle field so he has to get ready. The first step toward preparing the sermon is asking himself this question: What do I want to say to the people attending the sermon? The answer to this question is the topic of the sermon and then he must also remember to ask himself this question: What is the benefit from posing this topic? The answer to this question should form the introduction, the details and the epilogue.

The orator must have the required experience and competence because the Friday sermon is actually not something available for everyone. This sermon is not for anyone who just thinks himself eligible, neither is it an arena for fame and distinction on the account of the people and their time. It’s a responsibility and a grave trust so whoever stands up to it must be up to it expertise-wise and he must have the information qualifying him to be a distinguished orator.

Challenges facing the Friday Sermon:
The Friday sermon is a single unit in the general system. Hence if the general system of the Muslims is backward and deteriorated, the same thing will apply to the Friday sermon being a single unit in this system. If we tackle the topic of the declining role of Friday sermons we will discover that it is no longer influencing the people as it used to do for two main reasons:

First: Lacking the makings of a successful orator and the most important of these are; knowledge and culture. Islamic sciences’ universities take graduates with the lowest grades these days and the graduates of these universities are eventually the students who failed to join the top universities because of their low grades. Most of them have a humble knowledge of the Qur’an and they are not good in Arabic language. Due to their low achievement they resort to memorizing sermons from old books for other orators from their own country or even from other countries. They don’t understand much of what they memorize and they don’t bother to study the reality of their society to be able to pick what suits the problems of their people. This whole process transformed rhetoric from a life-mission into a job and as long as the orator is an employee he will never be able to influence the people.

Second: The audience themselves are no longer sincerely faithful as in the old times. One of the signs of faith as Allah tells us is, “True believers are those whose hearts tremble with awe at the mention of Allah, and whose faith grows stronger as they listen to His revelations. They are those who put their trust in their Lord,” (TMQ, 8:2). The mention of Allah and the recitation of the Qur’an no longer makes the faith of the people grow stronger and the Friday prayer became just a habitual ritual that is done for the sake of accomplishing an obligation. The result is that the mosques are only filled with people right before the prayer is concluded or right after the sermon is delivered.

There are many other negative indications that we see a lot in our orators and they reduce the chances of benefiting from the sermon and hence reduce the chances of introducing any positive impact in the lives of the people. Among these negative indications we have; some orators have no realization for the conditions and nature of the audience and this reflects negatively on their choice of the method mostly appropriate for speaking with them whether they were educated, half-educated or illiterate. Consequently they lose any response or reaction from their audience. The wisdom here is to always use the right words with the right people at the right time! When the audience is mostly ordinary people from a lower class area, things have to be totally different than when delivering a speech on an educated audience in a high class area. Each audience comes with a different method, different language, different needs and different effects. In addition to that the orators do not choose the topics that capture the interest of the people and they only talk monotonously about repeated topics at the time when people need to listen to sermons that tackle their own reality and problems to be able to form a better understanding for them.

The other thing is that orators rarely answer this most obvious question for the audience: So what can we do? Hence each orator must take into account the sequence of the elements of his sermon, and set a goal and a final answer for what is required of the audience. The orators also have very low observance for the state of religions-emptiness many people are suffering from. Some of them tend to arouse controversial issues and if a listener has some convictions about some issues then listens to the orator attacking his convictions he will end up leaving the whole place. Consequently we must avoid the controversial issues and only build on the agreed issues.

One of the main drawbacks of the present day is using the pulpits for political purposes to promote specific ideas. There is no harm in tackling the ongoing events and discussing them from the legal perspective so as to benefit the people. But to end up mingling media and promotion with rituals defies the whole purpose of the Friday sermon that seeks to unite the people rather than drive them apart.
The challenges can be summarized under the following points[13]:

Concerns of the society and the orator: Some orators totally ignore in their sermons the ongoing events that impact the reality of the Muslims, their existence and their future. So the Muslim audiences find no outlet for their emotions, their worries and their pains. The result is that they listen heartlessly and without any reaction.

Political Islam or politicizing Islam and the nature of the relation with the political powers: Some orators misuse the pulpit in controversial and partisan issues. So instead of using the pulpit to guide the people, deepen their faith and piety, promote their sense of sincerity they end up conveying their partisan, intellectual, legal and sometimes even their personal problems to occupy the masses in marginal, formal, discretionary or personal issues. The result is that people get filled up with frustration and despair from the deteriorating reality of Islam and the clashes between the Muslims.

Having no consideration for the public: The sermon is actually a bilateral effort that engages both the orator and the public. Hence the public act as an important aspect and maybe even the most important aspect in the whole operation. So if the public are not affected by the sermon emotionally and intellectually the sermon will never be able to achieve its purpose. For this to be achieved the orator must be aware of the patterns of people who attend his mosque to be able to pick the suitable topics and the suitable language. The audiences of the sermons are the public so they can never be on the same level of learning and understanding. The good orator is the one who knows his audience well and knows how to talk to them. Still some orators totally miss this whole point and they choose a very difficult language and discuss scientific or philosophical issues doing injustice to a huge sector of the audiences who could benefit from the sermons and interact with them.

The multiplicity of topics without any need for it: Many orators get into multiple topics in their sermons without any logical link between these topics. Had they divided these topics on the various sermons (giving each topic it full share of study) they would have achieved much better results.

Prolongation: Some orators think that the longer the sermon the better it is. They keep prolonging and extending without the need for it and they people end up being so bored of the sermon. The Prophet (SAWS) even said, “The long prayer by a man and the short sermon is the sign of his understanding (of faith). So lengthen the prayer and shorten the sermon, for there is charm (in precise) expression.[14]” Jabir Ibn Samra also said, “The Prophet (SAWS) never prolonged his sermons. They were but a few easy words.[15]” Let us not forget that attending the sermon is originally a worship and so the souls of the people have to be away from any negative impacts. We all know that human beings tend to vary in their abilities to tolerate and comprehend. Hence the orator must be realistic in dealing with his audience.

Important topics and the importance-criteria: Here the orator falls under a state of ‘imbalance in choosing his topics’. He exploits the regular and unexpected occasions for the benefit of his call. He shapes the Islamic public opinion toward the issues and events after placing them in the right Islamic context. Then he falls under the spell of some topics (some are important and some are not) and he keeps repeating them every Friday till the audience get board and find nothing new in the sermons. This leads to a total waste of this crucial platform that could be used to say a lot.

Promoting and developing Friday Sermons:
Friday sermons played a pivotal role in the long march of Islam. Through this Islamic platform that got spread in all the Islamic countries various issues were discussed ranging from doctrinal concepts to Islamic teachings to the biographies of prophets and warriors. Through this vital and renewable platform problems were tackled and solutions were posed in every time and place. Through this ongoing weekly platform many sincere and skilled orators were able to revive the spirit of struggling against the invaders and renegades from whom the nation suffered throughout its history. Through this effective platform the mosques received delegations of penitents who started their journey to faith from the Friday sermon that kindled in their lost souls the passion of guidance.

Reaching this point and with the growing seriousness of the role played by the media in our modern lives there is a question that keeps posing itself: Have we utilized the Friday sermons as we should so as to serve the Islamic nation and initiate its revival?

Friday sermons are still held in our Islamic world and the mosques keep getting more and more in numbers and along with them the pulpits. Still the pulpits are not invested properly as they should be and not many orators are up to the required standards. Some of them don’t even realize the meaning of the word ‘sermon’ being one of the arts of promotion and media. Some others think that the sermon is just about talking to people in a loud voice without realizing the real impact of this pulpit they’re standing on. Hence we get strange patterns and examples of orators who are so diverse to the point of utter contradiction.

Because the sermon is an art then it calls for special talents and characteristics. The most important of these are not the strong voice, the ability to convince and impress, the ability to express using senses and words, addressing the mind and the heart at the same time, using a tone the suits the meanings. Whereas the least important of these characteristics are not; the unity of the topic, the objectivity of the subject, the coherence of the ideas, using short expressive sentences and using familiar words.

It also requires a broad knowledge about issues related to religion and the society along with a meticulous understanding for the various segments of the people who frequent the mosques; their intellectual levels, their social circumstances, their living conditions. There is no life in a media that does not live the problems of the public and their issues. There is also no impact for a sermon that would not touch the depths of the people intellectually, emotionally and socially. So let our orators be careful not to transform our pulpits into high ivory towers that detach them from the people, their pains and their reality[16].

To promote and develop Friday sermons we must first study its basic elements and then we have to work on developing them. We need to be able to raise the sermon up to the required level so it can achieve its proper role in the society as it was before when it had all the factors that led to its advancement and flourishing. During these times the sermon drew its strength from the lives of the Muslims which were so rich in piety, altruism and stamina. The Muslims, on the other hand, got this through the food of the souls; mainly the Qur’an and the revered Sunnah[17].

So after the deterioration that inflicted the role of Friday sermons in the Muslim society we must pay attention to everything that can help restore its high status and stunning effect on the souls and minds.

To promote Friday sermons in a consciously useful method we need to join hands in doing all the below[18]:

Promoting our devotion to Allah through strengthening our link with Him using different and diverse acts of worship and most important of which are; praying and reciting the Qur’an (especially before daybreak and after dawn).

Abiding by the scientific approach in calling others to Allah, using a content that is highly and strictly connected to the Qur’an and Sunnah as regards to; authenticated content, eloquent language, compatibility with the time and place. We are ordered to converse with people according to their abilities and we are ordered to talk with them about the things they know.

Distancing the pulpit from libeling a particular person, a writer or a group. The prime goal is to refute, scrutinize and study the ideas apart from the insulting or degrading anyone.

Focusing on the moral and social issues because our present crisis is mainly manners-oriented and the Prophet (SAWS) was but sent to complete the noble morals.

The orator must be keen on being a role-model for the people by practicing what he preaches, by abiding by the morals of the Qur’an and the practices and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS).

By delivering the sermon in a tone of voice that suits the topic and the nature of the speech whether exclamation, interrogative or whatever; with full respect to the audience and spectators and with calling Allah to help us all, to protect our homeland and to grant us safety and security.

To promote Friday sermons (the most prominent media and advocacy tool in Islam) we need to take and commit to the following steps[19]:

First: Taking the mosques to their golden age of glory when they were the seat of leadership, the informative beacons, and the educational and social centers of the nation. We need to re-utilize the mosques in making the complete and balanced Muslim man; where no side of him overrides the other. We need to reuse the mosques in rearing a Qur’anic generation that carries this message the way the companions and the early followers carried it. To be able to do this we need to follow this recipe:

Restoring the role of leadership, guidance, construction and leading the masses to the scholars in their struggle against falsehood and tyranny. Restoring the orator to his right for shelter; i.e. enjoying financial power, practical rearing and being among “the band of strong men”. That way the orator can dedicate himself fully to his job, he can call people while being confident of his own independence that cannot be deterred by any whims, broken by any enemies or distracted by any love for life and desires. This will change the whole paradigm of how we see orators and will get the people to compete to gain this honor. In the golden age of oration the people used to prefer this job above any other, they preferred it even to immigrating to other countries seeking better pays or better social statuses. That way we can relieve the mercenaries from serving the mosques and we can drive away the minors and the suspicious people from endangering our religion because these abusers are only successful in doing mischief instead of goodness and they corrupt instead of reforming. That way we can also accredit the practical and ethical competencies beside the practice and social status which will eventually enable us to put the right man in the right place.

Enlarging some of the mosques (if possible) instead of building new mosques next to each other which only fragments the people instead of uniting them.

Training the people working in this field of dawa, oration and religion-media by raising their skills and qualifying them using the latest and most modern scientific methods.

Creating and promoting institutes and programs so as to present orators who are equipped with the makings of success. Endorsing awareness and enlightenment courses for the orators and the speakers.
Studying the situation of the Muslims socially, demographically, culturally and humanity-wise.

Monitoring the mosques to restrict the controversial issues, preventing being trapped into the pitfalls of similarities, and preventing argument about things that will never be useful for Muslims. For this purpose we can organize special committees that are supervised by scholars, superiors and the Muslims populace.
Second: Supporting the orators and rationalizing the media through Islam. This can be achieved through:

1) Creating Friday Sermons Forums just like all the other media forums. The purpose is to study and discuss the Islamic ideas and concepts with the Imams of the mosques, to spread the pure and original Islamic culture, and to promote the recitations of the Qur’an instead of deserting it or focusing on parts of it apart from the rest.
2) Writing and authoring a guide for the Muslim orators including all the information and guidelines that concern them.
3) Writing and authoring a model book that compiles a collection of sermons covering all the basic Islamic issues so the beginners can use this book in preparing their sermons. This book has to be compiled by a group of experienced scholars in this particular field and it has to be revised linguistically and ideologically to fit this age. It would be also useful if some of the savvy orators delivered these sermons in audio formats to be a model that can be used by the trainee-orators.
4) Preparing periodical publications that contain sermons dealing with the developments of the age and distributing them on the orators and Imams working in this field. These sermons have to be verified and checked for the Qur’an and Sunnah citations to make sure they are authenticated.

Third: Abiding by the principles and basics of calling people to Islam as to the following:
1) Comprehensiveness: This means that the sermon has to address all the segments and the problems while proposing proper Islamic solutions.
2) Committing to honesty and realism till religion becomes a living reality in the Islamic society. This can be achieved by practicing what is preached while taking the reality of Muslims into consideration to be able to guide people to the best.
3) Confronting the intellectual invasion, the destructive currents and the allegations that are constantly stirred by the enemies to misguide the Islamic public opinion, to empty Islamic law from its properties and purity, and to disfigure the image of Islam, its culture, its civilization and its prominent Islamic figures.
4) Correcting the misconceptions and pursuing the authentic Islamic culture.
5) Maintaining the original conceptions and facts or religion from any distortion and from being subjected to the modern perceptions and the new economic and political terms that were created in special atmospheres and varied environments with historic backgrounds and factors that are always liable to constant change and failure.

Fourth: Prevention and self-criticism through the following:
1) Forming an Islamic TV (even if it were mobile) in an attempt to salvage the Muslim children from the harm of the media that keeps burning the houses of the Muslims.
2) The orators and preachers of the mosques must abide by the noblest manners, the best looks and they must always practice what they preach.
3) Having a Referendum Box in every mosque to collect the feedback of the worshipers about the sermon and its topic. This is the best way to employ self-criticism in self-reformation.

Fifth: Planning and Funding
1) Planning and organization must always precede the real work so as not to waste any time or efforts.
2) Money is the livelihood of work and life. If we want to promote Friday sermons we must conduct studies, estimate the needed funds, spread awareness about the importance of the project and warn against lack of ignoring the impact of Friday sermons. This can be done through committees that are formed from experienced and sincere people from every neighborhood and village. The rich people must contribute in funding these efforts and there’s no harm in arranging fund raisers from nearby areas.

In fund-raising three important conditions have to be respected:
1- The money is paid for the sake of pleasing Allah and His messenger.
2- No money is to be taken from a person who is coerced to pay it or is giving it condescendingly or seeking to hit the Muslims where it hurts.
No strings must be attached with the payments except within the limitations of Islamic law and the tradition of the Prophet (SAWS).
________________________________________
[1] Rhetoric: Its Historical Origins in Golden Era of the Arabs, by Imam Muhammad Abu Zahra.
[2]Al-Mujam Al-Wasit.
[3]The Jurisprudence Encyclopedia on the website of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Ministry, Kuwait. Volume 19.
[4]Ala Al-Deen Al-Kasani, Bada’e Al-Sana’e fi Tarteeb Al-Shara’e, Dar Al-Kitab Al-Arabi, Beirut – 1982, 262/1.
[5]Dr. Abdul-Aziz Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Al-Hujailan, Friday Sermon and its Legal Rulings.
[6] Ibnul-Qayem Al-Jawzei, Zadul-Maad, Dar Al-Marefa, Beirut, page 176.
[7]The Successful Sermon, by Muhammad Al-Ghazali (included in his book: Sermons of Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali on the Affairs of Life and Religion), compiled by Qutb Abdul-Hamid Qutb and verified by Dr. Muhammad Ashour. Dar Al-Itisam, 19/1.
[8]Narrated by Muslim (879), Abu-Dawood (1074) and Al-Tirmidhi (520).
[9]Ibnul-Qayem, Zadul-Maad, chapter titled: Properties of Friday.
[10]Dr. Abdul-Ghani Ahmad, Friday Sermon and its Role in Rearing the Nation, Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia, 1422 Hijri, page 1-4.
[11]Al-Bayan Wal Tabyeen, by Al-Jahez, 47/1.
[12] Al-Bukhary, Book of Strife, no. 6673.
[13]Dr. Mahmoud Akkam, Conceptions and Pulpits: Issues and Concepts in Friday Sermons, 2000 edition.
[14]Narrated by Muslim.
[15]Abu-Dawood.
[16]Friday Sermon in the Islamic World “Inevitable Comments”, by Dr. Muhammad Emad Muhammad. From Islamweb.
[17]Abu-Zahra, Rhetoric, page 209.
[18]Dr. Mahmoud Akkam, Conceptions and Pulpits.
[19]Muhammad Abdel-Latif Al-Refaie: Friday Sermon, its importance, its effect, and how to promote it. Lebanon – 1415 Hijri.