What is Sermon? When to Read?

Sermon: An Important Part of Islamic Worship

In Islam, a sermon is a speech that is read from the pulpit by an imam or a preacher in mosques and masjids, especially during Friday and Eid prayers, and gives advice to the audience on religious, moral and social issues. Derived from the Arabic root “خطبة”, sermon is an art of oral oratory and is an important means of communication in the Islamic society.

Meaning and Origin of the Sermon

The word khutbah comes from the Arabic root “خطب” and has meanings such as “to talk”, “to come together” or “to marry”. In the Islamic tradition, the sermon is defined as an official speech addressed to the community and has an important place in religious meetings, especially Friday and Eid prayers.

Time and Place of Reading the Sermon

  1. Friday Prayers:
    • Friday prayers are a special prayer performed on the most precious day of the week for Muslims, and the sermon is an integral part of this prayer.
    • Before the Friday prayer, the imam or preacher ascends the pulpit and reads the sermon, which consists of two parts.
  2. Eid Prayers:
    • Sermons are also read on Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the two major holidays in Islam.
    • The sermon read after the Eid prayer emphasizes the meaning and importance of these special days.

Features of the Sermon

  1. Consisting of Two Parts:
    • Traditionally, the sermon consists of two parts, with a short sitting between each part.
    • In the first part, praise to Allah, blessings on the prophets and the unity and solidarity of Muslims are generally emphasized.
    • In the second part, social, moral or current issues are usually touched upon.
  2. Reading in Arabic:
    • The sermon is usually read in Arabic, but explanations can be made in a language the congregation can understand.
  3. Reading from the pulpit:
    • It is a tradition to read the sermon from a high place in the mosque, called the pulpit. This allows the voice to be heard better and captures the congregation’s attention.
  4. Being Instructive and Guiding:
    • The sermon is a means of providing religious information to the audience, encouraging them to good behavior, and drawing attention to social issues.
  5. Addressing the Community:
    • The sermon addresses the congregation gathered in the mosque and aims to increase their spirituality and inform them.
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The sermon strengthens the interaction in the social and religious life of Islam, informs the community and reinforces spiritual unity. The sermon, performed by imams and preachers with great seriousness and responsibility, plays an important role in the guidance of the Muslim community and contributes to the dissemination of Islamic teachings.

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