On Friday 14th August we are introducing a change in how we deliver our Friday sermons.
Historically the mosque has allocated two separate time slots owing to the large number of people who attend. Both sermons (khutbah) have been delivered exclusively in Arabic. Given our growing community, and the reality that the overwhelming majority do not speak arabic, we have delivered a slight change in how these sermons are delivered with one sermon remaining exclusively in arabic and the other sermon being in arabic but with an english component.
We plan to alternate the sermons on a weekly basis so that on the first week the first sermon will be in Arabic/English with the second sermon exclusively in Arabic, and the following week the first sermon will be exclusively in Arabic with the second being in Arabic/English.
The overwhelming driver for introducing this change is the sad reality that people within our community are increasingly drifting away from Islam and its fundamental teachings. The Friday sermon remains a uniquely powerful way of reaching these people and delivering the message of Islam. We have consulted widely with scholars in making this decision and have understood two key points:
- The concept of delivering the sermon in the language of the local people (in our case English) is not a new one, with the majority of scholars over the history of Islam asserting that it is entirely acceptable.
- There is an opinion of the minority that the sermon can only be delivered in Arabic.
We hope to cater for both understandings by setting up a system that caters for both opinions, but which takes into account the needs of the community we seek to serve and delivers on the purpose of the khutbah which is to remind, encourage and to teach people.
We pray the Almighty accept our worship, guide us to what is good, and overlook our faults.