The Friday and Eid Sermon in Other Languages
In non- Muslim countries other languages might be used for Eid and Friday sermon. Some scholars prefer that the essentials should be in Arabic. Otherwise, it might be in Arabic then translated to other language.
The Friday and Eid Sermon in Other Languages
· The sermon in a language other than Arabic.
In non-Muslim countries many of the ethnic people convert to Islam and attend the Friday and Eid prayers. If the khutbah, or sermon, is delivered in Arabic, they will not understand it. Is it permissible to deliver it in the local language?
Fatwas by different scholars and institutions agree that this is permissible when needed. Some of these make a condition that at least some people should learn Arabic.
1. The Islamic Fiqh Council of the Muslim World League issued its fifth decision in which it states that the validity of the sermons of Friday and Eid prayers is not conditional on the use of Arabic in non-Arabic speaking countries. It is preferable to make the introduction to the sermon in Arabic, as well as quoting the Qur’anic verses in Arabic, so as to get the audience familiar with Arabic sounds and the recitation of the Qur’an. This may make it easier for people in the audience to learn Arabic and recite the Qur’an in its original language. The person delivering the sermon may then make his address in the language of the audience.
2. The Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa is of the view that it is permissible for whoever is delivering the khutbah in countries where the overwhelming majority of the population do not speak Arabic, to give the sermon in Arabic before translating it into the local language so as to enable the audience to understand. Alternatively he may preferably deliver it first in the local language then translate it into Arabic. Thus he follows the Prophet’s guidance, who used Arabic in all his sermons and letters. This also reconciles the different opinions on the question.
3. The European Council for Fatwa and Research is of the view that the normal situation is that the khutbah should be in Arabic, but in situations where the audience are largely or totally non-Arabic speaking then there is no harm in giving it in the local language. 
4. Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibraheem, the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia, was of the view that the normal situation is to give the sermon in Arabic. However, if the audience cannot understand it because they do not speak Arabic, then the person delivering it should subsequently explain it in the local language so that the audience could understand. 
5. In his Fatwas, Shaikh Muhammad Rasheed Rida rules that there is no harm in translating the sermon into the local language, provided that the gap between the sermon and the prayer is short, no more than it takes to offer two rak[ahs. He prefers that the translation should be given after the prayer has finished.
6. Some scholars prefer that the essentials of the khutbah should be in Arabic, such as starting with the praise of God and reciting a verse or more of the Qur’an in Arabic, greeting the Prophet, emphasizing the need to remain God-fearing, praying for the welfare of the Muslim community, etc. This is followed by the main sermon in the language of the audience. Alternatively, the sermon may be delivered in Arabic and then translated, either immediately or after the end of the prayer, and either by the speaker himself or another translator.
7. If none of the audience speaks Arabic it is permissible to give the sermon in their local language, while they learn Arabic. If the time needed for learning passes and still none of them has learned Arabic then they are in a state of disobedience and their Friday prayer becomes invalid.
1. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and all other prophets, were sent to their own peoples delivering God’s message with each of them addressing his people in their own language.
As God says
Never have We sent a messenger otherwise than speaking the language of his own people, so that he might make [the truth] clear to them
God also says
The Messenger is not bound to do more than clearly deliver his message
2. The purpose of the sermons on Friday and Eid days is to admonish people and remind them of their duties and what benefits them. This can only be done in the language they understand.
3. The Prophet ordered Muslims to learn the languages of other people.
The Prophet said
Pray as you have seen me pray
This may be understood as requiring the sermon to be in Arabic and that there could not be a gap between it and the prayer to translate the sermon.
· Decisions by the Islamic Fiqh Council.
· Fatawa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa.
· The website of the European Council for Fatwa and Research: www.e-cfr.org.
· Muhammad ibn Ibraheem, Fatawa.
· Muhammad Rasheed Rida, Fatawa, Beirut.
· Khalid Abd al-Qadir, Min Fiqh al-Aqaliyyat, Kitab al-Ummah, No. 61, pp. 109–10.
· Dar al-Ifta, Egypt, Al-Fatawa al-Islamiyyah, Cairo, 1402 AH, 1981.
- Fatawa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa, vol. 7, p. 253, Fatwas No. 1,495 and 6,812.
- European Council for Fatwa and Research (www.e-cfr.org), fatwa dated 24 August 2009
- Fatwa No. 1,086, issued 27/5/1389 AH, 1969.
- M.R. Rida, Fatawa, Beirut, vol. 3, pp. 1,093–4.
- K. Abd al-Qadir, Min Fiqh al-Aqaliyyat, Kitab al-Ummah, No. 61, pp. 109–10, 1418 AH, 1997.
- Dar al-Ifta, Egypt, Islamic Fatawa, vol. 5, p. 1,705.