A lecture delivered by Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda at the Islamic Association of Collin County on Family Values
A video from a weekend long in Knoxville, TN organized by Roots & Muslim Knoxville, Br AbdelRahman Murphy speaks about key issues regarding family relations.
A lecture delivered by Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda at the East Plano Islamic Center on the subject of never losing hope in Allah.
A khutbah by Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda on why we should be thankful. This khutbah was delivered to the Muslim Community of Knoxville.
Istikharah is an established practice (Sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh. It is a gift from Allah and an aid in the decision making process. Unfortunately, today is misunderstood and practiced incorrectly by many people. In this lecture Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda addresses the purpose, procedure, supplication, and frequently asked questions of Istikharah.
Check out all our khutbah related posts.
Get hands on training for giving effective and relevant khutbahs! Sign up for the Khateeb Workshop!
Between 2 Worlds
Check out all our khutbah related posts.
Get hands on training for giving effective and relevant khutbahs! Sign up for the Khateeb Workshop!
Let the Quran Be Your Guide
Ever wonder what the Prophet (sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam) used to talk about when he was the khateeb? This video is the first installment of a series on a study of khutbahs of the Prophet. Here is an explanation of the Prophet’s first khutbah in Medinah.
*Sign up for Stand & Deliver – Khateeb Training Workshop!
Qalam’s weekly Seerah class with Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda will resume on Tuesday Nov 29th after Isha (7:45pm) at the Irving Masjid and will continue every Tuesday inshaAllah.
You can tune into the sessions live here: http://www.qalaminstitute.org/live/
All sessions are recorded and podcast here: http://www.qalaminstitute.org/category/podcast/
The scholars and instructors here at Qalam Institute quite often deliver special lectures, programs, and classes. We make our best effort to record and podcast them for the benefit of the greater community. Subscribe to our podcast to receive updates.
Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda delivered a series of lectures about seeking knowledge and its etiquette. The series addresses the following issues and more:
- Intention one should have when seeking knowledge
- Purpose of seeking knowledge
- Method of seeking knowledge
- Beneficial vs non-beneficial knowledge
- How to succeed in attaining knowledge
- Challenges and road-blocks when seeking knowledge
- Role and respect of the teacher
- Maintaining humility with increasing knowledge
- Overcoming arrogance and other side-effects of attaining knowledge
- Balancing the pursuit of knowledge with spirituality, family life, and other responsibilities
- Advice of previous scholars in regards to seeking knowledge
These lectures will be podcast on a weekly basis starting Tuesday November 22nd inshAllah.
One of the things we want to do in regards to khutbahs is highlight good ones that up and coming khatibs can learn from.
The Eid khutbah is one of the most difficult to deliver, primarily because most people do not get the opportunity. As an example, I have been giving khutbah regularly for almost 10 years. It’s so long ago that I recorded my first ever khutbah on a micro-cassette recorder. Despite that, I have delivered only two Eid khutbahs (and one was this past Eid). One of the things I struggled with was finding a good Eid khutbah to use as a model – and the primary reason for that is most Eid khutbahs I found were simply too long.
The toughest thing about Eid – no one wants to listen to you. They want to get on with the party. So the challenge is, give people something meaningful, while still holding their attention.
With that in mind, take out a few minutes to watch Wisam Sharieff’s Eid khutbah from this year.
These are the important take-aways-
1. Keep it SHORT. 10 minutes, maybe 15. Anything past 20-25 minutes will cause the audience to ignore everything you have said. They won’t be listening, they’ll just be wondering when you’re going to finish so the triple-hugging can commence.
2. Keep it RELEVANT. The examples about alcohol were something everyone could easily relate to. I must also point out something important in regards to the video game and rap music references: They have to be real. By that, I mean the speaker actually needs to understand what he is talking about. Wisam obviously makes that work. An example of it not working is this: Imagine a guy with a heavy accent saying “And the boys must lower their gaze, stop the liking Hannah Montana” – you can tell that a reference was just thrown in to sound hip. Don’t do that. Instead,
3. Be YOURSELF. Wisam mentioned that a khutbah with the same message was being given by multiple imams in different localities. Does this mean that they all copied the same khutbah verbatim? No. They took a central message, but they put their own personal spin on it. That’s what made it effective. The personality and perspective of the speaker is what makes a generic message so powerful in this situation.
4. Be POSITIVE. Eid is not the time to tell people about the 300 reasons they are destined for Hell. It’s a celebration – remind people of that. We spend the entire year beating each other (and ourselves) up. The Eid message is drastically different.
5. Be FOCUSED, but be GENERAL. You have a large audience, and an audience that does not regularly come to the masjid. In fact, this might be the only prayer they make all year. This also means you have people coming from all different backgrounds. The socio-economic makeup of your masjid no longer matters, because everyone is coming out. So your message must be one that can resonate with the lowest common denominator of your crowd. Not only that, but it must be a message that can bring those people closer to Allah. That’s the general part. The Focus part of it is making sure that you stick to your core topic. Don’t get so worked up about ‘saving’ all those people that you begin to discuss 10 different issues. Pick ONE issue. Focus on it. Make it relevant to everyone. And then knock it out of the park.
When I watch a new khatīb, I notice that a lot of them tend to make the same mistakes. One of the primary ones is stumbling during their speech because they got lost. They got lost in regards to what they were talking about, or what to talk about next. You can tell because they’ll either begin to stammer, or stop speaking altogether for a few moments while they collect their thoughts.
The trick is to be to be thinking about what to say next while you’re speaking about your current point. So for example,assume you are giving a talk on forgiveness, patience, and sincerity. While speaking about forgiveness, your mind needs to be formulating what you’re going to say about patience. For someone who is not used to it, this can be difficult to master, and sometimes even harder to explain – but it can make an essential difference in the quality and, more importantly, the flow of your speech.
I learned this skill in high school (a long time ago) because I was involved in the debate team. I regularly gave what most considered to be the most difficult speech – 5 minutes to respond to 13 minutes of arguments by the other team. During a debate, there is a system by which you take notes (or “flow”) the other teams arguments. Generally, after they finish talking you take a couple of minutes of preparation time to quickly prepare your counter-arguments.
One of my teachers taught me a trick, and it radically transformed my entire approach. While the other team was making their arguments, instead of writing down what they were saying, I was instead immediately writing my responses to their arguments. This meant that as soon as their 13 minutes finished, I immediately stood up for my 5 minute rebuttal speech without any preparation needed. A lot of practice at this actually changed the way that I think and analyze. It also enabled me to quickly formulate points in my head further ahead in my speech, even though I may be talking about something else.
For the longest time I did not know of a way to actually teach anyone how to do this, until I ran into an article at chrislocurto.com entitled, ‘How to Speak Gooder.’ He details an easy way to start training your mind in this manner,
Many people struggle with public speaking. For years I’ve helped other people improve their speaking, and there is one issue that always pops up – the inability to think while speaking to a group. What I mean by that is, you get so focused on what you’re saying, or what your script is, that when you mess up, you have nowhere to go. This also has a tendency to create the um’s, and uh’s that so many speakers insert into their talks.
When I started public speaking 16 years ago, I had to deal with this issue as well. It frustrated the daylights out of me mainly because I didn’t want to look stupid standing in front of a group, frozen, not knowing what I was supposed to say next. So I did what I always do, I figured out a way to not do that.
I started asking myself what I could do to train my brain to think in that situation. So I came up with a little brain exercise I now teach to every speaker, or future speaker, I work with. I start by looking around the room to find an object to speak about. Once I pick an object, I start talking nonstop. I quickly find that I am unable to consistently speak about that one object. So I don’t. I change the object quickly in my mind and start talking about it, and then another object, and then another.
As I continued this exercise, I was able to train my brain to think of where I was going, instead of where I am. This also gave me the ability to continue “filling space” with words while I was trying to figure out where I was in my script. Once I remembered it, I would find a place to get back on track. Sounds crazy, but it worked. The more I practiced, the more I was able to think on the fly while speaking.
A video by Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda about How to keep the spirit of Ramadan going.
Representing Islam – Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda
What Allah Wants For You – Hafidh Wisam Sharieff
Covenant With Allah – Nouman Ali Khan
Self Development – Imam Nadim Bashir
My Guardian – Gaith Adhami
This is the first installment of what will hopefully become a new series on khateeb stories. What sets this apart is that the average guys like you and me go through a completely different set of experiences than Imams/scholars who give khutbahs. And that is namely because we don’t get the “shaykh treatment” – we get the “we can walk all over you because you’re a volunteer” treatment.
One of the most annoying things about giving khutbah is the incessant fundraising requests. At your local masjid, it is understandable, but what about when you are just a guest khatīb? My contention is that a fundraising request is one of those things with the most propensity to ruin a good khutbah. I proffer the following situations (which actually happened to me).
I was set to deliver the orphan child khutbah (otherwise known as the 2nd or 3rd jamat for overcrowded masjids – you know, the khutbah where anyone with a beard and a thobe can get up and talk and the board doesn’t even care). Before going up, someone asks me to solicit funds for the masjid at the end of my khutbah. Normally I would argue, but I decided it was not worth the hassle and I would throw in something.
This happened to be one of those khutbahs where I got fired up, lost myself in the moment, and felt that I gave one of my better khutbahs (I don’t remember the topic, but it obviously wasn’t humility). After ending on a high note, and completing the closing supplications, I was about to announce the commencement of salah. And then I caught myself. Before I could, I had to say,
Oh.. uhhh… and the masjid requested you to donate something
So what was accomplished? My wonderful khutbah ended on a lame and annoying note. And on top of that, I doubt anyone was actually encouraged to donate any money as a result of this announcement. Would it be better to skip the announcement, and then lie if asked about it?
Established but Smaller Masjid
This one is unavoidable. As I get ready to stand up on the minbar, I get handed a sheet of paper and simply told, “for the end of your khutbah brozer.” It’s a half sheet of typed announcements. I tuck it behind my notes and think nothing of it.
I finish the khutbah (again on a high note), and then see that piece of paper. “oh … uhhh… hold on” And then I proceed to read about 5 announcements. 3 of them about parking, one about fundraising, and the last one was probably something important about family or kids or something, but I can’t remember now.
Again, effective? No. But that’s just the way it’s done, so the masjid did it.
The comforts of the rented store-front, where expectations are practically zero. It’s where you can deliver an average khutbah and still feel like Siraj Wahaj. During this fleeting moment after salah, I got blindsided. The uncle making announcements (an elder, and father of a friend) gets up and says, “…and now Br. Omar will speak a few words.” It took me a second to realize he meant I was going to speak a few words in support of this masjid [to which this was my first visit] and raise funds.
I have never fundraised. Ever. Fundraising takes a special type of personality and charisma – neither of which I have. Completely flabbergasted, I said a few words in support of the masjid and their Imam (a friend) and sat back down in about 10-15 seconds flat.
The obvious one is this: Masjids, do your own fundraising. Stop putting khatībs on the spot.
But when you get stuck, what do you do? So far I have found only one solution.
Picture dinner at the house of a hospitable family. You eat a full meal and dessert. But the host begins to insist that you take more dessert even though you’re full.
“Come on, come on, one more,” they say while putting it in your plate. You keep politely declining and pulling the plate away. If you know urdu, think of takalluf.
You need to treat the fundraising request the same way. And remember, you have the power of the minbar.
One time a board member handed me a sheet of announcements, and told me to read it at the end. I smiled and said, “no you.” And he looked confused, then smiled back and said, “No, no, you have to read this at the end of the khutbah” and I smiled and said, “No, no, you have to read this after salah” and then I got up on the minbar. Discussion over.
I don’t like having to do that, but it seems to be the only way out of making a disingenuous announcement, and also zapping the energy out of your khutbah.
We recently posed this question on twitter and facebook:
If you could change ONE thing about juma khutbahs, or give ONE advice to khateebs, what would it be?
Our plan is to incorporate these responses into our upcoming Khateeb Training Workshop [register now for a $100 discount offered only to the first 25 people]. This is the raw feedback from the people the khutbah matters to most – YOU.
In no particular order, here’s some of the responses we received below. You can still send us your feedback on Twitter, Facebook, or simply leaving a comment on this post. We’ll be sure to share it with the attendees at our workshop!
We’re excited about the upcoming seminar – Stand & Deliver: Khateeb Workshop taking place on New Year’s weekend. Please REGISTER before seats fill up.
Here’s what last year’s students had to say about the program,
No one can ever underestimate the power of Jumua specifically the Jumua Khutbah. Muslims that are never exposed to anything remotely Islamic will come to Jumua without ever being invited or asked to come. Hence the jumua khutbah needs to be top-notch and the person delivering the Khutbah better be prepared and ready to inspire people and be a tool for bringing the audience closer to Allah. This workshop is one of the first of its kind from what I know. When you think about the importance of the Jumua Khutbah and the immense responsibility of the Khateeb, how is it possible that we dont have more preparatory programs like this one so we can have the highest quality khutbahs being delivered all across the nation? The Khateeb workshop gave me really practical tips on how to improve my khutbahs from every angle. We need to support such programs and encourage all current and potential khateebs to take it.
-Mohammed Mana, California
The wisdom shared by the shuyookh at the workshop was absolutely priceless. Myself and friends take lots of seminar, but this workshop gave us a framework of wisdom to work within such that we can benefit people with our knowledge and not harm them. The workshop was also very practical and in writing and presenting khutbah’s to the shuyookh we helped to isolate problems in our delivery or style. I would say this course is mandatory upon every student of knowledge because it gives them the tools they need to put their knowledge to its proper use, which is standing and delivering!
-Nadeem Ramjan, New York
What an amazing workshop! The knowledge was very helpful and the practice sessions really helped me improve my ability to give khutub and khatiras. Even more amazing was the company – I got a chance to meet other active khateebs and community leaders from communities all across North America.
-Ibraheem Khalifa, North Carolina
I loved the way the instructors focused on the theoretical aspects of the basic importance and etiquettes of the Jumu’uah khutba as well as giving some of the most practical advice you may ever find. That balance flowed throughout the whole course and really made it that much more of an enriching learning experience.
-Zain Ali, New York
One of the most practical and beneficial workshops/classes I’ve ever taken. It cleared a lot of questions/uncertainties that I use to have, what to do in certain situations, what to say and what not to say, how to prepare properly, how to grab people’s attention, how to make the khutbah cohesive, and a lot more. It’s definitely worth the time, money and effort you put in. And the company is amazing from the teachers to the students to the community members you might meet.
-Ebraheim Ismail, Massachusetts
The khateeb workshop was the most beneficial and practical workshop I’ve attended in the last three years. The tips and advice given to us by the instructors were pointers which every khateeb needs to be aware of when they get on the minbar.
-Nihal Khan, New Jersey
I recently came across an excellent article by Marwa Aly entitled Breaking My Wings. It provides a reflection on Juma that many of us have felt – attending with high hopes, with a need for spiritual rejuvenation, only to be left standing at the altar. I initially wanted to post a few relevant excerpts, but the entire article is a must-read, so I have pasted it here below with some brief comments after:
It is with a saddened heart that I write this post. I have been writing and gathering material for khutbas at Wesleyan and Trinity for the past three years. I have trained brothers on how to deliver the khutba and offer guidance on the Arabic pronunciation. Sometimes I really love the khutbas that I write. Other times, I feel the need to be nourished and want to hear another’s voice- another’s words. So, you can imagine the expectation I have when I finally find the resolve to take my 13 month old daughter with me to Jumua’ prayers at the masjid. In a hurried rush to get everything in order (sippy cup, blueberries, wipes, diapers….oh yea, and my keys and phone) I accidentally forget my wallet but decide while driving that I would miss too much of the precious khutba if I were to turn around now. I would continue on making the dua’a of the traveler and praying that a police officer does not pull me over.
Sumaya and I ended up parking very far so I wouldn’t get stuck trying to get out of post Jumua’ gridlock. I carried my little munchkin and as we cut through the palpable humid air, my spirits were beginning to rise. Yes, this is exactly what I need after a tough week. As we entered the masjid, I took off my shoes, offered salaams to women I did not know and made my way up the stairs to the women’s section. The athaan began to resound against the walls and I wondered how familiar Sumaya was by now with the inflections and rhythm of the melodic call to prayer.
Taking a toddler to Jumua’ is no easy task. One needs an arsenal of distractions, in order that others may not be distracted by Sumaya’s need to talk over the khateeb. The khutba began and I could instantly tell that this wasn’t what I was looking for. The khateeb was speaking about dhulm (oppression) and the various ways we can oppress. While this may have been a timely topic, I was so discouraged by the style. I felt patronized and I surely did not go to my beloved masjid to be yelled at. You see, my dear khateebs, life is not easy. There are moments everyday that we struggle to be good. We have the option to relax, but with our heads bowed down we plow through. We plow through the desires, the dirty diapers, the incessant whining, the burnt toast, and the sticky humidity. There are moments that we fail, we fail miserably actually. Our fuse too short, our struggles too shallow. I know that and I bet my fellow brother sitting far away knows that too. And so, what I need from you, ya khateeb, is to allow me to leave the masjid inspired. I know it is not easy to inspire. It is much easier to shout. And you too will have your off days. Maybe you won’t be able to inspire me, but if you can’t do that, then maybe you can leave me with some hope. You see, even during my summer vacation, I look forward to Fridays and the weekend. I look forward to becoming the person I ultimately envision myself to be- and shouting at me for trying- well, I just can’t accept that. I need you to tell me the stories of Muhammad, Yaqub, Musa, and Mariam. We all have a story to tell, but you are the ultimate storyteller. Every Friday when men are obligated to listen to you, you have the ability to transform their lives- with a dose of sheer will power here, Divine guidance there, and the feeling that successful indeed are the believers, always. Give us the opportunity to feel our mini-ascensions with Allah.
And if still you cannot do that, please do no harm- the harm of turning away a brother on the brink of giving up his faith, or the sister that has seen religion break up her family.
My dear khateeb, as Muslims living in America, we need to be tough everyday. We put our best foot forward in the workplace and the grocery stores. We lower our gazes when we just want to take our family to the park. We have built a tough exterior as we hear the false statements accepted as truth about our beloved religion. And so, each step we take towards our masjid, every shoe that fits inside the cubicle, every sajda that is made on the carpet floor sheds our armor. Our armor is so very heavy. Allow us, if you will, for those few beautiful moments as your listeners to feel weightless.
Allow me to fly. If you cannot, I beg you, please do not cut off my wings.
Once you become a regular khateeb it’s easy to lose sight of the basics. Standing on the pulpit of the Prophet (saw) is a trust between you and your Lord. You have a duty to convey a message that brings the congregation closer to Him. A message that inspires them and motivates them to want to be closer to Him.
A khateeb must also be well acquainted with the struggles that all Muslims face on a daily basis. As Marwa said, we have to be tough every day. The kids getting made fun of at school, the guy who just lost his job, the husband and wife who just had a fight, the parents who are frustrated with their teens, the youth struggling to live right – all are in the congregation. Tailor your message accordingly. Be uplifting, be welcoming, make things easy for the people and invite them.