Answer: The sermon is an essential part of the Friday
Prayer. This prayer provides an opportunity to the Muslims to gather in large
congregations and offer the Salāh. The congregational nature of this prayer was
ordained to provide a platform for the Muslim rulers to address their people;
these rulers of the Islamic state and their representatives were thus given the
privilege to speak to the public and communicate to them information on national
and local concerns. It was hence only the political representatives who were
entrusted the responsibility to lead the Friday Prayer and deliver the sermon.
They would not only exhort the believers to the right path, but also discuss the
political and administrative affairs. They could state the government policies
on any issue and seek the public opinion.
After the decline of the Muslim rule and abandonment of
this duty by the state representative, the sermon is now merely said to simulate
the decreed Friday sermon though the traces of the political aspects are still
found in its contents.
We know that the blessings sent on the four caliphs and the
descendents of the Prophet (sws) are analogous to the earlier tradition where
leaders would defend their policies and exalt their predecessors. Initially,
every political group used to exalt only those caliphs who were perceived to be
the founders of their political group. It however changed and some neutral
people decided to praise all the previous grand Muslim leaders.
This explanation is further corroborated by the fact that,
many a time, a tradition is also narrated in the Friday Sermon, even in these
days, which describes that the head of a state is the shelter provided to the
Muslims by the Almighty.
In the light of the above explanation, we can say that the
sermon in fact is a means of communication between the rulers and the ruled.
Naturally, it should be in the language that the audience understands or it
would mean nothing. The second part of the sermon has always been devoted for
prayers and beseeching the audience to follow the right path. This again
necessitates that the sermon should be delivered in the language the audience
knows in order to make it fruitful.