The Hadith of Abu Hurayrah Delivering a Lecture Before the Jumu’ah Khutbah

Question:

I was discussing with a friend the idea of giving a speech before the Arabic khutbah and he mentioned that Abu Hurayrah used to give a speech in Masjid Nabawi before the actual khutbah. Do you know where he got this from and where I can find this hadith?

Reply:

In the name of Allah. I believe that the hadith your friend is referring to is the one mentioned by Imam Hakim in his al-Mustadrak. It narrates through the chain of Ahmad ibn Salman al-Faqih from Isma’il ibn Ishaq al-Qadi that Ahmad ibn Yunus narrated to him that ‘Asim ibn Muhammad ibn Zayd narrated to him from his father that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) “used to stand at the side of the minbar on the day of Jumu’ah, place the heels of his sandals under his arms, and grasp the knob of the minbar saying, ‘Abu ‘l-Qasim, upon him blessings and peace, said… Muhammad, upon him blessings and peace, said… The Messenger of Allah, upon him blessings and peace, said… The truthful and verified one, upon him blessings and peace, said… And at times he would say, ‘Woe upon the Arab due to the evil that has drawn near.’ When he would hear the door move (open) from which the imam emerges, he would sit down.”

Imam Hakim considered the narration to be sahih and that it met the conditions of both Bukhari and Muslim although neither includes the narration in their works and he further mentions that the hadith proves the desirability of narrating hadith on the minbar before the imam emerges. Imam Dhahabi notes, however, that there is interruption in the chain.

On a side note, Shaykh Yunus Jaunpuri was once asked about this hadith and in what era it occurred. He replied that as the questioner himself indicated it would appear that the incident took place in the era of the khilafah of Sayyiduna ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan (may Allah be pleased with him), although one can not say for certain. (al-Yawaqit al-Ghaliyah 2:327-328)

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