The Sermon

I was in Buansa, Indanan, Sulu Darul Islam during hari raya eidil fitri and eidil adha 2010. Culturally, I really had felt the ambience of being in a Tausug homeland when the hatib [Sermon reader] delivered melodic Eid’s sermon taken from purely Arabic language note. The note believed to be archaic used to read by various hatib when the Sultanate government still lively extant. Currently, only in some parts of Sulu Darul Islam where this practice adopted particularly to them who were still valuing the noesis shared by sufi masters in this island country.

There are various reasons why the Tausug clings to this mode of conveying message during Friday despite of some changes in religious practices of the Muslim. Below are my observations on the topic.

1.       Firstly, the old folks in Sulu Darul Islam believed the sermon to be delivered must not be added with local language because it is how the previous generations of Muslims conveyed in the pulpits.
2.      Secondly, during Friday and Eid prayer it is interdict for a hatib to attack, defame, and mock the congregation or individual. Thus if to read or convey message in purely Arabic nobody would be hurt, defamed or attacked.
3.       Thirdly, the Tausug old folks explained the message of the Khutba to some Muslims right after the congregation prayer done.

The importance of sermon on Friday prayer to majority Sunni scholars regarded as the equivalent of two units [rakaat] of obligatory prayers. It is the reason during Friday the Zuhur prayer reduced into two units of prayer instead of four. Withal, the virtue can be gained from the sermon should at least gibe the rewards of two rakaat of Zuhur prayer.

According to Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani in his exposition onThe Language of the Friday Khutbahon his commentary of the verse below that Friday khutba is part of the worship rather than the normal lecture. [pp. 10]

“O! believers,when there is a call for Salah on Friday, rush for the Dhikr of Allah and leave trade. (al-Jumu'ah:9)

The final and glorious Prophet Muhammad SAW (May Allah always uplift his status)  and his rightly guided caliphs down to the four schools of thoughts did not deliver Friday sermon in any local languages even though most of the locals did not understand the kernel of the message (Read Mufti Usmani articles for further details).

On the above light we can arrive to a conclusion that the practice of the Tausug delivering khutba in purely Arabic is in conformity with Prophet Muhammad deed.

The conveyance of Islamic message during Friday and Eid into local languages emanated from the Rabitat al-Alam Al-Islami when they issued a fatwa in Ramadhan 1975 called “ Fatwas of Muslim World Unity” they said: “It is fard for women to perform the salât of Jum’a. The Khutba of Jum’a and ’Iyd can be delivered in the native language of every country.” [Sunnipath, pp. 77] The fatwa according to the author of sunni path is evidently a form of innovation.

The melodic chanting or Lugu of the verses is a traditional form of valuing and delivering the message of Islam artistically without offending anyone. 

Thanks Allah the Tausug still carrying out this practice if not the remnants of Muslims in the past in this part of the world would be difficult to trace.

 May Allah give me more time to listen to the melodic khutba of the Tausug.