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Khotba (oration, speech, sermon) is a formal public address performed in a broad range of contexts by Muslims across the globe, rooted in the extemporaneously composed discourses of pre-Islamic and early Islamic Arabia.

Historically, the khotba denoted numerous kinds of speeches and sermons, expounding a variety of political, liturgical, religious, military, social, economic, legislative, and ethical themes. Over time, the word came to mean almost exclusively the ritual Islamic sermon that forms part of the weekly Friday and annual feast day (ʿid) prayer services. The historical khotba was always delivered in classical Arabic, but at the present time it is sometimes preached in a local language such as Persian, Turkish, or English, infused with classical Arabic. The Arabic term for the art and practice of delivering a khotba is khataba, and a person who delivers a khotba is called khatib (pl. khotabaʾ).

Historical evolution of the Khotba[edit | edit source]

In the 6th and 7th centuries, the khotba was the preeminent prose genre of Arabic verbal production. The structure, style, and themes of the khotba at this foundational moment would greatly influence the development of Islamic oratory and Arabic prose.[1] Few khotba specimens attributed to the pre-Islamic period survive—just a fraction of the whole, according to Jahez.[2] But those texts that do survive, along with reports about the vibrant practice of oratory at this time, point to a major tour de force in the literary, as well as the political, military, and religious, field. The pre-Islamic khotba roused warriors to battle and addressed issues of tribal leadership and mediation, and, from time to time, it exhorted audiences to contemplate the nearness of death. One of the best known is the pious-counsel khotba attributed to the Christian bishop of Najran, Qoss b. Saʿeda Eyadi (d. ca. 600), which begins “Whosover lives dies. Whosover dies is gone forever. All that is to come will come…”.[3] The Prophet Mohammad himself is said[4] to have narrated and appreciated it, and it is still memorized by schoolchildren in the Arab world today.

After the advent of Islam, the pre-Islamic khotba adapted to the new Islamic polity and the radically different worldview presented by the Qurʾan. The earlier genres of the political speech, battle oration, and pious-counsel sermon were now underpinned by a call to God-fearing piety and obedience to God’s commands. Sections of the Qurʾan itself are in the form of a quasi-khotba preached by a prophet to his community, calling to God and piety. The prophet of Midian, Shoʿayb, is referred to as the “orator of the prophets”[5], and several khotbas by him in this vein are recorded in the Qurʾan.[6]

The Prophet Mohammad (d. 11/632) was also a preacher. In fact, all religious and political leaders in the early period were orators, and conversely, all orators were people of stature in the community, for public speaking was a key attribute of leadership. In his earliest orations in Mecca, Mohammad warned of the imminent approach of death and urgently exhorted his contemporaries to turn to God in piety.[7] Soon after his arrival in Medina, he preached his first Friday sermon, merging themes of piety with political and military material.[8] His Medinan orations frequently included legislative topics, such as prohibitions on usury and blood-vengeance.[9] These proscriptions were reaffirmed, along with rulings on various other issues, in what is known as his Farewell Sermon on Mount ʿArafat.[10] According to the Shiʿites, one of Mohammad’s most important khotbas was delivered at a place called Gadir Komm, following the Last Pilgrimage, in which he publicly appointed his successor ʿAli b. Abi Taleb.[11]

After Mohammad’s death, the early caliphs and their governors and commanders continued to negotiate political, military, and religious authority through the medium of the khotba (cf. Dahne, passim). Among the khotba genres at this time was the khotbat al-bayʿa, a speech delivered by the new caliph upon the former caliph’s death announcing his assumption of the caliphate, or delivered by a governor proclaiming allegiance to the new caliph. The caliphs Abu Bakr (d. 13/632), ʿOmar (d. 23/644), ʿOtman (d. 35/656), and their generals delivered many orations of a religio-political nature. Imam ʿAli b. Abi Taleb consistently used the medium of the khotba in the turbulent four years of his caliphate to negotiate power and preach piety. His khotbas are considered some of the most eloquent examples of Arabic oratory, and many pieces attributed to him have been collected in medieval compilations such as Sarif Razi’s (d. 406/1014) Nahj al-balaqa and Qazi Qozaʿi’s (d. 454/1062) Dostur maʿalem al-hekam.[12]

In the late 7th and early 8th centuries, a wide range of contexts and contents were engaged by the khotba. In Omayyad times, the oratorical center-stage of the caliphs was taken over by their governors and commanders. Two governors of Iraq, Ziad b. Abihi (d. 53/673) and Hajjaj b. Yusof Thaqafi (d. 95/714), became infamous for their harsh, albeit eloquent, speeches castigating the recalcitrant populations living in their domain. Historians, as well as litterateurs, have recorded Hajjaj’s rhymed address to the inhabitants of Kufa as “O people of Iraq, O people of dissension (sheqaq) and hypocrisy (nefaq).” In another renowned speech, the Omayyad conqueror of Andalusia, Tareq b. Ziad (d. after 95/714), is reported to have deliberately burnt his own ships and then to have addressed his army with the words “Where will you flee? The sea is behind you and the enemy in front.… Fight!...”.[13] From the Omayyad period, homilies characterized as khotbas are also attributed to ascetics and theologians. The ascetic preacher Hasan Basri (d. 110/728) and Wasel b. ʿAtaʾ (d. 131/748) expounded themes of God’s oneness, pious counsel, and ubi sunt (Latin “Where are they?”), referring to generations that have died and drawing attention to the transience of human life.[14] Powerful orations were delivered by anti-establishment leaders. These included revolutionaries of two very different stripes. The Kharejites believed that mortal sins, which to them included refusal to condemn Imam ʿAli and Muʿawiya (d. 60/680), constituted apostasy. Kharejite commanders such as Abu Hamza Shari (d. ca. 130/748) and Qatari b. Fojaʾa (d. ca. 78/697) fired up their followers to fight with the assertion that all Muslims who did not subscribe to this doctrine were polytheists, legally subject to the sword. Proto-Shiʿite leaders such as Imam Hussain b. ʿAli (d. 61/680) and Zayd b. ʿAli b. Hussain (d. 122/740) based their claim to legitimacy on their descent from the Prophet Mohammad and the weighty services rendered by them and their forebears to Islam. The early Abbasid period saw a similar application of the khotba, with caliphs, commanders, and governors continuing to execute policy and perform religious ritual through this vehicle, as well as anti-establishment leaders advocating reform and revolt.[15]

Most orators were men, but public khotbas were also delivered in unusual and distressful situations by women. Examples of female orators from the early period include four of high rank: The Prophet Mohammad’s daughter Fatima (d. 11/632) gave an impassioned speech to Abu Bakr and his associates asserting her right to inherit the lands of Fadak and her husband ʿAli’s right to succeed Mohammad. Mohammad’s widow ʿAʾesa (d. 58/678) gave speeches praising her father Abu Bakr, and later, inciting the Basrans to fight Imam ʿAli in the Battle of the Camel (al-Jamal). The Prophet’s granddaughters Zaynab (d. 62/682) and Omm Koltum (d. after 62/682) delivered strong orations to the Kufans and Syrians in the aftermath of the Karbala tragedy, condemning the Omayyads’ killing of their brother Imam Hussain.[16]

Khotbas till the mid-8th century were produced in a primarily oral milieu, in which only a handful of people could read; writing materials were cumbersome, and written texts were rare. This orality shaped the composition, transmission, and style of the genre. Like Hadith, poetry, and historical reports from the period, khotbas were initially communicated orally for one or two centuries before being systematically written down in the late 8th and early 9th centuries. So the authenticity of individual texts is not certain. However, given the robust indigenous tradition of oral transmission, and the thousands of texts recorded in the earliest written historical and literary sources, it is likely that what we have are true remnants from the early phase. Preaching during this oral period was extemporaneous. Drawing on conventional motifs and forms, orators freshly adapted and tailored their orations to new situations. Moreover, orations were cast in a mnemonic mold and included aides-mémoire such as rhythmic parallelism, vivid imagery drawn from the natural world, and quotations from the Qurʾan and poetry. Given their live, public audiences, they were also replete with audience-engagement features such as rhetorical questions and emphatic structures.[17]

After the adoption of papermaking techniques from Chinese craftsmen in the mid-8th century, the oral culture that had dominated the Islamic world gave way to a writing-based ethos, whereupon the spontaneous khotba was gradually replaced by prepared texts. In the ʿAbbasid and Fatimid empires, an ever more imperial outlook and an increasingly centralized government led to Friday khotbas being drafted by state chanceries in Baghdad and Cairo, respectively, and then dispatched to preachers to be read out on the pulpit. Thus, the regal message was relayed simultaneously and uniformly throughout the empire. Examples of these sermons can be found in historical works; Fatimid khotbas have been published in a collected anthology.[18]

Many of the structural, thematic, and stylistic features of the early khotbas continued to hold sway in later times, but features deriving from the writing-based ethos also came into play, in particular, consistent rhyming. Sermons by famous medieval preachers such as Ebn Nobata (d. 374/984) of Damascus and Ebn ʿAbbad Rondi (d. 494/1091) of Fez drew on the pious themes and nature imagery of the famous early orators, yet they are also prime examples of the urban aesthetic of the written period, which accorded primacy to rhyme. The term khotba also came to be used to denote the marriage address and the praise-of-God introduction to books, because these were often rhymed.

In addition to the khotba, other forms of preaching existed in the classical period. These included counsel-sessions (waʿz), narrations of prophetic tales (qasas), testamentary addresses (wasiya), assemblies of wisdom (majles al-hekma), and admonishments addressed to the ruler (maqam).

The keystone of contemporary Shiʿa khotbas is the story of Karbala. The narrative of Imam Hussain’s martyrdom is particularly prominent in orations expounded during Muharram, but other addresses, such as those delivered during the nights of Ramazan, are also termed “assemblies to commemorate Hussain” (majles-e Hussain). This conceptual platform is known as the Hussain pulpit (menbar-e Hussaini), and these religious and religio-political addresses are categorized as “Hussain oratory”.[19] Rawza-khani, or recitation of Waʿez Kashefi’s (d. 910/1505) narration of the Karbala tragedy from his Rawzat al-shuhada, is also a common practice, which may be loosely categorized as oratorical.

The Friday Khotba: context, content, and structure[edit | edit source]

The Friday sermon (khotbat al-jomʿa) is an essential worship rite in Islam. It is also a potent religio-political tool and a platform for social and economic change. Some of its features have evolved across languages, cultures, and historical periods, but its core structure and content and its prime liturgical and religious context have remained stable.

Information about the Friday sermon is found in assorted primary sources. Its ritual parameters are laid out in books of Islamic jurisprudence, in the ritual-prayer chapter’s section on Friday prayer (salat al-jomʿa). Hadith compilations include a section on the Prophet Mohammad’s sayings and doings concerning the Friday khotba. The Shafiʿite jurist Ebn al-ʿAttar (d. 724/1324) describes in detail the qualifications, duties, and comportment of the preacher, and the components and etiquette of the Friday khotba, in the mode of works on correct practices of rulers and judges (Ebn al-ʿAttar, passim). Texts and reports of Friday khotbas delivered in medieval and modern times can be found in books of history and literature as well as in dedicated compilations of sermons.[20] For contemporary khotbas, proceedings are regularly televised and broadcast live, and audio and video recordings are widely available.

The Friday service consists of a two-part khotba, followed by two cycles (rakʿa) of a special ritual prayer communally performed behind a prayer leader. The character of the khotba is viewed differently by different schools of law. According to the Shiʿites and the Shafiʿite Sunnis, the Friday service stands in lieu of the regular four-cycle, mid-day prayer (salat al-zohr): the khotba take the place of two of its cycles, and the special ritual prayer takes the place of the other two.[21] According to the Hanafite, Hanbalite, and Malikite Sunnis, the special Friday prayer is a mandatory ritual prayer distinct from the regular, mid-day prayer.[22] Both groups agree, however, that along with the Friday ritual prayer, the performance of the Friday khotba is a compulsory duty.

The standard structure of the Friday khotba throughout the Islamic world is as follows: the preacher ascends the pulpit (menbar), turns to face the audience, and greets them. He carries in his right hand a ceremonial staff, sword, or bow as an emblem of authority and in emulation of the sonna of the Prophet (reportedly rooted in pre-Islamic practice). The preacher begins the first khotba with a formulaic praise invocation (tahmid) that includes glorifications of God and blessings on the Prophet Mohammad and his progeny and, in Sunni khotbas, his companions. Then, with exhortations to consciousness of God (taqwa), he transitions into the body of the khotba, which contains topics of Islamic history and doctrine, and guidance on how to live a pious life. The first khotba ends with a brief praise-and-blessings formula. The preacher sits on the steps of the pulpit for a few moments, stands up, and resumes preaching. This second khotba also begins and ends with formulaic praise of God and blessings on the prophet. It contains prayers for the preacher, the audience, and all believers, in formulaic fashion incorporating several verses from the Qurʾan (this structure of praise-opening, address, body and prayer, is standard in all types of classical Arabic khotbas, not just the Friday sermon). From Omayyad times, it became common practice to include a prayer for the well-being of the caliph. This added feature was an important indicator of political allegiance and still exists in a modified form in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In the first half of the Omayyad period, preachers were also required to curse Imam ʿAli and his family on the pulpit.[23] Going forward, cursing the enemies of the state became a periodically recurring feature.

Over the years, certain formulae and Qurʾanic verses become standard components of the khotba. The praise-opening often replicates what is reported to be the Prophet’s preferred opening words in his khotbas: “Praise be to God. We praise Him, beseech his aid, beg forgiveness from Him, and cleave to Him in repentance. We seek refuge in Him from the evil of our base souls and wicked deeds. Whomsover God guides, no one can lead astray. Whomsoever God leads astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but God, He is one, He has no partner. [I bear witness] that Mohammad is His servant and messenger, ‘whom He sent with right-guidance.’”.[24] Immediately following this opening and the vocative address, the exhortation “I counsel you to piety” (usikom be’l-taqwa) is customary. At the very end of the khotba, the prayer “I seek forgiveness from God for myself, and for all believers, male and female” (astaqfero’l-laha li wa le-jamiʿ al-moʾmenina wa’l-moʾmenat) is traditional.

There is some difference of opinion on the preferred language of the khotba. Many jurists require that it be delivered in Arabic, in conformation with its role as part of the ritual prayer, and this is the position taken in a number of non-Arabic-speaking countries such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Senegal. In these places, an additional non-ritual sermon is usually preached in the local language before the official Arabic khotba, for only the scholars in the audience understand the latter. In other non-Arabic-speaking countries such as Iran, Turkey, and the United States, the khotba is habitually delivered in the local language, although it is framed and permeated with religious Arabic formulae.

A similar, though not identical khotba, is delivered on the annual festival celebrating the end of Ramazan (ʿid al-fetr) and the festival celebrating the completion of the hajj pilgrimage (ʿid al-azha; Pers: ʿid-e qorban). Its format and content is comparable, but conversely to the Friday service, the ʿid khotba comes after the special two-cycle ritual-prayer of the ʿid. Also distinguishing it from the Friday khotba, the ʿid khotba incorporates repeated chants of “God is great” or Allaho akbar, called takbir.

The Friday Khotba in Persia and among the Shi'ites[edit | edit source]

The Friday khotba in Persia followed a similar trajectory to khotbas delivered elsewhere in the Muslim world, but distinguishing features can be found as well. By the 10th century, New Persian had emerged as a vibrant literary language in the region. It was written in the Arabic script and widely patronized throughout the eastern areas of greater Iran. Still, many medieval Persians were bilingual, and Arabic held its own in these lands as an important religious and literary language. Over the centuries, the Friday sermon would be pronounced in Arabic at times and at other times in Persian. By the 10th century also, Twelver Shiʿism (also Ismaʿili and Zaydi Shiʿism to a smaller extent) had made significant inroads into Persia (Madelung, 1988, passim). Both Sunnis and Shiʿites considered the Friday service to be a required religious practice, but in contrast to the Sunnis, Shiʿite scholars questioned its legality in the absence of the true imam. Moreover, they declared that blessing the ruler in it was an innovation (bedʿa), and instead required in it the pronouncement of benedictions (salawat) for the Shiʿite imams. With its Arabic-Persian and Shiʿa-Sunni faultlines, as well as its ruler-jurist and religion-politics nodes, the Friday khotba in Iran would form a prime locus for negotiations of religion, politics, culture, and law.

Shiʿite jurists contested the validity of the Friday service under an illegitimate ruler. Linking the performance of religious ritual with the execution of political authority, a much-quoted report ascribed to Imam ʿAli says “There can be no judgment, implementation of criminal punishments, or enactment of the Friday service, except with a just Imam”.[25] Since the Friday prayer was considered to be in abeyance when the rightful imam did not wield a position of temporal power, many Shiʿites deemed services held during the Omayyad and ʿAbbasid periods to be invalid. But the story gets complicated: the Shiʿite Buyids (322-446/934-1055), who were de facto rulers of the empire under titular ʿAbbasid caliphs, continued to enact the Friday kotba regularly in Persia and elsewhere. Moreover, they had it pronounced for the ʿAbbasid caliphs and do not appear to have included in it the special Shiʿite benedictions.[26]

For the Ismaʿili Shiʿites, the rule of the Fatimid caliph-imams of North Africa and Egypt in the 10th and 11th centuries authorized legitimate Friday services to be held over a large part of the Islamic empire. The Fatimids did not gain control of Persia, which remained under ʿAbbasid rule, but their missionary (daʿi) in Fars, Moʾayyad fi’l-Din Shirazi (d. 470/1078), performed the khotba there for his flock, presumably invoking in it the formulaic prayer for the Fatimid imam-caliph of Cairo. Texts of Arabic khotbas he delivered on Fridays and other occasions in Shiraz are preserved in his Majales.[27]

The Zaydi Shiʿites also wielded political power. Zaydi imams ruled parts of the Caspian region in the 9th century, and the Zaydis were a distinct presence in Persia till the 16th century. Yemen was home to a series of Zaydi dynasties from the late 9th century, and the Zaydis remain a major presence in many of its regions till the present day (Madelung, 2002). They likely performed the Friday khotba in these areas regularly.

The Twelver Shiʿites believed that after the death of Imam ʿAli in 40/661, no just imam came to hold temporal power. After their eleventh Imam died in 260/874 and their twelfth Imam went into occultation, they worked out a distinctly Twelver system of laws and doctrines. Because of its connection with the Imam’s political and spiritual leadership, the validity of the Friday service posed a particularly pressing question. Their jurists agreed that the Friday service could be enacted only by the Imam or by someone who had been appointed by him, but they disagreed on what constituted such appointment. Many considered participation in the Friday service during these centuries to be justified only as a form of dissimulation (taqiya).

Following the establishment of Twelver Shiʿism as the state religion in Persia in the Safavid period (907-1135/1501-1736), the Friday service quickly gained currency. The early kings understood the importance of convening the khotba in supporting their regime, and they found support among their Lebanese ʿAmeli scholars.[28] In the first treatise on the subject, Mohaqqeq Karaki (d. 940/1534) encouraged the performance of the Friday prayer for the first time in Twelver Shiʿite history, albeit on the condition that a living jurist (mojtahed, faqih) authorized it.[29] Rivalry with the Sunni Ottoman empire also played a part in the Safavids’ promotion of this religious ritual. In 1077/1666, Shah Solayman had the Friday khotba performed during his coronation ceremony to show that the Safavids, and not just the Ottomans, adhered to this Islamic practice.[30] In 1105/1694, the cleric Mohammad-Baqer Majlesi (d. 1111/1700) performed the Friday khotba upon the accession of Shah Soltan Hussain.[31] In order to achieve their political aims, Safavid rulers had been forced to strengthen the jurists’ position, but by treating the jurists as the Imam’s deputies, they inadvertently paved the ground for them to hold a higher position in the future in relation to the political authority.[32]

As the Safavid period progressed, three major positions vis-à-vis the validity of the Friday prayer during the occultation of the Imam were articulated. A few jurists such as Molla Kalil Qazvini (d. 1089/1678) continued to declare the ritual forbidden during the absence of the Imam. A second group considered it mandatory, proclaiming it an “individual obligation” (wojub ʿayni) under a Shiʿite state authority, to be carried out in accordance with the directive of the established political institution. This was a pro-ruler position, and was endorsed by Shahid-e Ṯani Zayn al-Din ʿAmeli (d. 965/1558) and Hussain b. ʿAbd-al-Samad ʿAmeli.[33] In many Shiʿite circles, jurists who took this position were accused of selling their religion for worldly gain. The majority group, who took a stance in between the first two, deemed it an “optional duty” (wojub takyiri), requiring the presence of the true imam or his deputy, namely, the jurist, to authorize the prayer; this was a pro-jurist position and was endorsed by Mohaqqeq Karaki (d. 940/1534), Hasan b. ʿAli Karaki (d. after 975/1569), Hussain b. Hasan Karaki (d. 1001/1593), and Shaikh Bahaʾ-al-Din ʿAmeli.[34] Over 200 treatises arguing on different sides of the issue are extant; twelve treatises, some Arabic, some Persian, are published in the collection Davazdah resala-ye feqhi.[35] Among other things, the Friday sermon was an arena where jurists competed for authority; Devin Stewart argues that treatises from the mid-16th century about its legality were composed as part of a heated competition for the position of sayk-al-Eslam of the capital Qazvin.[36] The Friday sermon was also an arena where a tussle for authority played out between jurists and rulers.

Also in the Safavid period, preachers habitually included in their khotbas benedictions for the twelve Imams. Shah Esmaʿil I, in his coronation address at the very onset of the Safavid empire in 907/1501, made this practice obligatory.[37] A model khotba containing extended benedictions was written at some point by an otherwise unknown author named Ebn al-Hammad[38], and preachers frequently incorporated its text into their own sermons. They also frequently included the ritual cursing (tabarroʾ) of enemies of the Shiʿite Imams.[39]

In the Qajar period (1785–1925), the khotba was increasingly used to express dissent, and the Friday prayer-leader (emam-e jomʿa) emerged as a figure of political opposition. Among the manifestations of the preacher’s power was the fatwa disseminated from the pulpit in 1891 prohibiting the use of tobacco, in protest against tobacco concessions accorded by Naser-al-Din Shah to the British colonial power. The pulpit ruling was accepted throughout the country, forcing the shah to cancel the concession.[40]

Texts of what appear to be actual khotbas from the Safavid and Qajar periods, as well as texts of model khotbas, are preserved in manuscript form.[41]

Mostafa Derayati tags several Safavid and Qajar khotbas as “Arabic” and none as “Persian,” and Safavid treatises on the validity of the Friday prayer do not appear to mention its language. But, in view of the growing importance of Persian at this time, it would seem possible that khotbas had begun to be delivered in Persian. Further research needs to be carried out in the manuscript sources to answer this question.

During the reign of the Pahlavi dynasty (1925-79), both the political and religious significance of the Friday sermon declined. Ironically, however, the khotbas of numerous clerics across Iran were instrumental in bringing about the downfall of the Pahlavi regime (Bakhash, passim). In 1979, Ayatollah Ruh-Allah Khomeyni forcefully reinstituted the khotba in Iran, employing it as a tool for legitimizing the Islamic Republic and perpetuating his doctrine of welayat-e faqih (authoritative rule of the jurist), in which the highest political authority was vested in the clerics. Just as the medieval khotba contained blessings for the ruler, and just as earlier Shiʿite khotbas contained benedictions for the Imams, preachers in revolutionary Iran would frequently pray for Ayatollah Khomeyni or thank him.[42] Elected state officials, however, are never mentioned in the Iranian khotba.

Refrences[edit | edit source]

  1. for details, texts, and translations, see Qutbuddin, 2008, 2012, and 2013; Noss; Ramazan; Jamharat kotab
  2. III, p. 29
  3. text in Jahez, I, pp. 308-9
  4. ibid.; Ebn ʿAbd Rabbeh, IV, p. 118
  5. katib al-anbiaʾ; Tabari, Jameʿ al-bayan, online, exegesis of the verse 11:91
  6. e.g., Qurʾan 11:84-95
  7. Ebn al-Atir, II, p. 44
  8. Tabari, Taʾrik II, p. 395; tr., VII, pp. 2-4
  9. Ebn Hesam, I, pp. 317-18, and passim
  10. Ebn Hesam, II, p. 447; Ebn ʿAbd Rabbeh, IV, pp. 53-55
  11. d. 40/661; Termedi, no. 3713; Ebn Maja, no. 121; Qazi Noʿman, I, pp. 15-17; Ebn Babawayh, Kesal, p. 311
  12. cf. Qutbuddin, 2012; idem, 2013
  13. Ebn Qotayba, 1990, II, p. 87
  14. Jahez, III, pp. 132-34; Ebn Qotayba, 2003, III, p. 370
  15. Safwat, III, passim
  16. Ebn Abi Taher, pp. 3-29
  17. see. e.g., Qutbuddin, 2008, passim; idem, 2012, passim
  18. see Walker, ed.
  19. kataba Hussainiya; for biographies of important Twelver Shiʿite preachers, see Sayyed Hasan, 1996-2009, passim; for preaching materials, see idem, 1991, passim
  20. e.g., Ebn Hesam, I, p. 318; Menqari, p. 10; Jahez, II, p. 65; Kotb al-jomʿa, passim
  21. Qazi Noʿman, I, p. 183; Ebn Babawayh, 1957-59, I, p. 285
  22. cf. Badahdah I, p. 97
  23. Yaqut, III, p. 191; Ebn Senan, p. 422, poem 78, v. 5
  24. Jahez, II, p. 31; Ebn Hesam, I, p. 318
  25. Qazi Noʿman, I, p. 182; Tusi, I, p. 143
  26. Kraemer, p. 38
  27. III, Gadir khotba, no. 254 pp. 246-50; Friday? khotba, no. 255, pp. 252-54; ʿid khotba, nos. 298-99, pp. 437-45; see also the discussion in his autobiography regarding the Buyids’ fears that he would declare for the Fatimids in his khotba [Sirat, pp. 5-6]
  28. Abisaab, pp. 4, 12, 20-22, 112-14, and passim; see JABAL ʿAMEL
  29. Jaʿfarian, 2003, pp. 109-10
  30. cf. Arjomand, p. 178
  31. preserved in manuscript; see Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, VII, pp. 202-3
  32. Newman, 2001, p. 34
  33. d. 984/1576; Jaʿfarian, 2003, pp. 1-102
  34. d. 1030/1621; Jaʿfarian, 2003, pp. 1-102
  35. ed. Jaʿfarian; cf. analysis of these treatises in Jaʿfarian, 1991, idem, 2003, and Younes, pp. 57-113
  36. Stewart, 2009, passim
  37. Hasan Rumlu, ed. Seddon, II, pp. 26-27, ed. Navaʾi, pp. 85-86; Jahangosa-ye Kaqan, pp. 147-49
  38. Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, VII, pp. 194-96; the khotba is also known as “Khotbat al-ethna-ʿashariya”
  39. Shah Tahmasp, Majmuʿa-ye asnad p. 215, Qazi Ahmad, I, p. 73, cited in Stanfield-Johnson, pp. 51, 57, and passim
  40. see details in Keddie, pp. 67, 76, 95 and passim
  41. listed in Jaʿfarian, 1991, pp. 179-80; Derayati, IV, pp. 885-903; Safavid ruler named in nos. 109,319, 109,672, and Qajar ruler named in nos. 109,321, 109,324, 109,369, 109,605, 109,606
  42. cf. Emami Kasani on 12 March 1982, in Dar maktab-e jomʿa IV, p. 292, and Rafsanjani on 25 September 1981, IV, p. 9

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

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Studies[edit | edit source]

  • Rula Jurdi Abisaab, Converting Persia: Religion and Power in the Safavid Empire, London and New York, 2004.
  • Hamid Algar, “Emam-e jomʿa,” in EIr. VIII, pp. 386-91.
  • Mohammad-Reza Ansari, “Kotba,” in Dayerat al-maʿaref-e Tasayyoʿ VII, pp. 168-71.
  • Richard T. Antoun, Muslim Preacher in the Modern World: A Jordanian Case Study in Comparative Perspective, Princeton, 1989.
  • Said Amir Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam: Religion, Political Order, and Societal Change in Shiʿite Iran from the Beginning to 1890, Chicago, 1984.
  • Heidar G. Azodanloo, “Formalization of Friday Sermons and Consolidation of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies 1/1, 1992, pp. 12-24.
  • ʿAli b. ʿOmar Badahdah, Mawsuʿat zad al-kotabaʾ, 7 vols., Jeddah, 2008.
  • Shaul Bakhash, “Sermons, Revolutionary Pamphleteering and Mobilization: Iran, 1978,” in Said Amir Arjomand, ed., From Nationalism to Revolutionary Islam, Albany, NY, 1984.
  • Bruce Borthwick, “The Islamic Sermon As a Channel of Political Communication in Syria, Jordan and Egypt,” Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1965.
  • Norman Calder, “Friday Prayer and the Juristic Theory of Government: Saraksi, Shirazi, Mawardi.” BSOAS 49/1, 1986, pp. 35-47.
  • Stephan Dahne, “Die politische Hutba in der klassischen arabischen Literatur,” Ph.D. diss., Wittenberg University, 2001.
  • Mostafa Derayati, ed., Fehrestvara-ye dastnevestha-ye Iran (DENA), 12 vols., Tehran, 2010, IV, pp. 885-902.
  • “Emam-e jomʿa” in Dayerat al-maʿaref-e tasayyoʿ II, Tehran, 1989, pp. 387-89.
  • Asghar Fathi, “Preachers as Substitutes for Mass Media: The Case of Iran 10-5-1919,” in Edie Kedourie and Sylvia Haim, eds., Towards a Modern Iran: Studies in Thought, Politics, and Society, London, 1980, pp. 169-80.
  • Patrick D. Gaffney, The Prophet’s Pulpit: Islamic Preaching in Contemporary Egypt, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London, 1994.
  • Rasul Jaʿfarian, “Namaz-e jomʿa dar dawra-ye Safawi,” in Din wa siasat dar dawra-ye Safawi, Qom, 1991, pp. 119-80.
  • Idem, “Tarik-e namaz-e jomʿa wa mabahet-e ʿelmi-e marbut bar an dar dawra-ye Safawi,” introduction to idem, ed., Davazdah resala-ye feqhi, Qom, 2003, pp. 15-69.
  • Idem, “Agahiha-ye ketab-senakti dar bara-ye namaz-e jomʿa,” introduction to idem, ed., Davazdah resala-ye feqhi, Qom, 2003, pp. 70-102.
  • Linda Gale Jones, The Power of Oratory in the Medieval Muslim World, Cambridge and New York, 2012.
  • Mohammad-Sadeq Mohammad Karbasi, Moʿjam kotabaʾ al-menbar al-Hussaini: Directory of Hussain Orators, 2 vols., London, 1999.
  • Nikki R. Keddie, Religion and Rebellion in Iran: The Tobacco Protest of 1891-1892, London, 1966.
  • Joel Kraemer, Humanism in the Renaissance of Islam: The Cultural Revival during the Buyid Age, Leiden, 1992.
  • Wilferd Madelung, “Zaydiyya,” in EI2 XI, 2002, pp. 477-81.
  • Idem, Religious Trends in Early Islamic Iran, Albany, N.Y., 1988.
  • Andrew Newman, “Fayḍ al-Kashani and the Rejection of the Clergy/State Alliance: Friday Prayer as Politics in the Safavid Period,” in Linda Walbridge, ed., The Most Learned of the Shiʿa: The Institution of the Marjaʿ Taqlid, New York, 2001, pp. 34-52.
  • Idem, “The Vezir and the Mulla: A Late Safavid Period Debate on Friday Prayer,” in Michele Bernardini, Masashi Haneda, and Maria Szuppe, eds., Études sur L’Iran Médiéval et Moderne Offertes à Jean Calmard, Eurasian Studies 1/2, 2006, pp. 237-69.
  • Ehsan Noss, al-Kataba al-ʿarabiya fi ʿasreha al-dahabi, Cairo, 1963.
  • J. Pedersen, “Khatib,” in EI² IV, 1978, pp. 1109-11.
  • Tahera Qutbuddin, “Khutba: The Evolution of Early Arabic Oration,” in Beatrice Gruendler and Michael Cooperson, eds., Classical Arabic Humanities in Their Own Terms: Festschrift for Wolfhart Heinrichs on His 65th Birthday, Leiden, 2008, pp. 176-273.
  • Idem, “The Sermons of ʿAli ibn Abi Talib: At the Confluence of the Core Islamic Teachings of the Qurʾan and the Oral, Nature-Based Cultural Ethos of Seventh Century Arabia,” Anuario de Estudios Medievales 42/1, 2012, pp. 201-28.
  • Idem, “Introduction,” in Qazi Qozaʿi, Dostur maʿalem al-hekam wa maʾtur makarem al-siam, ed. and tr. Tahera Qutbuddin as A Treasury of Virtues: Sayings: Sermons, and Teachings of ʿAli, New York, 2013, pp. xiii-xxiv.
  • Haggay Ram, Myth and Mobilisation in Revolutionary Iran: The Use of the Friday Congregational Sermon, Washington, D.C., 1994.
  • Najda Ramazan, Taʾrik al-kataba wa-ashar kotab al-rasul wa’l-sahaba, Damascus, 1998.
  • Abdulaziz Abdulhussein Sachedina, The Just Ruler (al-sultan al-ʿadil) in Shīʿite Islam: The Comprehensive Authority of the Jurist in Imamite Jurisprudence, New York and Oxford, 1988.
  • Dakel Sayyed Hasan, Man la yahzorohu al-katib: bohut wa mohazarat fi’l-tafsir wa’l-tarbia wa’l-adab wa’l-taʾrik, 4 vols., Beirut, 1991.
  • Idem, Moʿjam al-kotabaʾ, 12 vols., Beirut, 1996-2009.
  • Rosemary Stanfield-Johnson, “The Tabarraʾiyan and the Early Safavids,” Iranian Studies 37/1, 2004, pp. 47-71.
  • Devin Stewart, “The Portrayal of an Academic Rivalry: Najaf and Qum in the Writings and Speeches of Khomeini, 1964-78,” in Linda Walbridge, ed., The Most Learned of the Shiʿa: The Institution of the Marjaʿ Taqlid, Oxford and New York, 2001, pp. 216-29.
  • Idem, “Polemics and Patronage in Safavid Iran: The Debate on Friday Prayer during the Reign of Shah Tahmasb,” BSOAS, 72/3, 2009, pp. 425-57.
  • Mohammad Asraf Thanvi, Kotobat al-ahkam le jomaʿat al-ʿamm, Deobandh, n.d.
  • Turkish Diyanet Ministry, Hutbe Dualari: Turkish Khutba Prayers, accessed May 18, 2012, at
  • A. J. Wensinck, “Khutba,” in EI² V, 1986, pp. 74-75.
  • Miriam Younes, Diskussionen schiitischer Gelehrter über juristische Grundlagen von Legalitat in der frühen Safawidenzeit: das Beispiel der Abhandlungen über das Freitagsgebet, Würzburg, 2010.

Source[edit | edit source]