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QUESTION: What is the Islamic Directive regarding the use of the Asa by the Khateeb during the Khutba of Salaatul Jumma?

ANSWER: There are varying opinions regarding the use of the Asa by the Khateeb whilst delivering the Jumma sermon. Some Ulema have expressed the view that it is Sunnat, other Hanafi Ulema regard it as Makrooh, whilst Imam Shafi (radi Allahu anhu) says that the use of the Asa is Sunnat.

The practise of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) regarding the use of the Asa varied according to places and time. On the plains of the battlefield, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) sometimes delivered a sermon leaning on a bow or sword. For the sermon of Jumma, he sometimes leaned on the Asa. It is also indicated by some Ulema that before the Mimbar was constructed in Masjid-e-Nabawi Shareef, the Beloved Habeeb (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) leaned on a bow or Asa whilst delivering a sermon. However, after the Mimbar Shareef was constructed in the Masjid, there is no historical proof that he leaned over anything whilst delivering a sermon.

Wherever the Asa is used these days by the Khateeb during the Friday sermons, it is not proper to stop him from doing so. In the same vein, wherever the Asa is not used by the Khateeb in any Masjid for delivering the Friday sermon, people should not force the Khateeb to change his habit and use the Asa. A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (radi Allahu anhu) said: "Wherever a conflict appears between a practice that is regarded as a Sunnat by some people, whilst other Muslims regard it as Makrooh, then it is better to leave out that Sunnat as it is not a Sunnat-e-Mu'akkidah."