The Potluck Khutbah

Potlucks are awesome. When you're looking to mix up a meal, try new dishes, or divide the work for a large dinner, why not ask everyone to bring a little something? Your plate ends up full with multiple dishes, quite diverse, but it's not like you mix them all up expect the result to taste wonderfully. Instead, you taste each dish individually.

Potlucks are fun and yummy among friends. However, a "Potluck" approach is not effective when writing weekly religious speeches (Khutbas) for the community Friday prayers.

So is it just me, or are Calgary Juma'a Khutbas like a potluck?! The speeches contain a little bit of everything that is attempted to be mixed together into one meal, but it doesn't quite work harmoniously in that manner.

I've been to quite a few Juma'a prayers, hitting different mosques in the city, and I am saddened to say that very few have left an impression on my mind. Most Khutbas tend to revolve around the same topics: fear of Allah, the plight of our Ummah overseas, how we need to be a united Muslim community in Calgary, and fundraising. Oh, and during one memorable Taraweeh topic on the FINAL night of Ramadan, how parents need to stop throwing their infant's diapers in the parking lot.


I'm not an Imam or anything, but I somewhat liken Khutbas to writing an essay. And any GOOD essay has several critical components:

1. A thesis
2. Supporting arguments
3. A catchy introduction and an impressionable conclusion

After watching "Little Mosque on the Prairie" and seeing the Imam on the show, Ammar, sit down and PLAN his khutbas, I naively thought that this was the process for every Imam.

Apparently, I'm really naive.

I don't know about y'all, but I want to be MOVED in some fashion by the Khutbah. I look forward to going, get into a spiritual mindset, anticipate the awesomemest Khutbah ever...and then I find my head in my lap while rocking gently thanks to the splitting sound of Arabic being yelled over the microphone, causing auditory distortion (by the way, my Muslim buddy tells me that's called "peaking"!)

I wish at those moments that my hijab was a little thicker.

Why are Khutbah topics being recycled and repeated? Imams have the power to reach a large number of people every Friday...why isn't this opportunity being seized? Why not address youth gangs, marriage in the 21st Century, mental health, tough parenting topics, respecting people of the book, spiritual fitness, living a balanced life, encouraging community service, and most important, the mercy of Allah and his love for his followers. And many more topics that Muslims in Calgary need to hear.

So why not poll the general population and ask them for their input on Khutbah topics? Make it an anonymous box, similar to the donation box, where interested community members can submit requests for topics. And imagine this - if there was a concerned parent with regards to a situation at home, and they had a chance to ask for help, the Imam could actually set that family up with the support they need.

I really wish our leaders were more in tune with the needs of the community. But then again, I have a voice and am speaking up, but I know that there are MANY Muslims in the city who haven't had a chance to be heard.

And I'm not even sure that I'm being heard by the powers that be right now. And at some point, you need to stop complaining and do something about it. Because if the existing establishments aren't at a place where they can hear and acknowledge the multiple facets of needs in their own community, it's time to do something about it.

After all, change can only happen in small steps, and is often led by example.

So tell me this. If you had the chance to write one Khutbah for our community, what would it be?


  1. fob imams like jamal spittin on tha mic wit arabic phrases..they call it heavy metal khutbas

  2. Ameen muslimbrothah, we need English!

  3. Oooh...I guess this was the groundwork that led up to Battle of the Sermons. It's always so great to see someone carry forward their thoughts into actual action. Way to go MSDI :)


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