The sunnah for the khutbah (speech) is to follow the `Eed prayer. Ibn `Abbaas () said:
"I attended the `Eed with Allaah's Messenger , Abu Bakr, `Umar, and `Uthm_n (); all of them would pray before the khutbah."1
Ibn `Umar () said:
"The Prophet , Abu Bakr, and `Umar prayed the `Eed (prayers) before the khutbah."2
Al-Bukhaaree headed these hadeeths with the title, "The Chapter on Holding the khutbah after the `Eed Prayer." Waliyyullaah ad-Dahlawee commented on this by saying:
"He means that this (performing the prayer before the khutbah) was the sunnah of Allaah's Messenger , and the practice of the Righteous Khulafaa' (Successors, ) after him. The change that came later (switching the khutbah and the prayer) is an innovation done by Marwaan3." 4
This is stated clearly by Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree () who said:
"On the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha, the Prophet used to go out (from his house) to the musallaa, and the first thing that he did was perform the prayer. Then he turned around and stood facing the people, while they were sitting in their rows. He admonished, advised, and commanded them.
Imaam at-Tirmithee (r) commented:
"This is the acceptable practice among the people of knowledge among the Prophet's companions and others: that the `Eed prayer should precede the khutbah. It is reported that the first one to offer the khutbah before the prayer was Marwaan Bin al-Hakam."6
Takbeer At The Beginning Of The Khutbah?
Some imaams start this khutbah with Takbeer. This does not have any basis in the Sunnah. There is a weak hadeeth that some people use as their evidence. Al-Albaanee said in this regard:
"The hadeeth reported from Sa`d ul-Qarz that, "The Prophet would say Takbeer often during his khutbah, and he said it more often during the `Eed khutbahs." - is a weak hadeeth7. Besides, it does not indicate starting the khutbah with Takbeer, but only that he used to say it frequently during it."8
Thus, this khutbah, like any other one, should be started with praising and glorifying Allaah (SWT). Ibn ul-Qayyim (r) said:
"Allaah's Messenger used to begin all of his khutbahs with al-hamdu lillaah. Not even one authentic hadeeth indicates that he started the Eed's khutbah with Takbeer."9
One Or Two Khutbahs?
There is no authentic hadeeth indicating that the `Eed khutbah is to be divided into two parts separated with a sitting (as for Jumu`ah). The only report in this regard is very weak.10
Thus, the khutbah should be kept as one unit, which is consistent with the original understanding and practice.
Standing On A Minbar?
It is not permissible to bring out a minbar to the musallaa or to build a fixed one. This follows from the above mentioned hadeeth of Abu Sa`eed () where he said, "... Then he turned around and stood facing the people, while they were sitting in their rows. He admonished, advised, and commanded them," which makes it clear that he did not mount a minbar. Also, he () said to Marwaan, "By Allaah, you have changed (the Sunnah)." His objection here refers to two things: building the minbar, and delivering the khutbah before the prayer.
Also, Jaabir Bin `Abdillaah () reported:
"I witnessed with Allaah's Messenger the prayer on a `Eed day. He started with the prayer, before the khutbah, without Athaan or Iqaamah. Then he stood, leaning on Bilaal, and commanded people to fear Allaah (SWT) ..."11
This clearly indicates that he was not standing on a minbar during the khutbah.
Listening To The Khutbah
Attending the khutbah is not waajib, as is the case for attending the prayer. `Abdullaah Bin as-Saa'ib reported that he attended the `Eed with the Prophet ; and when he finished the prayer, he said:
We shall have a khutbah; so let whoever wishes to sit for the khutbah do so, and whoever wishes to leave leave.12
Ibn ul-Qayyim commented:
"He gave choice for those who attended the `Eed to either sit for the khutbah or leave."13