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The Friday preacher of the Masjed-e Mufti in Bangladesh reciting the Chutba

Chatīb or Friday Preacher ( Arabic خطيب, DMG ḫaṭīb , Turkish hatip ) is the name of an Islamic preacher who holds the Chutba ("sermon") during Friday prayers or during the festival of the sacrifice or the breaking of the fast . This is usually the imam of the respective mosque .

History of the term

Among the Arabs , in the pre-Islamic epoch, Khatib referred to the spokesman for the tribe . His tasks at that time consisted in highlighting the qualities of his tribe, also in the fight against enemies. His hallmarks were a lance, staff or bow , which he often used to hit the ground during his speeches. At the beginning of the Islamic epoch, the chatib slowly lost its warlike character. The Chutba was now addressed exclusively to the Muslim believers and was no longer used for confrontation with the enemy. However, under the four first caliphs and the Umayyads , it was still the duty of the Khatib to give edicting speeches on the minbar, as well as to give orders, to take decisions and to express his opinion on matters that affected the community.

After the end of the battles of the first generations, the religious character of the chatib increased. The caliph Hārūn ar-Raschīd commissioned the Qādīs to deliver sermons and limited his role to that of the listener. The Egyptian Fatimids sometimes preached the sermon themselves. At that time, the function of the Chatib was highly regarded. When Saladin installed a Qādī as Chatib in the al-Aqsa mosque after the conquest of Jerusalem , this was considered a great honor for the person concerned. The Chatib was also held in high esteem among the Mameluks . He is the one to whom the newly converted usually announce their conversion to Islam.

While only one Khatib is officiating in the al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, there were 46 in the Prophet's Mosque in Medina and 122 in Mecca in 1909 , not counting their deputies.