Some people including me sleep during the Khutbah (sermon) of the Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer. What is your opinion, our eminent Shaykh? What is the ruling of Islam on this regard?
It is obligatory for a Muslim to listen to the Khutbah and stay away from distractions like talking or sleeping. It was reported by Muslim in his Sahih (Authentic Hadith Book) on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
Anyone who performs Ghusl (full ritual bath) and then goes to offer the Jumu`ah (Friday Prayer) and performs the (supererogatory) prayer that has been ordained for him, listens until the Imam (the one who leads congregational Prayer) concludes the Khutbah (sermon) and then offers the Prayer along with him (the Imam), he would be forgiven for what he did between then and the following Friday, and even three days more.
It was reported on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
Anyone who speaks during the Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer while the Imam is delivering the Khutbah is like the donkey who is carrying books, and for those who tell him to listen, there is no (reward for the) Jumu`ah. Al-Hafizh ibn Hajar said that this was related by Ahmad through a good Isnad (chain of narrators).
All this indicates the greatness of the Khutbah of the Jumu`ah as it implies advice and admonition, guidance, calling to goodness and reminding the Muslim of Allah (Exalted be He).
(Part No. 7; Page No. 136)
Hence, the Muslim must be careful about this and must not take it lightly because of the previously mentioned grave warning involved here.
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!