x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Preachers at UAE mosques urged to 'improvise' sermons

Preachers currently receive their sermons in a standard written format from Awqaf, the general authority for Islamic affairs and endowments.

Preachers at the UAE's mosques are being encouraged to "improvise" with the Friday sermon.

They usually receive sermons in a standardised, written format from Awqaf, the general authority of Islamic affairs and endowments.

But at a recent workshop attended by Awqaf's branch managers, officials approved "mechanisms to develop the Friday sermon" and "raise the competence of preachers", reported the Arabic-language daily Al Ittihad, sister paper of The National.

"These development mechanisms include encouraging preachers to improvise sermons according to well-defined standards and norms, and in keeping with Awqaf's strategy in terms of objective treatment of sermons," said Dr Hamdan Al Mazrouei, the head of Awqaf.

Outstanding preachers will get the opportunity to propose topics that suit their audience and discuss those instead of the supplied sermon. This means sermons will differ from one mosque to another.

The maximum time for these sermons will be 30 minutes.

"The Friday sermon is a regular and informative channel of communication with society," Dr Al Mazrouei said.

"It has seen remarkable developments over the years in terms of the topics and ideas it covers, and the way it is written and the time it lasts."

Awqaf will hold further training sessions to improve the competence of preachers and hone their preparation and delivery skills.