The khutbah, or sermon, was primarily delivered in the Arabic language during the time of the four caliphs, who ruled the Islamic Empire from 632-661 CE. At that time, Arabic was the language of the ruling class and the language of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam.
However, it is worth noting that during the early Islamic period, there were many non-Arabic-speaking people who converted to Islam, and they were able to learn Arabic in order to understand the Qur'an and participate in Islamic rituals. It is also possible that during the early Islamic period, some khutbahs were delivered in other languages, such as Persian, which was widely spoken in parts of the Islamic Empire.
Overall, while the khutbah was primarily delivered in Arabic during the time of the four caliphs, there may have been some exceptions depending on the local context and the linguistic abilities of the audience.
It's important to note that during the time of the four caliphs, the Islamic Empire expanded rapidly, and this expansion brought many non-Arabic-speaking people into the fold of Islam. As a result, there were many efforts to translate the Qur'an and Islamic texts into other languages so that people could understand them.
For example, during the reign of the second caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, the Qur'an was compiled into a standardized written form, and copies were distributed to different regions of the Islamic Empire. This helped to spread knowledge of the Qur'an and Arabic language throughout the empire, making it easier for people to learn Arabic and understand the khutbah.
In addition, during the early Islamic period, there were many prominent scholars who were not of Arab descent but were fluent in Arabic and contributed significantly to the development of Islamic thought and scholarship. One such example is Imam Bukhari, a Persian scholar who is widely considered to be one of the greatest compilers of hadith, the sayings, and actions of the Prophet Muhammad[pbuh]
Overall, while the khutbah was primarily delivered in Arabic during the time of the four caliphs, there were efforts to translate Islamic texts into other languages, and many non-Arabic-speaking people were able to learn Arabic and participate fully in Islamic rituals and practices.
- The History of the Khalifahs Who Took the Right Way" by Jalal al-Din
- The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy" edited by Peter