This is a great initiative, Insha Allah it may become a catalyst in developing a new practice of thoughtful, time sensitive Khutbah's. Let's reduce every sermon into writing as we will have records of it. Indeed, all the great speeches made in human history were written first and delivered next. It is a great trend to follow.
It will also inculcate the habit of speaking for Muslims of all hues, without any biases. This is a crtical need of the hour. I urge all to participate.
Muslims for Progressive Values announces
Feb 8, 2007 Los Angeles, California
Vie with one another in doing good works. Wherever you may be, God will gather you all unto Himself: for, verily, God has the power to do anything.” [The Qur’an, 2:148]
Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. [The Qur’an, 16:125]
In light of these Qur’anic verses, Muslims for Progressive Values announces the establishment of the al-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) Khutbah Competition, an annual competition and award for excellence in sermon writing for North American Muslims. Al-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, one of the best known and best loved American Muslims, was a brilliant orator. His speeches and sermons combined exhortation to justice, dignity, and righteousness, with extraordinary eloquence.
MPV hopes this competition named in honor of Al-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz will encourage other American Muslims to follow in his footsteps, to consider seriously the task of preparing sermons that not only teach, but also uplift and inspire. We hope to promote excellence in writing and delivering khutbahs throughout the American Muslim community, and to foster an environment where excellence in preaching is valued as greatly as the erudition and education of the preacher.
For 2007, two prizes will be awarded:
$1000 for The al-Hajj Malik Ash-Shabbazz (Malcolm X) Prize for Excellence in Sermon Writing, which is a juried competition
$500 for The People’s Choice award for Excellence in Sermon Writing, which will be a popular award based upon rankings given by readers who visit the competition website and vote on the khutbahs.
Additionally, the winners will be invited to deliver their sermons during the first conference of Muslims for Progressive Values, to be held at Sarah Lawrence College June 15-17, 2007. MPV also intends to publish the winning essays in a booklet which will be available to the public.
The judges for the first year include:
al-Husein N. Madhany, PhD Program, Medieval Islamic History and Theology, University of Chicago.
Kerry Gearin, lawyer; advocate for abused women and children
Jack Fertig, columnist; head of the San Francisco Progressive Muslim MeetUp Groups
Laury Silvers, Assistant Professor of Religion specializing in Islam at Skidmore College; founder of progressiveislam.org
Donations to support the competition are welcome; please click here to donate via paypal. Thank you!
Call for Entries:
The Al-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) Khutbah Competition Submission Guidelines:
The competition opens February 15th, 2007
Final Deadline to submit entries is April 30th, 2007.
Winners will be announced June 15th, 2007, at the MPV Conference.
Sermon entries for the year 2007 should describe ways in which North American Muslims can apply Islamic principles to better our world, country, communities, and the lives of family, friends, and others. Special consideration will be given to sermons which demonstrate how North American Muslims, individually or collectively, can take leadership roles in long-term civic engagement efforts. The focus should be on turning hope and good intentions into practical action, with the goal of making Islamic principles come alive to solve problems and move the Muslim community and American society to a better place.
All khutbahs should be between 3000 and 7500 words (approximately 20-40 minutes delivery time), and must be written in English. Qur’an and hadith may be quoted in Arabic, although it is not required. If Arabic is used, translation should be provided. Use of technical language from fiqh and theology, Arabic phrases, and other jargon should be kept to a minimum.The competition is open to all Muslims, of any race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, and religious affiliation (sunni, shii, sufi, etc).
While imams and chaplains are encouraged to submit entries, no official position, title, or educational background is required of contestants. Judging will be upon the merits of the khutbah, not the merits of the writer.All identifying information (including name, gender, age, ethnicity, and contact information) will be stripped from the written entries before being sent to the judges or being posted on the competition website to ensure a fair competition. In the juried competition, each khutbah will be given 1-5 points in five categories:
content (including clarity, organization, understandability)
use of Qur’an and/or hadith
rhetoric/strength of argument
relevance to the North American context
Thus, there will be a maximum of 25 points from each judge, or 100 points total. The khutbah receiving the highest cumulative marks will be the winner.
In the people’s choice award, readers will rate each khutbah on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the best, 10 being the worst). Each khutbah will be ranked according to the average of all scores received. In the event of a tie, the khutbah with the largest readership among those who received the top marks will be deemed the winner.
Entries should be in Times New Roman, 12 point, double spaced, and with at least 1 inch margins on all sides. All entries should include a cover sheet with a title for the khutbah, author’s name, address, phone number, and email. Only title, with no personal identifying information, should be on the subsequent pages of the khutbah itself.
Submission to this competition constitutes agreement on the part of the author that the submitted khutbah may be posted on the People’s Choice website and may be included in any compilation/publication of winning entries.
Email all entries to Sabahat Ashraf .
For further information please contact the competition coordinator, Sabahat Ashraf, at iFaqeer@Gmail.com