Is it necessary that the Khutbah of Jum'ah is given in Arabic language or can it be given in some other language also? Some people say that if it is given in a local language it may be more useful to the audience. (S A, Toronto)
The Khutbah of Jum'ah is not essentially a lecture meant for the people. Rather, it is a part of the prayer of Jum'ah. It is evident that the numbers of rak'at in a zuhr prayer is four. On the day of jum'ah, the number of rak'at has been reduced to two only and the remaining two rak'ats have been substituted by a khutbah, which is basically a form of dhikr (ritual recitation of Allah's name), and by this name it has been referred to in the Holy Qur'an (Surah al-Jum'ah).
Therefore, being a part of the prayer of dhikr, it can only be performed in Arabic, and just as the prayer of jum'ah cannot be performed in a local language, the khutbah cannot be given in any language other than Arabic. The companions of the Holy Prophet, salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, went to a number of places outside Arabia and preached Islam there, but they never used a local language while offering a khutbah of jum'ah. They used the local language in other lectures and sermons, but not in the prescribed khutbah on Friday. This helps the Muslims being in at least verbal contact with Arabic, the language of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah.
Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.