A New Domain for Co-Workers of God

Accessing Khutbahs on the Internet


  • Steven Fink University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire




Religion and the Internet, Islamic Preaching, American Islam, Muhammad Iqbal


Offering a seemingly endless array of options, the Internet has expanded the realm of Islamic belief and practice. This article adds to scholarly conversation on this topic, focusing on American Muslim use of Friday khutbahs, or sermons, on the Internet. A major goal of the article is to present data, gathered through Internet searching and through correspondence with American Muslims, regarding the prevalence and use of khutbahs on the Internet. The other major goal is to provide a conceptual framework from within the Islamic tradition to reflect on the data. Drawing upon the thought of Muhammad Iqbal, the argument will be made that Muslims who access khutbahs on the Internet instantiate their status as co-workers of God by taking control of sequential time for the sake of improving humankind.

Author Biography

  • Steven Fink, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
    Steven Fink is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. He received a doctoral degree from the Department of Religious Studies, in the program of Modern Religious Thought, at The University of Iowa. He authored ‘Preaching as Reimagining: Post-9/11 Khutbahs in the United States and Canada’ (Comparative Islamic Studies 3[2]), and his research focuses on American Islam, especially regarding the topics of preaching, the Internet, music, and hermeneutics.


Abdo, Geneive 2006 Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America after 9/11. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Ahmed, Akbar 2010 Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam. Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DC.

Anderson, Jon 2002 Internet Islam: New Media of the Islamic Reformation. In Everyday Life in the Muslim Middle East, edited by Donna Lee Bowen and Evelyn A. Early, 300-305. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

Antoun, Richard T. 1989 Muslim Preacher in the Modern World: A Jordanian Case Study in Comparative Perspective. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Barrett, Paul M. 2007 American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion. Picador, New York.

Bunt, Gary R. 2000 Virtually Islamic: Computer-Mediated Communication and Cyber Islamic Environments. University of Wales Press, Cardiff.

Islam in the Digital Age: E-Jihad, Online Fatwas and Cyber Islamic Environments. Pluto Press, London.

iMuslims: Rewiring the House of Islam. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.

Castells, Manuel 2001 The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Cesari, Jocelyne 2004 When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. doi:10.1057/ 9781403978561.

cooke, Miriam, and Bruce B. Lawrence (eds.) 2005 Muslim Networks from Hajj to Hip Hop. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.

Eickelman, Dale F., and Jon W. Anderson (eds.) 1999 New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere. Indiana

University Press, Bloomington.

El-Nawawi, Mohammed, and Sahar Khamis 2009 Islam Dot Com: Contemporary Islamic Discourses in Cyberspace. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Fink, Steven R. 2007 Preaching as Reimagining: Post-9/11 Khutbahs in the United States and Canada. Comparative Islamic Studies 3(2): 195-212.

Gaffney, Patrick D. 1994 The Prophet’s Pulpit: Islamic Preaching in Contemporary Egypt. University of California Press, Berkeley.

GhaneaBassiri, Kambiz 2010 A History of Islam in America: From the New World to the New World Order. Cambridge University Press, New York.

Giddens, Anthony 1991 Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Stanford University Press, Stanford.

Hine, Christine 2000 Virtual Ethnography. Sage, London.

Iqbal, Muhammad 1968 [1930] The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore.

Tulip in the Desert: A Selection of the Poetry of Muhammad Iqbal, translated and edited by Mustansir Mir. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Livingstone, Sonia 2005 Critical Debates in Internet Studies: Reflections on an Emerging Field. In Mass Media and Society. 4th edn, edited by James Curran and Michael Gurevitch, 9-28. Hodder Arnold, London.

Maguire, Musa 2006 The Islamic Internet: Authority, Authenticity and Reform. In Media on the Move: Global Flow and Contra-Flow, edited by Daya Thussu, 237-50. Routledge, London.

Mandaville, Peter G. 2000 Reimagining the Ummah? Information Technology and the Changing Boundaries of Political Islam. In Religion on the Internet: Research Prospects and Promises, edited by Jeffrey K. Hadden and Douglas E. Cowan, 61-90. JAI Elsevier Science, New York.

McCloud, Aminah Beverly 2006 Transnational Muslims in American Society. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Postman, Neil 1992 Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

Ram, Haggay 1994 Myth and Mobilization in Revolutionary Iran: The Use of the Friday Congregational Sermon. The American University Press, Washington, DC.

Scholz, Jan et al. 2008 Listening Communities?: Some Remarks on the Construction of Religious Authority in Islamic Podcasts. Die Welt des Islams 48(3/4): 457-509. doi:10.1163/157006008X364721.

Skalli, Loubna H. 2006 Communicating Gender in the Public Sphere: Women and Information Technologies in the MENA. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 2(2): 35-59.

Slouka, Mark 1995 War of the Worlds: Cyberspace and the High-Tech Assault on Reality. Basic Books, New York.

Smith, Jane I. 2009 Islam in America. 2nd edn. Columbia University Press, New York.

Tayob, Abdulkader 1999 Islam in South Africa: Mosques, Imams, and Sermons. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Waugh, Earle H. 2005 Memory, Music, and Religion: Morocco’s Mystical Chanters. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia.

Wellman, Barry, and Milena Gulia 1999 Virtual Communities as Communities: Net Surfers Don’t Ride Alone. In Communities in Cyberspace, edited by Marc A. Smith and Peter Kollock, 167-94. Routledge, London.

Wheeler, Deborah 2003 The Internet and Youth Subculture in Kuwait. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 8(2): 133-62.

Zaman, Saminaz 2008 From Imam to Cyber-Mufti: Consuming Identity in Muslim America. The Muslim World 98(4): 465-74. doi:10.1111/j.1478-1913.2008.00240.x.



How to Cite

Fink, S. (2011). A New Domain for Co-Workers of God: Accessing Khutbahs on the Internet. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 23(3), 301-324. https://doi.org/10.1558/arsr.v23i3.301