Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states: “Muslim narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “He who performs ablution well, then comes to Friday prayer, listens (to the khutbah), keeps silent, all (his sins) between that time and the next Friday will be forgiven with three days extra; and he who touches pebbles, causes an interruption, his reward is incomplete.”
Scholars say that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade causing any interruption or commotion during the Friday khutbah because such commotion, whether by speech or action, distracts the Imam, and it is also a diversion from listening to the khutbah.
Abu Hanifah, Ash-Shafi`i and the majority of scholars hold that listening to the Khutbah in silence is a must, especially if the Qur’an is being recited during it. That is because Almighty Allah says: “And when the Qur’an is recited, give ear to it and pay heed, that ye may obtain mercy.” (Al-A`raf: 204) He, Most High, also says: “Those who disbelieve say: ‘Heed not this Qur’an, and drown the hearing of it; haply ye may conquer.’” (Fussilat: 26)
Abu Hanifah maintains that people should start to listen in silence as soon as the Imam comes to give the khutbah. The above Hadith, “Whoever touches the pebbles causes interruption…”, indicates that anything that diverts a person from listening to the khutbah, such as playing with one’s beads or any other act, wastes the reward of the Jumu`ah prayer.
Actually the person who is holding the donation box does not listen to the khutbah and distracts others by the sound of the coins being put in the box. In addition to this, making his way through the rows might involve disrupting them and stepping over people’s heads, which is strictly forbidden. It was narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once saw a person crossing over people’s heads during the khutbah so he said to him: “Sit down for you have harmed others.”
Therefore, collecting donations during the khutbah prevents people from listening to the khutbah, which is obligatory; thus it is not permitted and should be done after the prayer is over since there is no necessity in collecting them during the khutbah. However, collecting donations is also permissible before the khutbah on the condition that it does not involve disrupting the rows or stepping over people’s heads.”