What is the status of an Imam holding a stick during the Jumuah Khutbah?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
It is mentioned in a Hadith:
فأقمْنا بها أيامًا شهدنا فيها الجمعةَ مع رسولِ اللهِ ﷺ فقام متوكِّئًا على عصًا أو قوسٍ
Translation: So we stayed therein (Madina) for some days. In those days, we were present for Jumuah with the Messenger (SAW). He would stand leaning on a stick or a bow. (Sunan Abu Dawud: Hadith 1096)
Therefore, it is mustahab (preferable) for the Imam to deliver the Friday Khutbah whilst leaning on a stick. However, it is incorrect to consider it necessary and criticize khateebs who choose not to lean on a stick during khutbahs. If someone considers leaning on a stick necessary, then it will become an innovation. In summary, an Imam should deliver the khutbah most of the time without a stick, nevertheless, when there is no fear of the general public misunderstanding the above-mentioned ruling, then it will be good to occasionally lean upon a stick during the khutbah.
Raddul Muhtar: v. 3, p. 41 (Maktaba Imdadia)
Fatawa Darul Uloom Zakariyya: v. 2, p. 706 (Zamzam)
Only Allah knows best