How many steps should a minbar have and on which should the Imam stand? When was this established?
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ had a minbar made and he ﷺ would deliver the khutbah whilst standing on it. There were three steps on the minbar of the Beloved Prophet ﷺ. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would stand on the first step (the highest step), Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq delivered it on the second, and Sayyiduna ‘Umar Al-Faruq delivered it on the third. When it was the era of Dhun- Nurayn Sayyiduna ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, he also delivered it on the first step (the highest). Someone asked him and he replied, “If I stood on the second, someone might think I am equal to Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq, and on the third someone might think I am equal in status to Sayyiduna ‘Umar. Thus, I stand there where there is no room for any doubt.”
And Allah ﷻ knows the best
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan رحمة الله تعالى عليه
Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari Translator of Majestic Quran, www.majesticquran.co.uk