AS – SALAT (Part 18) (3)

The Leader (Imaam) – Follower Relationships (3 of 3)

10. Imaam for sisters praying in congregation. It is permissible for women to pray in congregation among themselves. Their leader should stand in the middle of the row according to the narration regarding Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) which indicates that she used to lead women in prayer and would stand with them in the middle of the row. This has been narrated by ‘Abdur Razzaq in Al-Musannaf 3/141 and Daraqutni 1/404, and is authentic due to evidences for it. (Al-Mughni, 2/202), Al-Muhadhdhab (4/295), Al-‘Adawi (1/351).

11. Praying behind an Imaam who commits some sins is valid if he does it as prescribed by Allaah, according to scholarly consensus. The prayers of those who pray behind him, if he leads the prayer, are also valid, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. Tuhfat al-Ikhwaan, p. 114, by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz. Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 9/388, Al-Majmoo’, 4/172-173 Fataawa Islamiyyah, 2/325. However, if it is possible to replace Imaam with another Imaam who is more religiously committed and doing so will not result in a greater evil, then it is better to do that, otherwise it is better to leave him. Abu Dawood (481), which says that a man led some people in prayer and he spat in the qiblah (of the mosque) when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was looking on. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, when he had finished praying: “He should not lead you in prayer.” After that he wanted to lead them in prayer again, but they did not let him, and they told him what the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had said. He mentioned that to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he said: “Yes.” And I (the narrator) think that he said: “You have offended Allaah and His Messenger.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 9/377, Fataawa Hammah, p. 36, Mataalib Ooli al-Nuha, 1/653, Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 23/358

12. Following the Imaam from outside the mosque or following a prayer by listening to the radio or TV. Whoever wants to pray in a mosque in congregation has to go to the mosque, because if he follows the Imaam in his home this is not prayer in congregation, even if he can see the Imaam and congregation. The one who follows a broadcast prayer is not praying behind an Imaam who is in front of him, and this opens the door to evil, as more people one who is careless about Jumu’ah prayer. However, Jurists agree that so long as the takbeer can be heard and the rows are uninterrupted, then it is valid to follow the Imaam. Based on this, if the mosque is full and the rows are uninterrupted, and people pray in the market places and outside shops, there is nothing wrong with that. Zaad al-Mustaqni’, Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/297-300.

13. The Imaam rushes through the prayer; can he pray at home with his sister in jamaa‘ah? if it is the habit of this Imaam to recite so quickly that the person praying behind him cannot recite al-Faatihah, then the people of the mosque have to ask for him to be dismissed, and if it is known that a person is like that, he should not start to pray with him at all and he should go to another mosque. Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, 146/9 Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 13/134

14. The Imaam’s pronunciation is defective, and some of the members of the congregation are hiding the fact that they have more knowledge of Qur’aan. If an illiterate person who does not know al-Faatihah leads another illiterate person like him in prayer (illiterate here means one who does not know how to recite al-Faatihah properly), then his prayer is valid because they are equal in their shortcoming. If an illiterate person leads a literate person (i.e., one who can recite al-Faatihah properly) in prayer, then this is not valid according to some Jurists. But if a person is able to correct it and does not, then his prayer is not valid, if that changes the meaning. Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/248, 249. If the defective pronunciation is severe, such as substituting one letter for another, and the person is able to correct it but does not do so, in this case the person’s prayer is not valid and he may not lead the prayers, if that (mispronounced) letter appears in al-Faatihah. al-Majmoo’ (4/359), al-Mughni (2/15). If the defective pronunciation is severe, such as substituting one letter for another, but he is not able to correct his pronunciation, in this case his prayer is valid, according to scholarly consensus. al-Majmoo’ (4/166), al-Majmoo’ (4/166), Haashiyat Ibn ‘Aabideen (1/582), al-Majmoo’, 4/166, al-Muhalla (3/134), Fataawa Noor a’al al-Darb, al-Sharh al-Munti’, 4/248, 249.

And so on.

May Allaah grant us understanding

AS – SALAT (Part 18) (2)

The Leader (Imaam) – Follower Relationships (2 of 3)

3. Appointing someone else to take over as Imaam during the prayer is part of Imaam’s responsibilities. al-Bukhaari, 3700, al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (3/252), al-Muntaqa Sharh al-Muwatta’ (1/290), al-Mughni (1/944), Muslim (455), Sharh Muslim (4/177), Mawaahib al-Jaleel (2/136), Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (11/342).

4. Making one’s voice beautiful when reciting Qur’aan is Sunnah as this benefits the followers. It was narrated that al-Bara’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) reciting Wa’l-teeni wa’l-zaytoon in ‘Isha prayer, and I never heard anyone with a more beautiful voice (or recitation) than his.”  al-Bukhaari, 735; Muslim, 464, al-Bukhaari, 4761; Muslim, 793; this version narrated by Muslim Sharh Muslim, 6/80

5. Praying behind those who follow innovation, if their innovation involves shirk, then it is not correct to pray behind them. But if their bid’ah does not involve shirk, the Muslim should look for an Imaam to pray behind who is not an innovator, because that will bring him a greater reward and is farther removed from evil. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 7/353 Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (12/120, 121), Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (9/373, 374 and 12/108, 109).

6. Praying behind an incapacitated Imaam. How the worshippers behind him should pray depends on the situation:

  1. If the Imaam starts praying sitting down, then the people behind him should pray sitting down. al-Bukhaari, al-Adhaan, 657, al-Bukhaari, al-Adhaan, 648).
  2. If the Imaam starts the prayer standing, then something happens to him that makes him unable to stand any more, those who are praying behind him should complete the prayer standing. al-Bukhaari, al-Adhaan, 655, Ahkaam al-Imaamah wa’l-I’timaam fi’l-Salaah by al-Muneef, p. 112-116; Fath al-Baari Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari by Ibn Hajar, vol. 2, p. 174.

7. Joining Imaam in any position whether he is standing, bowing, prostrating or between prostrations is the sunnah. Abu Dawood, 893; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, al-Bukhaari, 635, Fath al-Baari, 1/118, al-Tirmidhi, 591; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. Ibn Hazm (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated that there was scholarly consensus on this point. He said in Maraatib al-Ijmaa’ (p. 25): They said: If a person comes and the Imaam has already done some of the prayer, a little or a lot, and there is nothing left but the salaam, he should join him and do the same as he finds him doing, unless he has decided to catch up with the congregation in another mosque. End quote. al-Mughni (2/184),Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (2/199), Ahkaam Hudoor al-Masaajid, p. 138-139, by Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Saalih al-Fawzaan. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 7/312-323.

8. Relationship between a person’s prayer and the prayer of the Imaam. The scholars differed concerning the relationship between a person’s prayer and the prayer of the Imaam but the most evidenced is that: a person’s prayer is connected to the Imaam’s prayer, but it only affects the prayer of the one who is praying behind him when there is no excuse on the part of either of them. But if there is an excuse, a defect in the Imaam’s prayer does not affect the prayer of the one who is praying behind him. If the Imaam believes that he has wudoo’, then he is excused for leading the people in prayer and the one who is praying behind him is excused for following him in prayer. This is the view of Maalik, Ahmad and others and this is what could be understood from the report narrated from the Sahaabah concerning this issue. And this is the soundest approach. This is indicated by the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (694) and Ahmad (8449) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), according to which the Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “They lead you in prayer; if they do it properly then it is for you and for them, but if they make a mistake then it is for you and against them.”  Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 23/372, al-Fataawa al-Sa‘diyyah, 7/120, Al-Mughni, 1/420, Muslim, 510, Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him), 23/370-371

9. The Sunnah is for the Imaam to stand in front of the worshippers. ash-Sharh al-Kabeer (2/61). If the worshippers stand on the right of the Imaam, their prayer is valid, but if the Imaam stands in the middle of the row and they stand behind him, that is preferable. Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘ (1/486), ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘ (4/264), ‘Umdat al-Qaari Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari (8/404), Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il ash-Shaykh (15/185). The Sunnah is for the Imaam to stand in line with the middle of the row, so the row should start from immediately behind the Imaam, then be completed to the right and left. It does not matter if there are slightly more people on the right than on the left.  Al-Bukhaari (424) and Muslim (33), Al-Bukhaari (380) and Muslim (658), Muslim (3014), Al-Shawkaani said in al-Sayl al-Jaraar (1/261), al-Mughni (2/27), al-Majmoo’ (4/192), al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (27/37), al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (3/10), Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 12/205.

To be cont.. In Shaa Allaah

May Allaah grant us understanding

AS – SALAT (Part 18) (1)

The Leader (Imaam) – Follower Relationships (1 of 3)

The position of leadership is a divinely ordained system through which Allaah gives us practical guidelines to achieve noble aims.  In Islam, the leader would also be an Imaam or leader of prayers and of jihad. This is the practice whenever the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) appoint a man as a governor over a city or a commander in war, he would also lead them in prayers and judge amongst them. This was also the practice of the Companions, Successors… Ahkaam al-Imaamah wa’l-I’timaam fi’l-Salaah by al-Muneef, p. 64

The Imaam is in front of the People before Allaah and is leading them in the most important ritual of Islam. Hence, his prayer is very important and the prayer of those who are praying behind him is connected to it in many rulings. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Imaam is liable and the Muadhin is entrusted. O Allaah, guide the Imaams and forgive the muadhins.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 517; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.  Imaam is liable, How???

It is obligatory for Imaam to protect the prayer of those who are praying behind him from becoming invalid. He should not peck in the prayer (i.e., move too quickly), which undermines the pillars of the prayer; not fall short in fulfilling the conditions of the prayer; make sure that he does the Sunnahs and postures of prayer properly; takes the responsibility of reciting out loud in the prayers where recitation is to be done out loud, and the responsibility of reciting the short suurahs (after al-Faatihah) too; covers the mistake of the one who prays behind him; offers supplication for all those who pray behind him; teachs those who prayed behind him the rulings on prayer; and recite Qur’aan and adhkaar quietly among others. al-Umm, Nayl al-Awtaar, 2/42.

Beyond leading the prayer, it is part of Imaam’s responsibilities to check up on those who are absent (from the prayers), teach the ignorant, solve social problems, admonish the negligent, advise the erring, reconcile those among whom there are differences, bring them closer to one another and strive to foster friendship and love between them, visit the sick, strive to meet the needs of the Muslims among others. Also it should be noted that:

  1. The Muslim who is most entitled to lead the prayer is the one who has most knowledge of Qur’aan and knows the fiqh of prayer” Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/205, 206, Tuhfat al-Manhaaj (2/285), al-Insaaf (2/271). The one who most deserves to lead the prayer is the one who has most knowledge of the rulings on prayer and has memorized the most Qur’aan. Muslim, 1530, al-Bukhaari, 4051, Sharh Muslim, 5/177, Al-Mughni, 2/19, Fataawa Islamiyyah, 1/264
  2. The owner of a house and the imam of a mosque are more entitled to lead the prayer than anyone else, but if they give permission to a visitor and traveler to lead the prayer, they have the right to do so. This is indicated in the report of Maalik ibn al-Huwayrith that is referred to here was narrated by al-Tirmidhi (356) and Abu Dawood (596) from Abu ‘Atiyyah who said: Maalik ibn al-Huwayrith used to come to us in our prayer place and talk to us. The time for prayer came one day and we said to him: “Go forward (to lead the prayer).” He said: “Let one of you go forward, until I tell you why I will not go forward. I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘Whoever visits a people should not lead them in prayer. Let a man from among them lead them in prayer.’” Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi.
  • Visitor may lead the owner of the house in prayer, if that is with his permission. This is indicated in the report narrated by Muslim (673) from Abu Mas’ood al-Ansaari (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man should lead another in prayer in the place of his authority, or sit in his place of honour in his house, except with his permission.”  Also the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (424) and Muslim (33) from ‘Itbaan ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to him in his house and said: “Where would you like me to pray for you in your house.” I pointed out a spot to him, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said takbeer, and we lined up behind him, and he prayed two rak’ahs. Nayl al-Awtaar, 3/170
  • Traveler may lead residents in prayer. This is indicated in the report narrated by al-Tirmidhi (545) from Abu Nadrah who said: ‘Imraan ibn Husayn was asked about the prayer of a traveller. He said: I performed Hajj with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he prayed two rak’ahs, and I performed Hajj with Abu Bakr and he performed two rak’ahs, and with ‘Umar and he performed two rak’ahs, and with ‘Uthmaan for six or eight years of his caliphate and he prayed two rak’ahs. Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning this hadeeth: it is saheeh li ghayrihi. al-Muwatta’ (349),Nayl al-Awtaar, 3/177, Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh

To be cont.. In Shaa Allaah

May Allaah grant us understanding