al-Aswad says: “We prayed dawn prayer (fajr) with the Messenger of Allah at
Mina and two men came and stopped at their resting places. The prophet ordered
for them to be brought and they came shaking with fear. The Prophet said to
them: ‘What prevented you from praying with the people? ...Are you two not
Muslims?’ They answered: ‘Certainly we are, O Messenger of Allah, but we had
prayed in our resting place.’ The Prophet told them: ‘If you pray in your
resting places and then come upon an imam, pray with him, and it will be nafl
for you.’” This is related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. An-Nasa’i and at-Tirmizhi
record it in these words: “lf you pray in your resting places and then you come
to a mosque with a congregation, pray with them, and it will be nafl for you.”
At-Tirmizhi calls it hasan Sahih and Ibn as-Sakin says it is Sahih. This hadith
shows that it is correct for one to repeat a salah as a nafl with a
congregation even if he has already performed it, individually or with a
is related that Huzhaifah repeated the zuhr, ‘asr, and maghrih prayers although
he had prayed them in congregation. It is also related that Anas prayed fajr
behind Abu Musa at the place where fruits are dried and then he went to the
congregational mosque and repeated the salah behind alMughirah ibn Shu’bah.
Nevertheless, this action contradicts authentic hadith of the Prophet
Sallallahu alehi wasallam in which he reportedly said: “Do not pray the same
salah twice in one day.” The apparent conflict has been resolved by Ibn
‘Abdul-Barr who writes, “Ahmad and Ishaq agree that this refers to praying an
obligatory salah and then, after a while, repeating it as the obligatory
prayer. Now, as for the one who repeats the salah with a congregation with the
intention that the second prayer is not a repeat of the obligatory salah but
that it is simply a voluntary prayer, he obeys the Prophet’s order of not
making the same salah twice, as the first salah was obligatory and the second was
nafl; hence, there is no repetition.”
Imam’s Leaving The Place After The Salah
It is preferred for the imam to tum to the right or to the left after the salah and then to leave the place of prayer.
Qabaidah ibn Halb relates that his father said: “The Prophet would lead us in salah and then tum to both of his sides, to his right and to his left.” This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmizhi. The latter calls it hasan. People who are informed on this subject act accordingly by turning to any side they wish. Both acts have been authenticated from the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam. ‘Aishah says: “After the Prophet made the taslim, he would not sit except for the amount of time it takes to say: ‘O Allah, You are the Peace, and from You comes the Peace. Blessed are You, Possessor of Majesty and Honor.”’ This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, at-Tirmizhi, and Ibn Majah.
Ahmad and al-Bukhari record that Umm Salamah said: “Whenever the Messenger of Allah finished his prayers with the taslim, the women would get up and he would stay in his place for a while before getting up.” She said: “I think, and Allah knows best, that he did that to allow the women to leave before the men [would stand to leave].
The Imam Or Followers Being Elevated
It is disliked for the imam to be at a higher place than the followers.
Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari says: “The Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam prohibited that the imam should stand on something higher than the people behind him.” This is related by ad-Daraqutni, while al-Hafez is silent about it in al-Talkhis. Hamam ibn al-Harith relates that Huzhaifah led the people in prayer in Mada’in (Iraq) and he stood on a bench. Abu Mas’ud pulled his shirt with a strong grip. When he finished his prayer Abu Mas’ud said: “Do you not know that this has been prohibited?” Huzhaifah said: “Certainly, I know it. I remembered it when you pulled me.” This is related by Abu Dawud, ash-Shaf’i, and al-Baihaqi. Al-Hakim, Ibn Khuzaimah, and Ibn Hibban grade it Sahih.
the other hand, if the imam has some reason for being higher than the
followers, the act is not disliked. Sahl ibn SA’d as-Sa’ady says: “I saw the
Prophet sitting upon the pulpit on the first day that it was set up. He made
the opening takbir while he was upon it and then he performed ruku’. Afterward,
he moved behind the pulpit and made sajdah at the foot of the pulpit. Then, he
repeated the same. When he had finished, he tumed to the people and said: “O
people, I did that for you to follow me and to teach you my salah.”’ This is related
by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim. It is permissible for the followers to be at
a higher place than the imam
id ibn Mansur, ash-Shaf’i, al-Baihaqi, and al-Bukhari, in his comments, relate
from Abu Hurairah that he prayed at the top of the mosque while following the
imam. Anas used to pray in the room of Abu Naf’i to the right of the mosque and
the room was his height’s high and its door faced the mosque of Basrah and Anas
would pray in it, following the imam. The companions did not say anything about
it. This is related by Sa’id ibn Mansur in his Sunan.
Ash-Shaukani observes: “If the follower is extremely high above the imam, for example, three hundred lengths, and he could not know what action the imam is doing then it is prohibited by consensus whether he is in a mosque or somewhere else. If it is less than that, it is permitted on the principle that unless proved otherwise a thing is permissible. This basis is supported by the above mentioned act of Abu Hurairah to which no one objected.”
Following The Imam With A Barrier In Between
It is allowed for a follower to follow the imam, even if there is a barrier between them, as long as he or she can tell the imam’s movements either by his sight or hearing.
Al-Bukhari records: “Al-Hassan said: ‘There is no problem if you pray and between you and him [the imam] there is a river.’ Abu Majliz said: ‘Follow the imam, even if between you and him there is a road or a wall, as long as you can hear the opening takbir.’” We have already mentioned the hadith in which the people prayed behind the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam while they were behind the room.
When Imam Leaves Out An Essential Act Of Salah
A person’s imamate is valid even if he leaves out one of the obligatory acts or prerequisites provided the followers complete them and the imam is not aware of the fact that he had left out an obligatory act or prerequisite.
Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet said: “If the imam leads the prayer correctly, then both you and he will get the reward. If he is mistaken, you will get the reward and he the blame.” This is related by Ahmad and al-Bukhari.
Sahl reports that he heard the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam say: “The imam is a warrantor. If he has done well, it is for him and them. If he has done wrong, it is upon him.” This is related by Ibn Majah.
It has been authentically reported from ‘Umar that he led the people in salah while he was sexually defiled and had forgotten that fact. He repeated his salah but those who had prayed behind him did not.
Appointing Another To Lead The Rest Of The Salah
If the imam must leave during the salah due to some reason, for instance, he remembers that he is in need of making ablution or he loses his ablution during the salah, then he should appoint another to lead the remainder of the prayer.
‘Amr ibn Maimun says: “I was standing and there was no one between me and ‘Umar, the morning he was killed, except ‘Abullah ibn ‘Abbas. He had barely pronounced the takbir when he was stabbed and he said: ‘The dog has bitten or killed me.’ ‘Umar bade ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Auf to lead the salah and he led them in a short prayer.” This is related by al-Bukhari.
Abu Razin reports: “’Ali was praying one day when his nose began to bleed. He took a man by the hand and put him in front of the congregation, and he left.” This is related by Sa’id ibn Mansur.
Ahmad observes: “If the imam appoints another [it is acceptable] as ‘Umar and ‘Ali appointed another. If the people pray individually, [it is acceptable] as in the case of Mu’awiyyah when he was stabbed and the people prayed individually and completed their prayers.”
To be continued