From Etiquettes of Fasting Date Added: 12-03-2024

Tips for Seizing the ... Date Added: 11-03-2024

Allah`s Blessings in ... Date Added: 07-03-2024

The Prophet's Migration and ... Date Added: 06-03-2024

The Importance of Time ... Date Added: 18-03-2024

Ramadan: The School of ... Date Added: 17-03-2024

The Social Aspect of ... Date Added: 14-03-2024

Ramadan: The Month of ... Date Added: 13-03-2024

Articles


What is Recommended for the Imam (Prayer Leader) to Do

Author : Dr. Mufti Lo`ai Somay`at

Date Added : 12-02-2024


What is Recommended for the Imam (Prayer Leader) to Do

 

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

 

In congregational prayer, the imam (One leading the prayer) holds a crucial role as one of its essential pillars, without which the prayer cannot be performed. Therefore, Islam has stipulated conditions that must be met by the imam for the prayer to be valid. Additionally, there are recommended actions for the imam that contribute to the perfection of the prayer. Some of these include:

 

First: It is recommended for the imam to take greater care in his appearance and attire than what is recommended for the followers, because he is a role model. Imam Al-Shafi'i (may Allah be pleased with him) said: 'It is preferable for the imam to have a better appearance and attire, and to wear thicker garments when it's cold." [Al-Mawardi, Al-Hawi Al-Kabir, Vol. 2/P. 454]."

 

Second: It is recommended for both the imam and the followers not to stand up for prayer until the mu'adhin completes the iqamah. Once the mu'adhin completes it, they should stand up for prayer without delay. [An-Nawawi, Al-Majmu', Vol. 3/P. 253].

 

Third: It is recommended for the imam not to start the prayer with takbir until he looks to the right and left and says, 'Straighten your rows,' as narrated by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) used to say, 'Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of establishing the prayer.'[1] An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 'It is recommended for the imam not to start the prayer with takbir until the rows are straightened, and he should command them to do so while turning to the right and left. When the mu'adhin finishes the iqamah, people stand up and busy themselves with straightening the rows.'" [An-Nawawi, Rawdat At-Talibeen, Vol. 1/P. 369].

 

Fourth: It is recommended for the imam to make the takbir aloud in a manner that the followers behind him can hear him, and he should not make it silently. This is to avoid confusion among them regarding whether the takbir has been made or not. It is preferred for him to make the takbir aloud so that those behind him can hear. It is also recommended for the imam to make the statement 'Sami'a Allahu liman hamidah' (Allah hears whoever praises Him) aloud so that the followers can hear it and know the transition. Similarly, he makes the takbir aloud and softly says 'Rabbana lakal hamd' (Our Lord, to You is due all praise), because he does this when standing from Ruku`, so he whispers it like the glorification in bowing and prostration." [An-Nawawi, Al-Majmu, Vol.' 3/P. 418].

 

Fifth: It is recommended for the imam to pause briefly after reciting Al-Fatiha, allowing the followers to recite Al-Fatiha themselves.[2].

 

Sixth: It is recommended for the imam to loudly say 'Ameen' after completing the recitation of Al-Fatiha in congregational prayers. [Al-Juwayni, Nehayat Al-Matlab, Vol. 2/ P.150].

 

Seventh: It is recommended for the imam to shorten the prayer, ensuring that it does not become burdensome for the congregation while completing its actions. An-Nawawi stated in [Rawdat At-Talibeen, Vol. 1/ P.342] : 'It is recommended for the imam to shorten the prayer without omitting any of its obligatory acts. If the congregation is content with prolongation and consists only of those who prefer it, then there is no harm in prolonging the prayer.' Additionally, it is recommended for the imam to recite longer in the first rak'ah of each prayer compared to the second rak'ah, and this is more emphasized in the Fajr prayer. [Al-Mostadhiri, Helyatul Ulama`, Vol.2/ P.94].

Eighth: It is recommended for the imam to be deliberate in reciting the supplications (adhkar) without unnecessarily prolonging them, so that the followers behind him can properly recite their prescribed supplications. Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: 'When one of you leads the people in prayer, let him make it short, for among them are the weak, the sick, and the elderly. But when one of you prays alone, let him make it as long as he wishes.' (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 1/ P. 142).

 

Ninth, It is recommended for the imam to intend in the first tasleem (salutation) to greet those on his right, including the angels, the Muslim jinn, and humans, and in the second tasleem to greet those on his left, including them. The follower (mu'mum) should intend likewise." [Al-Nawawi: Al-Majmu', vol. 3/P. 478].

 

Tenth: It is recommended for the imam, after making the tasleem (salutation), to stand up from his place if there are no women behind him. This is to avoid confusion for himself or those behind him about whether he has completed his prayer or not, and to prevent a stranger from entering and mistakenly thinking that the imam has not completed the prayer and following him. However, if there are women behind him, it is recommended for him to remain seated after making the tasleem, and for the men to stay in their places briefly, engaging in a minor activity such as remembrance of Allah, until the women leave, ensuring that those rushing in their movement from the men do not reach the end of the rows of women." [Al-Nawawi, Al-Majmu', Vol. 3/P. 489].

 

Eleventh: It is recommended for the imam and others, after completing the prayer, to make supplication (du'a). It is also recommended for the imam not to single himself out in supplication, as the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: "There are three things which are unlawful for anyone to do. A man must not act as imam for others in prayer and make a supplication for himself excluding them, for if he does that he has acted treacherously towards them. No one must look inside a house before asking permission to enter, for if he does so he has acted treacherously towards [its inhabitants]. And no one should pray while retaining urine, but should first relieve himself." [Al-Sharbini, Mugni Al-Muhtaj, Vol. 1/P. 369], and this hadith was narrated by Al-Tirmidhi and graded as hasan (good). [Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2/p. 189].

 

Twelfth: It is recommended for the imam, if he feels someone has entered the mosque while he is in the bowing position (ruku'), to wait for him." Al-Nawawi said: "The correct view is the recommendation of waiting unconditionally with the condition that the person entering the mosque is inside the mosque while waiting, not to prolong the wait excessively, and intending by it to seek closeness to Allah, not to favor or distinguish the entrant. This is the meaning of their saying: 'Not to distinguish between one who is inside and one who enters.' The correct view is the recommendation of waiting (after the final tashahhud) with the aforementioned conditions, because it enables joining the congregation, just as catching the ruku' enables catching the unit (rak'ah)." [Al-Nawawi, Al-Majmoo', Vol. 4/P. 230].

 

Thirteenth: It is recommended for the imam to move from his place if he intends to perform a voluntary (nafilah) prayer, as this increases the number of prostration places, which will testify for him." [Ash-Shirbini, Mughni al-Muhtaj, Vol. 1/P. 394].

 

Fourteenth: It is recommended for the imam, if he is unable to pray while standing due to illness or disability, to appoint someone to lead the prayer standing in his place." [Al-Mawardi, Al-Hawi al-Kabir, Vol. 2/P. 306].

 

Fifteenth: It is recommended for the Imam to delay the prostration of recitation in the silent prayer until he completes it so as not to distract those following him, and it is allowed for him to offer the prostaration of recoitation shortly after ending the prayer. [Al-Ramli, Nihayat al-Muhtaj, Vol. 2/P. 100].

Sixteenth: It is recommended for the imam or scholar, if they are delayed from their companions or if something happens to them that they believe might inconvenience them, to apologize to them and say: "You have a valid reason in this regard, such as so and so," or "I had an excuse," or something similar. [Al-Nawawi, Sharh Muslim, Vol. 5/P. 139].

 

Seventeenth: It is recommended for the imam to recite Surah Al-Jumu'ah in the first Rak'ah of the Friday prayer, and in the second Rak'ah, to recite Surah Al-Munafiqun. Al-Shafi'i, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "If he forgets to recite Surah Al-Jumu'ah in the first Rak'ah, he should combine it with Surah Al-Munafiqun in the second Rak'ah." He also said in the old opinion: "In the first Rak'ah, he should recite Surah Al-Ala, and in the second Rak'ah, Surah Al-Ghashiyah." [Al-Ghazali, Al-Waseet Fi Al-Madhhab, Vol. 2/P. 293].

 

 In conclusion, We ask Allah the Almighty for success in what He loves and is pleased with, in righteous speech and action in His obedience, and that we may be among those accepted by Him, the Glorious.

 

 

 

[1] Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, p. 145, Hadith No. 723. Also reported by Muslim in Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, p. 324, Hadith No. 433.

 

[2] It is mentioned in the commentary of Al-Bajirmi on Al-Khatib (2/65): "The required pauses in prayer are six: between entering the state of Ihram and the opening supplication, between it and seeking refuge (Ta`woz), between it and reciting 'Bismillah', between the end of Al-Fatiha and 'Ameen' and between 'Ameen' and the recitation of the Surah if one recites it, and between its end and the Takbir for bowing, and if one does not recite a Surah then between 'Ameen' and bowing."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article Number [ Previous --- Next ]


Read for Author




Comments

 

Name *

E. mail Address *

Country

Comment Title *

Comment *

Captcha
 
 

Warning: this window is not dedicated to receive religious questions, but to comment on topics published for the benefit of the site administrators—and not for publication. We are pleased to receive religious questions in the section "Send Your Question". So we apologize to readers for not answering any questions through this window of "Comments" for the sake of work organization. Thank you.