A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence Abu Muadh Taqweem Articles Audio Fiqh (Jurisprudence) Lessons

Summary of Fiqh #30: Types Of People Who Cannot Be The Imam

Saturday 1 April 2017

Chapter: The types of People who cannot be the Imam

  • The role of the Imam is a great responsibility
  • There are Certain types of qualities that an Imam should have
    • See Lesson 29 which deals with these qualities
  • There are certain characteristics an Imam must be free from
  • 1. A Fasiq cannot be an Imam
    • A fasiq is one who has gone outside of being an upright Muslim
    • Has committed major sins, but not shirk
    • Fisq is of two types
      • Fisq of actions (open type), e.g. fornication
      • Fisq of belief, e.g. incorrect beliefs, such as rafidah or Jahmiyya
    • The hadith of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)  that a Faajir (a sinner/wrongdoer) cannot be the Imam
    • Prayer behind such a person is prohibited
    • The people of authority should ensure they don’t put forward a fasiq/faajir (open sinner)

  • 2. Someone who is unable to perform the acts of prayer
  • It is not permissible for somebody who is unable of properly performing the acts of the prayer such as the Rukuu’ (bowing), sujuud (prostration)
    • However, if all the attendees of the prayer are in a similar situation then the above does not apply and he can lead
  • It is not permissible for somebody who is physically unable of performing the standing of the prayer, **unless he is usually able but due to a temporary injury must sit down
    • Evidence for temporary injury: The hadith of Aisha (رضي الله عنه) that the prophet lead the prayer while sitting
    • What happens if the Imam is sitting down, is the prayer accepted from those who decide to stand up? [Yes, it is valid but should not be done, should follow the Imam as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said]
    • The Imam can delegate someone else to lead if he feels praying sitting down will cause an issue (e.g. due to an uneducated people)
  • 3. Someone who is incontinent of urine or stool (cannot stop urine or stool passing)
    • However, if all the attendees of the prayer are in a similar situation then the above does not apply and he can lead
    • In a normal situation, without incontinence, What is the Imam supposed to do if he is leading the prayer and his wudhu breaks? [he has to stop, put someone else in as the Imam and leave. The others praying behind him do NOT break their salaah, one of them behind him steps forward and continues from where he left of]
    • The issue above shows the importance of having knowledgeable people immediately behind the imam who know what to do
    • However, children with wudhu should not be thrown out of the first row, if they are eager and keen to come early and join first row the this should not be discouraged
    • Children who do not have wudhu should not be allowed in the rows as that is a break
  • 4. Someone with impurity on their garment and cannot remove it should not lead the prayer
    • If he remembers during the prayer but it is not possible to remove the dirt (e.g. impurity on shirt under thawb/Jubbah) then he should stop and put someone else in place
    • If he remembers during the prayer, if it is possible he should try to remove it [e.g. hadith of Jibreel informing the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)  during the prayer that there was some impurity on his shoes, he removed them and did not repeat his prayer]
    • If it was due to forgetfulness and remembers until he finishes [the prayer of the people behind is valid]
      • Hadith evidence, that the Imam must repeat his prayer but those behind him do not have to repeat
      • What if the imam didn’t have wudhu? [same ruling]
  • 5. It is not correct for an “illiterate person” to lead the prayer
    • What is meant by this is someone who has not memorised at least surah al Fatiha or cannot recite it properly
    • Examples if various mistakes due to mispronunciation
    • A person with a Lisp and not pronounce letters properly should not lead for the same reason, unless everyone else is in a similar situation
  • 6. It is disliked that the Imam should be a person that the majority of the people dislike *for a valid reason*
    • For example, he does something that indicates a deficiency in his religion, e.g. he is lazy and is late constantly and he does not strive to rectify
    • Q&A
      • No time for questions