Volume - IV / CHAPTER - 2 / LESSON NO: 11
"IMAAMAT" (LEADING THE PRAYER)
Q 1. What is meant by "Imaamat"?
A. "Imaamat" means chieftainship,leadership and leader is called "Imaam". Imaamat of "Salaat"(prayer) means attachment of prayer of a "Muqtadi"(follower) to the prayer of "Imaam" with some conditions. An Hadees in this context says that Imaam is responsible for the prayer of his "Muqtadis". It means that Imaam is wholly responsible for the prayer offered well or deficient by his Muqtadis under his leadership. It is naivety and lack of "Shar'i" knowledge to ask every bearded man to lead prayer. The "Shari'ah" envisages some conditions for Imaamat which every Imaam must possess.
Q 2. What are the conditions for Imaamat?
A. There are six conditions for Imaam provided he is not disabled: (1). He ought to be Muslim, (2) mature or of full 15 years if there is no apparent sign of maturity, (3) sane, (4) male, (5) he must know "Qiraa-at" to such an extent that the prayer led by him is in order and (6) free from disability i.e. he should not suffer from such a disease that renders him unable to lead the prayer.
Q 3. Under whose leadership is prayer "Makrooh Taimhi"?
A. Offering prayer under leadership of slave, rustic, blind, bastard, smartly handsome teenager (whose beard and moustache are not yet visible), leper, leuco derma-affected person whom people abhor and gullible, who is easily deceived in shopping, is "Makrooh Tanzihi" i.e. to offer prayer under their leadership is against decency and no matter if offered. In case these people are in greater know of "Salaat" and "Tahaarah" (matters, issues of prayer and cleanliness) and one better than such is not available then they deserve to lead prayer without any undesirability. There is very slight abhorrence in "Imaamat" of a blind provided that he is mindful of "Taharah".
Q 4. Under whose leadership is prayer "Makrooh Tahreemi"?
A. Offering prayer under the leadership of those who have wrong beliefs (not to the extent of infidelity), "Faasiq-e-Mo'lin" (he who commits major sins openly) like drunkard, gambler, fornicator, usurer, back-biter, the one who shaves his beard or trims or does not keep as prescribed by the "Shari'ah", watcher of dance and music programme, he who describes Hadrat Moula Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) superior to "Shaikhain" (Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique and Hadrat 'Umar Farooq [may Allah be pleased with them]) or he who speaks ill of the Prophet's companions Hadrat Ameer Mu'aawiyah and Hadrat Abu Musa Ash'ari (may Allah be pleased with them), is Makrooh Tahreemi i.e. all prayers if offered under the leadership of such wicked persons will have to be repeated. However, "Jumu'ah" and "Eid" prayers may be offered under the leadership of a heretic and wicked Imaam with undesirability at such place where "Jumu'ah" and "Eid" prayers are held at the same place and that a pious Imaam is not available.
Q 5. Under whose leadership is prayer invalid?
A. Offering prayer under the leadership of one who recites the Holy Qur-aan so incorrectly that its meaning is distorted or he does not perform ablution or takes bath properly or denies any of essentials of Islaamic faith i.e. his wrong beliefs have touched infidelity or he denies the intercession of the Holy Prophet or "Deedaar-e-Ilaahi" (the Splendid Sight of Allah) or torment of grave or "Kiraaman Kaatibeen" (angels recording good and evil deeds of man), is absolutely invalid, for, prayer of such accursed person is no prayer what to talk of offering prayer under his leadership. Even Jumu'ah and Eid prayers under him are invalid.
Q 6. What are the conditions for "Iqtidaa"?
A. "Iqtidaa" means to follow or attach one's prayer to the prayer of Imaam. There are thirteen conditions for it: (1). Muqtadi intends for Iqtidaa, (2) to form intention with "Takbir-e-Tahreemah" or before it provided no such word is said or action done between the intention and Takbir-e-Tahreemah that is alien to prayer, (3) Imaam and Muqtadi must be within the same place, ground or field, (4) the prayer of Imaam and Muqtadi must be the same or Imaam's prayer should be superior to that of Muqtadi's, (5) Imaam's prayer must be right according to Muqtadi's Mazhab (creed) and (6) both of them must consider it right as per their respective creed, (7) woman must not be beside man in row (there are some exceptions in this regard), (8) Muqtadi should not precede Imaam, (9) to be in the know of Imaam's performance of "Rukn" (standing, bowing,prostration etc) by seeing or through other way, (l0) Muqtadi should know whether the Imaam is resident or traveller, be it even after the prayer is over, (11) to participate in every "Rukn" like him or less than him, (13) Muqtadi must not exceed Imaam in respect of the conditions of prayer.
Q 7. Can an immature be made Imaam for "Taraawih" prayer or not?
A. An immature lad can not lead prayer of mature believers even funeral prayer or "Taraawih" or "Nail" prayer. However, he can lead prayer of immature lads provided that he is sensible.
Q 8. Who is more deserving of Imaamat (leading prayer)?
A. The most deserving of Imaamat (leading prayer) is the believer who is in the greatest know of the matters,issues of prayers and purification (cleanliness) provided that he has committed such a quantity of the Holy Qur-aan to his memory that he could do "Masnoon Qiraa-at" and also recite correctly. He should not have wrong beliefs and should keep himself away from shameful and all those acts which are repugnant todecency.
Thereafter the one who is most versed in "Qiraa-at" and recites accordingly then he who is most pious i.e. even avoids doubtful things what to think of "Haraam" (unlawful), then the most aged, then the one who possesses best manners and then he who is regular in offering "Tahajjud" (late night supererogatory prayer) and if some persons are equal in these qualities then the one who is the best according to Shari'ah or he who is chosen by the "Jama'at (congregation) should be assigned to lead prayer.
However, if there is an appointed Imaam in any mosque or at any place then this Imaam is most deserving of leading prayer notwithstanding the fact that others are more versed in Islaamic knowledge and "Tajveed" (distinct and excellent recitation of the Qur-aanic verses). The said Imaam must fulfill all the conditions of "Imaamat" otherwise he is not worthy of leading prayer.
Q 9. What about the "Imaamat" of that person with whom people are displeased?
A. It is "Makrooh Tahreemi" for the one to lead prayer with whom people are displeased owing to any "Shar'i" reason. If there is no such reason, he should be made Imaam particularly when he is "Ahaq"(most deserving).
Q10. Can a disabled be Imaam of disabled persons and an "Ummi" (illiterate) of illiterate people or not?
A. A disabled (who is suffering from such a disease that he can not keep up his ablution even for an obligatory prayer) can lead prayer of his likes or more disabled but can not lead prayer of those who are less disabled than him.
In case, the Imaam and Muqtadi have separate disability like one suffers from flatulence whereas the other's nose bleeds then they can not lead prayer of each other.
An "Ummi" (illiterate) who lias no Qur-aanic verse in his memory or has memorised but can not recite correctly i.e. renders the meaning corrupt, can lead prayer of "Ummis" but can not be Imaam of "Qaari" i.e. he who can recite the Holy Qur-aan correctly to the extent of"Fard" that is a small verse. Likewise, if he leads prayer of Ummi and Qaari though the Qaari joined Jama'at after it was established, their prayer will not be valid.
Q11. Who is called "Muqtadi" and how many kinds of it are there?
A. The one who follows Imaam in prayer is called "Muqtadi" and there are four kinds of it:(1)."Mudrik" the one who followed the Imaam (joined prayer) from the first "Rakah" upto "Tashah-hud", (2) "Laa Haq" he who joined prayer in the first Rakah but afterwards his all or certain Rakah(s) was(were) vitiated due to any excuse or without excuse, (3) "Masbooq" the one who joined Imaam (Jama'at) after some Rakahs and remained in the Jama'at till it was over, (4) "Laa Haq Masbooq" he who missed earlier Rakah(s) and joined Imaam in the remaining one(s) but went "Laa Haq" later i.e. the prayer offered by him was vitiated.
Q12. What injunction for "Laa Haq" is there?
A. The injunction for "Laa Haq" is the same as is for "Mudrik" i.e. he will neither do "Qiraa-at" nor "Sajda Sahv" for any shortcoming or forgetfulness in prayer while offering his vitiated prayer. He should not join "Jama'at" again but should offer his vitiated prayer individually after the Jama'at is over and first say the vitiated Rakah (s) and then the remaining one(s). In case, he again joined Jama'at and offered the vitiated Rakah (s) after the Imaam has said "Salaam", the prayer would be in order but he would be sinner.
Q13. What injunction for "Masbooq" is there?
A. The "Masbooq" who missed one or more Rakah(s) should join Jama'at and complete his prayer after the Imaam has said "Salaam". The rules for "Munfarid" (individual) are applicable to him for the purpose of offering missed Rakah (s). He should do Qiraa-at in the missed Rakah and recite "Sana" (if could not recite earlier) and also recite "Ta'awuz" and "Tasmiyah" prior to Qiraa-at. Also observe Sajda Sahv if any shortcoming or forgetfulness is committed during the performance of missed Rakah(s). The observance of the first missed Rakah will not be taken as first in respect of "Tashah-hud" but as second or third or fourth as the case may be. For instance, he joins the last Rakah of the four Rakahs prayer and stands up to complete his prayer after the Jama'at is over, this missed Rakah which he offers now by himself is the first in regard to Qiraa-at but for the purpose of Tashah'hud it is the second. So he should complete this Rakah reciting "Surah Faateha" and any other Surah (Qiraa-at) and sit in "Qa'adah". Thereafter he should stand erect for the next(third) Rakah in which he should recite Surah Fateha and any other Surah and do not sit now in Qa'adah but stand up for the last (fourth) Rakah. In this posture, he should recite only Surah Faatehah and after performing "Rukoo" and "Sujood" he should observe "Qa'ada Akheera"in which he should recite Tashah-hud etc. and finish the prayer saying Salaam. "Masbooq" should not stand up immediately after the first Salaam is said by the Imaam but should wait a bit to ensure that Imaam is not due to observe Sajdah Sahv.
Q14. What injunction for "Masbooq" is there in case he says Salaam with the Imaam?
A. Prayer will not be in order if "Masbooq" says Salaam with the Imaam intentionally considering that he has to say Salaam with the Imaam and if it is done by mistake and that too after the Imaam has said Salaam then the prayer will be in order but he will have to observe Sajdah Sahv on completing his prayer as per the rules. And in case, he does it just with the Imaam (by mistake) then he does not need to do Sajdah Sahv but should stand up to complete his prayer.
Q15. What should "Masbooq" do if the Imaam observes Sajdah Sahv after he has stood up?
A. "Masbooq" who stands up immediately after the Imaam has said first Salaam without waiting a while to know as to whether the Imaam has to do Sajdah Sahv or not, should return to join the Imaam in Sajdah Sahv, provided that he has not completed his individual Rakah and performed Sajdah in the meanwhile, and then complete his remaining prayer as per the rules. What error he has committed in the given situation is not countable. And in case, he does not return to join the Imaam in Sajdah Sahv and complete his remaining prayer, then he should perform Sajdah Sahv at the end of prayer by himself and if he has done Sajdah of his indiviDu'aal Rakah then he should not come back to join the Imaam in Sajdah Sahv because it will nullify the prayer.